Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

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Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 7:44 am

Gotten several 840 Pros and I think this is the first one to die. Of course it's for my own workstation. Of interest, the Samsung tech support page only lists the 830 and previous model (470 or something?) as SSDs to select when submitting a problem.

Latest firmware, latest Magician, Win7 Pro 64-bit, SATA3, AHCI enabled. I logged into the workstation and Magician popped up some error about overprovisioning not working and putting the SSD into read-only mode. It also showed multiple failures in the SMART data. I tried a magical reboot to see if that fixed things (even powered down, too) and while the workstation came up ok, Magician no longer reports the total bytes written and going to SMART shows a blank page. I have a mechanical drive in the same system and it reports SMART just fine using Magician.

I'm waiting to hear back from Samsung as to what my next step should be. I'll probably end up cloning the drive regardless. Anyway, I thought the symptoms to be odd so figured I'd throw this out there for solidarity for any intrepid Googler with the same issues.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:12 am

Please, if you hear back, could you post any and all info that you get in this thread?

Signed: The hundreds of anonymous people who will find this thread.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:14 am

It died in your workstation because you let the Magician poke around with it as an enthusiast, I suspect ;)

In my experience the chance of bricking a HDD or SSD through software tweaking and firmware updates is far greater than just running the old firmware.
My general advice to other people is to only update firmware if the one you are currently using doesn't work.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:40 am

There isn't really anything of merit in magician. It'd be really hard to wreck your SSD save flashing it with wrong firmware that it'd stop you from doing in the first place...

I've had my own share of problems with Samsung SSDs, 830s though... After talking to support apparently they have some quirks when it comes to AMD systems, putting them in raid makes those even worse... I'm currently in talks to get a refund (that hopefully goes through).
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:15 am

DXM02B0Q - Preproduction firmware, Anand's tests found a major bug relating to secure erase.
DXM03B0Q - Initial production firmware release, fixed the bug that affected Anand's review units.
DXM04B0Q - Improved "dirty drive" write performance. Fixed minor bugs while improving sustained performance.
DXM05B0Q - Enabling the DAS function is default option.

I don't know what DAS means in this context. By definition, isn't an SSD direct-attached-storage anyway? That seems like a high-level thing compared to what the device is. It must mean something else but my Google-Fu is weak.

I try to keep up with firmware when possible. Hey, if HP Smart Update Manager says my SAS drives need firmware updates, I believe it! Maybe it's more important to keep up with that in enterprise-y kinds of things, but I've seen benefits on "consumer" stuff too. We had some PS/2 keyboard issues with some workstations we recently retired. Found out later that a BIOS update from Intel fixed "intermittent PS/2 keyboard issues." DOH.

Maybe I was a fool for updating to 05, but who wouldn't want the 04 firmware? With SSDs, especially, I'm keen on keeping up with firmware updates. I evaluated a... Vertex 3? Corsair something? Kept getting bluescreens on WinXP Pro. After a while we tried out the Samsung 840 Pro and it was rock-solid. Later on I revisited that other SSD and found it had like over 9000 firmware updates. I updated to the latest and it's been rock-solid ever since in another system.

Also, I've run the 05 firmware for a bit of time now and haven't had any issues. The last 4 840 Pros I ordered in have had it preinstalled so I'm assuming it's supposed to be ready for primetime.

Other than that I don't do any enthusiast stuff with the drives. No overprovisioning, no nuthin'. The 8 SSDs in that RAID 1+0 are completely different from the ones I'm deploying to workstations--I ain't messing with the ones in the RAID unless I have to, at this point.

But yeah, I'll definitely update this with any info I get.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 9:17 am

Yeah, the only thing I use Magician for is easier firmware updating. The SMART bit is handy but I didn't think I'd ever actually use it. My boss thinks Intel can do no wrong so our workstations are a mix of Intel on Intel motherboards and now Intel-based HP workstations.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:49 am

You could have always had a duff drive. Firmware updates or not, sometimes you just get shipped defective hardware ;)
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jun 20, 2013 2:29 pm

Aye, could be.

So progress is slow. At my workplace we geoblock and do other stuff and Samsung's tech support sends an email but then I have to "click here to respond" which puts me at their initial support formmail which I can't get to on the work network. So I'm using a laptop on a wireless connection that's not blocked and blah blah blah pain in the butt.

I'll keep things updated as I hear anythin' of interest on this. SMART is still not working on the drive but at least no more "read only" issue.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jun 27, 2013 8:55 am

Well, Samsung never replied to my last attempt to contact them. I had the same general error happen again and this time I got screenshots. Now if I could remember my sftp login and it wasn't in fact geoblocked from work, I'd just upload and embed the pics and try sending to Samsung again. So... I'll have to do that at home.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Fri Jun 28, 2013 10:48 am

Ok!

