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arxaios

Sumsung 840 series and EVO unexpected situation

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Hello to you all, I would like to share with you a very strange situation about SSD drives and especially with the 840 Samsung series production line....!! First of all I would like to say that I have a Samsung 840 series 120Gbytes and one 840 EVO 120Gbytes in my possession. The 840 series has a double boot Ubuntu System (different OS versions) and the EVO one has Windows 8.1 Havier.Both disks were working fine without any problems for 2 years. Now comes the fun part of my story... I am a computer engineer for 30 years and I haven't encountered such a problem before... One day , when I was inside my Ubuntu 840 Series Samsung, the OS started behaving strangely and in the end after 2 reboots the operating system died...!! Ok, sh**t happens even with Ubuntu., maybe some updates didn't installed ok and caused this problem. Anyway...I decided to use one of my backups to recover the disk using at first Acronis Image 2015...and I realized that the procedure was to take about 8-9.45 Hours .... Ahhhhhhhhhhh was I seeing correctly or was I having something with my eyes??????????????? I let it run a little bit and the time was rising minute by minute and in the summary logs no files were transferred to my SSD...!!! Very odd...!! I was forced to stop the procedure and start again with another version of Acronis True Image..!! I used 2014 thinking maybe this was the case...Nothing , the same time and round 3% of 45minutes the Acronis showed problems in writing to the disk. Ok that was it , I thought that the disk was dead for sure...I was very disappointing but I did not give up. I hooked the disk as a second to a Windows 7 machine and Quick Format the disk in NTFS. That went well, the disk was ready to throw files in it..!! Strange...very strange...!! Xmmmm I started to wonder other things..!! Well My story is bit long so there is more to it..!! Well, my goal is to put an operating system to disk, so...I did the following: I Decided to fresh install the latest Ubuntu distribution from scratch on my Samsung 840 Series..!! During the procedure of making the partitions , Ubuntu couldnt mount the / (root) partition and the computer stuck without the possibility to do anything else..!! At this point I started to think that there is a hardware problem and I lost my SSD . I did not stop at this The second I did is to put both Samsung 840 Evo and Samsung 840 series on my machine and boot from my healthy EVO Samsung which was having windows 8.1 Havier and I run the Magician software from Samsung to check both the disks for errors. Magician software is the Manufacturer Software for SSD Samsung disks. Well now comes the unexpected part of the story.! The Magician Software (latest version) have found firmware updates for both the disks.! I did that one at a time and I end up of trusting the EVO SSD witch was previously working fine..!!!!!!!!!!!! ohhhhhhhh my God I said out loud ..what the f**ck happened here..!! The windows 8.1 Havier couldnt boot at start so it suggested to perform reconfigure or recover the system! At this point I started to bang my head against the wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Strange thoughts were coming to my mind because I end up with two faulty disks..!! What to do??? I let windows finish the process and I manage to start the system by recovering Windows 8.1 Havier using the original DVD. Of course I lost some of my programs and settings but I managed to save every data that I was having on my Windows EVO SSD. I run again the Magician and I authenticate both of my disk doing all the necessary benchmarks and both the disks appeared JUST FINE. !! Well very strange situation for my second Ubuntu Disk..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I searched the NET for hours and I came across with some procedure called SECURE ERASE OF SSD drives. !! Ohhhhh I also read that it is very wise to use the manufacture program for this procedure just to be sure to do the job done correctly. ! I took this under great thought and I fired up the Magician Samsung Software to do the procedure of Secure Erasing on my second Ubuntu SSD Samsung 840 series. I was surprised to see that this procedure CANNOT be done under windows 8 and up.!! The Magician program (latest version) said that it cannot support windows 8 and above..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh what can I say about Samsung BUT at this point I think that this is very unprofessional. But there is another solution to the problem.The magician software had an option to make a bootable DVD or CD to do the above procedure. I thought .thats ok lets try this..!! I put a DVD on my drive and I run the procedure to burn the image (Do not use a DVD because I wasted it. The Magician loaded a freeDOS version as an OS and the Utility of Secure Erase only so a CD would be fine..!!) Anyway , I boot the PC with this DVD and I run the Utility as instructed. Out of the sudden a dialog box appeared telling me that this SSD is not supported for Secure Erasing..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh my GOD ohhhhhhhhh my GOD Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (I screamed ) Was that possible ???????????????????????????? The Magician SSD Samsung utility did not support my Samsung 840 series 120gbyte SSD, when it comes to Secure Erasing .!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did this 2 times in case a miracle happens!!! NOTHING.! Now I started to wonder that I have a Samsung SSD 120gbyte disk which I cannot install an OS on it..!!!!!! I searched the NET again try to find a solution to my problem but a lot of people said that if I do not do a Secure Erase on my SSD I would not be able to load any operating system to it..!!!!!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha lol.! My other SSD with the recovered Windows 8.1 Havier system worked with the Acronis True Image 2015. I experimented on my samsung EVO and worked fine.!! I do not know why this happened without any problems!!!!!!!!The new image was recovered successfully with Acronis true Image 2015 on my Samsung 840 EVO without doing any Secure Erasing on him!!! Of course this disk is a newer model to the Samsung 840 series only..!! I do not know if that was the case.!!!!!!!!

