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Firmware failure

New Contributor

I have a ThinkPad W540 with an Intel Pro 5400s Series 256GB in it. Until recently I haven't had any issues whatsoever but today I was alerted to the fact that the drive's firmware - L10P - had some kind of bug that could render the entire drive completely corrupt or "bricked" as the saying goes.

I went to Intel's website, found the necessary firmware update (3.06) and got the necessary files. After extraction I read the instructions carefully and then created a CD-RW (yes, some of us still use those things) and burned the ISO (issdfut_64_3.0.6.iso) to the CD-RW, verified the burn was 100% successful, and then I rebooted my laptop from the CD-RW.

The computer booted up, provided me with the chance to tap Enter a few times, then choose "y" when prompted, and then the next screen showed necessary info about the drive, model, etc, and...

Well, then at that point it just rebooted my laptop and upon the reboot it took almost 7 minutes for the "ThinkPad" logo to appear, and another 3 minutes for it to disappear after which all I had was a blinking underscore cursor.

I let it sit like that for about 11 minutes then I held the power button until the laptop shut off. I then turned it back on, same extremely long delays, no real change noted. I attempted to boot from a USB stick (Ubuntu 18.04) and it wouldn't. I then decided to remove the SSD from the laptop and after it was out, the laptop booted to the Ubuntu USB stick without any issues.

I believe the firmware update failed, and now I have a dead SSD which had a great deal of data on it that I can never replace, unfortunately. I do have some backups of some of the data, sure, but the vast majority of it (pictures, videos of family and friends) are apparently now gone as the SSD is "bricked" it seems.

I really am a bit angry about this, and I know I'll catch flack over it in some respects because the SSD was in the ThinkPad W540 upon purchase, but the firmware update I just attempted on this Intel hardware was an Intel firmware updater and now it's dead.

I can't seem to contact anyone at Intel other than calling and I can't do that today, too busy scrambling to figure out what I've lost.

Is there any possible way to recover this drive's contents at all, or possibly get the firmware installed properly as I'm at a bit of a loss here.

I really need to figure out what to do because now my laptop is going to have to run from a USB stick as I don't have another SSD or hard drive to work with at the present time. I'm in a bad position here and I need some assistance fast.

I can provide all the necessary info on the drive label, pictures if necessary, and the info about the W540 as well if needed.

I appreciate any and all help, really.

Thanks for your time,



Contributor III

Hi br0adband,

Greetings from Intel® SSD support group.

We have been given a high priority on this issue and after touching base again with the Engineering Team; they have informed us that it’s not possible to flash your SSD with our generic firmware version due to the fact that your drive is an OEM drive.

OEM drives are indeed Intel drives, but they were modified with a special firmware from the OEM like Lenovo*, Dell*, HP*, etc. This modification at firmware level makes impossible to flash it back with one of our generic firmware versions. That’s the reason why we can try to troubleshoot the drive in case any issue is detected, but if the drive is inaccessible or damaged in a level that makes it unrecoverable, we always recommend contacting the OEM for replacement or firmware update if available.

We understand you had important data in your drive, and you want to recover it by flashing the drive with our firmware version, but as explained, this is something not possible to perform.

We appreciate your understanding.

Have a nice day.

Best regards,

Santiago A.

Intel® Customer Support Technician

Under Contract to Intel Corporation

View solution in original post


Valued Contributor
Hello br0adband, Thank you for contacting Intel® Memory & Storage Support. As we understand, you need assistance with your Intel® SSD Pro 5400s Series. If we infer correctly we will appreciate if you can provide us with the following information: Please provide us with your SSD markings (SA and serial number) in order to get more information about your product. We will be looking forward to your reply. Best regards, Josh B. Intel® Customer Support Technician Under Contract to Intel Corporation

Hello Josh, My thanks for taking the time to respond to my inquiry. As stated in the post at the Community forums, I have an Intel SSD Pro Series 5400s 256GB SSD that is now "bricked" because of a failed firmware update - ironically, the reason I was updating the firmware was because of an issue that Intel announced for that series of SSD related to the drive being rendered corrupt and "bricked" by some bug of some kind. Anyway, I'm attaching a picture of my now dead and useless drive and I really did want to get the data from it. I don't know if or how Intel will help me with this issue but I am absolutely hoping someone will. The info on the label that you asked for is as follows (and it's in the picture as well, of course): Intel SSD Pro 5400s Series Model: SSDSC2KF256H6L 2.5" 6Gb/s SATA SSD 256G 5V 0.6A SA: J28500-101 And on the bottom is a label with the following info: ISN: CVLT638504VU256HGN which I presume is the (I)ntel (S)erial (N)umber As stated in the Community forum post, I used the Intel SSD Firmware Update Tool ISO, version 3.06 which appears to be the latest. I burned the ISO to a CD-RW, verified the burn, rebooted the laptop from the optical disc, got into the process, and when I typed "y" for Yes then it just kinda hung on the next screen for about 10-12 seconds then the laptop rebooted and the SSD was no longer being detected at that point. I have some SATA to USB 3.0 adapters and I attempted to use one of those as well but again, there's no drive detected; the SCSI-style controller chip inside the adapter is detected, but not the SSD itself. Now, I know I may not get any help with this at all and that's damned unfortunate because I used Intel's own firmware update tool to update Intel's own SSD that Intel manufactured and it failed, and now I have nothing but a dead SSD and a lot of lost data that I could rant and rave about for a long time with a lot of emails back and forth. If I can send this off and have the firmware flashed properly and have this drive returned to me so be it, that's fine with me, but again I'm going to presume the data I had on the drive is gone forever sadly. If you folks can offer a replacement so I can get back to using my laptop that works for me as well, at this point I'm stuck using a USB stick with Ubuntu on it unless I can find a cheap hard drive on craigslist soon. I need some help with this and I could really use it so if you're at all capable of assistng me resolve this issue please do it, I'll be eternally grateful. Thanks for your time, and have fun, always... Paul Hurlbut

Valued Contributor
Hello br0adband, Thank you for your reply. As we understand your SSD is not recognized in your BIOS, based on this information the best option will be to replace the drive. In order to do this, we advise you to contact your OEM (original equipment manufacturer) Lenovo*due that this drive is a Lenovo* SSD and the firmware and other features were modified by them to work with their equipment. If you want to recover the data on your drive we recommend you to contact a data recovery company. Examples of these companies are: ( ( ( ( *Links to third party sites and references to third-party trademarks are provided for convenience and illustrative purposes only. Unless explicitly stated, Intel® is not responsible for the contents of such links, and no third party endorsement of Intel® or any of its products is implied. We hope you find this information helpful. If you have future questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We will be more than happy to help you in any way we can. Have a nice day. Best regards, Josh B. Intel® Customer Support Technician Under Contract to Intel Corporation

Well that's useless because the laptop is out of warranty, and the firmware update from Intel was what wrecked things and now I'm left without data that can't be replaced. Lenovo won't do anything because I didn't apply their release of the firmware - their firmware wouldn't work at all, it doesn't create or have an ISO, it's a Windows-based firmware installer and it kept crashing on my laptop before it ever actually ran. I find it hilarious that your email ends (with the scripted content) saying contact us and we'll help you any way we can. Right now because of this issue you and Intel CAN help me fix the issue but you WON'T, and that's where the problem is. There's no reason Intel can't help me resolve a problem caused with their own firmware update tool with their own hardware. But, it won't happen for the reasons I just stated, and the idea that the firmware is different is insanity. Not a happy customer, not at all.