Samsung Spinpoint F4EG 2 TB SATA2 5400rpm 32 MB Hard Drive HD204UI/Z4: Electronics. 2TB 3. 5 INCH DRIVES,FDB/32MB Buffer.
47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
This guide describes the almost-mandatory firmware upgrade process of the Samsung F4 HD204UI drives the easy way - USING USB STICKS.
This is my attempt to help those contemplating over the upgrade. During my research I simply couldn't find a thorough description of the procedure. These hard drives (HD-s from now on) are exceptionally well engineered, so the effort is definitely worth it!
Why should end-users upgrade the firmware? The answer is simple; using them with the old firmware might resu
lt in serious data loss later, as described by Samsung. (Certain people believe that drives with manufacturing date later than February 2011 dont have this issue; mine was manufactured in 03/2011 and I still did the upgrade, just to be safe.) Fortunately Samsung released the improved firmware on its website called F4EG (a zipped up exe file):
[Hah, links don't work on Amazon. Do a web search for F4EG on Samsung's site]
But the real hurdle is that you have to boot in DOS to perform the update! You could do so using a floppy drive, but not many of us have those lying around anymore, therefore my guide gives pointers on how to perform the upgrade using a USB thumb drive.
Updating the firmware leaves the existing data intact on the drive; also, the drive comes unformatted; best to do the formatting on a Windows 7 computer, or use a modern formatting utility instead of Windows XP-s built-in one. Then, you can use a freeware utility such as SpeedFan or HDDScan or HDTune Pro to check for bad sectors/issues. The executable firmware file works automatically and only selects the correct drive, no user direction required. Also, the Samsung firmware upgrade MIGHT not run if your drive has the latest firmware installed already by the factory.
The updating procedure using external hard drive dock connected through either USB2.0 or eSata to my PC did not work... I had to disassemble my Dell Zino HTPC: remove the Blu-Ray ROM, HD caddy w/ orig. HD) and connect the Samsung HD directly to the motherboard (Before disassembly I booted into the BIOS by hitting F2 on keyboard of my Zino, changed boot order to "USB first". There might be other steps needed for other PC-s.)
I used one of my newer USB drives (my 16GB Kingston DataTraveler), I installed unetbootin on my PC. Then using unetbootin I installed FreeDOS onto the USB stick, downloaded and copied the Samsung firmware (exe file) into the same folder with FreeDOS (that is, into the root directory called "freedos").
Download software mentioned above and follow instructions from these two links:
[Do a web search for unetbootin. You'll find it on sourceforge.net] (click "Download for Windows" on top of page).
[Do a web search for freedos. You'll find it on freedos.org] (fdbasecd.iso is what you'll need to download).
Boot your PC up with the Samsung HD installed; repeatedly hit F12 on keyboard to access boot order.
Navigate to the "USB (name of USB stick here)" line with the arrow keys, hit ENTER
Next screen is the "Unetbooting" screen, select fdos, hit ENTER ("freedos" can't be selected, ironically...)
Select the "Freedos Safe Mode (don't load any drivers)" line from the next screen, hit ENTER
Check the exact DOS name of the firmware file by typing "DIR" after "A:\" first. (This came handy to me, since the firmware file I originally named "F4EG.EXE" was renamed to F4EGEX~1 in DOS!)
If you can't see the F4EG file in the "A:\" directory, switch to the C directory by typing "C:" following the "A:\" and hitting ENTER
Next, type the DOS name of your firmware after "A:\" (or "C:\"...), hit ENTER
There will be a few messages displayed:
"Now updating code"
"Please wait for a while"
"Download completed successfully" (followed by the S/N of the HD in brackets)
Reboot PC to finalize upgrade. You can run the firmware patch repeatedly on new drives if you power off and reboot. The update itself takes less than a minute.
Important: the "Download Completed Successfully" message is pretty much the ONLY confirmation on a successful firmware upgrade! Based on Samsung's own update instructions, the firmware version number does not change at all (Samsung dropped the ball on this big time...).
I hope this helps someone out there! :)
38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Now that Seagate has finished acquiring and digesting Samsung's Hard Drive business, they have started selling Chinese produced "ST2000DL004" Baracuda Green drives with "Samsung HD204UI" markings and only 1 year warranties. The genuine Samsung HD204UI drives come with 3 year warranties. If you still want buy an HD204UI, be sure it is not some remarked Seagate drive. The Seagate drives are reported to produce loud "clicking", slow formatting and other mechanical clues that it's not the same drive
at all. I've included a close up of the HD204UI drive label in the product photos showing a genuine Samsung HD204UI.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
I purchased 5 of these and put 4 of them into a RAID 10 configuration. Average speed is 170MB/sec over the entire volume. The single drive averaged about 105MB/sec. These drives are VERY fast and are equal to or faster than many of the 7200 RPM versions currently available. The good news is that the Samsung HD204UI drives are much cooler and require a lot less power than most other drives.
Reason for purchase: a media server. I had attempted to use external USB 2.0 drives to accomplish this but
file copying was slow and tedious. And I had backups of backups... My motherboard is a 4-year-old ASUS P5E WS Pro (supports SATA II) with an Intel Q6600 CPU and ICH9R RAID chip.
I moved all 5 drives to a Synology DS1511+ box and they are very fast and working reliably.