Bought one of these Samsung HD204UI using the Newegg deal manufactured in 2011. On the disc label I found 2011/01 and I interpreted that as the manufacturing date. Nowhere else did I see anything that looked like a manufacturing date nor did unMenu or the Unraid main menu tell me anything about date of manufacturing. This is part of what unMenu reported:
SMART status Info for /dev/sdi
smartctl 5.39.1 2010-01-28 r3054 [i486-slackware-linux-gnu] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net
=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Device Model: SAMSUNG HD204UI
Serial Number: S2H7J1CB121131
Firmware Version: 1AQ10001
User Capacity: 2,000,398,934,016 bytes
Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
ATA Version is: 8
ATA Standard is: ATA-8-ACS revision 6
Local Time is: Wed May 4 20:56:48 2011 EDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled
Installed it, unplugged the power from my other 8 drives of which 4 were connected to the mobo & 4 were connected to the Adaptec 1430sa controller. Created a bootable USB key using Hiren's Boot CD and copied the Firm Ware flash to the USB drive. Booted the machine and ran the FW flash. It found the 4 HD203WI drives connected to the Adaptec controller and complained that this patch is not for those drives. It then tried to apply the patch to the HD204UI but came back very quickly with no warning messages or Firm Ware was successfully flashed or any error message. Ran the Firm Ware flash again, same results quick exit from the flash program.
I interpreted that as Firm Ware was patched and up to date. I didn't want to go through the hassle and actually test the drive with the condition that causes the silent corruption and thus proceeded with the preclear, hope this will not come back and bite me in the you know what. It took almost 26 hours and this is what preClear reported:
= unRAID server Pre-Clear disk /dev/sdi
= cycle 1 of 1, partition start on sector 63
= Disk Pre-Clear-Read completed DONE
= Step 1 of 10 - Copying zeros to first 2048k bytes DONE
= Step 2 of 10 - Copying zeros to remainder of disk to clear it DONE
= Step 3 of 10 - Disk is now cleared from MBR onward. DONE
= Step 4 of 10 - Clearing MBR bytes for partition 2,3 & 4 DONE
= Step 5 of 10 - Clearing MBR code area DONE
= Step 6 of 10 - Setting MBR signature bytes DONE
= Step 7 of 10 - Setting partition 1 to precleared state DONE
= Step 8 of 10 - Notifying kernel we changed the partitioning DONE
= Step 9 of 10 - Creating the /dev/disk/by* entries DONE
= Step 10 of 10 - Verifying if the MBR is cleared. DONE
= Disk Post-Clear-Read completed DONE
Disk Temperature: 28C, Elapsed Time: 25:45:21
== SAMSUNG HD204UI S2H7J1CB121131
== Disk /dev/sdi has been successfully precleared
== with a starting sector of 63
** Changed attributes in files: /tmp/smart_start_sdi /tmp/smart_finish_sdi
ATTRIBUTE NEW_VAL OLD_VAL FAILURE_THRESHOLD STATUS RAW_VALUE
Raw_Read_Error_Rate = 100 252 51 ok 0
Hardware_ECC_Recovered = 100 252 0 ok 0
Multi_Zone_Error_Rate = 100 252 0 ok 0
No SMART attributes are FAILING_NOW
0 sectors were pending re-allocation before the start of the preclear.
0 sectors were pending re-allocation after pre-read in cycle 1 of 1.
0 sectors were pending re-allocation after zero of disk in cycle 1 of 1.
0 sectors are pending re-allocation at the end of the preclear,
the number of sectors pending re-allocation did not change.
0 sectors had been re-allocated before the start of the preclear.
0 sectors are re-allocated at the end of the preclear,
the number of sectors re-allocated did not change.
Followed the instructions on page 1 for preClear to add the drive to the array. So far so good and all seems well in the land of UnRaid with a Samsung F4 drive.
One final word, a big thanks to Joe & Tom for making working with this product a delight, especially for those who are Linux noobs like me.