In mid-February, PC Perspective broke the story about a potential issue with Intel’s X25-M mainstream solid state drives involving fragmentation and performance slow downs. At that time, after having the news picked up by everyone from CNet to the Wall Street Journal, Intel’s started working with us…
Back in February, I posted my first ever review article.  I had been working with Ryan on that very piece since I first came to him, trying to replicate my findings.  Since November we went back and forth, unsure if we should publish or not.  There were many uneasy ‘should we’ moments.  Going to press with such info would be a particularly bold move, and extremely ballsy for my first article.  With that, I re-ran tests over and over; making absolutely sure this was not due to some weird circumstance that would be embarrassing to say the least.

We pulled the trigger on Friday, February 13th (pure coincidence).  I spent the whole day wondering how things would pan out.  Within a few short hours the tidal wave started, kicked off by SlashdotArs Technica followed suit, as did many others.  The wave of exposure piqued the interest of the big boys, and just one week later I found myself joining Ryan in a conference call with Intel.  The principal’s office feeling was quickly dispelled by their ice breaker: “Hey guys, thanks for the free press!”  We got down to business, we argued our case, defended my article, and I passed the necessary info and tools to quickly replicate.  The Intel guys were surprisingly down to earth and receptive to our input.

During our conference call, another wave of articles was swelling.  This one began with a press release to CNET that was twisted out of context by some of the other news sites.  Thankfully, the wiser sites out there held the line.  We kept quiet in hopes that Intel would pull through with some sort of resolution.

A few weeks ago, as we were preparing for PCPer Podcast #50, Ryan passed me a quick note: “Intel Replicated”.  I spent a few moments envisioning Sci-Fi scenarios, amoebas, and Borg.  Being thick headed I finally broke down and asked him what the heck he was talking about.  Imagine my surprise to find that Intel had replicated our findings in their lab.  An added bonus was they had already passed us a new firmware and were asking for our feedback.  I quickly scanned the release notes and my jaw dropped when I came across this gem: “In addition to addressing the bug you pointed out”.  I stopped right there in amazement.  Could they really have fixed these issues with something as simple as a firmware update?

Intel Responds to Fragmentation with New X25-M Firmware - Storage 17
Could this new firmware bring a severely fragmented X25 back to life?

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