5000-Hour Bug in Crucial’s m4
[UPDATE: Fix now available]
There’s unfortunately no lack of weird SSD firmware bugs–not even good-old, trustworthy Intel is apparently free of these problems. Now it appears that another drive that is generally considered reliable–the popular Crucial m4–has been spared. On the company’s support forums there are reports of units causing blue screens after about 5,000 hours, something that has also been confirmed by Crucial representatives:
We are aware of an issue that is currently affecting a small number of users whereby their m4 causes their system to require a restart. This issue occurs after approximately 5,000 hours of actual “on time” use. Following the initial reboot, the system then requires subsequent restarts after each additional hour of use. However, the data on the SSD is unaffected and will not be lost due to this condition.
According to Crucial, the problem might surface in SSDs with a total running time of approximately 5,000 hours or roughly 7 months. It may induce BSODs with the description “0x00000f4 error.” Then the problem persists by causing additional hangs every hour. Fortunately, the bug should not affect the data stored on the device, but it definitely sounds like an exceptionally annoying behavior. I own one of these drives myself and have yet to experience this bug, but with this in mind it sounds like cloning the drive regularly might be in order.
To remedy the problem, Crucial plans to release a corrected version of the firmware in mid-January. Anyone who cannot wait until the new firmware is released is advised to contact support for returns and replacement.
This could arguably have come at a better time, because it coincides with Crucial’s launch of yet another drive series in the m4 lineup. The company has just announced thinner, 7 mm versions of the m4, which are intended for thin-and-light laptops such as those based on Intel’s Ultrabook concept. This format was adopted from day one in Samsung’s 830 SSD (one drive that still retains an untarnished reputation).