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Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW160G3K5 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

2 out of 5 eggs Disappointing product, excellent service 08/30/2012

This review is from: Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW160G3K5 2.5" 160GB SATA II MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD)

Pros: Drive made my wife's laptop much faster. The OS loaded in the blink of an eye, and Photoshop and other apps were equally quick.

Cons: Drive was purchased on 11/25/11. That drive failed with the 8MB bug in the middle of March, and a replacement was issued (with a $25 cross-ship fee). That drive then failed due to a different issue on 8/29/12.

Other Thoughts: Intel has provided exemplary customer support throughout both failures. Fortunately we have a 2TB NAS that we back everything up on, but drive failure is still a disappointment. The first drive was replaced overnight, and Intel is providing a full refund since I had two failures within a year. Won't be buying another SSD from them anytime soon, but they will continue to get my business for processors due to their courtesy and consideration.

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Intel 320 Series SSDSA2CW160G3K5 2.5
  • Verified Owner
  • Owned For: 1 month to 1 year

Pros: Very fast drive. Makes my wife's 4 year old laptop run circles around newer machines that use mechanical drives.

Cons: I got the drive, installed it in her laptop and updated the firmware. Performed some OS tweaks intended to extend the life and performance of the drive, and she was off and running.

Less than 4 months later, she was browsing the internet and editing photos when her computer got a BSOD and rebooted. It would no longer boot into the Windows installation on the SSD. When booting into her mechanical drive, the SSD was not seen. Looking in Disk Management, I found an 8MB uninitialized partition. Intel's SSD Toolbox identified it as an 8MB 320 series SSD. I was unable to perform a Secure Erase because it was in a security lockdown. They recommend disconnecting the drive and reconnecting it to reset the security lockdown, but that did not work and I now have a $300 8MB brick.

The Intel SSD forums are buzzing with reports of this problem, with slight variations on the same 8MB brick story. No word from Intel on the forums. Some have had luck on the phone.

Other Thoughts: Even if I could Secure Erase the drive, I would be losing any of the pictures of my 10 month old daughter that have been taken in the last 4 months that were not immediately backed up. Intel's response has been dismissive of the impact that data loss can have on their customers, and there is a woeful lack of communication on their part in regard to this issue. I know SSDs are new technology, and 'buyer beware' but I've been running a competitor's drive on my PC with no problems whatsoever, and I got that drive for $1.17/GB, while the 'more reliable' Intel drive was $1.88/GB. Guess you don't always get what you pay for.

The specific error I am now getting is BAD_CTX 00000166. Just Google "Intel SSD BAD_CTX" and read about all of the problems.

I understand that mass production produces faulty units. Assuming that the response from Intel is what I am expecting, I will upgrade this review from 1 Egg to 3 or 4, because the drive, when it's working, works as advertised.

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John S.'s Profile

Display Name: John S.

Date Joined: 10/06/06

  • Reviews: 2
  • Helpfulness: 0
  • First Review: 03/14/12
  • Last Review: 08/30/12
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