EVO 840 Not Showing Up

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Hi, I have just bought a Samsung 840 Evo SSD and put it into an Inateck USB 3.0 enclosure for my new MacBook Air.

When I plug it in, it asks me if I want to Initialise, Ignore or Eject the drive. If I choose Initialise, nothing happens.

If you look in Disk Utility, the Samsung root shows up, but no partitions. I am unable to reformat the drive or add a partition so that I can use it. I can't do anything with the drive.

I've tried to update the firmware etc. but don't get very far with no optical.

I've tried running the Windows versions using CrossOver, but the Samsung Magician keeps crashes on start and the firmware update can't see the drive.

Short of sending the drive back, what are my options?

Can I set up and update the drive using a Windows machine, and then reformat later as OSX Journalled?

I don't actually have a Windows machine here, I'd have to borrow one, so really getting it working on OSX would be preferable.

Any help would be great.

Thanks
 

chscag

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Which Inateck USB 3.0 enclosure did you buy and did you check to see if it was compatible with the version of OS X you're running? (which you did not mention in your post)
 
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Hi, thanks. I'm using 10.9.4. I just tested the enclosure with a 320GB Hitachi HDD I have and it worked fine. Inateck is the screwless flip-open one. This one: [USB 3.0 & Optimized For SSD, Tool-Free] Inateck® USB 3.0 Hard Drive Disk HDD Enclosure Case with USB 3.0 Cable for 9.5mm 7mm 2.5" SATA-I/-II/-III, SATA HDD and SSD, Tool-free, Automatic Sleep Mode, Compatible With Windows XP /Vista/ 7/ 8, Mac OS, Su with the Jmicron JMS567 chipset (whatever that means?)

After testing, I put the Evo back in... and it worked, first time. It mounts and I have formatted it. Totally weird.

Still need help with the firmware update etc.

Thanks
 

chscag

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The one I looked at from Amazon US stated it was compatible with OS X 10.8.5 which would be Mountain Lion. Nothing mentioned about Mavericks. I'm not sure that it matters but it would seem you're doing everything right but still couldn't get it to work. Glad to hear you finally got it to mount and formatted it. As for updating the firmware, Samsung does not provide a way for OS X users. You'll need to update the firmware for that drive on a Windows machine that has an optical drive.
 
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Thanks for your help.

I've just been looking through the Samsung downloads page at the updates and have a few questions, if anyone can help?

1. Do I need an optical drive for the PC version? Looked like it was just an .exe file for the latest updates.

2. What does the Magician actually do on the PC? Is it just for setting up the drive initially, or does it do the updates too? If it's just initial setup, I guess I don't need this?

3. The Performance update says it includes firmware updates too. Does this mean I don't need to do the separate Dec '13 firmware update? It says it will first install Firmware EXT0CB6Q, the Dec '13 update that you can download has a different code, EXT0BB6Q.

4. I initially formatted the drive into the Mac format. To get it to show up on a PC, I'll have to reformat it as FAT32, before I do the updates. I know FAT32 can only have files up to 4GB, is that right? The files I'll be using the drive for a lot bigger than that. Any problems formatting it back to Mac format after I've updated?

Thanks
 
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Your drive enclosure BTW will work fine under all the latest versions of OSX. All USB drives will BTW since the SATA drive interface is separate from the USB interface. The USB is connection is all the OS will see, what makes a drive Mac OSX compatible is that it can be formatted or is already formatted for a Mac.

Samsung for some reason has no software for updating the firmware for Mac. The Samsung Magician software for Windows can how ever update the firmware and diagnose any problems with your SSD.

I personally would not worry about updating the SSD firmware, that seems to be the first thing everyone wants to do when they get an SSD but unless its giving you issues, just forget about it IMHO and just use it. What is a larger importance is installing TRIM Enabler software named "TRIM Enabler" to prolong your drives life and keep it running good. You can get this software for Cindori.org

As far as the file system. See if you can use extFS, it should allow you to be able to use both Windows and Mac with the drive and exceed the 4GB file size barrier.

Have fun..
 
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Hey Henry as far as needing an optical drive to install the software, you can download it from Samsung's website to a windows PC and just update the firmware if you really really have to. But I wouldn't worry about it like I stated above.

But if you do want a good optical drive, which you may find a use for later on. ASUS makes a great compact DVD burner for less then $30 US dollars and its the one I have and love. I use it even through a USB 2.0 hub and it works great. Just so you don't try to blow you money on those expensive Apple ones..
 
