In brief: Are you using an HPE solid state drive? If so, you'll want to install a critical firmware patch to stop it from permanently failing in less than four years of operation.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise said that certain SAS solid state drives (full list here) would fail once they hit their 32,768th hour of operation---that's 3 years, 270 days, and 8 hours---unless their firmware is upgraded to version HPD8.

The company says a manufacturer notified it of a firmware defect in certain solid state drives used in server and storage products on November 15.

While those who backed up their data on different drives will be able to recover it, anything on the affected HPE SSDs will be gone forever. "After the SSD failure occurs, neither the SSD nor the data can be recovered," the company ominously warned.

HPE never said why the drives fail at exactly 32,768 hours, but PCMag speculates that it's related to an integer overflow bug, as the number 32,768 is the maximum negative integer a 16-bit computer can process, and 32,767 is the maximum positive integer.

Some of the SSD models already received a patch on November 22, while a patch for a second set of drives will arrive on the week starting December 9.

Links to the firmware download and instructions on how to apply the update are available from HPE's advisory. There's also a link to determine an SSD's total power-on hours.

"By disregarding this notification and not performing the recommended resolution, the customer accepts the risk of incurring future related errors," wrote HPE.