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Samsung issues new firmware to stop, but not reverse, 990 Pro SSD rapid health degradation

Samsung 990 Pro

Shortly after I wrote about the issue a few weeks ago, the news got picked up by tech media outlets on all platforms and Samsung eventually made a statement.

Today, Samsung has issued a firmware update for the flagship 990 Pro SSD. There are no release notes accompanying this update, and Samsung has been very vague about what's changed, but according to reports from owners who have installed the firmware, they seem to indicate that whilst the firmware does seem to stop the degrade continuing, it does not reverse the health percentage back to what it should be based on the total data written to the drive.

This has naturally left many owners concerned about the longevity of their drives. Since the firmware stops the degrade, to what extent is the damage already done if the reporting can no longer be relied upon because it is not an accurate reflection any more?

The German Samsung community forum post can be viewed here, with an English translation quoted below.

Hello everyone,

Samsung has responded to customer inquiries about anomalies related to the S.M.A.R.T. of the 990 PRO SSD examined.
These anomalies were found to be caused by issues with the 990 PRO SSD's firmware. Accordingly, a firmware update was released today, February 13, 2023, that fixes these anomalies.
(The S.M.A.R.T. values will not be restored to factory settings after the firmware update. The actual S.M.A.R.T. values of each SSD will vary depending on the user environment and usage conditions).

The update can be downloaded in Samsung Magician or here:

Our warranty policy for the 990 PRO SSD can be found at https://semiconductor.samsung.com/consumer-storage/support/warranty/.

Whilst it is great that a firmware update has been released, the lack of any detail on the whole matter is still puzzling. Those with a heavy level of degrade will no doubt want to RMA their drive for a replacement under warranty, whilst those with only a couple of percent down may choose to just install the new firmware and leave it be.

This whole saga has personally left me with not much desire to buy another Samsung SSD, especially after my first RMA experience with Samsung Memory.

Are you a 990 Pro owner that was affected by this issue? if so, what do you plan on doing, please let us know below.

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