OCZ released the 1.3 Firmware of the Vertex

The official post in the OCZ can be found here. Links to the Firmware for the different size of SSD: 30 Gig 60 Gig 120 Gig 250 Gig You can safely flash your SSD from the DOS and it won’t erase your existing data! You can flash from the version 1275 or newer. The change log for this version is: Version 1.3 Release Date: June 03, 2009 Bug fixes • Host program lost drives if NAND BIST is run on multiple drives. • Read Fail handling • ATA Security Command didn’t work as expected. • Race condition occurred during soft reset handler • ATA Security Command didn’t work in AHCI mode. • If read fail occurs during reading stamp information, firmware corrupted block 0. • Power off recovery had bug in certain circumstances • If host sends invalid SMART subcommands, Abort was not sent to host. • SMART attribute data was not initialized properly for certain fields. • Improper handling of ATA command when sent with 0 sector count Feature Addition • Remaining life expectancy calculation is implemented.

How to quickly flash your Vertex SSD from USB

You can flash your Vertex’s firmware only from the DOS (under Windows or WinPE won’t work). Here is the fastest way to create a bootable USB Key containing the DOS version of Windows 98. The procedure was stolen form this OCZ forum post. Get this file from the OCZ forum, unpack it and execute “RunThis.exe”, the following dialog form appears: Select the USB key you want to use to create the bootable DOS. Check “Quick Format”. Check “Create a DOS startup disk” and select the folder “Bootfiles” in the zip you just unpacked. Click “Start” and in few second the work is done. Now you can copy the firmware you want to flash in you USB key and all you have to do is reboot, boot on the key and you’re done! You can find more about the latest 1.3 firmware here.

How to know the remaining life of your Vertex SSD

MLC SSD have a limited life time, the vertex announced a MTBF (Mean Time Before Failure) of 1.5 million of hours. This number is only based on a statistic of “how many gig of data you’re writing everyday”. So if you really want to know the percentage of the remaining life you can do it if you have the firmware 1.30 or newer. Again, this procedure is taken from a post of the OCZ forum. Download the free tool CrystalDiskInfo, install it and run: The values surrounded by the blue square are meaning what they are supposed to. The value squared in green means something different: D0 = Erase Count Average. The value squared in red also means something different: D1 = Remaining drive life in % by Erase count. So if you want to know how much is “left in the tank” of your SSD, just look to the D1 value. As you can see, mine was already used pretty much! 🙂

A laptop that rocks for Team System!

As I am a consultant, my best friend is the laptop I’m carrying all the time with me. Being a Team System consultant, it’s not easy to fulfill all the needs with a single laptop: I have to use several VPCs: a demonstration one, a “development” one (for the tools I’m writing based on Team System) and the latest version of the upcoming VSTS 2010. As I am a developer, I also have Visual Studio 2008 Team Suite on the host OS. I’m often in a situation I have to prototype a new server, then creating a VPC from scratch and installing everything I need, the way I want. Ideally, it would be nice to be able to prototype a VLAN of servers for complex deployments. My laptop is my working computer, so all the usual stuffs (Office, etc.) have to be installed too. It makes a lot of things for a small laptop! Did I mention that the limit weight I am willing to carry is 5 pounds? The standard configuration As you can guess, a “standard” laptop is not suited to fulfill all these needs: it’s a Core 2 Duo @ 2GHz, 4Gig of Ram, 200Gig of HDD […]