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  #11  
Old 11-22-2023, 09:15 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Running a bit behind here but Samsung finally released their Magician software for the Mac. It runs on Intel and Apple Silicon Macs so there is now a much easier way to update Samsung M.2 SSD drive firmware especially on Apple Silicon Macs (which largely used to be go find a Windows PC or Intel Mac).

https://semiconductor.samsung.com/us.../support/tools

I'll revise the first post in this thread later, but until then... check your bloody SSD firmware version.

(I had trouble unzipping the Magician 8.0.0.900 installer from the link above, would no unzip by just double clicking on the downloaded file, I ended up having to run unzip from the shell (it complains of errors directory errors but seems to run OK). Then run the .pkg installer that was unzipped)).

Oh and there are new T9 USB Samsung external drives, they are USB 3.2 Gen 2x2 (20 Mbps) which is great if you have a PC with USB 3.2 Gen 2x2, but Mac only support USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Mbps). Hopefully for higher performance seeking Mac users Samsung will one day release a replacement for their discontinued, overpriced, and ran too hot, Thunderbolt 3 X5 SSD. There is a 4TB Ruggerd T7 external SSD (USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Mbps)), I hope they also ship that as a 4TB standard T7 (USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10Mbps)), we'll see.

---

I hope this is a trend with other SSD vendors also supporting easy firmware update utilities on Mac.
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2024, 10:26 AM
mcnichols mcnichols is offline
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Thanks for your potentially (digital) life-saving post and update.

However, I'm not sure the current Magician Mac version allows Firmware updates. The support page on the Samsung website specifically excludes Firmware updates on Mac OS, but that could be out of date, of course.

That said, I've just installed the latest version (8.0.0, I think), and although it does display the firmware version under drive info (which tallies with that shown in System Report), no 'Update' button appears, despite later firmware being listed in the stand-alone downloads section of the Samsung website, for both my SSD 980 on the NVMe bus, and SSD 860 QVO on the internal SATA bus. This is on an Intel Mac Pro 7.1, Mac OS Ventura (latest).

I have downloaded the new firmware Mac installers, but can't find any specific instructions as to how to use them anywhere on the Samsung site. Dreadfully unhelpful for a respected manufacturer. So, if you have the time to do an 'idiots guide', or point me to one published elsewhere that I've missed, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd find it really useful!

Many thanks in advance,

Martin.
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2024, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Quote:
Originally Posted by mcnichols View Post
I have downloaded the new firmware Mac installers, but can't find any specific instructions as to how to use them anywhere on the Samsung site. Dreadfully unhelpful for a respected manufacturer. So, if you have the time to do an 'idiots guide', or point me to one published elsewhere that I've missed, I'm sure I'm not the only one who'd find it really useful! Martin.
What Martin said please!

+1 for the 'idiots guide' here!

I too have tried to update my 980 Pros on an Intel iMac but no success.

(good thing for now is I ordered two 990 Pros so at least those are bound to be current but I will also keep the old 980s which have performed perfectly so far but I want to update them asap of course!)
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  #14  
Old 06-11-2024, 05:39 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

OK, sorry for the delayed reply.

Yes it turns out that Samsung magician on Mac is pretty useless, does not do firmware updates.

These comments apply *only* to Intel based Macs and Samsung NVMe SSDs. I ran though these quickly on my own Intel MBP but could not do an actual firmware update as all my 980 Pro SSDs already have the latest firmware on them. So please post if this is working OK or not.

Samsung customer support and documentation about lots of stuff is awful, they overall suck as far as I'm concerned. Consumer products full of anti-privacyware, they have poor product repairability, awful customer service reputation etc. In general I'd run far and fast away from most things from Samsung, and yet ... uh damn it they make nice SSDs.

If you have an Intel Mac that can boot Windows via Boot Camp, then install Samsung Magician under windows and use that there. I would always go that route if it's an option. If there is any chance you want Windows installed via Boot Camp this is another reason to do it.

