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Old 03-25-2013, 10:55 AM   #1
buscuitboy
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Question Samsung Drive software?

OK, I got a hold of an older Series 3 (OLED) on Craigslist. I mainly got it for parts to for my other lifetime Series 3 OLED. glo remote, stock 250GB hard drive and wireless USB adapter.

Anyway, I recently also got a older DELL desktop PC that had a Samsung 500GB SATA drive in it. I pulled the Samsung drive from it, put a Series 3 image in it and stuck it in this Series 3 (OLED). All worked good until recently. I kept getting random reboots.

I actually put the original WD 250GB stock drive back in it and it works fine. Therefore, I think something is going on with the Samsung drive. I want to run a full diagnostic scan on it, but where do I go to get software that will do this? I think I read that Samsung drives were bought by Seagate so not sure which site I should go to in order to get the needed software.
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Old 03-25-2013, 01:19 PM   #2
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The Ultimate Boot CD has some Samsung tools on it. You could also just do a kickstart 54 and use the TiVo's internal drive check utility.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:51 PM   #3
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I would try Seagate SeaTools: link.
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Old 03-25-2013, 06:50 PM   #4
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The best thing to do with any Samsung drive is to immediately throw it in the trash. Every single one is/was junk. Now that they were bought by Seagate, maybe they will actually be made right. But I wouldn't count on any Samsung drive made before that point.
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:35 AM   #5
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The best thing to do with any Samsung drive is to immediately throw it in the trash. Every single one is/was junk. Now that they were bought by Seagate, maybe they will actually be made right. But I wouldn't count on any Samsung drive made before that point.
I've got a couple of 1TB pre-Seagate Samsungs which have been running in S2s just fine for well over a year now.

The Seagate 7200.11 saga argues against blind faith in Seagate.

When it comes to drive brands and drive models, and whether you have good experiences or bad, the only sure thing is YMMV.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:53 AM   #6
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When it comes to drive brands and drive models, and whether you have good experiences or bad, the only sure thing is YMMV.
At my last job, we bought 350 Dell computers to upgrade a department. All of them came with Samsung 160GB drives. Over the course of the next two years, 349 of the drives failed. When Dell shipped us replacement drives, they almost always seemed to be Seagate or Hitachi units.

The company continued to order Dell computers for several years, but we never saw any more systems ship with Samsung drives. Drives continued to fail and required in-warranty replacement, but it was more like 1 out of every 10 systems within the first three years.

When the one system with a working Samsung drive was retired, we removed the drive and put it on a shelf with a nice sign that said "Here is the only Samsung drive to survive the war. (Do not store data on this drive.)"
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:48 AM   #7
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The best thing to do with any Samsung drive is to immediately throw it in the trash. Every single one is/was junk. Now that they were bought by Seagate, maybe they will actually be made right. But I wouldn't count on any Samsung drive made before that point.
I've got multiple Samsung drives in my unRAID server and I like them better than the Seagates and Western Digitals. They've been rock solid and run cooler than the other drives. My feeling is that Seagate will ruin what was once a good product line. Seagates used to be among the best drives available, but their quality has gone to hell since they starting acquiring other drive companies.

Just because you may have had a bad experience with a particular brand doesn't mean they're junk. I've had bad drives from every major manufacturer over the past 15-20 years and Samsung has been the only exception so far. I currently have 20 drives in my server and I'd replace them all with Samsungs if I could.

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At my last job, we bought 350 Dell computers to upgrade a department. All of them came with Samsung 160GB drives. Over the course of the next two years, 349 of the drives failed. When Dell shipped us replacement drives, they almost always seemed to be Seagate or Hitachi units.
Your problem likely stems from buying multiple computers using drives from the same batch. Drive manufacturers are constantly tinkering with the controller cards and firmware so the drives you got were likely all of the same exact model and firmware. If that particular design was buggy then it would affect every PC you purchased that used those drives, hence the massive number of failures. This can happen with every brand of hard drive, regardless of who made it.

