Intel pulls SSD firmware over Windows 7 clash

Users of Intel's first 34nm solid-state drives have reported serious problems when installing new firmware for the drives on Windows 7 systems
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Intel has withdrawn a firmware update it issued to people who use its X-25M solid-state drives with Windows 7, after the update was found to stop the operating system from working.

Firmware update 02HA was intended to add support for Trim, a feature in Windows 7 that increases the SSD's lifespan and boosts write speeds. It was released on Monday but, by Wednesday, Intel had withdrawn the update following complaints from users.

"We take all sightings and issues seriously and are working toward resolution," Intel said in a statement. "We have temporarily taken down the firmware update while we investigate. Thank you for your patience."

The chipmaker refused to comment on the nature of the firmware update's problems, but several threads on Intel's support forums described computers that refused to boot up Windows after the upgrade was applied to the company's first 34nm SSDs.

"Just did the firmware update and it hosed my Windows 7 installation," wrote user 'georgewillow' on Monday. "The updater showed a successful firmware update. Initially the computer booted just fine, but once I was within Windows it installed some drivers and asked for a reboot. That's when the trouble started. Now the drive won't boot Windows 7 anymore."

In addition, user 'al3x' wrote on Tuesday that 02HA had "killed" his 160GB X-25M drive. "The updater reported a successful firmware update and that I should restart now," he wrote. "So I hit reset, switched back to AHCI and... well... couldn't boot into Windows any longer. Booting now takes ages and the SSD isn't recognised anymore."

This week's issues are not the first to affect Intel's X-25M SSDs. In July, resellers temporarily had to stop supplying the drives due to a flaw that made the drive inoperable when users set their BIOS drive passwords. That flaw was corrected in August with a firmware update.

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