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Question SSD: No format possible, not recognized

Alphabetics

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2020
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0
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Hi people,

sorry for the long post, i need help!

I have a ssd, Seagate Firecuda 520 nvme pcie 4 gen 4.

I sent it together with my laptop back to the manufacturer because of spilled water and now it is back. The tests were OK they said. The SSD worked before i have sent it there (it was empty and not formatted. I backed up my data and erased it before, with success. Erase was with the SeaToolsGui under Linux Mint).

I have problems with it now. it was still empty and not formatted yesterday.



Yesterday, under Linux Mint, SeaTools GUI, device Management and gparted:

  • SSD is not recognized under Linux.
  • I have connected it to my laptop via an external case via usb. I used SeaToolsGUI under Linux Mint (Overwrite Erase). This worked BEFORE i have sent it to the manufacturer but since yesterday the program is hanging, i wait and wait (but the task bar says "Sanitize is in progress". I tried also with root privileges.
  • The Linux Device partitioning program had also no success, I do not remember atm (and cannot check because I have a long time test atm with SeagateTools under Windows.).
  • Gparted also reports an error when starting (error on remote side or something similar, cannot look atm.
  • The ssd became really hot inside the case, even the case itself.
  • Uninstalled and re-donwloaded and reinstalled SeaTools. I could try the SeaTools-CLI but I do not know how to use the commands. Any help? SeaTools-CLI Manual


Windows, SeaTools:

  • A hardware error is currently reported when I want to initialize it under windows 10, device paritioning program (both gpt and mbr). Yesterday i could format it after a while. I did a long format and it said „primary partition (no errors). But I again tried to erase. Now there is no formatting.
  • I did a short test minutes ago with SeaTools on windows. It was OK.
  • Now doing long test with SeaTools on Windows, waiting.
  • Sanitize Erase within Windows results immediately in an error. Why?


Is it normal that the ssd gets really hot?

If i do a Overwrite Erase, is the firmware also erased?

Help is appreciated!
 

Billy Tallis

Senior member
Aug 4, 2015
255
113
116
I have connected it to my laptop via an external case via usb.
USB to NVMe bridges complicate matters greatly when you want to do anything other than ordinary reads and writes. If possible, connect the drive to actual PCIe lanes.

The ssd became really hot inside the case, even the case itself.
NVMe power management is one of those things that may not work behind a USB to NVMe bridge. For a power-hungry drive like this one (using Phison E16 controller), this might mean the drive overheats in the USB enclosure without cooling.

If i do a Overwrite Erase, is the firmware also erased?
Firmware is not something you can erase directly, and is not something you should ever want to erase. The only thing you should do with SSD firmware is update it to a newer version.


Don't ever use "overwrite erase" on a SSD. If you need to ensure the drive is cleared of sensitive data, or to get the drive back to its fresh out of the box state, use the appropriate tools to perform a Sanitize or Secure Erase operation. If you just need the drive to be cleaned of any detectable partitions, filesystems, operating systems, etc. so that you can start fresh with a clean OS install, then use wipefs.

To figure out what condition your drive is in, take it out of the USB enclosure and put it into a real M.2 slot with PCIe lanes provided by the CPU or chipset. Boot Linux off some other drive. Check if the NVMe drive is detected as a PCIe device by looking for it in the output of lspci. Check if the drive is properly detected and usable by the NVMe driver by looking for it in the output of nvme list. Use either smartctl -a or nvme smart-log to check the health of the drive if it seems to be properly detected by the OS. If desired, wipe it with nvme format, which on some drives and systems can only succeed if you put the system to sleep (not hibernate) and wake it back up. If all of that works, then if you want you can put the drive back into a USB enclosure and proceed with partitioning, creating filesystems, and other tasks that only require ordinary IO commands, not admin commands.
 

Alphabetics

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2020
9
0
11
Thank you very much.

USB to NVMe bridges complicate matters greatly when you want to do anything other than ordinary reads and writes. If possible, connect the drive to actual PCIe lanes.
I have a good case I guess, from Icy Box, anyway, I see your point.


NVMe power management is one of those things that may not work behind a USB to NVMe bridge. For a power-hungry drive like this one (using Phison E16 controller), this might mean the drive overheats in the USB enclosure without cooling.
Maybe the heat was a result of the not properly working Linux Tool SeaToolsSSD-GUI. Now I have a cooling pad glued to the SSD and the case is open in the front, i did not close it.

Don't ever use "overwrite erase" on a SSD. If you need to ensure the drive is cleared of sensitive data, or to get the drive back to its fresh out of the box state, use the appropriate tools to perform a Sanitize or Secure Erase operation. If you just need the drive to be cleaned of any detectable partitions, filesystems, operating systems, etc. so that you can start fresh with a clean OS install, then use wipefs.
I have read that SSDs unline HDDs have to be erased in another way because they work differently (wear leveling etc., Flash storage). So the Linux comands shred, dd, wipe won't work. Will nvme format work?
There is only one another option called "Block sanitize" or "Block erase" (sth like that). I tried this once when the SSd was working before I sent it away, it was much faster finished, so I always use the standard Overwrite Erase option, i have no other option. And it is always recommended to use the manufacturer tools, when I research, that's why I did it this way.


