NVME PM963 2.5" 960GB $300

AJXCR

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Jan 20, 2017
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You should be able to easily restore the drives using NVMe cli in RHEL 7.4/.3

root@:~#nvme list
'you should now see a list of all NVMe drives attached to the system/associated identifiers
root@:~# nvme format /dev/nvme0n1
root@:~# nvme subsystem-reset /dev/nvme0
root@:~# nvme reset /dev/nvme0
root@:~# reboot

Once the machine has rebooted, once again open terminal and run "root@:~# nvme list"

See if the firmware is now listed appropriately. Note that this process will completely wipe the drive (including all data).

If you have any issues, let me know and I'll help you get them sorted out.

-Craig
 
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Tamas

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Jan 16, 2018
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So, reset seems to work (but not solve the issue), everything else (including format and subsystem-reset) comes back with INVALID_OPCODE.
Looks like with admin-passthru I could send it an opcode, but can't find the errormode escape opcode if such thing exists...
 

AJXCR

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So, reset seems to work (but not solve the issue), everything else (including format and subsystem-reset) comes back with INVALID_OPCODE.
Looks like with admin-passthru I could send it an opcode, but can't find the errormode escape opcode if such thing exists...

Once you get the commands above working (you may even be able to leave out the subsystem reset line), it's important to note that the computer must be restarted before the drives will list a firmware revision rather than "ERRORMODE"
 

Tamas

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Once you get the commands above working (you may even be able to leave out the subsystem reset line), it's important to note that the computer must be restarted before the drives will list a firmware revision rather than "ERRORMODE"
Due to lack of time I just went with systemrescuecd (Gentoo-based), it has nvme-cli 1.3 on it.
Did a few reboots, but still no joy with it.
I'll try to get it running on a few different systems, we have at least 4 different models of Samsung and they all can go into ERRORMODE, so plenty to experiment with (time permitting).
Will keep you updated!
 

AJXCR

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Due to lack of time I just went with systemrescuecd (Gentoo-based), it has nvme-cli 1.3 on it.
Did a few reboots, but still no joy with it.
I'll try to get it running on a few different systems, we have at least 4 different models of Samsung and they all can go into ERRORMODE, so plenty to experiment with (time permitting).
Will keep you updated!

Please do. I have 14x PM963 paperweights that have been sitting on my desk for a year. Samsung is completely unwilling to support them, regardless of whether they came from ebay or through an authorized dealer at full price. I even went so far as to sign a three way NDA between my company, Samsung, and a major OEM in order to get a copy of the firmware.

End result is that the newer firmware can't be flashed to the drive (I spent 4 hours with engineering remoting into one of my machines attempting to flash the firmware... No dice). Samsung also claims they cannot produce a copy of the original firmware listed on the drive label..... o_O
 

abq

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May 23, 2015
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Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but did anyone ever successfully update firmware on their PM963 ? I have a 2.5" U.2 version I need to use, so looking for firmware and cheap U.2 interface card for my Lenovo TS440 E3-1246 v3 server. Any pointers would be much appreciated. Cheers, ABQ :)
 
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Schoondoggy

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Apr 26, 2017
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Sorry to resurrect an older thread, but did anyone ever successfully update firmware on their PM963 ? I have a 2.5" U.2 version I need to use, so looking for firmware and cheap U.2 interface card for my Lenovo TS440 E3-1246 v3 server. Any pointers would be much appreciated. Cheers, ABQ :)
As for interface cards I have used this with a cable:
U.2 2.5in NVMe SSD Adapter | HDD Adapters | StarTech.com
Or this for direct mounting the drive in a slot:
U.2 to PCIe Adapter for 2.5
For a dual port card I think this is still the recommended choice:
AOC-SLG3-2E4 | Add-on Cards | Accessories | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.

Has anyone found alternatives for dual port cards?
 

AJXCR

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Thank you for the update. ...oh well, was hoping some one more industrious than me had figured this out.
Same here... Including failed remote attempts by a major OEM and the manufacturer. Apart from sending them back to the Samsung OEM which I have not got around to doing yet, my 14x? drives are still useless.

Takeaway- If the the drives are currently working, leave the FW alone. IIRC at least half of my drives were 100% functional before I attempted to update the FW.
 

AJXCR

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As for interface cards I have used this with a cable:
U.2 2.5in NVMe SSD Adapter | HDD Adapters | StarTech.com
Or this for direct mounting the drive in a slot:
U.2 to PCIe Adapter for 2.5
For a dual port card I think this is still the recommended choice:
AOC-SLG3-2E4 | Add-on Cards | Accessories | Products - Super Micro Computer, Inc.

Has anyone found alternatives for dual port cards?
Yes, there are currently a number of options for running more than two drives/slot.. Are you wanting to directly connect the drives with a cable like the one pictured, or use a backplane?
 

Schoondoggy

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Apr 26, 2017
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Yes, there are currently a number of options for running more than two drives/slot.. Are you wanting to directly connect the drives with a cable like the one pictured, or use a backplane?
For my use I have been using the AOC-SLG3-2E4 with two cables. I was just wondering if anyone had found another option for a dual port card. I think this one has been discussed here, but it does not appear to be available:
PCIe x8 Gen 3 Adapter: Internal Dual PCIe x4 (four SFF-8643 Connectors) to PCIe x8 Gen 3 Switch Host Card | QIP2X-PCIE8XG301
 

workingnonstop

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Feb 24, 2016
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LSI has some tri-mode HBAs now that support NVME devices -- see here. I picked up a 9400-16i recently, but haven't installed it yet. Some of those cards can even support 2 NVME drives/port, but the necessary breakout cables aren't cheap (~$100 where I saw... hoping that comes down as these things mature).
 
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AJXCR

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LSI has some tri-mode HBAs now that support NVME devices -- see here. I picked up a 9400-16i recently, but haven't installed it yet. Some of those cards can even support 2 NVME drives/port, but the necessary breakout cables aren't cheap (~$100 where I saw... hoping that comes down as these things mature).
Intel/Supermicro/Dell/HP/Broadcom/etc all offer one or several 2+ port NVMe capable HBA's. I think the real prize is the x16 pcie 4 port HBA offering a full 4 lanes per port. I haven't looked in a while, but I'm 100% certain that Broadcom offers this option.
 
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workingnonstop

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Intel/Supermicro/Dell/HP/Broadcom/etc all offer one or several 2+ port NVMe capable HBA's. I think the real prize is the x16 pcie 4 port HBA offering a full 4 lanes per port. I haven't looked in a while, but I'm 100% certain that Broadcom offers this option.
Mine is only PCIE x8, but is a 4port version. Allegedly going to support a mess of drives ..."at a later release"... we'll see! :)
 

Miki

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May 31, 2019
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Hi, I experience ERRORMOD on a 3.84TB PM983 M.2 model MZ1LB3T8HMLA-00007. I really really want to recover the data on my disk. Do you have any thought of how I can do that, or is professional data recovery agency that will detach the NAND chips and do manual extraction the only way?
 

AJXCR

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Miki,

Bound and determined to come up with a workable solution, I wasted a completely unreasonable amount of time on these drives. Unfortunately I was unable to find a way to recover any functionality without erasing the drives or source any firmware which proved to be stable. Samsung and their vendors eventually shrugged their shoulders and told me to go pound salt (regarding drives I purchased both through eBay and directly from authorized dealers).

I think I ended up with 18 PM963’s.. To be honest, I threw them on a shelf and forgot about them. I no longer use any Samsung drives unless doing so is absolutely unavoidable.


-Craig
 
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