Poor Crucial. Although it started its C300 campaign on the right foot, posting some very impressive sequential read speeds thanks to 6Gbps SATA and ONFI 2.0 NAND, things haven't been so smooth lately.

First off, Crucial's timing was unfortunate as it was right around the time we started seeing SandForce make some noise. Secondly, while performance was good, my drive showed some performance and reliability issues within two weeks of receiving it. And third, the firmware update that was supposed to address the problems I had managed to brick some drives

If you bought a C300 there was a chance that your drive would brick itself by just using it. If you used the firmware that fixed the aforementioned problem, then there was a chance the process would brick your drive. 

Crucial just gave me an update on the situation and things appear to be looking up:

Hi Anand, 
I wanted to provide you an update on the RealSSD C300 firmware. 
As you know, we pulled the v0002 firmware update from the Crucial.com support site on Wednesday, May 5th. We did this to allow our product engineering team time to evaluate reported issues. We have identified a compatibility issue between the update tool and certain motherboards. There are no known issues with the firmware itself. We are revising the update tool to eliminate the known compatibility issues. We plan to begin testing and validating the new update tool early next week (week of May 10th), and we’ll continue to keep you updated. 
Although the majority of customers have seen no issues with the update, our goal is to protect customers that may encounter issues.  
Please let me know if you have any questions. 
The update should go live while I'm out of the country, but it looks like by the end of this month things should finally (hopefully?) be safe for C300 owners. 
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  • Duwelon - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    I'd like to know of just one instance of what exactly caused a "compatibility issue". Does the firmware get trapped in infinite loops with certain hardware? Is the SSD physically wired incorrectly and it has to corrected by clever firmware tricks? Do certain motherboards have firmware or wiring problems? I'd like to just understand how a motherboard that supports standard A isn't compatible with an SSD that also supports standard A. It seems to me that one or the other isn't supporting standard A like it should be, but i'd love to hear some details on that.
  • The0ne - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    It's a bunch of BS IMO. If there's incompatibility between two devices, which one is causing it? Simple question for which we might ever get he answer unless someone other than Crucial tells us. Every time I consider a SSD purchase I'm reminded of how early in the stage the products are and how unstable both the hardware and software are.
  • FlameDeer - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    Anand, your feedback of new products to manufacturers always help to improve quality & reliability. Thank you for always concern on behalf of users to protect & improve consumers benefits! Wish you have a safe & pleasant trip to Spain this weekend, take care :)
  • Ol'Bud - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    I wish a manufacturer would just be up-front about it once !

    I own two of these C300's and it scares me to think I may lose work that is on them at any moment.

    I think they are totally confused up there in Idaho,
    Maybe they are in a rarified air situation?
    They shipped my C300 to me by the longest route I can imagine;
    I'm only about 400+ miles away in Oregon and they gave the darn thing to a shipper that sent it to the other side of the Mississippi River and then got it shipped to me from there in , I think it was Kentucky.

    No need for a replies, just making my dis-satisfaction known.

  • RU482 - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    It has been my experience that Micron SSDs are very sensitive to dips in the power rail. For instance, I had a C200 based 1.8" drive. The 1.8" drives run off 3.3V. I experienced some failures. The failure report came back stating that the drive entered a brownout state when the power rail dipped to 3.14V. I know other 1.8" drives state that they can operate down to 2.7V....3.14V doesn't seem that much of a stretch on a 3.3V line.

    I just wonder if this issue could be related to some of the C300 bricking and failures.
  • Zan Lynx - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    Spinning drives will also fail if the power drops very far. The heads can hit the platter and wipe out data you weren't even writing.

    It sounds like these SSDs are trying to reproduce that experience.
  • IanJamesTi - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    Board Asus Rampage III
    SSD: 2x C300 256GB

    I know the firmware is supposed to help allow TRIM and help reduce performance degradation over time when directly connected.

    However, it has been posted nearly all over that TRIM commands and drive wear leveling are not performed on two drives connected in RAID 0.

    If this is true (which I can't seem to find a definitive answer on), then would we even need to bother with the Firmware002, since hypothetically, it will not help TRIM the drives?

    Also, if this true... will our RAID 0 configured drives continually experience performance degradation over time leaving us with the only option to regain factory performance being to completely erase the drive, low-level format and re-install?

    Thank you in advance for any guidance! Before I bother with any further Firmware issues, I want to know if there is anything useful for connecting 2 or more C300 SSDs in order to help preserve performance.
  • aka1nas - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    The entire stack has to support TRIM for it to be functional. I.E. The OS, storage driver, as well as the actual SSD. Trim is supported on Windows 7, and by several storage drivers (i.e. the default MS driver, some of Intel's chipset drivers, etc). However, most RAID controller drivers, IIRC including Intel's chipset RAID, still do not have TRIM support and will not pass along the requests to the SSD.
  • yacoub - Friday, May 7, 2010 - link

    listing which motherboards would be helpful.
  • Ol'Bud - Sunday, May 9, 2010 - link

    It won't even be recognized in the disc manager although the Device manager is calling it a C300.
    Can't even use the bootable ISO from Crucial to re-run the firmware to get it back in operation;
    Doesn't look good right now as there are threads at the Crucial support forum that are complaining about 2 months and no RMA Return from the manufacturer in Meridian Idaho by one of the posters.

    Darn.. I'm so lucky !


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