I have 4 of these drives, and they mostly just didn’t work when I installed them in a new computer. Turns out the firmware they shipped with is broken (on some AMD chips, and Intel Haswell chipsets), but there’s an upgrade available from Seagate (who own Samsung’s HDD division).
However I had a fair bit of fun getting the firmware installed, so here’s how I managed to do it. Hopefully this’ll help someone!
My experience was with the following motherboards
- Gigabyte GA-H87-HD3 (which I actually used to do the flashing)
- Gigabyte Z87X-UH3D (I got similar behaviour, but didn’t end up doing the flashing with this one)
I found useful info at http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1597038 and http://jack-brennan.com/samsung-firmware-update-for-p67-and-sb850/, but I could only get the firmware to upgrade by cold booting with the SATA ports in IDE mode (set in the BIOS), and switch to AHCI mode without cold booting again… detailed experience/instructions are below.
You have to download the firmware as an EXE, then boot into DOS to run the EXE and flash the drive.
Download the firmware from Seagate at
- http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/223631en for the F3 (HD323HJ / HD502HJ / HD503HI / HD103SJ / HD105SI / HD153WI / HD203WI)
- http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/223571en for the F4 (HD204UI / HD155UI)
Build a USB key to boot into DOS – good instructions are at http://forum.crucial.com/t5/Solid-State-Drives-SSD/How-to-create-a-bootable-USB-drive-for-firmware-updates/td-p/5985
Copy the firmware EXEs you need onto the USB key.
I did one drive at a time, and made sure it was the only one plugged into the computer. Each drive takes very little time, once you get it working.
The drives made a horrible sounding click (about every 2 seconds), and I found that the F3EG program would print the time, and then just hang. The F4EG program would detect the drive and start loading the firmware then hit an “internal error occurred”.
Switching the BIOS to put the SATA ports in IDE mode improved things – the clicking stopped, and the F3EG firmware detected the drives and tried to flash it… until “internal error occurred”.
In the end, I found that I needed the SATA ports in AHCI mode (as they had been), but to get the computer started without the awful clicking, and then the firmware installed, no problem. (F3EG still hanged when it was finished, but I gave it a few minutes before switching off the computer).
To get the HDD up with AHCI mode and no clicking, I did the following
- Go into the BIOS and put the SATA ports in IDE mode. Save and exit then after boot power off
- The computer is now off and the BIOS is in IDE mode.
- Power back on (this is a cold boot) and go into BIOS
- Set the SATA ports to AHCI mode, save and exit, and let the computer boot into DOS (without powering off, so this is a warm boot)
- The computer is now in DOS, with SATA ports in AHCI mode, and the HDD is not clicking
- Update the firmware