Just a heads up for anyone contemplating an Intel 320-series SSD.
the release of these drives, a number of users began to report that on booting after an
unexpected power loss, they found the capacity of their drives reduced to 8GB. The event
was accompanied by an electronic serial number field containing a message of “BAD_CTX
0000013x”. Once this error occurs, no data on the SSD can be accessed and the user
cannot write to or read from the SSD.
A secure erase would return the drive to
full capacity, but of course, all data would be permanently lost.
On the 24th
July, Intel posted an acknowledgment of the error on their Support Community website, and
stated that it could be solved by a firmware update.
On the 13th of August, a
further post appeared saying that a firmware update was undergoing validation testing, and
would be released within two weeks.
Four days later (Aug 17),the update was
posted (firmware 4PC10362).
However . . . a number of people who've installed
the firmware update - either to fix an affected drive, or as a precaution against the
problem - have found that it has not prevented the fault from occuring, with some
suggesting that applying the update actually precipitated an occurence (see links
As of today, no response has been forthcoming from Intel, and the
drives are still on sale without caveat.http://communities.intel.com/thread/23610?start=0&tstart=0http://communities.intel.com/thread/24121?start=0&tstart=0http://communities.intel.com/thread/24205?start=0&tstart=0