Samsung Released Magician 4.6 and New EVO 840 Firmware

Samsung has released the new Magician version 4.6 software as well as the latest firmware for the EVO 840 SSD that should resolve the performance issues once and for all. But you should be aware of a couple of things before you apply the patch and update.

There are mixed feelings between both users and professionals in how far this actually is a fix or not. One thing is for certain, it will restore the performance of your drive back to the original.

First let us take a little trip back and revisit what this bug actually is, what it does, and what the previous fixes did and didn’t do. The issue was with files that were older than 6 months without being modified and those files would result in incredible slow reading speeds, at times even slower than mechanical drives.

At first the issue was ignored and when it was acknowledged, we did get a fix after a while. That first fix was called the Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance restoration tool and it looked like it was working the way it was supposed to.

The Performance Restoration tool restored the performance back to the old and most users were happy, but not for that long. The issue resurfaced again about half a year later with users reporting of new slow downs. Thanks to the internet with forums, Reddit, and technology sites such as us reporting and investigating the issue, Samsung couldn’t just ignore it.

They took their thinking caps back on and came up with the current fix, a new firmware and a new Magician software with refresh function.

The update is being released as a staged rollout, meaning that the servers limit the amount of possible downloads and you might get a timeout or message that no new firmware is available. This is a normal way to release firmware for such a crucial component as a storage drive. It makes sure that any possible new bugs only affect a small percentage of users before it can be fixed, or the download halted again. The new firmware is the EXT0DB6Q where you currently probably run either the B or C version.

So why is this both a fix and not a fix at the same time you may ask. As it is, it isn’t a fix at all. But it keeps an eye on the symptoms and refreshes the files when it happens and on a schedule. It doesn’t actually fix the issue, it only puts a temporary band-aid on it. You will get the performance back that the drive should have, but you’ll also put extra wear and tear on your drive with regular refreshing processes.

The common rule is as always: if it works fine for you and you don’t notice speed drops, just leave it. If it ain’t broke, don’t try to fix it. If you do wish to apply the new fix, then head right on over to Samsung’s official download site and grab the Samsung Magician 4.6 software. The new firmware can be downloaded through the Magician tool.

Samsung Acknowledge Continued EVO 840 Slow Down Bug

I think everybody has heard of the Samsung EVO 840 slowdown bug by now, but most still believe that it was fixed with the initial recovery tool provided. And it was, for a while.

We could report about a month ago that the issue still existed for some users and while I couldn’t reproduce that bug on my personal 1TB version anymore, a lot of our readers could on their own drives.

From the feedback we gathered from you, our readers, the problem mainly persists with the smaller drives and namely the 250GB model. Now Samsung officially acknowledged that the bug still exist and promised a new fix. The great news is that the fix is in the works while the bad news is that it still might take a while to be released.

“In October, Samsung released a tool to address a slowdown in 840 EVO Sequential Read speeds reported by a small number of users after not using their drive for an extended period of time. This tool effectively and immediately returned the drive’s performance to normal levels. We understand that some users are experiencing the slowdown again. While we continue to look into the issue, Samsung will release an updated version of the Samsung SSD Magician software in March that will include a performance restoration tool,” Samsung said in an email statement to Anandtech.

If you’d like to verify the state of your own drive, the two tools to test it are both free and available for download: HD Tach and SSD Read Speed Tester.

Thanks to Anandtech for providing us with this information

Samsung EVO 840 Slow-Down Bug Revisted

We all remember the slow-down bug that affected the Samsung EVO 840 drives last year and Samsung was relative quick to release a patched firmware that seemed to fix the issue. But reports are starting to surface that some drives still might experience the slow down bug, despite being flashed with the new firmware.

A couple of users reported on the original thread over at overclock.net and TechReport picked up on it. They were prepared for a possible return of the bug and had a drive they filled with data back when the patch was released, just for such an occasion.

The bad news is, their drive showed the same old slowdown symptoms with read speeds around 40-50MB/s. It should be noted that their drive had been unpowered since then and just been on a shelve – though even if that is the reason, that isn’t good either.

Since I run a 1TB Samsung EVO 840 drive in my personal rig, this was an easy thing for me to verify. My drive has been powered the entire time – well while the computer was running at least – so I put it through both the HD Tach test as well as the SSD Read Speed Tester.

HD Tach came up normal with 450ish MB/s over most of the scale. There was a small drop around the 250GB marker, but it stayed above 300MB/s. I use this drive for my games, and since I have been without a dedicated GPU for a while now, those games are pretty much untouched and the files should be “old”.

Again an easy thing to verify and I ran the SSD Read Speed Tester next. The tool read every file in combination with checking its age. We see the same results here, a drive that performs great and as it should, and there doesn’t seem to be any bug here. The oldest data on the drive is 459 days and read with 437MB/s. The slowest reads were 93 days old and came in at 29.5MB/s, but it was only a 500kb file.

My tests showed me 3 files slower than 125MB/s and only 22 files slower than 300MB/s, so I can not reproduce this bug. The drive tested by TechReport was only a 256GB drive and mine was a 1TB drive, the internals should be the same though.

Do you own a Samsung EVO 840 drive? Then you can easily perform the two tests yourself to verify if your drive is affected or not. HD Tach can be found here, and SSD Read Speed Tester can be found here.

Samsung Has Released a Fix for the Evo 840 Slow-down Bug

It has been about 3 weeks since we first reported on the slow-down bug happening on the Samsung Evo 840 drives. Samsung was quick to react on the issues and promised a fix for today. That fix has now been released and you can apply it to your own drives.

“SSDs usually calibrate changes in the statuses of cells over time via the flash management software algorithm. Due to the error in the software algorithm, the 840 EVO performed read-retry processes aggressively, resulting in a drop in overall read performance. This only occurs if the data was kept in its initial cell without changing, and there are no symptoms of reduced read performance if the data was subsequently migrated from those cells or overwritten.”

Samsung said the problem is unique to the 840 EVO drive and not an artefact of that drive’s TLC NAND. The older TLC-based 840 series is unaffected and so is the upcoming 850 EVO which will use the three-bit version of 3D V-NAND.

Samsung has released a tool with the very fitting name “Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration” that can be downloaded from the official support site. Once you have downloaded and installed the tool, launch it. It will update your firmware to the new version (EXT0CB6Q) before you’ll need to reboot your system. The actual restoration begins after the reboot and will take quite some time depending on the size of your drive.

I’ve just patched my personal Samsung EVO 840 with 1TB capacity and it worked like a charm. I can also report that it works fine on a AMD based system, just for those worried about updating the firmware of the drive on a non-Intel SATA port. The patching of the drive took several hours, so be patient and don’t worry if the progress-bar doesn’t move for a while. It might be a good idea to run it over night if you have one of the big models.

Thank you Samsung for providing us with these information