A while back Samsung released a line of relatively cheap “EcoGreen” 2TB hard drives. Being the storage hungry IT nerd that I am, I picked up 2 of the things before finding out their firmware contains a known data write bug requiring a firmware patch best summed up with the following:
“It [the drive] will “forget” to write out its buffer if certan SMART commands are sent to the drive. This is the very definition of silent data corruption.”
Samsung has released a patch but it requires booting into DOS which is incredibly difficult to do on todays floppyless PCs. After a bit of googling I came across the following two solutions to get the job done:
Bootable ISO image
This is the easier solution of the two but it is also the one that didn’t work for me. Michael has created a FreeDOS image with the patch merged in. For the download and installation details, see this post.
Bootable USB image
After trying and failing the above, I settled for a bootable USB image instead. User ZDOS has written up a handy tutorial here which I’ve detailed a bit more in depth below:
- Download the Windows 98 system files (at the top) and HP USB Disk Storage Format Tool from here and F4EG.exe from here.
- Install the HP Format Tool and run it with administrator privileges (right click – Run as Administrator).
- Extract the Windows 98 system files.
- With the HP Format Tool, format your USB drive (quick format should be enough) as Fat32 making sure you use the Windows 98 system files where it offers.
- Once done, copy F4EG.exe to your USB drive.
- Shutdown and unplug all HDDs besides your unpatched Samsung drive
- Boot your PC and enter the BIOS by pressing Delete during startup. Ensure that your HDDs are set to run in AHCI mode.
- Reboot either ensuring USB-HDD is selected as your top boot device or press F12 during startup to visit the One Time Boot Device page (results may vary – check your motherboard documentation).
- You should see a Windows 98 logo flash on the screen for a split second and then a command prompt. In the prompt type F4EG and press enter. Your drive should flash itself.
For plenty more useful information on this issue, I found this forum thread very helpful.