My Dead Intel X25-M and My Experience with Intel's RMA Process

| Comments

My Intel 80 GB X25-M G2 in my laptop died recently. Everything was running smoothly when I shut down, but when I powered back up the BIOS couldn't see the drive any longer. Fortunately, I keep pretty good backups, and I was up and running on a spare platter drive relatively quickly.

The RMA process was pretty disappointing. Phoning Intel was the only option.

I called in the afternoon on Monday, February 1, since they are only available during business hours. My time on hold was pretty short, probably about five minutes, and it took less than 10 minutes to get the RMA rolling. I was told I'd receive an email shortly with RMA instructions.

I didn't receive an email. At that point it was after business hours so I used their web-based form to submit a question. I included my RMA and case numbers, and I never heard back from them.

At this point there is a delay that is completely my fault. I didn't get a chance to call back until a week, later on Monday, February 8. It turned out they got my email address wrong. I pronounced my email address and I spelled it to them letter for letter. They didn't only have it wrong, they were short on characters…

I was happy with the turn around time on the package. I had the drive at the post office on Tuesday, February 9, and the new drive arrived at my door on Tuesday, February 16.

The night of my second call to Intel I realized there was a pretty good chance they also didn't get my address correct. They do not include your shipping address in the RMA email. This time I emailed the address listed in the RMA email, which is I never heard anything back.

My Overall Opinion

I was happy with the service once I was able to get to the point where they were actually able to ship the drive out. I'm generally unhappy with their telephone support, and I am extremely disappointed with their email communications.

I Sure Did Miss the SSD

Certain tasks were noticeably slower. Most of the time the performance difference isn't something you can feel, but some disk intensive tasks are significantly faster with the SSD. Things like booting, installing and updating numerous packages with apt, and importing photos into F-Spot are at least twice as fast with the X25.

The thing I noticed most was the heat. When I first moved from the old hot platter drive to the X25 I didn't think the difference was so dramatic. Running on the SSD for months sure made the platter drive feel scary hot. The SSD is warm underneath the laptop where there is only a piece of plastic covering and physically touching the drive.

The platter drive even made the top of the laptop very warm to the touch. The difference in temperature is huge.

  • Update: The replacement drive died in the middle or April 2010 (about 3 months later). It died in a different make/model laptop, my new HP DV8T, but under similar circumstances. The drive was fine when the laptop was cleanly shut down; the BIOS could no longer see the drive on next boot. The replacement-for-the-replacement has been running fine since then, it is now September 2010.