I bought two identical Dell computers for my kids when they were in college and both of them crapped out. They were by far the worst PCs I've ever purchased, which is why I've been building my own for decades. I bought the Dells because both of them were away from home and they'd be able to get support from Dell since I couldn't be there to fix their PCs when they had issues. It turned out to be one of the worst decisions I ever made. I will never buy another Dell PC nor will I ever recommend one. IIRC, the hard drives weren't the problem.

FYI - Dell ships their PCs with whatever drives they have on hand at the time. They buy them from just about every manufacturer based on pricing and availability. If one manufacturer can't satisfy the demand so that Dell can meet their delivery deadlines they'll get the drives from someone else. They're not locked into one particular brand. Same goes for HP, Lenovo, and all of the other PC manufacturers.

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Old 03-29-2013, 10:01 AM   #8
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Just because you may have had a bad experience with a particular brand doesn't mean they're junk. I've had bad drives from every major manufacturer over the past 15-20 years and Samsung has been the only exception so far. I currently have 20 drives in my server and I'd replace them all with Samsungs if I could.


Your problem likely stems from buying multiple computers using drives from the same batch. Drive manufacturers are constantly tinkering with the controller cards and firmware so the drives you got were likely all of the same exact model and firmware. If that particular design was buggy then it would affect every PC you purchased that used those drives, hence the massive number of failures. This can happen with every brand of hard drive, regardless of who made it.

I bought two identical Dell computers for my kids when they were in college and both of them crapped out. They were by far the worst PCs I've ever purchased, which is why I've been building my own for decades. I bought the Dells because both of them were away from home and they'd be able to get support from Dell since I couldn't be there to fix their PCs when they had issues. It turned out to be one of the worst decisions I ever made. I will never buy another Dell PC nor will I ever recommend one. IIRC, the hard drives weren't the problem.
You excused Samsung as not being junk based on his personal experience with a sample of 300+ but then hang Dell out to dry based on your personal experience with a much smaller sample of 2 (same batch?). Doesn't seem right.

My personal experience with Dell retail offerings has been good. I bought 2 desktops in 2007 for my wife and son replacing a prior Dell and home built PC and they are still doing well. I went with Dell as I couldn't build what I wanted any cheaper including the cost of the OS at least at the time. Both came with Samsung 320GB drives which are also still doing well. We also have been using Dell's business offerings at work for the last 13 years and have been happy with them (currently over 5000 desktop/laptops).

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Old 03-29-2013, 11:52 AM   #9
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Or to put it in fewer electrons, YMMV.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:48 PM   #10
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You excused Samsung as not being junk based on his personal experience with a sample of 300+ but then hang Dell out to dry based on your personal experience with a much smaller sample of 2 (same batch?). Doesn't seem right.
I'm not saying that Dells are junk in general, just the two that I bought for my kids. I've actually bought three Dells overall and the third, a Zino HD, is still going strong as a HTPC connected to my family room TV. One thing I didn't mention that applies not only to Dell, but many other OEM PC manufacturers as well, is that a lot of their hardware is proprietary. For example, if you want to add a 2nd hard drive to your Dell PC you may have to purchase a special bracket from Dell to mount it. This is the main reason I won't buy pre-built brand name PCs anymore. You might get a great deal, but chances are you end up getting what you pay for.

Large companies can specify what they want installed in their PCs and still get a huge discount. Dell lets you customize your PC anyway you want, but if you want better components you'll find that you can probably build it cheaper yourself. The only real savings you see is the inclusion of a Windows license at minimal cost. The cheap Dells tend to have cheap components. Large companies have the resources to get better hardware with bulk discounts.

I didn't excuse Samsung as not being junk but rather that buying large quantities of drives from the same batch can come back to bite you in the a$$ if it's a problematic design or contains a manufacturing defect. I've read numerous accounts of this happening to people when building servers. They buy a large quantity of drives from the same batch and end up with a large number of failed drives. I've got a server with 20 drives and every one of them was purchased from different manufacturers at different times and were pulled from different batches. I've only had one drive fail in five years, and that was a Western Digital green drive.

