Isolating SSD Firmware Issue

2012 Oct 03, Timid Robot Zehta

On Friday 2012-09-28, my MacBook Pro started freezing. There had been no significant software updates that morning (though 10.8.2 came out that week).

I didn't want to deal with it, so I took it to the Apple Store. Unfortunately, they simply wasted a few days (given the solution found, I'm confident they never let it run more than an hour).

Once I got it back from the Apple Store without resolution, I knew it would be up to me to isolate the issue. I was inspired by Everything Sysadmin: What makes a sysadmin a "senior sysadmin"? to proceed methodically.

It paid off:

Correct a condition where an incorrect response to a SMART counter will cause the m4 drive to become unresponsive after 5184 hours [216 days] of Power-on time. The drive will recover after a power cycle, however, this failure will repeat once per hour after reaching this point. The condition will allow the end user to successfully update firmware, and poses no risk to user or system data stored on the drive.

(>M4 firmware 0309 is now available - Crucial Community; found via j03l: MAC Freezes After An Hour - Crucial SSD Problem)

Since the installation of firmware 010G, my MacBook Pro has operated without issue!

Hopefully, this post will be another signpost for those affected.

Also, I can't overemphasis this post: Everything Sysadmin: What makes a sysadmin a "senior sysadmin"?