[mythtv-users] WARNING: Samsung F4 owners / warning. Disable smartmontools

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Sat Dec 4 17:34:50 UTC 2010

On Saturday, December 04, 2010 10:21:01 am Andre wrote:
> On 4 Dec 2010, at 16:29, Brian Wood wrote:
> > On Saturday, December 04, 2010 09:23:01 am John Drescher wrote:
> >> It is now known that the samsung F4 has a buggy firmware that
> >> causes 64 sectors of data to randomly be discarded from the write
> >> cache when an ATA command to identify the device is executed
> >> during a disk write. I have 3 F4 and I have verified that the
> >> issue does exist on my drives. Samsung is  aware of this bug and
> >> is working on a fix.
> >> 
> >> http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartmontools/wiki/SamsungF4EGBad
> >> Blo cks
> > 
> > Oh great, another HDD vendor off my list.
> Is there anyone who can be trusted to supply a disk that actually
> works!
> I crossed Samsung off a long while ago thanks to the F1. (3 out of 6
> HD501LJ's still working, 4 of 4 HD103UJ's drop off the bus
> occasionally.) so far 6 HD154UI's working ok as long as they are not
> plugged into a Marvell 6145 sata controller. Seagate (1.5TB drama &
> seizing spindles, I have 2 out of 4 seagate 500GB still working).
> Hitachi, I have a 1TB HDS721010KLA330 which randomly loses it's
> partition table but only when connected to an Adaptec sata
> controller! Otherwise it's good :-P WD, (power management bug).
> Many Many dead Maxtor Diamondmax 9 drives, usually a week out of
> warranty.
> No we don't get lots of earthquakes and thunderstorms here.
> Does that leave anyone? The Intel SSD I bought last week hasn't
> failed yet ;-)
> Thanks for the warning, I was about to buy 2x 2TB drives for a raid 1
> next week, I think I'll be buying two different manufacturers,
> hopefully when they break it will be in different ways and hopefully
> at different times!

I've got to the point where I don't buy anything over 1TB, having had 3 
out of 4 such devices fail out of the box. This was with Seagate and WD 

I also don't like it when I have to repair something I just bought, by 
updating the firmware. If it didn't work, why did they ship it in the 
first place? (I think we all know the answer).

So far I've been OK with Hitachi 1TB units, fortunately I have enough 
drive space to spin a lot of drives.

A related matter: I see a lot of external USB drive cases that say "will 
support up to 500GB drives", or "up to 1TB", or other such drive size 
limits. Sometimes drives larger than these stated limits seem to work, 
sometimes even smaller drives don't.

I really don't want to have to get into figuring out what USB controller 
chips might or might not work with what USB-to-SATA chipsets and what 
drives etc.

What good are "standards" when nobody seems to abide by them? A USB 
controller should be a USB controller, likewise SATA controllers, but 
this does not seem to be the case.

Of course if you contact support, and they discover you are not running 
a single drive in a Windows PC, that usually ends the discussion. Your 
problem will be "escalated", which seems to be code for "ignored".

After all, they already have your money.

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