More on the OWC SSD Updater

We’ve had a number of questions here on the blog and elsewhere regarding our updater. We figured it would be best to simply put it all in one post, to address their concerns, as well as provide a resource for those looking for this information in the future.

First things first, we’d like to note that only customers who purchased their OWC SSD before March 18th, 2011 have any reason to download the current update application. Drives purchased after that date already have the most recent firmware and there is no benefit of an update at this time. Having said that, it is important to know that if/when a firmware update is needed in future, we now have this Mac friendly updater application in addition to the Windows update application we also provide.

This just so happens to be the first Mac-compatible updater for SandForce Powered SSDs, namely OWC’s series of SandForce Powered drives. The bootable disc runs a Linux-based interface that has been customized for our application. It starts up automatically, you point, click, and done.

We truly wanted an updater for our SSDs that would be application specific, Mac friendly, and extremely stable and simple to use. As the screenshots below illustrate, we’ve managed to accomplish that quite well.

 

Once you’ve booted to the DVD, you’ll be asked to accept the Software License Agreement

 

The Updater will the scan your system for OWC SSDs.

 

All OWC SSDs are shown. In the State column, you’ll see whether the drive needs updating or not.

 

Select an OWC SSD that needs updating and click the "Update" button.

 

The Updater will install the new firmware.

 

Once the update is finished, it’ll ask if you want to shut down or not. If you only had one drive to update, then you’re done and can shut down.

 

As you can see, although updater is Linux-based, the process should be easily navigable for anybody who is familiar with OS X.

We started this project from scratch when SandForce didn’t offer Mac solution in a time line that we could accept for our customers. The firmware updater application was written by our team and has been under heavy testing for months—and this is just the starting point.

Additional support for all Mac models, as well as for our 6G drives, is expected very soon. We are very Mac-focused here and providing the best Mac options and support is without question. Of course, the Windows options remains available, as well.


LEAVE A COMMENT

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  • Somehow I am having problems updating the 60GB Mercury Extreme Pro SSD on MacBook Pro 3.1 2007 via external USB 2.0 DVD Drive. The screen gets dark after choosing the “Windows” to boot, and then just a blinking cursor/underscore in upper left corner of the screen. I am also not sure which of the 3G updaters is the right one. Is it the OWC 3G or the Electra 3G?

    Thanks. P.




  • Can the updates for OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G is possible to be made via bootable USB drive?




  • Hi there,

    i have a MBP 8,2 …. i have a Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G 120gb with firmware 311ABBF0. I’ve reinstalled optical drive, booted from owc updater, accepted blablabla…. and then it doesn’t find any ssd drive…

    so what can i do ?

    Thanx




  • Can your fantastic updater be used for other Sandforce 2200-based SSD’s?




  • I have the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSD 200G installed in a 2006 MBP 2,2. It has worked perfectly for over two years. Is there any reason to update the firmware? Does the firmware updater work on this model of MBP?

    Thank you!




  • Umm, thanks for making firmware updates available, but this whole DVD thing is a pain. I mean it’s a step up from etching it in little clay tablets. But anyhoo.

    MacPro 5,1 here. Anybody installed 501ABBF0 to 6G Mercury Extreme yet with the Toshiba toggle NAND? If so, did it make you Happy Inside and Fix Everything (as opposed to bricking your drive). I am somewhat hesitant to update firmware, reading some of the experiences above.

    Reading this thread, I think it’s been established that no, USB won’t work. How ’bout just burning the ISO to a bootable HDD via FireWire? I am just, not, dealing with slotting in a optical again, no.




  • Hello, i own Electra 6G with revision 332ABBF0 on a iMac mid 2010 in the updater page says that current revision is 361A13FO/360A13FO/360A12FO when i boot from DVD and try to upgrade updater says the i don’t need an upgrade.




  • OWC Michael says you can boot the updater from an external drive. Not in my experience.

    I am very disappointed with OWC. My OWC 3G SSD is fast, but somewhat unstable. Months ago, their technicians recommended a firmware upgrade. After assuring me in October a firmware update would be available “in two weeks” which boots from an external optical drive, I waited patiently.

    Finally, after 3 *months*, a new firmware updater arrived. Try as I might, it still wouldn’t install from my external DVD drive. After a day of trying, I find out that the new firmware *also* doesn’t install from an external drive. Given that I used the well-advertised OWC Data Doubler to remove my internal optical drive, an upgrade solution which requires in internal optical drive is ludicrous.

    Let’s compare upgrading firmware:

    1. iPhone: see red badge on settings app. Click to see “Upgrade”. Press it, it wireless downloads, and installs in 5 minutes. Done.
    2. OWC Drive: Download firmware ISO, burn to optical disk, re-open your MacBook Pro, remove the Data Doubler adapter with SSD, put the optical drive back in, remove hard drive from main bay, put the OWC drive in the main drive bay, close up MacBook Pro, upgrade firmware using burned disc in internal drive, open up MacBook Pro again, remove optical drive, reinstall main drive and data doubler. Done?




