I kid you not. I had this older SSD that would just lock up after a few hours of usage, no matter what OS I’d be running.Â Resetting the machine would just hang as the SSD would just disappear from the computer!
Even a fresh install of Windows 10 would hang after the install, and while it was initializing itself with the “It’s taking a bit longer than expected, but we’ll get there as fast as we can” message!
Well it turns out that these things have their own processors, operating systems and well they are not just passive storage devices but machines in their own right.
And in my case it turns out that my SSD was running version 9. The latest version is version 70!
Needless to say, not only does the new version have a noticeable difference in performance, but more importantly it’ll run for hours now without crashing the SSD (which is what I imagine was happening before).
I can only imagine how long it’ll be, until there are user mode programs to load into storage, and when we cross the line with internet connectivity requirements, anti-virus and firewalls needed for storage.
Don’t worry, the SSD isn’t the only computer inside your computer. Spinning rust hard drives also have their own firmware, and somebody even managed to install Linux on one: http://spritesmods.com/?art=hddhack
And don’t forget that all recent Intel CPUs run Minix on them (on a separate embedded P5-class CPU; older ones used ARC instead), and can even have a webserver running, exposed by piggybacking on the on-board network card.
Yeah it’s scary. It’s also part of the Snowden leaks where they put the virus onto the hard disk, so that way it’ll load in either different kernels, or slipstream drivers into the load.
Nothing can be trusted anymore.
The world of microcontrollers and embedded systems sure is a hoot.
I even upgraded my spinning disk. Although it ended up having bad sectors, and the warranty JUST ran out.
Kind of funny how the bad sectors didn’t report through until the firmware update, but there you go.