I finally feel a little relief that it's not just me experiencing this sorely disappointing issue with my television having seen here and elsewhere online about TVs hitting the on-board memory limit. My instincts have lead me to believe this is due to either no garbage collection of the stale downloads of required apps/os updates or because something is flawed with the on-board solid-state memory. I had all of the same symptoms: lack of volume control, slowly my apps stopped updating or launching, now I can't even get the apps "app" to pop up. I tried all of the troubleshooting steps- the cold restarts, the external thumb drive, an external SSD, trying to ssh in from another computer on the network with a list of default credentials, but nothing has worked. I have exhausted the options available to me through the TV's user interface. Being a software developer, I was excited to see that the SDK is open source, but it seems as though FS management is beyond the public scope.
So at this point- where does that leave us?
Samsung is aware of the issue and from what I've read online it seems like they've known for a couple of years. I want to know: is Samsung devoted to either offer a workaround (a firmware patch that properly manages onboard memory if it's a memory management issue/ a firmware patch that can write the system files over to a secondary drive to boot from there if hardware) or work with customers to replace these TVs?
If there were simply a way to flash the onboard memory and start fresh I believe this would likely clear up the issue- unfortunately none of the options in the menu do this very standard function of contemporary electronics.
If I were a global electronics manufacturer who had followed the legal definition of planned obsolescence to a T, I would be thinking about risk mitigation from a class act suit at this point. It's one thing to try pulling the wool over consumer's eyes on the amount of cereal in a cereal box, but people understand how systems and software works anymore. There's been a pattern over the last five years- in fact I think samsung was sued in china by a consumer protection group for this exact thing: un-uninstallable bloat that bogged phones down to a crawl. Seems like this is an easy win for samsung if they would just attempt to help their customers with a patch here.