Samsung 840 EVO Standalone ISO Updater Now Available

Subject: Storage | April 28, 2015 - 12:44 PM |
Tagged: TurboWrite, tlc, ssd, slc, Samsung, 840 evo

For those of you following the Samsung 840 EVO saga, last week we saw the release of Magician 4.6. Samsung was initially throttling downloads and firmware update rates, but those limits appear to have been lifted as of this morning. Another thing we noticed this morning was the inclusion of the standalone ISO updater for those who are otherwise unable to run the Magician software (i.e. Mac users):

View Full Size

For those on laptops or other devices with no optical drive, I've confirmed the ISO can be used via USB if placed there with a tool such as Rufus.

Note to Linux users:

There was an early report of complications from a user who was running a full disk fstrim during boot, where that operation was causing errors (corrected once that operation was disabled). It should be noted that full disk TRIM operations are redundant so long as the OS is issuing TRIM on-the-fly during regular file moves / deletions. This may be an issue with queued TRIM handling of the new 840 EVO firmware. If not reproduced / corrected by Samsung, the Linux devs may be able to add this firmware revision to the queued TRIM blacklist to possibly fix the problem on their end.

Note to mSATA 840 EVO users:

It appears the update does not currently apply to these. I've asked Samsung about this.

April 28, 2015 | 01:56 PM - Posted by blakemcblake (not verified)

Here's hoping it stays fixed

April 28, 2015 | 07:41 PM - Posted by Wrend

I'm glad Samsung seems like they've (for the most part) fixed this issue with the 840 EVOs. My main home workstation/server/data cruncher PC has a 1TB 840 EVO as its main OS boot drive. I also put a 500GB 840 EVO in my wife's laptop (1TB 850 EVO in mine).

Everything seems to be working great with them now after updating their firmware and running the "advanced performance optimization" procedure.

And actually, I don't think this is going to add much wear at all to these drives either, since the firmware update seems to have resolved the bulk of the issue without having to move around the data. I'm guessing this is largely due to improvements in how the controller's cell reading algorithms correct for cell changes over time.

With the issues still going on with the 840s, mSATA drives, and using trim in Linux, it doesn't look like we're quite at the end of this saga yet. Just "The Scouring of the Shire" still left.


Thanks a lot Allyn! Your in-depth analysis of this issue and dedicated pursuit of its resolution aren't lost on all of us and are greatly appreciated.

April 28, 2015 | 08:23 PM - Posted by Randy Snider (not verified)

I still cannot install the firmware update without it failing. I'm not sure what to do.

April 29, 2015 | 01:52 AM - Posted by kewiha (not verified)

What do you mean failing? If you can't boot into the firmware updater, use Rufus to flash the ISO to a USB stick. Boot from it, trying AHCI, RAID, and IDE/Legacy modes (all non-UEFI).

If you get into the DOS-like prompt to update and it fails from there, check you're using the chipset's SATA ports. Different modes listed above may also help. Different motherboard next, even something super old should work fine.

April 28, 2015 | 09:09 PM - Posted by Oscar Castillo

I think it's important to note that taking the Rufus route will only work with newer MacBook Pros. I believe 2012 and newer.

April 28, 2015 | 10:42 PM - Posted by Brent D (not verified)

5 computers...update ISO can't find the 840 EVO on any of them. Yes, I have checked the BIOs settings.

April 29, 2015 | 01:48 AM - Posted by kewiha (not verified)

It worked fine for me on my Z77 Mpower in RAID mode, that's really odd it didn't work on 5 comps. Reflash the ISO to a new stick? I used Rufus to flash it, default settings. Make sure you're using native USB and SATA ports, add-on chipsets might not work.

April 28, 2015 | 10:47 PM - Posted by Paul Braren (not verified)

I have the Samsung 840 EVO mSATA 1TB SSD.

Yeah, Rufus worked fine under Windows 8.1 to create boot media out of the ISO. Like Allyn mentions above:
"It appears the update does not currently apply to these. I've asked Samsung about this."

I can confirm that even the boot from ISO method gets me:
"No supported SSD(s) detected for firmware update"
so waiting for Samsung's response to Allyn's inquiry.

I sure do appreciate that Allyn is doing the legwork for us!

May 1, 2015 | 10:42 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Thank you for caring about the mSATA version, too :)

April 29, 2015 | 01:45 AM - Posted by kewiha (not verified)

The update worked without having to disable Intel Chipset RAID, just used Rufus to prep a USB stick and updating took a minute per drive. I previously installed the update that re-wrote all the data on the drive, but data should have decayed since then.

HDTach spiked down significantly in 4 places on my 840EVO 120GB x2 RAID0, the lowest to ~580MB/s. The rest was well above 900MB/s, and Windows is on the EVOs, so the spikes could be unrelated. Either way, I'm thrilled if it can keep this up in the long term.


April 29, 2015 | 08:56 AM - Posted by collie

nothing on the non-evo 840? I'm tempted to defrag mine just to see if it will help.

April 29, 2015 | 12:39 PM - Posted by Qrash

I'd recommend DiskFresh from Puran Software ( instead of defragging.

April 29, 2015 | 12:58 PM - Posted by collie

I'll try that and report back, thanks dude! Ps, something tells me you are a fellow Canadian..... I wonder what, lol

April 30, 2015 | 01:32 AM - Posted by Paul Braren (not verified)

I'm noticing in ATTO disk bench that my write speed is falling to roughly 1/2 my read speed, intermittently.

Tonight for example, a few hours at normal 550ish reads and 520ish writes, followed by an hour of degraded write speeds, dropping to 250ish. This was followed by spontaneous recovery of normal 550/520 speeds (no reboot or suspend or anything) for about 15 minutes, then a spontaneous speed drop again. I have some video of this behavior, if that winds up being helpful.

Note that Windows 8.1 optimize (TRIM) had no effect.

So the wait for a fix for Samsung for my mSATA model continues.

May 1, 2015 | 04:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

SSDReadSpeedTester2.04 performance result for mSATA 840 EVO (1 TB):

* before / bad:

--- 611 GB in 2511 seconds (244 MB/s)

* after / DiskFresh:

--- 611 GB in 1185 seconds (525 MB/s)

Where is the fixed firmware for the mSATA version of the 840 EVO?

May 6, 2015 | 03:07 AM - Posted by Tiberius

Samsung Magician does not download latest software or firmware. You need to manually download the new Magician software 4.6 and then it will update the firmware. Very poor Samsung, if it wasn't for the crew at PC Per I would not have known. Will shop else where when I need to replace my 4 SSD's

May 6, 2015 | 07:40 PM - Posted by Fabiano G. Souza (not verified)

Complete ridiculous!

May 10, 2015 | 06:23 PM - Posted by John H (not verified)

I just updated my 750GB 840 EVO with firmware EXT0DB6Q on my Macbook pro. I'm not sure what happened with this firmware but my Write speed is at 55 MB/s and Read speed is 511 MB/s. How do I optimize my write speed? I'm using about 320 GB.

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