The gen 3 solid state drives of Intel have become quite famous for their reliability issues because of the Intel 8MB bug that was widely talked about by SSD users all over the internet. It was a glitch that bricked the drive making its size be displayed as only 8MB and all of its contents become inaccessible. This was caused by the controller of the drive making the wrong call when the power suddenly gets cut off. Instead of shutting itself down, it will insist on connecting to a SATA port. After several patch notes, it was finally confirmed that Intel has successfully prevented the bug. It is not unreasonable to say that something similar to the 8MB bug might happen again so it is best if we know what we can do to avoid turning our SSD into an Intel 320 Series Bricked Drive.

Be Vigilant with Updates

Firmware updates are free so there is absolutely no reason to download and install them. The firmware is the brain of a solid state drive and updates can be treated as lessons. The more lessons learned, the smarter the brain becomes. And the smarter the brain is, the less likely it is to get tricked into making mistakes that may lead to glitches. Check Intel’s official website or message boards regularly for any news of firmware updates. You may also install auto-updaters from third parties that will notify you when something is out-of-date.

intel 320 series ssd bricked drive

Avoid Sleep and Hibernation

Solid state drive controllers for some reason have a high tendency to get confused when the computer is put on “sleep” or “hibernate”. Doing so regularly will likely lead to the controller making a mistake.

Uninterruptible Power Supply

A UPS will be the saviour of your solid state drive when a blackout happens. It will provide a few minutes’ worth of power so that you can shut down your pc correctly. It will also allow you to save any unfinished work so it is highly worth it.

Create a Backup

Backup your files even if just the important ones. Though there is a DIYer way of restoring an Intel 320 Series Bricked Drive, there isn’t any for retrieving any of the files. If your Intel 320 Series SSD drive does get bricked, Brian Cometa and the other data recovery technicians of “300 Dollar Data Recovery” can restore your drive as well as your files.

Affordable Intel 320 Series Data Recovery by $300 Data Recovery from $300 Data Recovery on Vimeo.


Intel’s generation 3 SSDs may be one of the most popular in the market but in no way does this mean they don’t have their fair share of issues. There are various Intel 320 Series Common Problems you may encounter. Most of them are quite easy to remedy except for the dreaded Intel 8MB bug.

The Bane of SSDs

Sudden power outage has always been the Achilles heel of solid state drives and the Intel 320 series is no exemption. In fact, Intel’s 3rd gen SSDs even have it worse than others. But first, let us talk about the two ways of how an SSD can experience power failure.

intel 320 series common problems

1. Power Interruption

This occurs when for some reason, the power supply in your area is cut and you are not using an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS. If you live in a second or third world country where short power interruptions can occur anytime, you are highly advised to get a UPS.

2. Improper Shutdown

This happens when you are forced to cut off the power to your computer. The usual reason for this is when your computer gets frozen and the only thing you can do is reset it by unplugging it or turning your Automatic Voltage Regulator or AVR off.

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The Intel 320 Firmware Bug

It is will be very obvious if your SSD gets the bug. Regardless what the size of your drive is, it will be reported as only 8MB. Your computer will also notify you that your drive has an invalid partition table. The reason for the bug was explained by Intel as follows, “After a power outage, the SSD may try to reconnect to the SATA port instead of initiating a proper shutdown.” Several firmware updates later, the bug still remains.

Your Last Resort

The Intel 8MB bug is the worst and also the most popular among the Intel 320 Series Common Problems. It is devastating in the sense that it wipes all the data in the drive. The bug first appeared in 2011 shortly after the series was launched by it took until early 2012 before a few file retrieval companies were able to make successful file restoration. Until today, only a handful of companies can provide a high probability of success in dealing with the firmware bug. Of all these companies, Brian Cometa’s 300 Dollar Data Recovery offers the lowest price. The company will check your SSD for free and you will be charged with only a fixed rate of 300 bucks for a successful recovery.

intel 8mb bug

Damage after a sudden power loss has always been the weakness of solid state drives. The 320 series SSDs, however, got the short end of the stick due to the Intel 8MB Bug that bricks the drive and makes it unbootable. It occurs when a power outage or improper shutdown causes the drive to keep trying to reconnect to the SATA port instead of simply turning itself off. The displayed size of the SSD will become only 8MB and its serial number will become BAD_CTX 00000130. Intel has issued various firmware updates but all of them have failed to prevent the occurrence of the bug. Given below are a few steps on how to make your drive usable again after it has been affected by the firmware bug. Just remember that the said method will make the files written on the SSD unrecoverable.

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1. Download a bootable cd of the free hard disk diagnostic tool MHDD. Then burn it with an image burning application. Note that both Windows 7 and Windows 8 have built-in image burners.

2. Insert the newly burnt cd on your CD-ROM drive and restart your computer. Go to your boot menu by pressing F12 while your pc is rebooting and switch the boot order of your Windows and CD-ROM. This way, your computer will boot the MHDD disk first.

3. When the computer successfully boots MHDD, you will be asked if you want to have SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) support or not. Your answer to this question does not usually matter so just pick one so you can go on to the next step.

4. MHDD will then provide you with a list of the drives in your pc. Type and enter the number of the bugged drive.

5. MHDD will not let you tamper with the data of the bugged drive without first setting a password. Type “PWD” and enter a password of your choice. Make it short since you won’t be using it again after the restoration is complete.

6. Type and enter the command “FASTERASE”. Then type and enter your password. The word “BUSY” will be displayed on the top left corner of the screen and will disappear when data erasure is complete.

7. Press F2 to go back to the list of drives. If the “fast erase” was successful, the size of your drive as well as its serial number is back to normal.

8. Type “UNLOCK” along with your password to make the drive accessible again. Then type and enter “DISPWD” to permanently disable the password.

If you want to restore your SSD that was affected by the Intel 8MB Bug while also recovering your files, “300 Dollar Data Recovery” can easily recover files from bugged SSDs that other companies simply can’t.