Wednesday, May 15, 2013

BIOS does not recognize crucial m4 SSD

Crucial M4 SSDs encounter a critical error that make the drives unstable after 5184 hours of use - it can lock up, blue screen, and become unrecognizable in BIOS.  5184 hours translates to roughly 7 months of continuous use, so Zeen's description of 8 months makes sense if the system was powered down every now and again.  Power cycling (as described in the previous posts' link) will fix the problem, but only for an hour and then the problems will repeat.

The newest firmware for the M4 (currently 0309) fixes this issue.  You can visit this link to download the latest firmware:

You can check how many hours your drive has been powered on using a tool like CrystalDiskInfo (freeware).  Immediately after reading the firmware notes and installing the new firmware I decided to check my drive usage - sure enough I was at 5240. It took me about two and a half days to really get to the bottom of this - which means the problem started right at the 5184 hour mark.  Have not had a problem since.

Below is the procedure for a power cycle, in most cases your SSD can be returned to normal operating condition by performing the steps listed below:

1. Find a computer that you can use for approximately 1 hour. We recommend that you try to perform this procedure on a desktop computer because it allows you to only connect the SATA power connection. This will improve the odds of the power cycle being successful. A USB enclosure with an external power source will also work.

Apple desktop users please follow the same steps as Windows desktop users. If you don't have a desktop, a laptop will work as well. With a laptop you will want to have the drive connected and navigate to the systems BIOS menu. Please refer to your system manufacture’s documentation on how to access the BIOS. Letting the drive sit in the BIOS will improve the odds that the power cycle will work. It is not recommended to use a USB enclosure that is powered via USB. Apple laptop users will want to boot the system to the open firmware.

2. Once you have the drive connected and sitting idle for a desktop it is simply powering the computer and waiting. Laptop user will need to be in the BIOS menu, or open firmware as stated above. The computer will need to stay powered on for 20 min, and it is recommended that you don't use the computer during this process.

3. Power the computer down and disconnect the drive for 30 seconds.

4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 one more time.

5. Reconnect the drive normally, and boot the computer to your operating system.

6. Update your firmware, if you are not already at the latest on your drive. Please visit the following link for our firmware updates:

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