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Thanks, yes formatted fine into exFAT.

I want to update the firmware/performance because once this drive is set up, it will be read only for sample based audio production, streaming multiple 24bit audio files. I've read that the read speed of the drive significantly slows down after 6 months without the firmware update, which is really relevant to my use of it.

I hadn't even thought about TRIM. When I look in System Preferences, go to SATA, and look at the internal Apple SSD, I can see that TRIM is supported. If I look at the USB bus and look at the SSD enclosure, there is no mention of TRIM at all, either to tell me that it is supported/unsupported or on/off. I don't understand this? Does TRIM work differently / not at all for an external drive running across USB?

Thanks.
 
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Thanks, yes formatted fine into exFAT.

I want to update the firmware/performance because once this drive is set up, it will be read only for sample based audio production, streaming multiple 24bit audio files. I've read that the read speed of the drive significantly slows down after 6 months without the firmware update, which is really relevant to my use of it.

I hadn't even thought about TRIM. When I look in System Preferences, go to SATA, and look at the internal Apple SSD, I can see that TRIM is supported. If I look at the USB bus and look at the SSD enclosure, there is no mention of TRIM at all, either to tell me that it is supported/unsupported or on/off. I don't understand this? Does TRIM work differently / not at all for an external drive running across USB?

Thanks.

Keep in mind, while USB 3.0 is the first real useful speed for external drives IMHO. It will never keep up with the speed of your SSD. The SSD does have some built in garbage collection which will help keep the SSD snappy and without proper garbage collection it will slow down. But this is also what TRIM Enabler is, its garbage collection for your SSD but handled by the operating system instead of the firmware. By default TRIM is turned off, all this software does is turn in back on in the system and give you a few more options.

I am fairly confident just installing TRIM Enabler is all you will ever need. As it will handle your drives garbage collection and keep it running smooth.

I have used it for a few years on my Samsung 830 series and it has worked great.
 
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OK, I give up with this drive. I've tried everything to update it.

I've tried CrossOver, 2 different enclosures, a direct SATA to USB lead. I've tried the same on a Windows machine too. I've tried replacing SATA drivers, updating the other drivers. I've tried everything. No joy.

The magician software doesn't recognise it on either machine. The firmware updater doesn't recognise it either. Nothing I have tried can get either machine to recognise the drive to update it.

I have managed to get it show up on both machines now, so I can use it, but no way at all to update the firmware to avoid the newly documented speed issues.

I stupidly threw away the box (it was recycling day yesterday!) and so cannot send it back. So I will use it as it is, for now and see how it fares.

However, if you're on a Mac (or maybe even on a PC too), my advice is to avoid this drive and go for another brand!

Honestly, two days pulling my hair out, reading every forum under the sun trying to sort this out... I wish I'd just gone for a couple of USB 3.0 sticks or a crucial!
 

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Sorry to hear about your bad fortune with the Samsung drive. There are several of us here in Mac-Forums who will not purchase anything that has the Samsung brand on it. Their tech support is sorely lacking and the quality of their products in my opinion has gone down in recent years.
 
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Thanks.

Really I don't think this is OK though, to only be able to update firmware if you actually install the drive into a machine via internal SATA connection.

There are many many people who use SSDs as external storage, particularly for sample libraries in audio work (like me) and scratch disks for video work. It's hardly unusual and so there really should be a way to update firmware via USB/Thunderbolt/Firewire, whatever. Especially in this case, where there is a fault with the drive that needs correcting. A company as large as Samsung has the resources to provide alternatives.

I'll use the drive until I buy a replacement shortly and then I will sell it, with only one write cycle on the clock for half the blocks and none for the other half. I'm sure it will work well for someone else, for an internal installation.

In terms of alternatives, will a USB key reading at around 120MB/s over USB 3.0 be fast enough to stream, for example, 16 stereo tracks of 24bit/96K audio? Other than that, I think it'll have to be a direct replacement with a crucial mx100. I think I saw a new SanDisk USB 3.0 Key that was reading at over 250MB/s and writing at over 200MB/s. Pretty impressive, I wonder if that would do the job?
 
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Thanks.

Really I don't think this is OK though, to only be able to update firmware if you actually install the drive into a machine via internal SATA connection.

