Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby tompson » Fri Dec 03, 2010 9:32 am

I mailed support about 107+ and hd204UI and I got the following answer:

Currently the hardware compatibility support to 7-series is stopped. In the mean time, the disk testing to 7-series has also be stopped.

However, we have a quick update about the Samsung 204UI's bug today.

The Samsung HD204UI has chance to read/write error when processing reading SMART information and write to disk simultaneously. This is the behavior of this disk. We can reproduce this issue on the x86 PC. We will remove the disk from the compatible list first and check if we could figure out one way to solve this Samsung bug:

http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartm ... GBadBlocks



Bye
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby jramskov » Fri Dec 03, 2010 12:51 pm

That's quite an issue :( I hope they get that fixed ASAP.

I wonder what disk I should choose instead then?
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby mh76 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:03 pm

I was planning on buying 4 Samsung HD204UI for my DS409.
I have read these threads
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=30838&start=0
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=27905&start=0

and in particular these posts
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=30838&start=0&hilit=samsung+f4#p122093
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=27905&hilit=samsung+f4&start=90#p122700

are both threads talking about the same problem?

Does it apply on the DS*09 series and on DS409 specifically?

I see that the model is no longer in the compatibility list
http://www.synology.com/support/hd.php? ... duct_id=41
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby jramskov » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:39 pm

From what I understand, the problem is with the disk (my guess is that it can be fixed with a firmware update for the disk) and can happen with other tools besides the smartmontools so it likely applies to all models.

Hopefully Samsung will quickly get a fix out for this. Until then, I would either wait or buy something else.
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby DLK » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:33 pm

jramskov wrote:... Until then, I would either wait or buy something else.

That's the fundamental question - which drive? The 'affordable' 2TB choices all appear to have issues. I've recently been burned by the Seagate ST31500341AS 'BSY' failure, which requires hacking a serial terminal directly to the drive to fix. Once bitten, twice shy - I don't intend to get any more Seagate drives. As indicated elsewhere on this forum, the WD20EARS units appear to have long term reliability issues when used in RAID setups. I had just about decided on these Samsung units, prior to reading this thread. The aforementioned Seagate 1.5 TB drives are currently being used in a Fedora core 6 server (JBOD, two drives appear as one 2.7 TB logical volume), which was set up year ago as an experiment to see if having a file server on our home LAN would be useful. It indeed has been useful, which is why I want to set up a RAID 1 DS209 as a more reliable alternative, the key word here being 'reliable'. I think that I would trust Samsung's stuff as being somewhat more reliable without having to spring for the added expense of 'enterprise' drives. I have no idea about the quality of Samsung's support in addressing issues like this one. I guess a reasonable question to ask here might be "does the DS209 firmware issue 'IDENTIFY DEVICE' commands to the drives?"

Thanks for the great thread! - Dan
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby gdtrfb55 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:01 am

I read the linked warning about the Spinpoints and smartmontools in its entirety, and it contains some good news at the very end, to wit:

The problem could not be reproduced...if any of the following conditions are met:

* Disk write cache is disabled.

* NCQ is disabled. This may not always be true as the c't lab also reported problems with NCQ disabled.

* A modified test version of smartctl which does not issue IDENTIFY DEVICE commands is used. Then all other SMART and non-SMART commands used by smartctl work without any data loss.

The easiest and most reliable workaround, at least for now, seems to be turning off write caching. I just did this on my DS410j (4 x HD204UI) unit. I expected to take a big performance hit, but, oddly, the transfer speeds to the unit actually increased with the write cache off. Go figure. YMMV.
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby mh76 » Sat Dec 04, 2010 11:22 am

I have to agree with DLK, although I think that I would sound repetitive.

I would definitely wait, but the question remains which drive on the 2tb category?

I too had frequent problems with Seagate drives in the past, bad sectors and RMAs, so I do not want to buy a Seagate drive

I would go for the WD20EARS since I already have one in a drawer using it for backup purposes and I was initially planning to pair it with 3 more, but I read about the LLC problems. So no WD either.

The Samsung drives sounded as a good alternative as they were very well priced and according to the users in the forum the where adequately fast with low operational noise and temps. Then this issue arises, btw many thanks to the fellow members that have helped us to avoid making a hasty decision. Hence there it goes this alternative as well, at least until the issue is addressed by Samsung. But even then how will we know if the drive that we will buy it will be the one with the correct firmware? Unless the necessary upgrade is performed by the final user.

The only remaining alternative now is the hitachi 7k200, which at least here in Greece is 25 euros more expensive in comparison with Samsung’s drives and from what I read in the forum it is slightly noisier and has higher operating temperatures in comparison with the HD204UI, which is absolutely normal if we consider that it is a 7200rpm drive. The higher price, noise and temps prevents me from buying this specific model, since the difference in speed is not really an issue for the kind of use i need the disks for (HTPC).

