Despite all SMART values being way above thresholds my internal 500 GB Samsung was giving up on me which I realized when I suddenly couldn’t copy over a file to my external Samsung Spinpoint F DT USB backup disc. A deep scan with Samsung’s ES Tool revealed several defective LBAs so I cloned the entire disc to said external to swap them. When I booted up my machine the new disc wasn’t detected by my board’s VIA 8237 RAID controller revealing the flaw I’d overlooked so far:
SATA interface speed cannot be switched to 1.5 Gb/s!
Apart from SATA’s touted backwards and forwards compatibility which should ensure operating a 3.0 drive on a 1.5 connector the manual on Samsung’s product page explicitely mentions a SATA 1.5 Gb/s Speed Limit Jumper setting to avoid speed negotiation issues on older motherboards. The manual however depicts 8 jumper pins whereas the HD753LJ has only 4 (!) none combination of which does any good.
So I tried both patch downloads mentioned in the FAQ to set the speed via software on a friend’s PC whose motherboard can stomach 3.0 devices attached to it. Curiously enough both tools do not show the current setting so to verify patch results you gotta boot ES Tool again. 3 boot CDs, how’s that for convience?
Of course applying the patches did not work as confirmed by Samsung support the next day. I’d tried to contact them by mail but their German support form did not list my drive model so I had to call the hotline which failed to call me back. When I called again the next day the droid on the phone had no explanation on why manual and support form where out of date nor what the 4 jumper pins are supposedly used for (since they are not used for master/slave or 32 GB clip settings anymore).
Samsung – what’s the (Spin)point?
Update, August 6th
I’ve just read on a german forum that only after using the second tool on Samsung’s FAQ page ES-Tool 2.11 would get a new option ‘Set Max UDMA’ which at last would allow adjusting interface speed (‘process’ ). Can anyone please confirm that with a comment. I’ve already sold my Samsung and got a WD but I’d really like to know if Samsung tried to fix this flaw.
Update, November 4th
Since I’d sold my drive to a friend I was able to test it again yesterday at his computer and now it worked for me too! I was able to switch SATA speed setting by doing it as Ken Cowin suggested: set to 3.0 GB in SSpeed instead of 1.5! It appears whoever coded the tool accidentally labeled the routines the wrong way cause after using SSpeed I could verify (and even change) speed with ES Tools and option ‘Set Max UDMA’.
Update, June 6th 2010
As mentioned in the comments apparently the current version of ESTool does the job just fine. Can’t test it myself cause I’ve switched to WD Green in the meantime.