Intel Finally Addresses Issue with 320-Series SSDs by Releasing New Firmware

Intel Corrects "8MB Bug" of 320 SSDs with New Firmware

by Anton Shilov
08/17/2011 | 10:55 PM

Intel Corp. has released a new firmware for its 320-series solid-state drives to fix the so-called "8MB bug" when BIOS only recognizes 8MB of storage capacity of the drives. Even though, according to Intel, only a small amount of SSDs is affected, the chipmaker will replace solid-state drives to certain users.


Under certain circumstances, after an unexpected power loss, a small percentage of SSDs may experience this error on the next attempt to boot the system. In this situation, the system’s BIOS reports an SSD as an 8MB capacity drive. Intel admitted earlier the "Bad Context 13x Error" as seen on select Intel SSD 320-series drives.

Intel has posted a firmware update for the Intel SSD 320-series (firmware 4PC10362) which addresses the Bad Context 13x Error and can be downloaded from the company's web-site.

For customers, who have already experienced a drive failure or encounter this problem before the firmware update was released, Intel advices to contact representative or Intel customer support for an SSD replacement. An alternative option is to use the Intel SSD Toolbox or similar tools to perform a secure erase in order to restore the SSD to an operational state;  all data will be erased. After secure erase, update your SSD with the new firmware (which will not recover user data).

In order to provide the best user experience, Intel always recommends users download and install the latest firmware. As with any storage device, Intel recommends users frequently back up their data and periodically check for firmware updates.

Available in 40GB, 80GB, 120GB, 160GB, 300GB and 600GB versions, Intel SSD 320-series offers sequential write speeds up to 220MB/s, sequential read throughput at up to 270MB/s and produces up to 39 500 input/output operations per second (IOPS) random reads and 23 000 IOPS random writes on its highest-capacity drives. The SSDs are based on Intel's own proprietary firmware and controller. Intel uses spare area to deploy added redundancies that will help keep user data protected, even in the event of a power loss. The SSDs also include 128-bit Advanced Encryption Standard capabilities on every drive, to help protect personal data in the event of theft or loss. The Intel 320-series SSDs use Serial ATA-300 interface and 25nm NAND flash memory.