If you're rocking a Samsung 980 Pro in your gaming PC, it's time to update or it might die in front of your eyes. Even worse, if that's your Windows boot drive, your entire system may just one day soon refuse to start.
The issue was discovered by system builder, Puget Systems (opens in new tab) (via NordicHardware (opens in new tab)), which has stated that, "despite historically being some of our most reliable parts, we have received a surprising number of reports of failing Samsung drives, specifically with the 2TB version of the 980 Pro."
It goes on to say that, working with Samsung itself, it has been confirmed that the firmware the 980 Pro SSDs were shipping with were responsible for these failures and that they need to be updated as soon as possible.
The drives were failing by suddenly becoming locked into read-only mode which effectively makes the SSD completely unusable as it can no longer be written to. As your OS is constantly making read/write actions as part of its general process, that means your system just will not start.
Puget Systems says that the issue has happened specifically with the 2TB version of the drive, but does say that Samsung "recommends users update the firmware on all 980 Pro drives to the latest version (5B2QGXA7) to prevent the issue from occurring."
It says that the firmware update should just be an in-place upgrade and should preserve all current data, but just in case it would be wise to back up if possible.
The affected version of the firmware is 3B2QGXA7, though Puget Systems claims that drives running the 4B2QGXA7 firmware should be fine, even if Samsung is recommended the more recent update.
There's currently nothing listed on the Samsung newsroom itself, so we don't know if it is communicating with its customers directly, but Puget Systems is reportedly in touch with all its potentially affected customers by email today.
The fix is simple, simply download the Samsung SSD Magician software from the SSD support site (opens in new tab), and once installed open the application and navigate to the update tab and update the firmware from there. Easy. No dead SSD.
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Samsung's not having a great time with its SSDs right now. Not only is the 980 Pro at risk of imminent death if it's not updated, there are numerous reports of the newer 990 Pro drives suffering from declining health (opens in new tab). In the same SSD Magician software that can come to the rescue of the 980 Pro, users are reporting (opens in new tab) issues with the drive health of their new SSDs rapidly dropping.
On this issue, however, Samsung is seemingly refusing to accept responsibility and drives sent back to the manufacturer are being returned with claims that no defect has been found. Basically, you're sh!t out of luck, son.
After the initial reports had been picked up in various forums and publications, Samsung's RMA division has been in touch with the original Neowin poster to replace the drive and try to replicate the issue.
After reading your article, I thought I'd take a look at mine. The results are horrendous! 36% worn out after writing less than 2TB of data? @SamsungUK what is going on? pic.twitter.com/VdzLoEAarNJanuary 22, 2023
But, given the response across the different forums and social networks, this doesn't look like an isolated incident and I'd probably expect another firmware update warning to be issues soon for the 990 Pro, too.