Every drive manufacturer has bad batches of drives come off their assembly lines on occasion and I'm sure Samsung isn't any different. I'm just defending Samsung the same way you're defending Dell. When people have a bad experience with a product they tend not to buy that brand again in the future. I won't buy from Dell due to their use of proprietary hardware, not because of a bad experience.
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Old 03-29-2013, 08:57 PM   #11
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I wasn't particularly inclined to buy anything from Dell anyway, but when I learned about the "almost ATX" pinout power supply fiasco, which they would have had to go out of their way to have brought about...
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:44 AM   #12
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When people have a bad experience with a product they tend not to buy that brand again in the future. I won't buy from Dell due to their use of proprietary hardware, not because of a bad experience.
I won't quote the whole thing but not using them for proprietary hardware would be a different reason than the impression you gave in your earlier post.

As unitron mentioned, their biggest issue there that I think most people that did upgrades hated was the power supply cabling change although that could be worked around but obviously not plug and play. My original Dell had that but it was never an issue for me and that was over 6 years ago. I think they stopped that practice years ago as my desktops from 6 years ago use standard ATX power supplies.

And yes, my experience with both Samsung drives from about 6 years ago onward and Dell PC's have been good so I'll not necessarily defend them but at least post the positive experiences I've had. I have only used WD AV drives in my newer HD TiVo's though so no experience with a Samsung in a TiVo (Maxtor in the old S1's).

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Old 03-31-2013, 06:02 PM   #13
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I won't quote the whole thing but not using them for proprietary hardware would be a different reason than the impression you gave in your earlier post.
I realized that after reading your response, which is why I offered the clarification in my 2nd post. I still maintain that the Dells I bought were junk, but then they were probably the least expensive models they offered at the time and used cheap components. I used to see a lot of them offered on ebay so I'm probably not alone in my evaluation. I'm sure that the components used in the higher end models are better quality and tend to last much longer.

My company used to use primarily IBM PCs until they sold their PC line to Lenovo. I'm not sure what I'll be getting as my next PC when the lease runs out on the current one, but I suspect it will be an HP. We do have a few Dells floating about and the folks I've talked to that use them have no complaints. I get out to Seattle fairly often and Boeing uses Dell PCs almost exclusively from what I saw.

Dells are fine for corporate use because they're not likely to be upgraded and tweaked like they would by a home user. They're also fine for the non-technical PC user for the same reason. Many people just feel more comfortable buying from a company that will provide them with tech support. I tend to be the tech support for all of my family and a few close friends and neighbors and I'd rather not recommend a PC brand that only uses proprietary components.
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Old 03-31-2013, 06:50 PM   #14
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What PC brand doesn't use proprietary components? I deal with HP, Dell, Lenovo and other brands constantly, and they all have non-standard back panels, motherboard sizes, power supplies, and cases. The only "standard" parts are the drives and memory chips. And the PCI slots and covers.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:10 AM   #15
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What PC brand doesn't use proprietary components? I deal with HP, Dell, Lenovo and other brands constantly, and they all have non-standard back panels, motherboard sizes, power supplies, and cases. The only "standard" parts are the drives and memory chips. And the PCI slots and covers.
They likely all do, which is why I went the DIY route ages ago. It's funny because I used to bash Apple for doing the same thing before I realized they pretty much all do it.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 AM   #16
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Well, I put this Samsung drive in question into a Series 3 (OLED). At first it worked good for a few days, but then I kept getting reboot issues. I put the original (WD) stock drive back in it and its worked flawlessly. Therefore, it seems these Samsung drives don't work that great in TiVos.

I put this Samsung drive back into the DELL PC and installed W7 as well. It works fine so I guess I'll just stick with WD in TiVos for now. Oh well.
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