Intel's first 34nm SSDs hit by Bios flaw

Online retailers have had to pull Intel's first 34nm-process solid-state drives from their listings after the chipmaker admitted to a firmware bug
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Intel's new 34nm solid-state drive has a flaw that renders the drive inoperable for users who set a Bios drive password.

The chipmaker announced last Tuesday that it had started shipping its first SSDs made using the 34nm manufacturing process — a shift that should make the drives faster and cheaper. However, on Friday a US custom computer maker said the Bios defect had forced it and other online retailers to pull the first batch of 34nm SSDs from their sites.

"There was a lot of confusion, but it was clear that something was wrong with these first units — enough so that Newegg and other online vendors had also pulled them entirely from their sites," blogged William George, the customer service lead at Puget Systems. "We too stopped listing them, and began contacting our customers who were expecting us to ship them out this afternoon."

Intel confirmed the flaw on Monday. "If a user has set a Bios drive password on the 34nm SSD, then upon disabling or changing the Bios drive password, followed by powering off/on the computer, the SSD becomes inoperable," the company said in a statement.

George said Intel had initially told Puget that the drives might require a complete reworking. However, the chipmaker said it has come up with a firmware fix that it expects to deliver in about two weeks.

"The root cause has been identified and a new fix is under validation," the company said. It suggested that users who have not yet enabled a Bios drive password should refrain from doing so until the firmware update comes through.

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