If you have an Intel Mac and Boot Camp/Windows is not an option then you can use the stand-along firmware installers. As I said in the first post. These are stand alone installers packaged in a stripped down Linux ISO image. You boot the Intel Mac from the image and let the installer do its thing then you reboot the Mac again in macOS.

0. Use macOS System Report to Check the SSD Firmware Version
Under the NVMe drive section look at each Samsung SSD at the "Revision" value. In my case the 980 Pros are all already at "Revision: 5B2QGXA7" compare that to the firmware updater file names in step 2. below.

1. Make Backups
Have Known Good Backups for every drive on the system before doing anything else. Have those backups stored disconnected from the Mac.

2. Download the ISO image
Download the suitable ISO image file from https://semiconductor.samsung.com/us.../support/tools.

At the time of writing this the current update file for the 980 Pro is shown on the web page as

NVMe SSD-980 PRO Series Firmware. ISO 5B2QGXA7 | 27MB Download

Which ends up download the file: Samsung_SSD_980_PRO_5B2QGXA7.iso

3. Burn the ISO Image onto Boot Media
Now then you need to install an image of that file to some bootable device

You need an image copy, you can't just drag and drop this image to a drive. Unfortunately because Apple, is well Apple hand waving "security", you can no longer just use the Disk Utility restore feature to do this, because it will no longer scan/approve iso images. And just as bad, Carbon Copy Cloner will not use an ISO image as a source to restore from (it really ought to have a way at least for advanced users to do this) .

So the multiple ways of doing this, I'll show two here : using the third party Etcher app or (see later) using the UNIX dd command. Anybody somewhat technical is likely to prefer dd as I do.

A. Download Etcher from https://etcher.balena.io

B. Double click on the balenaEtcher-...-x64.dmg file you downloaded

C. When that .dmg opens drag balenaErtcher.app to the Applications folder

D. Double click on balenaErtcher.app to run the app

E. In the app click the 'Flash From File" button and choose the ISO image file you already downloaded in Step 2.

F. Click the Select target button and *carefully* select the USB memory stick drive you are want to image the ISO file to. Be super careful if you make a mistake here you could overwrite/destroy content on some other drive on the Mac.

4. Boot the ISO Installer and Let it Do Its Thing
Reboot your Mac with the Samsung 980 SSDs and the newly bootable USB thumb drive attached. Hold down the Option key as the Mac reboots so you get the option to boot off the thumb drive. You'll see a generic drive icon labeled "efi boot" for the thumb drive. Choose to boot off that drive.

The Linux system on that ISO image will both, you'll see some Linux boot text on the screen and the updater will scan for attached 980 Pro drives and update them without you doing anything.... or at least I'm pretty sure it will, it's been ages since I ran an update this way and I don't have any drives that it would find to update.

5. Reboot Back to macOS
Reboot the computer again, this time from the usual boot volume. Check everything appears OK. I would check the SSD firmware version shown in the System report "Revision" has been updated.

---

Using dd Instead of Etcher

We'll use the UNIX dd (disk to disk copy.. and here the name really means disk image to disk) command to do this image copy. The first thing we need to find out is the UNIX device name for the USB drive that the ISO image is going to be copied to. We use the mount command, so in Terminal.app, type the following: (the "$" is the shell prompt, you don't type "$", only type the part after the $ type that part).

$ mount
/dev/disk4s8s1 on / (apfs, sealed, local, read-only, journaled)
devfs on /dev (devfs, local, nobrowse)
/dev/disk4s2 on /System/Volumes/Preboot (apfs, local, journaled, nobrowse)
...
/dev/disk10s1 on /Volumes/USB (exfat, local, nodev, nosuid, noowners, noatime, fskit)
...

Mount on my system produces many lines of output not shown here, but there* is the line we want for my USB memory stick, I know in the finder it's just "USB" and the UNIX device name for the volume is /dev/disk10s1. That's effectively the large disk partition that is the whole USB memory stick. In this case it has an existing EXFAT file system on it, that does not matter as we are going to clobber that whole drive.

