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Samsung Magician Software Does Not Recognize Samsung SSD 830

Posted on 2012-04-12
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I recently purchased a Samsung 830 SSD drive to breath some new life into a Dell Dimension 8400 running Windows XP. On the bright side, the drive works great.  I cloned my existing C drive (the original Western Digital hard drive) using a USB-SATA adapter, plugged the new drive into the SATA port where the prior drive was plugged in, and everything ran fine.  I then installed the software which comes with the drive, known as Samsung Magician.  It promises to maintain the performance of the drive over time in light of the fact that Windows XP does not have any capabilities with regard to using TRIM or garbage collection.  Neither concept is one I fully understand, other than they seem to be important issues in the SSD world and without them the drive is doomed to get slower and slower.

Much to my surprise, the Samsung software indicates it cannot find the Samung 830 SSD, which it chooses to refer to as a "Promise 1+0 JBOD SCSI Disk Device." Maybe not a surprise, as that is how my Windows XP device manager sees it. (Actually, that is how Windows XP device manager sees the old Western Digital hard drive as well.)

I thought I could trick the software by moving the SSD to a USB port, but then Samsung Magician refuses to even acknowledge it as a drive of any kind. I called Samsung support. I was informed that Samsung Magician won't recognize any SSD drive using a RAID interface or on a USB port. My operating system does seem to think I am using a RAID interface for the drives, although in reality I have never set up any RAID system for my drives (the system originally shipped with only one drive, which makes RAID not a possibility anyway to my understanding.)

The system BIOS, on the other hand, can correctly identify the drive as a Samsung 830 SSD, and also admits that both the new and old drives are  both "Non-RAID disks." I can't even disable RAID on them in the BIOS, because it insists they are not RAID devices to begin with, so you can't turn off something which is not on to begin with apparently.

Is there any strategy for getting the Samsung software to recognize it's own drive? I tried third party software to see if it would work, Solid State Doctor, and Solid State Life. Neither can see the SSD as an SSD when it is hooked up to a SATA port.  Solid State Doctor will see the drive as an SSD when it is hooked up to a USB port, so the first light of any kind in this process. Not sure I can see trying to permanently run my operating system off a USB port though, or periodically removing the drive from inside the computer so that I can hook it up to a USB and manually issue TRIM commands to it.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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Question by:bapetersen
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asher-is-me earned 500 total points
ID: 37841010
Have you updated your motherboard's BIOS?  It's possible that Windows doesn't understand what's going on because your motherboard reports the SSD incorrectly.

For the Dell Dimension 8400, version A09 is the latest BIOS and is available here.

You may also want to install the Intel Application Accelerator, application and driver.  Sometimes, this helps.

Finally, update the chipset driver and any other system specific drivers you can find.

Dell's driver website: http://support.dell.com
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by:dlethe
ID: 37841026
When you bridge a SATA device behind a USB chip you are changing the device from a SATA disk to a SCSI drive.  Also you kill performance unless this is USB 3.0. This protocol conversion affects all management software.  For example, a SCSI device has a 16-char product name, 8 char vendor name.  A SATA disk has a 40-character combined vendor/product ID.

So how can the software possibly covert 40 chars into 24 chars?  The software can't recognize the HDD because of the protocol conversion.  Sorry, you need to hook it up to a SATA controller if you want it to work.
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by:bapetersen
ID: 37845287
I like the theory that the BIOS needs updating.  I am running the Dell Dimension 8400 A01 BIOS at this point, and probably not designed in 2004 to run an SSD drive. Have always been afraid of updating the BIOS, but I am going to study the precautions that need to be taken and bite the bullet and do it. Thanks for giving me the push to do it.
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