Conclusively I think that unfortunately at the moment although 2tb drives are available at a good price there are no good alternatives for this specific use.
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby mark » Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:48 pm

we have to wait for the firmware update now.
You are safe when you don't use the smartinfo tools because the problem occurs only when
using smart info. Up till now, we do not even know if the problem occurs when using
the smart info from the synology tools.
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby jramskov » Sat Dec 04, 2010 3:07 pm

Indeed! I was about to buy 5 of these drives as well, I don't know which drive I should choose now or I should wait for Samsung to provide a firmware update.

It does sound like the bug has been narrowed down pretty well to a specific call and according to the 2nd update on C't/Heise Online (http://www.heise.de/newsticker/meldung/ ... 43120.html), Samsung is already working on a fix.

From the Smartmon website: "2010-12-02: Samsung confirmed the problem. A firmware update is under development."
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby DLK » Sat Dec 04, 2010 5:22 pm

This issue is also being discussed on the [H]ard|Forum (http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?p=1036518938 , in English - not auf Deutsch). As Samsung is supposedly working on the problem, it might be an acceptable risk. What's needed to update firmware on these drives, I wonder?

-Dan
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby compet_pl » Sun Dec 05, 2010 9:48 pm

tompson wrote:However, we have a quick update about the Samsung 204UI's bug today.
The Samsung HD204UI has chance to read/write error when processing reading SMART information and write to disk simultaneously. This is the behavior of this disk. We can reproduce this issue on the x86 PC. We will remove the disk from the compatible list first and check if we could figure out one way to solve this Samsung bug:
http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartm ... GBadBlocks


Hi!

I'm not a Linux specialist. What does it mean for me?
"Do not use smartmontools"

It's about just to using "smartctl" command (I never done it)?
OR
It's about using ANY Info and Test options in SMART menu in DSM?

Thanks a lot in advance and best regards
DS1010+ (DSM 4.2-3211), RAID 5 (5x WD RED 3TB), APC Back-UPS ES 550G
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby fordperf » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:07 am

I'm assuming they mean there is a way to turn off synology's SMART monitoring of a drive, which should eliminate the problem from being triggered.
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby jramskov » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:06 am

mh76 wrote:The Samsung drives sounded as a good alternative as they were very well priced and according to the users in the forum the where adequately fast with low operational noise and temps. Then this issue arises, btw many thanks to the fellow members that have helped us to avoid making a hasty decision. Hence there it goes this alternative as well, at least until the issue is addressed by Samsung. But even then how will we know if the drive that we will buy it will be the one with the correct firmware? Unless the necessary upgrade is performed by the final user.
Correct. You need to figure out how to see what firmware version the harddrive uses and next, how to update the harddrive firmware.

A search turned up an issue with a Seagate harddrive where a firmware update was neccesary. Synology offered no technical assistance and referred to Seagate. To firmware update a Seagate drive you need to attach the drive to a PC running Windows and run an util there to update it.

Looks like Samsung have a harddrive testing tool which also shows you the firmware version: http://www.samsung.com/global/business/ ... in_es.html
However, it comes with this warning: "ES Tool can test a drive solely manufactured by Samsung. It is strongly recommended to back up the user's significant data in advance because ES Tool has a Write operation that can erase it. Samsung has no responsibility of lost data."

For updating the firmware it looks like you need to do something similar: http://www.samsung.com/global/business/ ... msg_id=308
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby jramskov » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:17 am

compet_pl wrote:
tompson wrote:However, we have a quick update about the Samsung 204UI's bug today.
The Samsung HD204UI has chance to read/write error when processing reading SMART information and write to disk simultaneously. This is the behavior of this disk. We can reproduce this issue on the x86 PC. We will remove the disk from the compatible list first and check if we could figure out one way to solve this Samsung bug:
http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartm ... GBadBlocks


Hi!

I'm not a Linux specialist. What does it mean for me?
"Do not use smartmontools"

It's about just to using "smartctl" command (I never done it)?
OR
It's about using ANY Info and Test options in SMART menu in DSM?

Thanks a lot in advance and best regards
I wish Synology would provide an official answer, especially since they had the drive on the compatibility list. They removed it after this bug turned up but it's NOT listed under "Not recommended 3.5" SATA Hard Drives" :(

If you read the page detailing the bug (http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/smartm ... GBadBlocks), you will see that it seems it's the "IDENTIFY DEVICE" command that trickers the bug. Other tools besides smartmontools uses that command so the question is whether any tools/software in the Synology DSM uses that command. As gdtrfb55 writes, disable write cache and you should be safe!
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Re: Samsung Spinpoint F4EG HD204UI 2TB compatibility?

Postby ginopilotino » Mon Dec 06, 2010 1:56 pm

How to disable write cache?
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