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i got one of these Samsung 840 Evo Basic 500GB on an iMac (used externally in a TB case - standalone, not Fusion).

I know there's a firmware update out which is already available for Mac users too but they only offer an iso image that only seems to work when used on a self burned CD. As i don't have an external CD for my iMac and not planning to have one i wonder what other way would be possible to update the firmware and probably use thise Performance restauration tool from Samsung that they offer for Windows.

I've already tried booting into Bootcamp where this tool runs fine and also recognizes the SSD on the Thunderbolt port but it won't work as it only recognizes NTFS partitions and mine has HFS+ ofcourse.

Any idea how to get that running? I'm on Yosemite with all machines, so rEFInd doesn't seem to be so easy to and i'm not sure if it would be a good idea to use it to get something like freedos running or whatever that Samsung tools need to get running.

Any help?

P.S: I've got problems with the SSD getting slow and have serious problems with a freezing finder where i hope the firmware update and the performance restauration help to get it running again. Just to give you a reason why i want to update the firmware.

  • There is no need for a reason to update your FWs. You should ALWAYS be up-to-date with your software. – Max Ried Oct 21 '14 at 11:00
  • "ISO files may be used only via DOS using a bootable CD/DVD." Essentially, you need to run it from a PC. I'd maybe wait for the performance tools for Mac, promised end of Oct. It's unlikely you could use any tool of this type while the system is up. – Tetsujin Oct 21 '14 at 11:00
  • What are you concerns about running FreeDOS? – Max Ried Oct 21 '14 at 11:01
  • I'd rather wait for the Mac version than get all hacky with something like that, personally. – Tetsujin Oct 21 '14 at 11:09
  • There won't be a desktop tool like the one on Windows. On the download page you can read that there will be a Linux/Mac OSX command line tool so most probably this will again be a image to boot from. My only problem with this images is i don't want to fiddle around with this silver discs i successfully avoided for years now. Additionally for lots of people this doesn't work on first try but needs several re-burns. – Helmi Oct 21 '14 at 12:12
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Adding to my answer as info trickles through on the interweb…


Update June 2015 - 1

It appears that no Mac made before 2012 can use this method, but I discovered yet another method using UNetbootin & a USB key - linked here
I appreciate this is 'link only' but this answer is turning into a novel ;-)


Update June 2015 - 2

However, I today discovered that you can update the Firmware, though not reperform, by using a Windows PC & the latest Samsung Magician utility [as of today v4.6] without losing any data. It will update on a GUID/Mac Extended drive.
The drive must be attached internal SATA, it doesn't work in an external USB enclosure.

Make sure you always fetch the latest Magician first, otherwise older versions claim the firmware is up to date, even if it is blatantly older than any other SSD in that machine!

As my old 2008 Mac Pro will have nothing to do with any of the CD/USB stick update methods, I thought that might be sufficient.

As it turned out, I still needed to actually clone my boot partition, format to NTFS, reperform on Windows, then clone back - before I got back the drive's speed to as it was when new.


A comment from Cindori [makers of TRIM Enabler] on why there is no 'easy way' on Mac…

"The reason for Samsung not producing a OSX version of this tool is because they can't.

Apple does not expose the necessary driver stack for such disk interaction. It's the same thing stopping them from making Trim drivers or firmware upgrade utilities for OS X, and is why you have to use Boot CDs."

To run the Firmware updater, the SSD must be attached directly to an SATA port. It will not work over USB or PCIe, or on RAID or FileVault volumes.
It appears you may have to also remove all attached PCIe cards/devices except graphics cards before the SSD will be recognised by the tool.

I hope it goes without saying that you need a full backup before attempting this.

Neither Samsung's 'bootable' image nor FreeDOS have the necessary EFI boot loader so it's either a lot of typing in Terminal [Google translated from French original] for the brave, or one of the following methods…

For Macs with an internal DVD drive

[Some USB DVD drives have been known to work too]
Guide source - Conrad Chavez

  • Download the Samsung_Performance_Restoration.iso disk image from Samsung [DOS version for Mac users]
  • Rename the file to Samsung_Performance_Restoration.dmg
  • In Disk Utility, choose Images > Burn, select Samsung_Performance_Restoration.dmg and click Burn
  • Put a blank optical disc in the optical drive and finish burning the disc. When you’re done it should look like this:

enter image description here

For Macs without a DVD drive

The simplest method requires temporary access to Windows - either hardware or VM
Guide Source - Pixelflush and Rufus

  • Download the Samsung_Performance_Restoration.iso disk image from Samsung [DOS version for Mac users]
  • Download Rufus
  • Use Rufus with default settings to copy the .iso to a USB stick.

