Samsung 990 Pro SSD firmware update should halt--but not reverse--rapid wear-out
Samsung has released a firmware update for its newest 990 Pro SSDs today. While the company didn't provide official release notes, Tom's Hardware reports that the update is likely intended to fix an issue that caused the drives to report that they were wearing out and failing at an accelerated rate.
Samsung's previous-generation 980 Pro SSD also received a firmware update for an unrelated reliability issue in January. Boutique PC-maker Puget Systems called attention to the problems recently when it announced it would be using other manufacturers' SSDs in its high-end workstation PCs going forward.
The downside of the 990 Pro firmware update (version number 1B2QJXD7) is that it doesn't reset the wear percentage counter on any SSD that has been affected by the bug; if you've got a drive that's reporting 72 percent wear, the firmware fix will keep that number from continuing to rise faster than it should, but it won't make the number go back down. This could be because the bug was causing the drives to degrade at an accelerated rate, or because the drive simply can't tell the difference between real wear on the drive caused by normal usage and artificial "wear" caused by the firmware bug.
If you have a 990 Pro SSD that is reporting an abnormally high amount of wear or if your drive has already stopped working, it may be that another firmware update in the future could fix your problem, but the safest bet is to contact Samsung's customer support and attempt to get the drive repaired or replaced under warranty.
The easiest way for most Windows users to install Samsung's firmware updates is to use the Samsung Magician SSD software. For people using Linux or another operating system, those who don't want to install the Magician software, or people with many drives to update, the company also offers ISO images that can be used to make bootable USB install drives.