Ausgewählter Nerdkram von Informatikstudenten der Uni Ulm

ChanCE Conflict: How to access broken Intel SSDs

After almost three years of very heavy use my old Intel X25-M G2 (SSDSA2M160G2GC) got broken four weeks ago. Since my laptop’s fan was very messy too, the SSD’s dead was merely a matter of time. Despite of this fact I did not make any backup for years (yeah, I know…), so the failure of the one and only harddrive in my laptop was not only bad as I couldn’t use the notebook any longer, but also by losing all my personal data of the last two years. While waiting for the surrogate computer I used the time to try to get the SSD running again, just to save everything that can be rescued.

When I tried to boot from my good old X25-M the harddrive was indeed recognized in the BIOS but in 95 percent of the attempts it was rejected as a not bootable device. Plugged in to another computer via a SATA-USB-connector the partition table was not recognized at all and the harddrive was listed with an overall capacity of 8 MB instead of its 160 GB. Under Ubuntu it was annotated with a “ChanCE Conflict”. The same error message was displayed in the notebook’s BIOS in the SSD’s Serial Number field. Unfortunately Google does not know much about this strange “ChanCE Conflict”: There is an unanswered thread in the Intel support forum and a great many people in other forums having exactly the same problem: their Intel SSDs are recognized with either only 8 MB capacity or 480 TB, but not accessable at all.

My first try was to update the SSD’s firmware. You can download a newer version from the Intel website. Simply burn the 5 MB ISO on a CD and boot from it. It recognizes your Intel SSD and will update its firmware even if you could not access it before. But be warned: I could boot my Ubuntu from the flashed SSD exactly one time (and not successfully at all as some critical files are broken)! After another reboot the ChanCE Conflict will appear again and the firmware update can not be run again as it’s up-to-date now.

But there’s another trick: Just set a HDD password in the BIOS. After a reboot you will be asked for the SSD password. Enter it and shutdown the PC immediately. In my case I was able to access now 90 percent of my files on another PC by using a SATA-USB-connector. It seems that one of the separate flash chips got broken so only some very frequent changed files could not be restored. Make sure to use some tool like ddrescue which saves the rescue process in a logfile as one has to repeat the mentioned steps of setting a HDD password multiple times.

Kategorie: hardware

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