CONCLUSION

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I found a solution in the end but I think that this was a miracle than a solution..!! ha ha ha ha ha ha ..!! after the above I tried to load the Ubuntu again just in case and out of the blue Ubuntu made the partitions and started to copy the files continuing just fine!!!

SOME THOUGHTS

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I do not know if the Magician in spite of the Error Dialog Box saying that it cannot do that , actually DID SOMETHING to the SSD because after that I managed to load my Ubuntu OS. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If there was somebody else in my place , would have trashed the disk already!! Very awful loosing money ..!!!

SOME SUGGESTIONS BY ME

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1] Some people on the Net suggested to change the SATA mode on my MOBO from AHCI to IDE. Then try to load any operating system to it or recover an image. I did not try this because these kind of disks do not work well if you do this and it is very RISKY because you may end up of trashing the SSD for good.! If you are very desperate try it but at your own risk. Do not forget to change back the SATA mode to AHCI again.

2] Do not try any non-venor software for Secure Erasing your SSD drive . Only use the one provided by the manufacturer of the SSD. If the manufacturer do not have any then please be free to try one at your own risk and only use non-freeware software for this procedure, just to make sure. In my case above, if I had a dead lock with Magician then I would have tried other software having the risk on my mind.

3] Do not buy SSDs from unknown companies and also try to do a search before in the NET to see the utilities that the known manufacturers are providing and make your choice upon this and do not think with your pocket. I know that these disks are very fast , very fast indeed but they have these kind of problems.!!!!

4] Do not fully format any SSD drive ..!! you will damage it . I do not know if doing a Secure Erase will save the drive but I am not going to find out!! Only do a quick format or use the manufacturer `s software for this procedure too!

Thats it and sorry for my big post.!

I hope I put some light on SSDs Drives.!!

Edited by arxaios

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Need a TL;DR version.

But the learning to use vendor tools is a good one. They'll want you to do that generally if you make a service or warranty request anyway.

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I am sorry but it is already a summarized version.!

I had to say all the steps I made to help people in same situation as mine.! Please excuse my bad English too.

The most important thing is not to give up . These drives are very expensive but they worth every penny ...!!

Be careful of what and from whom you buy and keep in mind that THEY ARE NOT HDD disks, so do not treat them like them.!

It is important to read the whole post because you may be in the same situation as I was ...!!!

Again sorry for the big post.

Edited by arxaios

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2] Do not try any non-venor software for Secure Erasing your SSD drive . Only use the one provided by the manufacturer of the SSD. If the manufacturer do not have any then please be free to try one at your own risk and only use non-freeware software for this procedure, just to make sure. In my case above, if I had a dead lock with Magician then I would have tried other software having the risk on my mind.

SECURE ERASE is a standard ATA command, which any utility can send to the SSD/HDD, provided that the SSD/HDD was not set to SECURITY FREEZE before. Usually the motherboard firmware or maybe Windows 8 and above does that to prevent malware from permanently locking your SSD/HDD.

I usually use Linux to secure erase disk drives, because the Linux kernel can be configured to filter out the SECURITY FREEZE command, when you hot-plug a SSD/HDD. Otherwise you can't use SECURITY commands.

There is a good reason why those SECURITY commands are specially protected: These command allow to permanently lock (aka brick) a SSD/HDD drive by setting a password. In fact the SECURITY ERASE process consists of locking the drive with a password and then unlock it again by securely erasing it with that password.

If the process gets interrupted in the middle by a power failure, the drive is still locked. So doing this sort of stuff is something I only recommend for experts.

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