Thursday 17 November 2016

Getting started with a Samsung Portable SSD T1 (500GByte)

For my wife's macbook, I was looking for an new external 500GByte USB-SSD drive. She had filled an external 256MByte Transcend SSD with her iPhoto library and now it was time for the next step.

I found a very reasonably priced, now discontinued Samsung Portable SSD T1 (Model MU -- PS500B) at a nearby consumer electronics store. Manufacturing date is 03/2015. Not the latest&greatest, but for 129€, it seemed like a bargain. Worth a try.

From the comments on Amazon, I knew that installation was not painless and many had complaints. So I decided to "unlock" the drive on my Windows 10 PC and re-format it on the MacBook later.

In Windows 10 the drive did not show up with a driver letter, so I couldn't install the software required to unblock the drive. I had expected to see a "tools"-Partition or something like that
The manual was not helpful either.

There is a new drive!

But it looks pretty useless

No tools or utilities partition and no driver CD in the box. Gooooogling helped:

I found the T1 Activation Software here.

I then extracted "SamsungPortableSSD.exe" from the ZIP Archive and ran it.
I choose not to use a password and a few moments later, the drive was accessible:

exFAT... Ugh!
Reformatting to NTFS was quick and painless. The SamsungPortableSSD tool did not seem to leave unwanted stuff on my system.
Re-formatted to NTFS
It is now possible to partition  / format the drive on the MacBook with a HFS file system. No need for stuff that hooks into OSX.
Shows up as expected
Re-formatting to HFS is easy.
Yes, we're sure!
Now that wasn't too hard, although Samsung didn't really make it intuitive. And that might be the reason why I got this drive for cheap.

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