It looks as though Samsung's SSD nightmare involving its 980 Pro and 990 Pro SSDs may soon be coming to an end -- at least of sorts. Both SSD families have endured reports of rapidly declining health, but the 980 Pro's woes were addressed with the 5B2QGXA7 firmware. Earlier this month, Samsung moderator DavidB acknowledged that engineers were investigating "anomaly inquiries related to the SMART Percentage Used (on Samsung Magician) and/or Health Status (on Crystal Disk Info) of the Samsung SSD 990 Pro."
DavidB added that a new 990 Pro firmware update would arrive later this month to address the SSD health deterioration. Unfortunately, there's good news and bad news with this new update (1B2QJXD7), which was pushed to 990 Pro owners over the weekend via the Samsung Magician utility (opens in new tab).
Samsung didn't provide any official documentation with the firmware update, but DavidB explained (opens in new tab), "It was found that these anomalies were caused by problems with the firmware of the 990 Pro SSD. Accordingly, a firmware update was released today, February 13, 2023, to address these anomalies."
So, the good news is that the firmware update stops the accelerated decline of 990 Pro health. But the bad news is that it doesn't fix the damage that has already hit 990 Pros. "The S.M.A.R.T. values are not reset to factory defaults after updating the firmware," DavidB added. "The actual S.M.A.R.T. values of each SSD will vary depending on user environment and usage conditions."
Users that applied the 1B2QJXD7 firmware seemingly confirm those comments, with Redditor caixote writing, "The degradation is still the same for me (78%), so I guess this update is a band-aid to not get more degradation than normal." Angry_old_dude hypothesized, "I'm working from the assumption that the accelerated wear is legit. [Assuming] a firmware update can't fix that. All it can do is fix the problem that was causing it. This would also mean that people who have drives with additional wear due to the problem will have to RMA the drive."
If Angry_old_dude is correct, it seems as though 990 Pro owners who have already experienced significant health declines will need to RMA the SSDs to replace them. Since Samsung has officially acknowledged the issue, customers should now have better luck than Neowin editor Robbie Khan had with the RMA process. Khan RMA'd his 990 Pro in January, and it was sent back to him because there was "no defect found."
While it appears that the 1B2QJXD7 firmware is indeed a band-aid at this point, 990 Pro owners who want to apply the update will need to do so using the Samsung Magician utility (opens in new tab). However, we caution that while Samsung makes the update process easy for the users, there's still a tiny chance that it could fail, leaving your SSD inoperable.
Samsung SSD issues.
Samsung QD-OLED monitors that all suffer from colour artefacts.
Samsung phones with batteries that become bloated and dangerous.
Samsung washing machines that had to be recalled last year because they could short circuit and catch fire.
All of these issues are widespread, recent, and very well documented.
I will no longer buy any SSD from Samsung. I had 2 SSD from them, both broke within a year. They weren't even my main drive, just back up drives that I wrote to maybe once a month.
My WD SSD is still doing fine.
I'm no Samsung fanboy but most all of the SSD brands have experienced issues at one time or another. Until we know the actual cause of the 980/990 issues it's foolish to condemn all Samasung products when millions of people use them daily without any issues. It would be like condeming AMD or Intel CPUs because they occassionally have an issue. It's not very logical.
People who feel that one brand or another is superior get to vote with their wallet.
That's not me defending any one of those products, and certainly not Samsung SSDs.
Even so, it's an open question how they'll be as Solidigm.
Intel SSD had problems years ago. They could fail when power was shut off and then quickly turned on again.
SSD are very vulnerable to sudden changes in power
So if you live somewhere where power is cut off suddenly, maybe don't use an SSD to back up anything.
This problem doesn't really manifest itself with HDD. HDD are very good at handling power outages. But SSD are very vulnerable to power outages, especially when the power suddenly flips on again.
This is the reason you need to be careful about claims like from Blackblaze and data centers about SSD reliability. Datacenters have back-up power and lots of fancy power protection systems in place, consumers generally do not. Datacenters also generally don't reboot their systems a lot.
SSD suck at handling power failures or changes in power.
Also keep stuff like pointless rebooting to a minimum if you value your SSD lifespan.