Poor Crucial. Although it started its C300 campaign on the right foot, posting some very impressive sequential read speeds thanks to 6Gbps SATA and ONFI 2.0 NAND, things haven't been so smooth lately.

First off, Crucial's timing was unfortunate as it was right around the time we started seeing SandForce make some noise. Secondly, while performance was good, my drive showed some performance and reliability issues within two weeks of receiving it. And third, the firmware update that was supposed to address the problems I had managed to brick some drives

If you bought a C300 there was a chance that your drive would brick itself by just using it. If you used the firmware that fixed the aforementioned problem, then there was a chance the process would brick your drive. 

Crucial just gave me an update on the situation and things appear to be looking up:

Hi Anand, 
I wanted to provide you an update on the RealSSD C300 firmware. 
As you know, we pulled the v0002 firmware update from the Crucial.com support site on Wednesday, May 5th. We did this to allow our product engineering team time to evaluate reported issues. We have identified a compatibility issue between the update tool and certain motherboards. There are no known issues with the firmware itself. We are revising the update tool to eliminate the known compatibility issues. We plan to begin testing and validating the new update tool early next week (week of May 10th), and we’ll continue to keep you updated. 
Although the majority of customers have seen no issues with the update, our goal is to protect customers that may encounter issues.  
Please let me know if you have any questions. 
The update should go live while I'm out of the country, but it looks like by the end of this month things should finally (hopefully?) be safe for C300 owners. 
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  • mdevlin - Sunday, May 9, 2010 - link

    Must be lucky. I have four of the 256GB C300s with no problems at all. Using the four C300s in a pair of Addonics Dual Drive RAID enclosures. Limited by the eSATA performance through Expresscard34 on MacBook Pro, but otherwise no issues at all. Primarily using them with Final Cut Pro.
  • Xtrykr - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    Hi Anand, did Crucial send you any beta firmware updates to test? Or do you think we're going to be hooped for a while?

    P.S. what is the real issue with C300 that is causing the degradation over time? Thanks!
  • Kevin the Tech - Monday, May 10, 2010 - link

    Can you confirm whether the new firmware fixes the performance degradation and TRIM commands. These drives are looking mighty tempting if they can get those issues sorted out.
  • pengivy - Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - link

    Where is the firmware?? The link of C300 is gone??

    I can't find it now...
  • d3vnul - Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - link

    Guess it takes more time for the firmware to show up , i'm getting one C300 256GB in 2-3days (on shipping at the moment) , hopefully they will release the firmware this month so i can update my drive before using it
  • spudit88 - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    I posted on his previous C300 article. Note- I would not purchase one of these without the updated firmware. The one I bought last week died after only 1 day- Loading everything up...spend some time testing...was pretty happy- Came in this morning and the thing is toast.

    Tried to update Firmware, etc. with no luck. They are replacing with an updated drive.

    I'm shocked they are still selling these (direct no less) with such problems-
  • smithwd - Thursday, May 20, 2010 - link

    For what its worth - the new firmware is back out with a new and improved updater.

    Here's a link: http://www.crucial.com/support/firmware.aspx

    I will try it tomorrow and let you know how it works.
  • smithwd - Friday, May 21, 2010 - link

    I followed the directions and the update worked for me with no problems.
  • NurFACE1 - Friday, May 21, 2010 - link

    I followed the firmware update from crucial. I haven't had any problem with drive but decided to use firmware update release 002. No problem with latest firmware for me. I set bios to IDE = ATA place SSD on port 1 of sata II and disconnected remaining drives until flash completed. The performance has remain a positive experience for me.
  • turbodreams - Sunday, May 23, 2010 - link

    The new Firmware does indeed solve the TRIM issue, as it can be seen here:


    First screenshot shows the drive after heavy Iometer load, last screenshot show the drive after a "quick format".
    Note that neither sequential writes nor an extended idle period seem to trigger the garbage collection (second & third screenshot), so the GC seems much weaker than on Intel drives.

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