First unmount that drive

$ sudo umount /Volumes/USB

or we may need to force an unmount, typically because the finder or an app is using the device.

$ sudo umount -f /Volumes/USB

And here you have to *carefully* use the if (input file) and of (output file) arguments to the dd command. The following are what I needed to use on *my* Macintosh, it will be different on your Mac.

$ sudo dd if=/Users/darryl/Downloads/Samsung_SSD_980_PRO_5B2QGXA7.iso of=/dev/disk10s1
55296+0 records in
55296+0 records out
28311552 bytes transferred in 3.787624 secs (7474753 bytes/sec)

You have to be very careful using this command. It can do a lot of damage if you point to the wrong output device "of=" It will destroy with great vengeance anything you point of= at.

---

And to repeat a warning: you cannot run these ISO images in virtual machines and try to update firmware from there. Don't try it. It will not work.

And in the above examples I mention the Mac built in Terminal.app, but actually I use iTerm2 (https://iterm2.com) instead of Terminal, a much more flexible powerful terminal emulator with incredible developer level support.

---

If this does not work, describe exactly what you're doing, how far you get and exactly what error message etc. you are getting.

Very worse case if this does not work then use Samsung Magician on a Windows boot camp boot partition on a Intel mac or use a dedicated Windows PC, or find somebody who can help do this for you. Lots of systems builders, Mac or PC, repair shops may be able to do do this, especially if you have some relationship with them.

Last edited by Darryl Ramm; 06-11-2024 at 06:18 PM.
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  #15  
Old Yesterday, 04:05 PM
mcnichols mcnichols is offline
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Many thanks Darryl, much appreciated.

I can see why Samsung wouldn't want to scare off Mac customers by hosting all this on their website! Shame on them for not making an app that works for us.

I might wait until I've got a full day free, and strip out all the other drives first as a precaution.

Thanks again.
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  #16  
Old Today, 01:42 PM
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Ahh excellent, thanks a lot Darryl!!

Sunday is the day for me to tackle this properly!!

Will report back_

Thanks again_

Nicholas_
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  #17  
Old Today, 01:55 PM
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

Also, I just don't understand why Samsung doesn't make their products more Mac friendly, cause I am sure a good chunk of their sales comes from Mac users, pretty much all Pro users as well, I am guessing.

However, the move to actually make a Mac version of the Magician software is promising (or just a tease), not sure anymore.

Anyway, thanks again Darryl for the super detailed guide!
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  #18  
Old Today, 02:24 PM
Darryl Ramm Darryl Ramm is online now
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Default Re: Check your bloody (third party) SSD Firmware Version is up to Date

But let me know if all that actually works for you... since I could not check an actual update.

---

The after sales PC upgrade market for SSDs is just way larger than the Mac market and anything large vendors is going to do will go there first.

Yes I had gotten a little too excited by Samsung magician appearing on the Mac, it's pretty useless. I have no idea what their roadmap is here, but sure hope it includes PCIe/NVMe drive firmware updates especially for Apple Silicon Macs. But there may be technical reasons why Samsung might not be able to get the firmware updated to work under macOS. I have no insight there.

Samsung may be a supplier of NAND silicon to Apple and might not want to market "competing" aftermarket upgrades. I've not seriously looked around and the only confirmation I've seen was that early Apple Silicon NAND chips were from *shudder* Western Digital/Kioxia (but hopefully all the WDC SSD worry issues don't apply since Apple is running their own Apple Silicon based NAND controllers).

A large part of how much all this sucks with Samsung is I suspect just Samsung's poor approach to consumer support. Samsung has been all over the place with different way to update say USB vs PCIe SSDs. The whole thing screams a poor approach to product support/customer care. But then you want to compare this to any other SSD vendor, and the scary ones are the ones that have not issued updates.

I don't really have any connections to the consumer SSD side of Samsung, on the high-end enterprise SSD side I've seen them do just fantastic engineering level support for mission critical OEMs and software companies developing advanced products. Working with OEMs customizing the SSD firmware, adding new low-level interface features for enterprise software companies, etc.
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