After months of end user complaints, SandForce has finally duplicated, verified and provided a fix for the infamous BSOD/disconnect issue that affected SF-2200 based SSDs. The root cause is a bug in the firmware, although specifics are pretty slim. The typically sparse release notes just state a rare condition resulting in a blue screen error has now been addressed. OCZ has been testing the fix in-house for the past three weeks and now believes it is fit for public release. SandForce is simultaneously releasing the firmware to its partners, so if you have non-OCZ drives you should contact your drive manufacturer for an availability update.

The new firmware is version 2.15 for OCZ drives and 3.3.2 for drives that use SF's standard numbering system. It's important to note that the fix here is for the bug that SF discovered and may not solve all pending issues. Given the extremely long discovery and fix time for this issue I still believe the best policy towards SandForce drives is one of caution, at least until we start hearing from users as to whether or not this fix worked (and didn't create any new issues).

Update: OCZ sent along its official statement -  

OCZ is pleased to announce that the cause of a BSOD issue experienced by some SF-2000-based drive owners has been identified by OCZ and SandForce. A new firmware update which directly addresses this BSOD occurrence related to SF-2000 based SSDs is available here. All newly manufactured OCZ SF-2000 based SSDs will feature the new 2.15 firmware revision (which is based on SandForce firmware version 3.3.2.) We highly recommend that any customers that have experienced the BSOD issue update their firmware to 2.15.
 
We sincerely appreciate the support from our customers, and if any customers have any questions or require additional support please do not hesitate to contact a customer service representative and we will be happy to address any questions or concerns.

Source: OCZ

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  • dcaxax - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    OCZ has, especially since entering the SSD market exhibited a truly pathetic level of customer support.

    It seems they treat SSDs the same way they treat RAM. But while for some reason it was considered acceptable for RAM to crash your system and have users do their own troubleshooting, it definitely isn't for the disk market. Looking through their forums you can see a lot of users trying to guess the cause of their problemsand the efforts of the staff, while well meaning are amateurish from a customer support POV.

    The biggest problem though is Sandforce and it's "secret sause" as Anand calls it. The issue is that this non-standard, top secret technology is managed ONLY by sandforce, while its partners sell drives as "black boxes" i.e. they have no idea what's going on inside. That means you're depending on a tiny company to manage an comparatively large user base. Resources for bugfixing, testing and QA are not anywhere near Intel, Crucial or Samsung - neither is their business savy in dealing with customers. When problems occur they typically respond with silence.

    The 1st generation SF drives were OK, IF you knew what you were getting into - Anand's articles covered a lot but not all of it. Looking through OCZ forums told a lot about the complexities of using them. Many killed their drives, by not understanding issues about the SF controller's handling of incompressible data, while some, inadvertently benched them to death. All because of the SF shroud of secrecy.
    Other users do bizarre hacks to optimize their systems to work with their SSD. I eventually gave up and decided I'd keep my SF1200 drive until it degrades or dies, whatever.

    The 2nd generation SF drives, proved pretty conclusively why you should not do business with a tiny secretive company for a critical component. The BSOD problem was known for months over the web, but SF and OCZ called it a "rare unrepeatable issue". New firmwares supposedly addressed this "rare unrepeatable issue" but so far failed. I hope the last one does, for the poor people who bought their products, but IMHO, they're just not worth the effort.

    Current generation SSD's are all so fast, it's impossible to tell the difference between a Super-fast SF drive or a plain-fast drive by any other brand. There is simply no point in taking the risk to buy an SF drive anymore (certainly not one made by OCZ). I'm getting a Crucial m4, for a lower price than an SF2x and will be happy to have slightly lower speeds, no crashes, no need to browse forums and peace of mind.

    IMO the only people that can benefit from SF drives are Mac users who need a drive that does its own garbage collection, even when no TRIM is present (Apple supports TRIM only for its own, expensive SSDs).
    Reply
  • kensiko - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    You're blaming it all to partners, while I'm not even sure if you would have done better.

    Of course they do not have the resources for bugfixing testing and QA, what do you think?

    Of what I gathered when they had their hands on a BSOD system, they would plug the SATA bus analyzer and the problem would disappear.
    Reply
  • xdrol - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    3.2.2 -> 2.15? Was the 3.2.2 firmware from a newer, maybe experimental/unstable branch, and they returned now to the previous, 'stable' branch? Reply
  • AbRASiON - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    The attititude on OCZ's forums regarding this fiasco has been enough for me to sign out. I'm done. M4 or Intel for me. I'll live these 2 OCZ drives out for their lifetime but after this, I'm done. Reply
  • Beenthere - Tuesday, October 18, 2011 - link

    It's outrageous that Microsucks, SSD suppliers, some mobo makers, many software suppliers and others charge consumers for the privilege of Beta testing their defective products and reporting the defects. I guess there have not been enough class action lawsuits to encourage these hardware and software suppliers to properly validate their goods before releasing them to the market. Reply
  • AnnihilatorX - Thursday, October 20, 2011 - link

    So people having BSODs with the old generation drives are left to fend off themselves? Reply
  • ottoman16 - Friday, October 21, 2011 - link

    Anand's article "OCZ Vertex 3 MAX IOPS & Patriot Wildfire SSDs Reviewed" states that SF drives are not good for incompressible data: "If you have a workload that uses a lot of incompressible data (e.g. JPGs, H.264 videos, highly random datasets etc...) then SandForce just isn't for you."

    That being the case, would a non-SF SSD be better suited? Seeing how many issues the SF drives are having would just be another reason to choose another controller-based SSD.
    Reply
  • Quad5Ny - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    It's great that there is a fix for the second generation drives, but what about the first generation?

    I have 2 SF-1200 drives that disconnect randomly after waking up from S3.

    God, SandForce drives can be such a pain in the arse.
    Reply
  • 9mm - Friday, October 28, 2011 - link

    This bug happens with nocti mPCIe(mSATA)? why no firmware for small brother... ? Reply
  • Comdrpopnfresh - Sunday, February 05, 2012 - link

    thats my comment on that Reply

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