SOLVED: Samsung F3 HDD on SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) of P67 chipset

ZoZo2

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
4
0
0
Hi everyone,

I've had an issue recently involving 2 P67 motherboards (MSI P67A-GD65 and Asus P8P67 Pro) and a Samsung F3 hard drive (HD502HJ) which used to work without a hitch.

I plugged it in a P67 SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) port of the MSI motherboard and it only got recognized once every 4 or 5 boot ups. When I plugged it in a SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s) port, it worked fine.

I then returned the MSI motherboard for various reasons (including that I couldn't stand the amusement park-like BIOS), and got the Asus.

Since I thought that the MSI was to blame for not recognizing my hard drive most of the time, I tried to plug the HDD on one of the P67 SATA 6Gb/s port of the Asus.
As I switched the computer on, I heard what I thought was a rotating fan hitting a cable, it was rather loud. I turned off the computer, took a look around and saw nothing which would explain the noise. I started the computer up again, and same noise. Except that while I was listening for where it came from, it gradually went away, never to be heard again.

I then went into Windows (my primary drive is an SSD) and got prompted to format drive D. And guess what that was. That's right, my F3 HDD. At that point I thought that the SATA 6Gb/s port of the MSI motherboard had corrupted data on my hard drive. To be on the safe side though, I restarted the computer with the HDD on a SATA 3Gb/s port, but got the same outcome. I put my ear next to the drive while it was starting up and heard nothing suspicious : usual little whine of a Samsung HDD starting up, followed by acceleration of the platters, then seek noise from the heads going into action.

I tried using Recuva and another tool to analyze the contents of the hard drive, but after scanning at full speed, they found nothing, zilch! Wut??
Since it was already late, I decided to forget about it for the night, left the computer running with the hard drive plugged in.
Next morning, I noticed that the drive had disappeared from Windows Explorer (the "unformatted" D: drive) and went to look for it in Device Manager. Nothing there either. I rebooted the computer, still nothing. I then proceded to do a cold boot and this time POST took a good 10 seconds longer than usual, but then nothing in Windows. Did the same thing and went into BIOS instead of Windows, nothing there either.

Finally I decided to hot-plug the hard drive on SATA and see what happens. That triggered some kind of reaction, Windows looking for drivers, but the system became very sluggish. The drive appeared briefly in device manager, I got the prompt to format the partition, and then the drive disappeared again. Same thing happened on eSATA (JMicron controller) and USB (some other controller).

At that point I started to consider my Samsung F3 HDD to be dead. Thankfully I don't rely on single drives anymore for my important data, so I didn't lose anything which I cannot easily recover. Since I like to "tempt the devil" (french idiom), I now have a Samsung F2EG plugged in the very same SATA 6Gb/s port that allegedly killed the F3, but it's running fine.
Anyway, I was strolling around some (french) forums during the last 2 days and have met 2 people who reported very similar issues with Samsung F3 drives in the same conditions, although their drives didn't die.

This is why I'm sharing this with this forum, to see if it's just a very unlikely coincidence, or if other people have noticed what appears to be a potentially fatal incompatibility between Samsung F3 hard drives and the SATA 6Gb/s ports on the P67 chipset (or other series 60 chipsets).


Update: Just to be really clear, this issue has nothing to do with the problem recently reported by Intel, this one is with the 2 Intel SATA 3 (6Gb/s) ports, not the 4 Intel SATA 2 (3Gb/s) nor the Marvell or JMicron ports. No need to mention that you don't have trouble with a Samsung F3 HDD plugged into those.

Update 2: Apparently a firmware fix originally intended for the SB850 chipset also fixes this issue. You can get it here:
http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...bbs_msg_id=308
Case closed
 
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Sevatividam

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
2
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My Samsung F3 is on a 6.0 Marvell port and working fine...

Hello,

Of course. Samsung F3 works without any problem on Intel SATA 2 controler and Marvell SATA 3 controler, but not on Intel SATA 3 (= 6Gb/s) controler !

I will check my firmware version tonight.
 
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ZoZo2

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
4
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Just for completeness, which firmware version does your drive have/had?

I actually updated the firmware when the drive was still recognized the day before it was dead. So I don't know which firmware I had when the weird noises happened. It was whichever firmware was flashed on the F3 drives manufactured around end of 2009 / beginning of 2010 (I'll have to check the exact date).
 

