Samsung F4 Firmware Update – Prevent Data Corruption

I have been getting lots of inquiries about how to upgrade the firmware of the Samsung F4 HD204UI 2Tb hard drive.

The major issue is the enhanced probability of data corruption (and data loss!).  There seems to be a flaw in the drive’s firmware where disk writes can become corrupted when the write cache is enabled.

Because of this, a firmware update was released by Samsung, and this updated firmware seems to be required for many of the older drives.

However, since Seagate recently acquired Samsung, the FAQ relating to this problem (http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/faqView.do?b2b_bbs_msg_id=386) is no longer available through Samsung.  Any attempt to access the Samsung domain will redirect to Seagate’s home page.  And, searching the Seagate site is futile and yields no useful information about this issue.

Fortunately, there is a functional download site to the F4EG firmware update.  Yes, it works!  I verified it several times now!

DOWNLOAD HERE

Click above, or on this link to download a zipped file from a cached Samsung site called “621878F4EG” which contains the “F4EG.exe” update (Note:  the Seagate sites do not work, and the old samsung links redirect you to the Seagate sites).  UPDATE:  For some reason, if the web address is typed out containing the samsung domain (ie. http://www.samsung.com/…) the browser is automatically forwarded to the Seagate domain.  So I created the links above to automatically download the zip files.

UPDATE:  Seagate has created a link on their website to download the F4EG.exe file (same file as the download link above).  If the samsung site eventually goes down (which I imagine it will in the near future), use the link below.  Thanks to petrusek for pointing this out!

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=223451&NewLang=en

Follow these steps:

Extract the F4EG.exe file.

You will also need FreedDOS (http://www.freedos.org) to boot up, and unetbootin (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net) to create a bootable Live USB drives with FreeDOS.  Use unetbootin to install freedos on a USB key.  Then, copy the “F4EG.exe” file into the root directory.

Before proceeding with the firmware update, backup all your files (if you haven’t already done so).

Make sure the Samsung drive is connected to a SATA port on the motherboard (and not on a SATA expansion card), and that it is the only hard drive connected.  Unplug all the other hard drives.

Reboot your computer and enter your bios.  Select IDE mode for your Hard Disk if you were on AHCI.

Go to boot order and make sure that USB drives are selected to boot up before SATA drives.

Save, Exit, and Reboot.

Once you’re in DOS, type “F4EG” to run the firmware update.  This will flash your old Samsung firmware with the new firmware. Wait until it says finished.

Shut down PC.

Plug all your other hard drives back.

Change your bios settings back to what they were (ie. IDE back to AHCI if you made this change).

That’s it!

I hope you find this how-to helpful.

Notes:

  • Do not use smartmontools with the Samsung HD204UI drive unless the firmware patch is already installed.
  • The Samsung firmware patch DOES NOT change the firmware version number.  Once you completed the firmware update, you should be fine.
  • Drives manufactured Dec 2010 or later already include the firmware patch.
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About Ask Conrad
I am a University Professor. A Neuroscientist by trade, and a technophile/geek on the side. My work and research is heavily dependent on computers and state-of-the-art technology. I like Jazz and Bossa Nova. I play the piano, guitar, and ukulele.

3 Responses to Samsung F4 Firmware Update – Prevent Data Corruption

  1. Pingback: Samsung Spinpoint 2TB « Ask Conrad

  2. Theo says:

    Conrad… you are a lifesaver! Thank you for the functional links to the firmware update. The Samsung link seems defunct, and Seagate was no help (I’ve emailed and called, and absolutely failed 100%). I have one of the older F4 HD204UI drives, which do not have the updated firmwares. And thank you for providing the tutorial for how to upgrade the firmware. It’s a convenient alternative to what I typically use (two words… floppy disk!)

    Best regards,
    Theo

  3. petrusek says:

    It seems that seagate has published KB for this, where firmware (same version as link to old samsung site) can be downloaded: http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=223451&NewLang=en

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