Running the update

To use the bootable media, insert it and then restart the Mac while holding down the Option key. This displays the list of connected bootable volumes. Select the volume with the update on it (in my case the CD, the USB drive would show as a yellow USB icon titled Windows) and press Return. (You should also be able to boot directly into a CD or DVD by holding down the C key as the Mac starts up.)

From this point on, the Samsung Performance Restoration utility takes over and works pretty much as it says in the Installation Guide. If you haven’t used DOS-based software, be aware that it’s all keyboard-based so forget about the trackpad or mouse, and pay attention for times when it asks you to do things like press the “y” (for Yes) key or press the Enter key.

The tool first installs a firmware update on the drive itself. When the tool says “Downloading Firmware…” I assume it means it’s downloading the firmware from the bootable media into the drive and not actually downloading over an Internet connection, but I’m not sure.

enter image description here

When the firmware update is done, the software goes through a two-step process which includes recalibrating all the data on the drive. This can take a while and it depends on how big your SSD is. For my 1TB SSD, it took about two hours total. Do not interrupt the process.

enter image description here

When it says “Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration completed,” it’s safe to restart the Mac. At this point you can just hold down the Power button on your Mac until it turns off, (there appears to be no way to do a soft reboot from this point.) then press the Power button again to start back up. If you want to eject the optical disc, hold down the mouse or trackpad button during restart and the Mac will pop out the disc before it even gets to the desktop.

Update:
I cannot get my own machine, Mac Pro 3,1 [Early 2008] to work by any of the above methods.
Next will be to just back it up, drop it in a PC, do it there.

  • On my Mid 2012 MBP with Samsung 850 Evo the tool jumps straight from "Scanning" to "press and key to restart" without doing anything else. Does this mean my SSD wasn't found? Or didn't need an update? – Colin 't Hart Dec 1 '18 at 19:51
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I really doubt that the Update Software(Performance Restoration Software - ISO file)/Firmware file will help much. I don't think the necessary driver for the thunderbolt interface is included in the isolinux provided, at least i couldn't find any traces in the iso.

Additionally Samsung advices to backup all your data on the SSD before updating the firmware or executing the performance restoration software.

Please first check Samsung Performance Restoration Manual before updating the firmware and particularly General Limitations: 4) 13) 17)

So the easier way is to copy all data to another device, restarting into Windows7/8, reformatting the drive to NTFS and starting the Samsung Performance Restoration Software 1.1 there. Afterwards start Yosemite, reformat the drive to JHFS+ and refill the SSD with the previously copied data.

Personal comment: Samsung support is really an info desert at least for Mac users

  • Your explanation - whilst sound & accurate - just hurts my head. I really just want a point & shoot version for Mac users, like Windows users have. I have the same drives in both Mac & Win machines, the Win firmware & levelling update took 3 clicks, no DOS. – Tetsujin Nov 7 '14 at 20:55
  • @Tetsujin attached to thunderbolt? – klanomath Nov 7 '14 at 20:56
  • Both on internal SATA - generic win self build, old-style BIOS/AHCI - & Mac Pro 3,1 'faked' into one of the additional SATA ports – Tetsujin Nov 7 '14 at 20:58
  • @Tetsujin the restrictions are set by the asking person ;-). probably no SATA surely no DVD – klanomath Nov 7 '14 at 21:05
  • No worries - I was just having a personal moan... waiting for mine to slow down & have to do the DOS thing on the Mac - scary ;-) – Tetsujin Nov 7 '14 at 21:12
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I updated my 840 EVO 500 GB internal drive that I had put on my 2013 Mac mini, running El Capitan, by downloading the EXT0DB6Q ISO file for Mac from Samsung's website. I was at firmware EXT0BB6Q, and updated to EXT0DB6Q.

  1. Burn iso to CD (I used Titanium Toast).
  2. Boot from that CD (hold down "C" while booting mac)
  3. Install firmware and reboot.
  4. Enable trim: sudo trimforce enable
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If you have bootcamp installed, i would recommend running the Magician tool provided by Samsung there. Works like a charm and much more intuitive than working with the bootable usb drive or a bootable dvd method. The Magician software also checks if you need to do any additional things other than updating the firmware, so it could save you a lot of time. I was done in 5 mins.

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