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Add info from ML, minor edits

Using smartctl with Samsung F4 EcoGreen drives may result in bad blocks

WARNING: Do not use smartmontools with these drives!

2010-11-24, updated 2010-11-29: Here are the details as reported by German c't magazine and on our mailing list:

  • Affected disk: SAMSUNG SpinPoint F4 EcoGreen 2TB

Device Model: SAMSUNG HD204UI
Firmware Version: 1AQ10001

  • Problem: If the system writes to this disk and smartctl -a (5.40) is used at the same time, write errors are reported and bad blocks appear on the disk.

This was reported by a reader and could be reproduced in c't magazine lab on the following system:

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Core i3-560
Intel H55 chipset
SATA-AHCI-Driver: Intel Rapid Storage Technology (RST) 9.6

  • It could also be reproduced under Linux (Fedora 14) if AHCI is enabled and the following commands are run in parallel:
    # badblocks -svw -b 4096 /dev/sdd 4000000
    # smartctl -a /dev/sdd 
  • It could not be reproduced if the Intel H55 chipset is set to IDE mode.
  • It could also be reproduced on another system with an AMD chipset under Windows and drivers msahci.sys or amdsata.sys.
  • It could not be reproduced on the same AMD system and amdsata.sys driver with the following other disks:

SAMSUNG HD153WI (F3 EcoGreen)
SAMSUNG SP2504C (P120)

  • It could also be reproduced on an system with Intel P45 chipset.
  • It could also be reproduced on an AMD based system with NVIDIA nForce 520 chipset.
  • It could also be reproduced if only smartctl -i is used. This command sends only one ATA command to the disk: IDENTIFY DEVICE. No SMART functionality is used then.

2010-11-26: The info is published on heise online news (German).

If you have additional info, please report it to the smartmontools-support mailing list.