Sundae

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
3
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0
Hi !

Here is a possible solution to resolve the F3/P67 SATA-III incompatibility bug (noise and more) !

I have read the entire Samsung Hdd FAQ and I finally found this :

http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...bbs_msg_id=308

This new firmware, originally released to correct the SB850 incompatibility bug, have been resolved all the problems of my two HDD with my P8P67 Pro on SATA-III.

I hope it will be ok for you too ! Have a nice day,

Sun

PS : My HDD before flashing the firmware : (Model: HD103SJ, Firmware version: 1AJ100E4)
 

Diogenes2

Platinum Member
Jul 26, 2001
2,151
0
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I really don't think this is about ther SB850 chipset, but thanks for the info ..
__________________________________

I have 2 F3's.. Both work on all 6 ports of my P8P67 Pro
 

Sevatividam

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
2
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I've just flash my Samsung F3 drive with this great solution from Sundae and it works ! Now I can use my F3 with Intel SATA 3 controler without any problem. Thank you !
 

Sundae

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
3
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0
@Diogenes2 : Sorry for my poor poor english, I don't want to say that it's a SB850 chipset issue in this case, but it's the same issue (SATA-III/Samsung F3).

The text with this firmware :

If the issue isn't fixed after installing the firmware , please try this workaround. Set the OnChip SATA Speed to [SATA 3.0Gb/s] in BIOS instead [SATA 6.0Gb/s].

So this new firmware seems to resolve a bug about the SATA-II/SATA-III detection of the Samsung F3 Hdd with an older firmware.

Thanks to ask for a precision.

EDIT:
@Sevatividam : You are welcome ! ^_^
 
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mv2devnull

Golden Member
Apr 13, 2010
1,498
144
106
For the record, I do have two HD103SJ with 1AJ10001 firmware, and will flash.

EDIT: Won't flash. Patcher says: "I'm not for these drives."


Note: the original firmware version might be printed on the label of the drive.
 
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Slimline

Golden Member
Jul 19, 2004
1,365
2
81
I have 2 hd103sj's and I too can't hook then up to my 6gb ports. (ga-p67a-ud3p). They click and my comp reboots endlessly. Can't even seethem in the bios on occasion I can get into it. I thought it was my mobo. Interesting others are having trouble with f3 drives. On the bright side if it dies whs has a backup :)
 

scrubman

Senior member
Jul 6, 2000
696
1
81
Just today I switched both of my F3 drives over to the Intel SATA3 ports on my P67 board. I'm running Matrix RAID and figured they were most important. So far so good but since I just bought them I think they came with the updated firmware which solved the issue. I sure hope thats the case cause I would hate to lose the data on these 2 drives!

F3onSATA3.jpg
 

Hogan773

Senior member
Nov 2, 2010
599
0
0
I have an F3 as boot drive plugged into SATA_0 (the Sata6.0 Intel port) on my ASR Extreme4. Seems to work fine. My F3 is brand new so maybe it has whatever fix was mentioned above.
 

bankster55

Golden Member
Mar 24, 2010
1,124
0
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I plugged it in a P67 SATA 3.0 (6Gb/s) port of the MSI motherboard and it only got recognized once every 4 or 5 boot ups. When I plugged it in a SATA 2.0 (3Gb/s) port, it worked fine.
I think this is an important insight
First of all if you are using those white and black SATA 6 cables you better make sure they are absolutely fully in - they are TIGHT and with my case its very hard to wrangle them in.

However, after thinking about this post, I'm beginning to see another possibility. SATA 3 on INTEL chip is new after all, none of my prev mobo had it, and the Samsung are listed as SATA 2 drives. The SATA 3 ports are supposed to be "backwards compatible " with SATA 2. But maybe only late drives? The Hitachi 7K3000 Ultrastar drives i am about to buy are LISTED as SATA 3 drives (as are the Deskstar 7K3000) I am now wondering if its not ASUS fault, rather that any HDD put on the SATA 3 channel of the southbridge must have firmware that says "hey I'm SATA3 compatible" even tho nothing iin the HDD is different than any other drive.
WDC drives can also jumper (5-6) to cap max at SATA 3.

