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Samsung Fixes 840 EVO SSD Performance Drop With Firmware Patch

If you have a Samsung 840 EVO SSD, you may have noticed a loss in performance if you've owned it for a long while. Unfortunately, a bug in the design of the 840 EVO causes older blocks of data to deteriorate, resulting in poor read speeds when accessing older data. Fortunately, Samsung acknowledged this bug and released a fix.

The new firmware's version number is EXT0CB6Q, and it can be downloaded from Samsung immediately. What this firmware does is rewrite older data blocks, ensuring that the data remains fresh, avoiding excessive read-retry processes.

The update can be installed through Samsung's Magician software, or you can run it off of a bootable disk. Either way, be sure to back up your data in case something goes wrong.

You can download the EXT0CB6Q firmware directly from Samsung here. If you're unsure about how to install the new firmware, you can read through Samsung's installation guide here.

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  • dgingeri
    Wouldn't this degrade the drive over time, costing extra write cycles even if the data is mostly just read only? I keep my games on a 500GB 840 EVO. They don't see a whole lot of writes (Magician shows barely one fifth the writes to that drive compared to my 840 Pro OS drive that is half the size) so I figured the drive would last for a long time. This doesn't sound like a fix. More like a workaround.

    (I need to update this since it is so high on the comments list. I was wrong. I admit it. I misinterpreted the description of how the patch worked. The firmware isn't continually rewriting the data. The firmware does actually fix the performance issue for future written data, but then the utility rewrites the existing data so it isn't stuck with the poor performance. If you just run the firmware update, the old data may still have the performance issue. So, use the utility. It fixes everything up nicely.)
    Reply
  • ldun
    Wouldn't this degrade the drive over time, costing extra write cycles even if the data is mostly just read only? I keep my games on a 500GB 840 EVO. They don't see a whole lot of writes (Magician shows barely one fifth the writes to that drive compared to my 840 Pro OS drive that is half the size) so I figured the drive would last for a long time. This doesn't sound like a fix. More like a workaround.

    The majority of fixes turn out to be just that- workarounds. Probably the only real fix they could do would be a HW change that would affect only new models. I'd rather deal with a workaround "fix" than having to buy a new SSD to get my performance back...
    Reply
  • bigpinkdragon286
    I agree with the initial poster's concerns. I don't want a drive that is rewriting itself to preserve it's data, especially if it's in relation to the amount of data I have stored on it. The more data on the drive that is considered old, the more writes to the device? There seem to some unknowns that are not being mentioned. What determines if data is being considered old? Date from time written, number of reads, etc.? Why is the data degrading over time? Is this due to how it is being read, or something else, such as the need for higher power levels when reading multi-level cells? Did Samsung cut a corner to achieve certain performance levels with their product? Did they expect customers to have replaced the units before the problem manifested or was Samsung unaware also? I am glad they addressed the issue, but again, it seems more of a workaround, and not a satisfactory one, than a true solution to the problem.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    I prefer my preset workaround: every 4-6 months, when things start getting intolerable, I wipe the drive and restore from backup. It looks like fewer writes than this new firmware, and it only takes me about 20 minutes. It also gives me much more consistent behavior from the drive. Of course, I've only done this once, and that was just before I heard Samsung acknowledged the problem as not being my imagination.
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    Indeed this may be just a workaround but I find this better than them ignoring the problem and not trying at all.
    Reply
  • baldmosher
    Amazingly Samsung Magician says there's no new firmware available (yet)... not quite joined up thinking from Samsung!
    Reply
  • dovah-chan
    I know that was the first thing that I checked after I read this article. You'd think they would distribute it over some more accessible networks rather than hoping that the user has the benefit of the word of mouth as chances are the regular common consumer doesn't keep up with stuff like this.
    Reply
  • nitrium
    You can do it manually using the freeware utility DiskFresh (http://www.puransoftware.com/DiskFresh.html). Worked a treat on my 840 EVO. I guess Samsung is effectively doing the same thing with this "fix". Won't do the drive's longevity any favours, that's for sure.
    Reply
  • ThisWasATriumph
    The article is misleading. Samsung is supplying a utility that updates the firmware and rewrites old sectors. The utility fixes the problem. The firmware prevents it from happening again. Samsung Magician does not provide either part at the moment.
    Reply
  • dgingeri
    14383462 said:
    The article is misleading. Samsung is supplying a utility that updates the firmware and rewrites old sectors. The utility fixes the problem. The firmware prevents it from happening again. Samsung Magician does not provide either part at the moment.

    ah, that's good to know. Thanks for that. I haven't been home to check it out yet.
    Reply