Samsung’s HM250JI drive with firmware < -08 sucks October 1, 2007 at 10:14 pm
I took a chance and bought a 250Gig HM250JI from Samsung about 2 months ago, and did the upgrade in my 17″ MacBookPro (big pain). The OS installed ok (though it did seem to take longer then I remember from previous installs) and worked ok for a week or two, then the system hung with the colored pinwheel. Since then, it would perform fine for a week or so, then hang and I’d have to power cycle the MBP. It always booted up ok, no data loss or failures on the Filesystem.
Last week, the “week or so” average time suddenly dropped to a day if I was lucky, sometimes only a hour or two after boot until hang. The drive always seemed to hang during heavy RAM usage or when writing data (which high RAM usage causes due to swapping of course). To be safe I rsync’d all my homedir and the /Applications folders onto an external firewire disk as a backup, then booted the install DVD. I tried a verify using disk util which passed. I ran a repair anyway… no difference. I even booted the diagnostic tools and ran the normal and extended tests (Hold D to boot it off the install DVD… for intel macs anyway).
This weekend I finally had time to do more in-depth net searches and I finally found what looks like the answer. There was a known problem with the drives… until updated to firmware HS100-08 (mine shipped with -06). I downloaded the zip’d iso image from samsung, burned a CD.. booted (holding down C to boot off cd).. it took less then 20 seconds to flash the firmware. So far, Things have been running fine. The drive seems to be a bit quiter overall now too. It would periodically click fairly loudly, doesn’t seem to do that anymore.
So from what I’ve read regarding OSX installs failing completely, or windows boots seizing up (like my system would) on boot… I was apparently lucky that the drive worked as well as it did for me as long as it did.
Now I just have to see if it makes it at least a week without seizing up again. If I get to 2 weeks, I’ll feel a lot better.
UPDATE: Added link to the page at Samsung about the patch with the patch link in case anyone with similar issues ends up here.