To figure out what condition your drive is in, take it out of the USB enclosure and put it into a real M.2 slot with PCIe lanes provided by the CPU or chipset. Boot Linux off some other drive. Check if the NVMe drive is detected as a PCIe device by looking for it in the output of lspci. Check if the drive is properly detected and usable by the NVMe driver by looking for it in the output of nvme list. Use either smartctl -a or nvme smart-log to check the health of the drive if it seems to be properly detected by the OS. If desired, wipe it with nvme format, which on some drives and systems can only succeed if you put the system to sleep (not hibernate) and wake it back up. If all of that works, then if you want you can put the drive back into a USB enclosure and proceed with partitioning, creating filesystems, and other tasks that only require ordinary IO commands, not admin commands.
Ok, when my long term test is finished (in a few hourse) I will try this with a Linux Live Stick. I don't get exactly the part "can only succeed if you put the system to sleep (not hibernate) and wake it back up". What do you mean? How to do that. I want to mention that on my notebook (where the SSD is from) there is no OS, only BIOS/UEFI starts. So will all that work, what you mean?

Thx!
 

Billy Tallis

Senior member
Aug 4, 2015
255
113
116
Will nvme format work?
There is only one another option called "Block sanitize" or "Block erase" (sth like that). I tried this once when the SSd was working before I sent it away, it was much faster finished, so I always use the standard Overwrite Erase option, i have no other option. And it is always recommended to use the manufacturer tools, when I research, that's why I did it this way.
Block sanitize and block erase are slightly different commands, but most of the time they'll accomplish the same thing. The main difference is that the standard for block erase commands (eg. ATA Secure Erase) didn't quite cover everything, so Sanitize commands were added to various storage protocols to mandate that user data also be wiped from all caches and spare blocks and any other storage that that's not directly accessible but might otherwise hold on to lingering copies of user data.

On flash-based SSDs, block erase operations will generally complete very quickly. A block erase operation does not require the host system to send lots of zeros over a SATA/PCIe/USB interface, so the interface's speed for ordinary IO isn't a bottleneck. The only bottleneck is the time it takes for the NAND flash itself to perform erase operations. This is usually on the order of a few milliseconds per erase block, which is tens of megabytes. So NAND flash can be erased at speeds of gigabytes per second, and that's per chip. Erasing the whole drive seldom takes more than a few seconds because every chip is doing erase operations simultaneously.


I don't get exactly the part "can only succeed if you put the system to sleep (not hibernate) and wake it back up". What do you mean?
It's a security thing, sorta. Most PCs lock drives as part of the boot process, preventing you from doing a secure erase. Putting the system to sleep removes power from the drive, and when waking it back up you don't go through the whole boot process again, so the drive doesn't get re-locked. With SATA drives it's also practical to hot-swap them in order to power-cycle the drive separately from rebooting the whole system, but hot-swap isn't an option for M.2 drives. Not all drives support being locked like this, so they don't all need this extra step to unlock the drive. I don't recall off the top of my head whether the Firecuda 520 requires this or not.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,795
6,264
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It's a security thing, sorta. Most PCs lock drives as part of the boot process,
For ATA devices, I believe it's a "Security Freeze" command, which is issues by the BIOS, to prevent Malware running on the installed OS from installing an "ATA Password", and locking the user out of their OS storage via a denial-of-service attack. (From a virus/trojan/drive-by malware, for example.)
 

Alphabetics

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2020
9
0
11
For ATA devices, I believe it's a "Security Freeze" command, which is issues by the BIOS, to prevent Malware running on the installed OS from installing an "ATA Password", and locking the user out of their OS storage via a denial-of-service attack. (From a virus/trojan/drive-by malware, for example.)
i have created a usb boot flash drive with tools for my seagate ssd nvme. The freeze lock and antifreeze options are only on ATA drives, the manual says.

USB to NVMe bridges complicate matters greatly when you want to do anything other than ordinary reads and writes. If possible, connect the drive to actual PCIe lanes.
Don't ever use "overwrite erase" on a SSD. ... appropriate tools to perform a Sanitize or Secure Erase operation.

To figure out what condition your drive is in, take it out of the USB enclosure and put it into a real M.2 slot with PCIe lanes provided by the CPU or chipset. Boot Linux off some other drive. Check if the NVMe drive is detected as a PCIe device by looking for it in the output of lspci. Check if the drive is properly detected and usable by the NVMe driver by looking for it in the output of nvme list. Use either smartctl -a or nvme smart-log to check the health of the drive if it seems to be properly detected by the OS.
I put the ssd into the pcie slot.
I did check, everything is in a fine state.

but Currently i am still doing a long generic test on my 1Tb ssd nvme, since over 13 hours now and it is still running, is that normal?
The fans are at highest , Could the ssd become too hot and get damaged? Maybe the heat sink does not connect perfectly to the ssd because i did not tighten the laptop case with screws.
 
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Alphabetics

Junior Member
Aug 27, 2020
9
0
11
Edit: It is 18 hours and 30 minutes, and long test is still running.

It is a long generic read test, that sequentially reads the LBAs.

Now it is over 18 hours, maybe the tool faulty? Endless loop?
I chose the option to repair the problems at the end, if any.

A Short dst (diagnostic self test) was passed successfully before that test.

edit2: this long generic read test reads the LBAs sequentially.

edit3:
I do not see the Cursor prompt because the screen is always full with continuous text/output.

edit 4:
I niw aborted with CTRL + C, after 19 hours and 30 Minutes.
Hope that didn’t damage.
 
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