Intel has released a new build of its SSD Toolbox, version 3.1.8, which addresses an issue that could lead to Intel SSD 530 Series hanging on resume.
The flaw, which affects all Intel SSD 530 Series drives, affects the drive when addressed using Aggressive Link Power Management (ALPM) - a feature of Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) SATA devices which allows the drive to enter a particularly low-power state during idle periods while returning to full activity i less than 10 microseconds during a 'partial' sleep state or 10 milliseconds during a 'slumber' state.
With very little effect on performance, ALPM is a great feature - except when, as with the Intel SSD 530 Series, it doesn't quite work. A bug in the firmware across the whole family of drives leads to a small but annoying chance that the drive won't wake up when it's supposed to - leaving the user forced to power their system off and back on again to regain access to their data.
It's a widespread bug, but one that many users may not have experienced: the flaw doesn't always rear its ugly head, and many users may have been using their drives without issue since launch. The firmware upgrade - accessible by visiting the Firmware Update portion of the SSD Toolbox, unsurprisingly - is recommended for anyone running an Intel SSD 530 Series drive. Once run, the upgrade will boost the drive's firmware to DC12, with the process being entirely non-destructive of existing data - so long as you don't lose power halfway through the process, of course.
The updated SSD Toolbox release also brings improvements to the display of Self Monitoring and Reporting Technology (SMART) attributes - adding descriptions to C2, C5, EA, and F9, also known as Temperature, Current Pending Sector Count, Average Erase Count and Maximum Erase Count, and Total NAND Writes respectively - to make the details easier to follow. The software also now calculates accurate values for attributes E1, F1 and F2 - Load/Unload Cycle Count, Total Logical Block Addresses (LBAs) Written, and Total LBAs Read respectively - and fixes a word display bug.
The updated version is available for download now from Intel's official site