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MikeGreo

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 15, 2019
62
0
I recently purchased a Samsung T7 Shield SSD, and was surpised to find out there is Samsung's own proprietary security software installed.

I don't know what encryption this is using, but I see from Disk Utility that the drive is format to Master Boot Record using ExFat.

The advantage of this is that I can plug my SSD to either a PC or MAC and it's ready to be used.

However, I don't know if APFS encrypted would be superior to Samsung's own encryption, and who knows what it is or if it is even encrypted.

That said, if I was to go ahead and format the drive with APFS encrypted, if I wanted to bring the Samsung drive to it's factory default of using Samsung SSD Portable software, can I do it, or is it gone forever? (Obviously I will keep the files e.g. SamsungPortableSSD_Setup_Mac_1.0.pkg so I can use it. But that is a software that is installed on the computer and not on the SSD drive. So not sure if a format would erase it permanently.
 

Bigwaff

Contributor
Sep 20, 2013
2,179
1,467
That said, if I was to go ahead and format the drive with APFS encrypted, if I wanted to bring the Samsung drive to it's factory default of using Samsung SSD Portable software, can I do it, or is it gone forever? (Obviously I will keep the files e.g. SamsungPortableSSD_Setup_Mac_1.0.pkg so I can use it. But that is a software that is installed on the computer and not on the SSD drive. So not sure if a format would erase it permanently.
Avoid the proprietary Samsung encryption software. You don't want to be locked out of your drive when Samsung decides not to update their software for later versions of macOS, etc. or there is an incompatibility.

You can format the drive APFS encrypted, however, you will have to erase the drive, losing any data on it. Also, you won't be able to use the drive w/ Windows without third-party Windows software solutions for mounting and using APFS disks within Windows. I'm not sure these solutions support encrypted APFS disks. You'll have to do your own research.
 
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bogdanw

macrumors 603
Mar 10, 2009
5,785
2,799
That said, if I was to go ahead and format the drive with APFS encrypted, if I wanted to bring the Samsung drive to it's factory default of using Samsung SSD Portable software, can I do it, or is it gone forever?
Quote from the manual: "In addition, Magician software supports Samsung Portable SSD (from Magician 7.0, released on Sep 2021) so that users can benchmark performance, PSID revert for factory rest, use security functions (password registration) and receive firmware updates."
https://download.semiconductor.sams...SSD_T7_Shield_User_Manual_English_ver_1_1.pdf

Samsung Magician Software https://semiconductor.samsung.com/consumer-storage/magician/
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,721
12,834
When I got my t7 Shields (I have 2), the first thing I did was open disk utility and ERASE the entire drive.

As far as I can tell, that wiped out any Samsung proprietary software on the drives.
They've been working well since.
 
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gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,680
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Tasmania
The advantage of this is that I can plug my SSD to either a PC or MAC and it's ready to be used.
Why did you buy the T7?

For use with your Mac: erase and format APFS encrypted. To share or transfer files, it is easiest to use file sharing to transfer files.

But, if your purpose in buying the T7 is to share files between macOS and Windows, erase and format as exFAT on the Mac. But only use it as a means of transferring files between macOS (with APFS) and Windows (with NTFS). exFAT is not a robust file system and sooner or later you will get some corruption.
 

wills11

macrumors regular
Nov 4, 2013
163
73
I recently purchased a Samsung T7 Shield SSD, and was surpised to find out there is Samsung's own proprietary security software installed.

I don't know what encryption this is using, but I see from Disk Utility that the drive is format to Master Boot Record using ExFat.

The advantage of this is that I can plug my SSD to either a PC or MAC and it's ready to be used.

However, I don't know if APFS encrypted would be superior to Samsung's own encryption, and who knows what it is or if it is even encrypted.

That said, if I was to go ahead and format the drive with APFS encrypted, if I wanted to bring the Samsung drive to it's factory default of using Samsung SSD Portable software, can I do it, or is it gone forever? (Obviously I will keep the files e.g. SamsungPortableSSD_Setup_Mac_1.0.pkg so I can use it. But that is a software that is installed on the computer and not on the SSD drive. So not sure if a format would erase it permanently.
Yes, I think you can. A couple things:

1. AFAIK, APFS encrypts on a per-volume basis, not the whole disk—I have encrypted and unencrypted volumes on my T7 Shield.

2. I'm not using Samsung's software—I agree with Bigwaff about the pitfalls—so I set "Security Mode" to "Disabled" under "Security Settings" in the Samsung Magician software (8.1.0.800). Is that what you meant by "portable software"? I did find that I had to eject and remount my drive after changing settings like Security Mode in the app, or I got an "All Volumes Locked" error. After doing so, I was able to run some diagnostics and performance tests that are possible with the MacOS version of Magician (but some functionality is only available on PC).

3. The "Secure Erase" option is available to me in Magician—perhaps that's a more secure erase than Disk Utility offers, at least with its quick erase function? But if your issue is just wanting to reformat to exFAT, as per above, you can do that with Disk Utility. Either way, Magician is a free download and I believe you need it in order to enable/disable the Security Mode. More importantly, it's what allowed me to upgrade the drive's firmware.

I'm enclosing some screenshots from the Magician app.

Hope that helps—either you or others searching for info, as I was!


Screenshot 2024-06-30 at 19.16.09.png

Screenshot 2024-06-30 at 19.15.21.png
 
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