I log onto the computer and when I get to the desktop (Magician is in my startup menu), I get this pop up:

Image

I don't overprovision but I see this as saying I couldn't if I wanted to because the SSD is broke. So I get Magician loaded up to find this:

Image

Checking the SMART status I see this: (note: in my previous issue it had numbers, not zeros, and the FAIL lines were highlighted in red. The numbers seemed identical to my coworker's SSD, too, except mine said FAIL)

Image

So I reboot. This time no pop-up. Magician tells me this:

Image

And when I check SMART, it shows me this:

Image

SMART works fine on another drive in the machine so it's not the app having some general SMART issue. I'll try to resubmit my help request to Samsung today.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Sun Jun 30, 2013 7:00 am

I don't mean to patronise or state the obvious, but you've eliminated a faulty SATA port or bad cable by doing a switcharoo with a good drive, right?
Assuming you've done that, link to this thread when you resubmit your RMA request - that drive is FUBAR.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:43 am

Nope, I'll try that next. Problems happen to other people, not me@!#

But in a fantastic twist, today I get SMART and TB written and everything is fine. I'm going to swap ports later today and run it a while to see if the same symptoms reoccur.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:59 am

Watching this thread with interest, as my 256gb 840 Pro is arriving today. I'll be installing it in my system sometime this week. Hopefully I won't run into any issues.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:07 pm

Finally got around to moving the SSD, new cable, new port. Same issue. No SMART status being reported.

Next up I am going to clone the drive to a spare SSD (just arrived today) and see if the problem goes away or if it reoccurs with this computer.

To be clear, I've probably deployed something like almost 20 of these drives and this is the first one that is acting funky. Ironic that it's in MY machine but at least I don't have users complaining.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2013 1:33 pm

astrotech66 wrote:Watching this thread with interest, as my 256gb 840 Pro is arriving today. I'll be installing it in my system sometime this week. Hopefully I won't run into any issues.


Have one myself. Runs great as an OS drive with nothing weird. Didn't install anything (don't like the bloat software that gets bundles with these kinds of things). Just plugged it in.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:01 pm

Even when you got a "good" boot, it was "good" only because the failed SMART data couldn't be read.

Hmmm... Looks like I've put 5.69TB of writes onto my laptop's 830 Pro 256GB in a bit under a year.

Edit: Yogi - Samsung Magician is worth installing. It's a nice small app, does what it's supposed to. It makes a nice catch-all quick test to make sure your SSD is set up correctly. It can manually TRIM your drive, too, which is nice.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Thu Jul 11, 2013 2:23 pm

I recall updating to Magician 4.1 and during that process I had read on Samsung's support forum (or maybe Anandtech) that the Magician software isn't really supposed to run at startup, only when you need it to. Why the installer puts a link in Startup items, no clue.

That said, SMART information is written to the drive and once the thresholds are reached, the drive is pretty kaput. Sounds like a bad flash of the firmware to me, but call me Jon Sneau.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Wed Jul 17, 2013 2:31 am

Forge wrote:... Looks like I've put 5.69TB of writes onto my laptop's 830 Pro 256GB in a bit under a year.

You got me curious, so I installed Magician 4.1 on my workstation. I've done .9 TB updates to my own 830 256GB in about 6.5 months.

Edit: Yogi - Samsung Magician is worth installing. It's a nice small app, does what it's supposed to. It makes a nice catch-all quick test to make sure your SSD is set up correctly. It can manually TRIM your drive, too, which is nice.

I agree, and I even did a TRIM. But the SMART report page was nothing but confusing. "Threshold" and min/max values made no logical sense to me. About the only thing I understood was the "OK" statuses. :roll:
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:56 am

So I updated to Magician 4.2 today and it seems like the errors are gone. I'll keep an eye out.

I'm holding off on reimaging to another drive because I just got my main work computer rebuilt and I have some stuff I'll have to jump through hoops to de-authenticate and all that jazz before switching drives. So... I'm hoping my problem fixed itself.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 8:59 am

BIF wrote:I agree, and I even did a TRIM. But the SMART report page was nothing but confusing. "Threshold" and min/max values made no logical sense to me. About the only thing I understood was the "OK" statuses. :roll:


What, threshold of 10, current value 100, status OK doesn't make sense to you? Heheh.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:09 am

One last spam. Looks like running Magician's benchmark that all my performance is halved from when I last ran it 2 months ago and the one I ran 4 months ago. IOps and MBps. Running the same tests on the mechanical drive also in the system give me the same benchmarks as previous tests (more or less).

So perhaps the SSD is still going bad but the updated software is better able to deal with it. I dunno.
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Re: Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB dying - read only mode

Postposted on Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:40 pm

It's dying, man. I know it's a huge PITA, but the longer you play with it, the more likely you are to be left crying at the end (metaphorically crying, I'm sure).

I would image over to something else, PITA of deauth/reauth be damned, and get it RMAed to Samsung. They'll send you one you can trust a little more, and it'll probably be faster again, as well.
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