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How to fix read performance on Samsung SSD 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA

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Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
50+ years in computer industry. Everything from development to sales. CIO. Document imaging. EE MVE 2015, EE MVE 2016, EE FELLOW 2017.

The Samsung SSD 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA have a well-known problem with a drop in read performance. I first learned about this in an interesting thread here at Experts Exchange:


http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_28528522.html


Samsung recently released a fix for this problem in the form of "a new firmware and performance restoration software package for the 840 EVO and 840 EVO mSATA."


Article Update: Thanks to the heads-up from ScottCha in his comment on 15-Jul-2016, I have concluded that the "Performance Restoration Software" is no longer available at the Samsung website. While the first link below is still valid and takes you to the Tools download page, the "Performance Restoration Software" is not there. The Samsung Magician Software and the firmware updates are there, so I'm guessing that Samsung views those as the solution to the problem. If anyone reading this article has more information to offer, please post a comment.


The download for it may be found in the "Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software" section at this link:


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/global/html/support/downloads.html


I was experiencing performance problems on a laptop with a 250 GB Samsung SSD 840 EVO running W7 Pro 64-bit. I downloaded the Samsung software from here (it's in a ZIP file):


Article Update: The two links below no longer work and I cannot find the "Performance Restoration Software" anywhere at the Samsung website. My suggestions at this point are to update your SSD's firmware and use the Samsung Magician Software, both of which are available at the link above.


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_Performance_Restoration_V11.zip


I installed it a few days ago following the instructions in the Samsung Performance Restoration v.1.1 Introduction and Installation Guide:


http://www.samsung.com/global/business/semiconductor/minisite/SSD/downloads/software/Samsung_Performance_Restoration_v11.pdf


I encourage you to read that manual thoroughly before installation, as there are many caveats in it — see the "Precautions" and "General Limitations" sections.


A caveat of my own: When the firmware update reached the 80% completion point, I received a Windows message saying that new hardware was detected and that I should reboot. I suspect this occurred because the firmware update reached a point where Windows Plug and Play kicked in and detected the "new" drive. Unfortunately, this is not documented in the Samsung manual. I did not know if I should do the reboot at that time or wait until the firmware update completed at 100%. I opted for the latter, as I was quite sure that stopping the firmware update at 80% wasn't a good idea — and it worked out well.


I also felt protected on the decision, as I had done a clone of the SSD to an external (USB) HDD using Casper. So even if I bricked the SSD, I could get a new one and clone to it from the HDD. And that's another caveat — I strongly recommend doing a clone before undertaking any firmware update of your primary drive.


The installation on the W7 Pro 64-bit laptop with the 250 GB SSD 840 EVO worked perfectly. After a few days of use, I can say that performance is significantly improved — back to where it was when I first installed the SSD around 2.5 months ago. However, I can't be certain about cause and effect. This experience is anecdotal, not statistical. I pass it along for other EE members to consider if you are having performance problems with your Samsung SSD 840 EVO or 840 EVO mSATA.


Article Update on 17-December-2014: I ran the software again last night on a Windows 8 system, this time capturing the screens along the way for this article.


After unzipping and running the program, User Account Control (UAC) prompts for elevation:


UAC-elevation.jpg

Make sure it shows Samsung as the verified publisher. It then takes you through the setup wizard with an option to launch when completed:


Setup-welcome.jpg


EULA.jpg


Destination.jpg

Desktop-icon.jpg

Ready-to-install.jpg


Completed-and-launch.jpg

After launching, the program goes through four steps, the first being the firmware update:



Opening-screen.jpg


It provides a warning about the risk of firmware updates:



Warning.jpg

As I already mentioned earlier in the article, I recommend heeding this warning and creating a clone (or image) of the drive before running the program.


After the first step (Firmware Update), it does a timer-based automatic shutdown:


Shutdown.jpg

After the reboot, it performs Step 1:



Step1.jpg

Then Step 2:


Step2.jpg


Then Step 3:



Step3.jpg

It will say "Performance Restoration is complete." when it reaches the 100% mark:


Complete.jpg


The last dialog box simply asks if you want to close the program, which I did:


Close.jpg

One difference between this run and the previous one is that this one did not prompt for a reboot at the 80 per cent completion mark. I can't explain that. It is possibly due to a difference between W7 and W8, but I don't know.


The installation on the W8 Pro 64-bit laptop with the 250 GB SSD 840 EVO worked perfectly. After some use last night and this morning, I can say that performance has improved. However, as I stated with respect to the W7 system, I can't be certain about cause and effect. Like the previous one, this experience is anecdotal, not statistical.


If you find this article to be helpful, please click the thumbs-up icon below. This lets me know what is valuable for EE members and provides direction for future articles. Thanks very much! Regards, Joe

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4 Comments

Expert Comment

by:pelampe
Great article Joe.

I am going to be posting a new topic in this very group.  It will pertain to replacing a conventional HD with a SSD on a Dell XPS-435T.

So I hope you get a chance to read it and I look forward to your response!
0
LVL 62

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Hi pelampe,
Thanks for the compliment and your "upvote" on the article — I appreciate both! I'm looking forward to reading your article. Please post the link here when it is published. Regards, Joe
0
LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:Scott C
Getting ready to do this on my SSD this weekend and noticed that the last 2 links are no longer valid. You might want to look into them.

Great article.  Hopefully I'll get my speed back.

Thanks.
0
LVL 62

Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd, Fellow&MVE
Hi Scott,
Thanks for the alert — I didn't know that the links went bad. It's just about impossible to keep links up-to-date in a large number of published articles and videos, so I really appreciate your heads-up on this one. I'll do some research and update the article accordingly. And thanks for the compliment and the upvote — both very much appreciated! Regards, Joe

Update: After researching the Samsung website, I've come to the conclusion that Samsung no longer offers the "Performance Restoration" software. My guess is that the latest firmware update and the Samsung Magician Software are now the solution, as those links still exist. I will update the article accordingly.
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