Over the past few months, there have been numerous reports of Samsung 980 Pro SSD failures, with many complaints originating from China. We never heard an official statement from Samsung on the matter, but custom PC builder Puget Systems definitely took notice after it “received a surprising number of reports of failing Samsung drives.” Puget worked with Samsung to identify the problem, and now Samsung has issued new firmware for affected 980 Pro SSDs.
According to Puget, the failures traced back to the 3B2QGXA7 firmware and primarily affect 2TB versions of the 980 Pro (although lower capacities are not entirely immune). Puget doesn’t detail the cause of the failures, but Reddit user reports suggest that the SSDs report a S.M.A.R.T. value of 0E (media and integrity error) or greater in CrystalMark or AIDA64. In addition, an 03 value (available spare) lower than 100 percent may also be reported. It’s recommended to use the Samsung SSD Magician software to scan the drive for errors if the 03 or 0E value is out of spec.
“The newest one is one of the 2TB ones. Over 2000 errors already,” reported user RaXelliX on Reddit. “And the middle one 2TB has already failed with over 32,000 errors and is locked to read only mode. I fully expect the two others to fail soon too.”
“Bought a 2TB 980 Pro in February of this year and installed it a few months later in May. Manufactured August 2021,” added Meme_Attack in a separate Reddit thread. “Lasted a grand total of 4 months before I noticed Media Errors ballooning from 300 to 6,000+ after a full Samsung Magician scan. Also found 9 red blocks through the same scan. Lost 5% of available spare, drive’s at 95% as I speak. 4.1 TB written. Super careful and light use.”
So, what happens if your drive reports abnormal 0E or 03 values? Well, it usually means that your 980 Pro is on a one-way ticket to an early death. According to Puget, the most common issue that users face is that the SSD goes into read-only mode. Given that most users have their OS installed on the SSD, read-only access makes the boot drive unusable. Unfortunately, once your 980 Pro goes into this failure state, there is no way to recover your data, even with the firmware update.
However, the new firmware update from Samsung will prevent the failures from occurring in the first place if your drive is still functioning. So, if you have a 980 Pro running the 3B2QGXA7 firmware, you’ll want to update to the newest firmware (5B2QGXA7) using the Samsung SSD Magician software (opens in new tab) ASAP. It should be noted that 980 Pro SSDs running the 4B2QGXA7 or 5B2QGXA7 firmware are not affected by this issue.
Puget Systems customers who have already experienced a Samsung 980 Pro SSD failure or have problems using the Samsung SSD Magician software can contact the company for guidance. All other 980 Pro users would need to reach out to their respective system builder or contact Samsung directly (opens in new tab) if the SSD was bought from a third party.