There are many many people who use SSDs as external storage, particularly for sample libraries in audio work (like me) and scratch disks for video work. It's hardly unusual and so there really should be a way to update firmware via USB/Thunderbolt/Firewire, whatever. Especially in this case, where there is a fault with the drive that needs correcting. A company as large as Samsung has the resources to provide alternatives.

I'll use the drive until I buy a replacement shortly and then I will sell it, with only one write cycle on the clock for half the blocks and none for the other half. I'm sure it will work well for someone else, for an internal installation.

In terms of alternatives, will a USB key reading at around 120MB/s over USB 3.0 be fast enough to stream, for example, 16 stereo tracks of 24bit/96K audio? Other than that, I think it'll have to be a direct replacement with a crucial mx100. I think I saw a new SanDisk USB 3.0 Key that was reading at over 250MB/s and writing at over 200MB/s. Pretty impressive, I wonder if that would do the job?

You have to look at it this way.. Currently the L2012 Mini and older Mac's are the only ones the average consumer is able to upgrade themselves. Most people buy their external drives for large external space. So the SSD market for update Mac's and being put into external enclosures is to small of a market to even bother with. If I was running the company its likely I would also feel the same.

I tried to explain to you the only way you was going to update that drive was to stick it in a windows machine. Also with TRIM enabled on your Mac the whole reason to update it was mute anyway.

BTW 120MB/s is the sustained speed for USB 3.0 in RL. 250 and 200 is burst, not sustained. Careful of advertisements, that can and often are misleading to the extent of the law. Also I have a 2TB and 3TB WD MyBook external 3.0 drives, they also read at 120 MB/s which I think it great, its far better then 12-20MB/s on USB 2.0.

As far as Samsungs quality. They have the best reputation in the SSD business as the most stable, longest lasting, and of course most reliable drives. Not always the fastest. But IMHO the best choice. They do this because they make the NAND and all the controller chips. Unlike other manufactures including Intel who get most their components from other manufactures.
 
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Thanks Exodist, but TRIM is a problem for OSX 10.10 as it is unsigned and Apple has stopped allowing unsigned programs to run (thanks Apple!).

Plus this isn't a TRIM issue and so TRIM enabler won't help. This is from anandtech which explains the fault:

Explaining the Bug

As most of you likely know already, the way NAND works is by storing a charge in the floating gate. The amount of charge determines the voltage state of the cell, which in turn translates to the bit output. Reading a cell basically works by sensing the cell voltage, which works by increasing the threshold voltage until the cell responds.

However, the cell charge is subject to multiple variables over time. Electron leakage through the tunnel oxide reduces the cell charge over time and may result in a change in the voltage state. The neighboring cells also have an impact through cell-to-cell interference in the form of floating gate coupling, which is at its strongest when programming a neighbor (or just a nearby) cell. That will affect the charge in the cell and the effect becomes stronger over time if the cell isn't erased and reprogrammed for a long time (i.e. more neighbor cell programs = more interference = bigger shift in cell charge).

Because cell voltage change is a characteristic of NAND, all SSDs and other NAND-based devices utilize NAND management algorithm that takes the changes into account. The algorithm is designed to adjust the voltage states based on the variables (in reality there are far more than the two I mentioned above) so that the cell can be read and programmed efficiently.

In case of the 840 EVO, there was an error in the algorithm that resulted in an aggressive read-retry process when reading old data. With TLC NAND more sophisticated NAND management is needed due to the closer distribution of the voltage states. At the same time the wear-leveling algorithms need to be as efficient as possible (i.e. write as little as possible to save P/E cycles), so that's why the bug only exists on the 840 and 840 EVO. I suspect that the algorithm didn't take the change in cell voltage properly into account, which translated into corrupted read points and thus the read process had to be repeated multiple times before the cell would return the correct value. Obviously it takes more time if the read process has to be performed multiple times, so the user performance suffered as a result.

AnandTech | Samsung Releases Firmware Update to Fix the SSD 840 EVO Read Performance Bug

Samsung's reputation is why I ordered the drive. I'm sure there are plenty of very satisfied customers. But in this instance, I was unfortunate buying a drive that due to my choice of use and it's firmware fault, isn't going to work out for me in the long run.

Thanks
 
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Exodist... you'll be pleased to hear that I got there in the end. I bit the bullet, took the HD out of my work PC, put the 840 EVO in it's place, created a bootable USB updater and am now (slowly) running through both the firmware update and the performance restoration process.

Finally got there! So looks like I'll be keeping the drive after all :)

No accounting for users eh! ;)
 

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