Kingston-SSD A2000: Firmware update fixes Linux crashes

Manufacturer Kingston fixes a bug in the PCI-Express-SSD A2000, which could lead to crashes when using a Linux operating system. To remedy this, an update of the firmware to version S5Z42109 is required, the Kingston via its own Windows 10 tool SSD Manager provides. There is no corresponding Linux software, but Kingston has provided us with the firmware as a bin file and instructions for installing it under Linux: You can download the S5Z42109 firmware and instructions here as a ZIP package. Alternatively, there is a separate Windows 10 installation Microsoft’s Media Creation Tool on – this works temporarily even without a paid Windows license.
Kingston’s SSD Manager, which can be used to initiate the firmware update.

(Image: c’t)
c’t recommended the PCIe-SSD A2000 due to its price-performance ratio in some construction proposals, whereupon the crash problem under Linux became known. Kingston goes in the changelog (PDF) did not go into the background, but indicated an error in the “Autonomous Power State Transition” (APST) function with which the NVMe protocol manages the power-saving modes. The deepest APST mode is said to have led to the crashes, but not in all systems. In the editorial office, for example, we were never able to recreate the problem, not even after weeks of testing with SSDs, which those affected temporarily made available to us. Individual users also reported problems with Windows 10, which the firmware update may also fix. In the Linux kernel versions 4.14.221, 4.19.175, 5.4.97 and 5.10.15 there is currently a so-called quirk entry that prevents A2000 SSDs from switching to the affected power-saving mode. Although this increases the power consumption when idling, it improves the stability. If the firmware update reliably resolves the problem, the interim solution at the kernel level could be removed again. (mma)
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