While the second generation SandForce controller has mostly been bug free, there have been a few instances where SSDs using the controller would experience a blue screen during standard use. For the most part these issues were random and addressed with the latest 3.3.2 firmware patch. However, the issues users are experiencing with their 64GB Crucial M4 drives isn't directly linked to controller, but rather the time the SSD is active.
The M4 SSD will experience a x00000f4 error after approximately 5,000 hours, at which time the drive will crash and require a restart to regain function. After this point the drive will crash again after each additional hour, and continue on this way in a loop. Crucial has acknowledged the matter and informed us a fix is on the way.
“We are aware of the issue that is currently affecting a small number of users whereby their Crucial m4 SSD causes their system to require a restart," a spokespoerson said. "This issue occurs after approximately 5,000 hours of actual “on time” use. Following the initial reboot, the system then requires subsequent restarts after each additional hour of use. However, the data on the SSD is unaffected and will not be lost due to this condition."
"Through our investigation, we have determined the root cause of the problem and will be releasing a firmware update that rectifies the situation. We are currently running through our validation and compatibility process. Once this process is complete, the firmware will be made available to our customers. We are currently targeting the week of January 16th, 2012 to publicly release the new firmware update.”
As of now we are unsure of exactly how many drives are affected by this issue, or if it is isolated only to 64GB M4 SSDs. We will continue to reach out to both Crucial and SandForce to see if this is an issue that could potentially affect other drives when they hit 5,000 hours of use. Still, at least we know the issue is being worked on and users can take some comfort in the fact stored data is not affected.