Updating Firmware on SSDs
Unlike regular Hard Drives, SSDs have the benefit of fixing certain problems by simply updating the firmware or the instructions on the drive. Typical problems that plague SSDs such as performance drop, going in and out of BIOS, random crashes and blue screens can mostly be resolved by the firmware update. However, if your SSD is beyond accessible state, then RMA is the only way to get it working again.
Flashing the firmware is relatively a simple procedure (depending on the manufacturer) and it doesn’t require a lot of involvement. Most require a system capable of burning CDs or USB flash drives.
The firmware upgrade process varies from manufacturer to manufacturer but there are some consistencies along the way. Most of them are working constantly to provide new easier ways of flashing firmware. So far, most reliable ways of flashing are through a dedicated startup disk either written on a CD or created from a USB flash drive.
The purpose of this guide is going to be merely to point you in the right direction. Since most manufacturers already have the guides on how to perform the flashing, we’re not going to re-write them. We will however post links and organize this guide to fit everyone with most commonly used SSDs out there.
OCZ Download page for most drives can be found here:
Pick the link that corresponds to the drive you have, for example Vertex 3 -
The Windows tool can be found here: KEEP IN MIND YOU CANNOT FLASH THE SSD IF WINDOWS IS RUNNING FROM IT
Full guide can be found here:
IF YOU ARE RUNNING WINDOWS FROM THE SSD DRIVE, YOU HAVE TO USE THE LINUX TOOL
Corsair prefers to keep their SSD firmware flashing material on the forum.
You can find the firmware updates at the following link: http://forum.corsair.com/v3/forumdisplay.php?f=206
Each major model is listed in the sticky section of the forum. Pick the correct model and follow the instructions in the main post.
Crucial firmware download page is located here:
Pick your SSD from the drop down list, for example M4
Make sure that you read the guides carefully. Also make sure that you read any warning messages, logs and details about flashing firmware. Certain firmware models cannot be flashed. You must make sure that the unit you have is flash-able and falls in the proper category.
Intel’s firmware page is located here:
Both guide and the update are listed at the page. Make sure that you read the guide carefully in order to properly flash the SSD.
Supertalent firmware can be found here:
Pick SSDs and choose the appropriate flashing file needed for your drive.
Some of these firmware upgrades may result in data loss, some may not. In either case, it is highly recommended to backup your data before doing the firmware update.
Some upgrades may require changes to the SATA controller mode in the BIOS of your motherboard. Usually, AHCI is the preferred option while some manufacturers prefer IDE. Make sure that you read the instructions for the firmware update and see which mode the firmware update requires. Then, you can consult your motherboard BIOS manual to find out how to make those changes.
Highly important that the firmware update is never interrupted. If you experience a slow update, make sure you leave it until complete. Do not stop the update at any point. If you are updating firmware on a notebook, make sure that it is plugged in to AC power the entire time during the flashing.
System may require reboot upon loading back into OS after flashing
Keep in mind that if you cannot do the firmware update then the best thing to do is to RMA the drive with the manufacturer. Some issues such as frequent BIOS dropping can be difficult to try and update firmware on. Stability issues and blue screens are generally easier and are typically resolved after the update.
If your drives are part of a RAID system, it is highly recommended to break the RAID temporarily until all the drives are flashed. After flashing the drives, re-instating the RAID should bring all the data back. Again, data loss can occur so it’s very important that you do perform the backup of your data before you begin flashing the firmware.
Most of the flashing can be done with a USB flash drive for convenience.
*Disclaimer: AVADirect and its Staff are not responsible for any damage to software/hardware, loss of data or personal injury by following our How-To guides. These guides are provided only as an aid to help you troubleshoot system problems. If you do not feel comfortable performing these steps its always best to send in your system to a local repair shop or contact an appropriate technical support line for additional assistance.