So, my current theory is that some drives are too old for Intel SATA 3. If so, it explains a lot of the probs people have been having. In fact, that means either HDD firmware or bios updates will be needed to fix this - at least to the point the bios recognizes all SATA 2 drives as O.K. on INTEL SATA 3.
FWIW there are only 24 HDD listed as SATA 3 on newegg.
Also, to be safe, I would only use SATA 3 cables on that port.

2eyurgw.jpg
 
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ZoZo2

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
4
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Samsung makes the ultimate trouble shoot utility for their HDD

Can it do anything if the drive doesn't show up in the BIOS? I had already tried it, and it couldn't detect my drive.

So, my current theory is that some drives are too old for Intel SATA 3. If so, it explains a lot of the probs people have been having. In fact, that means either HDD firmware or bios updates will be needed to fix this - at least to the point the bios recognizes all SATA 2 drives as O.K. on INTEL SATA 3.
FWIW there are only 24 HDD listed as SATA 3 on newegg.

My Samsung F2EG, older than the F3 which died, works fine with the Intel SATA 3 port. I don't think that there are drives which are too old, but rather drives with a bug in their firmware which shows up when they are plugged in to some SATA 3 controllers (Intel series 60, AMD SB850). Probably only the Samsung F3 actually have that problem.

You don't need a SATA 3 drive to be able to use SATA 3 port. It's only required if you want to reach SATA 3 performance.

Also, to be safe, I would only use SATA 3 cables on that port.

I don't think there is such a thing as a SATA 3 cable. They're all the same since SATA 1, except different colors or the optional latch.

Edit:
http://www.sata-io.org/documents/SATA-Revision-3.0-FAQ-FINAL.pdf
Q9: Does SATA 6Gb/s require different connectors and cables to support the higher transfer speed?
A9: The same cables and connectors used for current SATA 1.5 and SATA 3.0 Gb/s implementations can be used to connect SATA 6Gb/s devices, although SATA-IO recommends quality components be selected to ensure data integrity and robust operation at the faster SATA 6Gb/s transfer rate. Keeping the existing SATA connector form factor enables SATA 6Gb/s to be designed into the same cost-conscious hardware architectures while minimizing infrastructure changes.
 
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jim53

Member
Jan 9, 2011
57
0
0
Samsung makes the ultimate trouble shoot utility for their HDD
Wish WDC had one like this
Can even correct for bad flash effects
http://www.samsung.com/global/busine...s/ES_Tool.html

Just ran that today everything passed.

[SELF DIAGNOSTIC (ESTOOL v3.00g)]
Model Name : SAMSUNG HD502HJ
Rom Revision : 1AJ10001
Serial Number : S20BJ90ZB23010
Drive Size : 476940MB (LBA : 976773168)
Start Time : Fri Feb 04 13:55:55 2011

-------------------------------------------------
Test Loop Number : 1/1
-------------------------------------------------
>> READ DMA : Testing... Pass !
>> CHECK S.M.A.R.T. : Testing... Pass !
>> SPIN DOWN / UP : Testing... Pass !
>> SIMPLE SURFACE SCAN : Testing... Pass !
>> WRITE VERIFY : Testing... Pass !
>> RANDOM SURFACE SCAN : Testing... Pass !
>> READ SURFACE SCAN : Testing... Pass !
>> RAM VERIFY TEST : Testing... Pass !
>> MULTIPLE READ TEST : Testing... Pass !
Service Code => SJ25 : Test OK.
End Time : Fri Feb 04 15:10:10 2011
Test was completed.
=================================================
 

Sundae

Junior Member
Feb 2, 2011
3
0
0
My F3 is working just fine on P8P67 SATA3. Is there any reason to upgrade the firmware?
No, it's ok :thumbsup:

Like ZoZo2, my Samsung drive was making hard noise (clunk clunk clunk...), and was sometimes not recognized.

So if it's not the case for you, you have no problem with your firmware.
 

Zen2k

Junior Member
Mar 9, 2011
1
0
0
Few days ago i upgraded my system to 1155 AsusP67-M pro. I connected my F3 to SATA2 ports and then found some articles in internet about an issue with P76 mobos. I replaced sata whire to SATA3 port and HDD started with noise and clicks...and now it is dead...And i have very usefull information in it and service center trying to restore it now...But very old Sata1 HDD now is working fine connected to SATA3 port...