  • I have this problem, i clone one dell N4030 to ssd 6 g OWC, but windows 7 dont start , dont see the ssd disk. and windows can not start. How i can make something to resolved it.?




  • Hy there ,

    I installed my 6g mercury electra 120gb and installed it in my MBP 17″ mid 2009 .
    SATA negotieted link speed shows 1.5 gigabit

    Firmwire is uptodate according to the updater .
    where is the problem ?
    Please help .




    • Well your 2009 MBP is only going to have a SATA 2.0 connection, so the max would only be 3.0 Gb/s. However, that doesn’t exlain the 1.5Gb/s speed reporting.
      If you installed it via a data doubler, try moving it to the main drive bay. It shouldn’t make a difference, but it doesn’t hurt to try alternate combinations.
      If that doesn’t resolve the problem, you will want to get in touch with our Tech Support and they will be glad to assist you.




  • Hello,

    I’ve got a OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G 240GB purchased in december 2010 inside my MBP8,2 late 2011 with Mac OS X 10.7.2.
    My MBP wasn’t able to boot from the DVD but luckily I still have my old MPB5,2 later 2008, where I installed the SSD and run the firmware update with success, then re-install back the OWC on my MBP8,2 …
    I also updated the EFI to 2.2.

    However, I’m still having the same problem that I had on my MBP5,2 with the MPB8,2 : the system doesn’t wake up from sleep, I have to force a shutdown with the power button.

    Is it due to the OS, the SSD or is their any firmware update to be expected from OWC or Apple to solve this?

    I’m really satisfied of my OWC SSD and intend to get a 6G version.

    - Thanks for the reply -

    Mike




  • i am pretty happy owner of two mercurys 6g :D
    but i have a problem, i cant boot bootcamp win7 on external ssd :S

    i tried firewire usb, didnt try expresscard esata nor thunderbolt

    am i doing something wrong ?
    thank you very much, its a perfekt produkt, untill now and i hope for the next future!




  • Hi Guys ,

    i´ve got my brand new OWC mercury pro extreme 6g 120GB !!! and it has 332ABBF0 revision, is it good or shall i update ?

    thanks for help :D




  • Hi Michael,
    I’m confused, i have a Mercury EXTREME™ Pro 6G with FW 320ABBF0 on my MacBook Pro model MacBookPro4,1. The last update is a 332ABBF0 but the firmware update software not be include the my model, I can still update from my Mac ??

    thanks




  • Count me as another with the Data Doubler and no means to boot this firmware updater, since OSX refuses to boot it from an external, USB-connected DVD drive. There are many ways to make a bootable linux volume on a Mac using USB sticks. A more flexible firmware loading mechanism would be greatly appreciated.




  • Hello,

    My 115GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 3G SSD has suddenly stopped working. I’ve got an i5 2,3GHz 13″ MacbookPro (early 2011 or MacBookPro8,1) running OSX 10.7.2. The system does not recognize the SSD, so I’ve been forced to reinstall the original HDD. The SSD was purchased in april 2011, so the firmware was the more recent available. The OWC TechSupport online said me that I need to update it, but I can’t run the firmware updater, because it does not support my Mac. The windows version of the updater is not a solution because I’ve got to run the OS installed via bootcamp in my HDD internally, and connect the SSD externally, and then it is not recognized either. What can I do?
    Thank you.




  • Same as @Matt I have misinterpreted what the firmware update actually does. And it fixes some hibernation issues which apparently are not even possible to use on Mac in a friendly user way without installing additional apps. Correct me if I am wrong here. I was really looking into fixing the sleep issue that freeze the system. I know I can send it back to you but from Asia the expected turnaround will be 3-4 weeks I guess…

    What I have noticed though is that speed performance dropped since the firmware has been updated. I have 3G Mercure SSD 120GB. I tested speed few times on 4GB file in AJA System Test before making update. I was getting a consistent results of:

    Write: 247 MB/s
    Read: 265 MB/s

    But after firmware update it is:

    Write: 224 MB/s
    Read: 238 MB/s

    That’s 10% decrease in SSD speed. Why is that?

    It also looks like that after firmware update the disk will not go sleep automatically despite proper options being checked under “energy saver”. I have Mac Pro 5,1 running SL 10.6.8.




    • Hi Sebastian….our SSDs normally don’t slow down after updating the firmware. Pls try re-formatting the drive and reinstalling the OS. If that doesn’t return speed to previous level, pls contact our customer service department to discuss a replacement




  • So it is slightly confusing determining if you need the firmware update. You state that there are no upgrades for the 6G extreme 240GB and that 311ABBF0 is the newest and then have a graphic and list FOR the 6G that 320ABBF0 is the most recent. Can you see how this is confusing? Users will download (which you have capped at 450Mb/s so it takes a while) and burn, try and fail. So why do you have a firmware update page telling us there are 6G updates and the most recent firmware is 320ABBF0 but if you have 311ABBF0 you are up to date and no updates are available?




    • Ah…our misunderstanding there breadpants. You do have an older firmware version…there was an update to the 320ABBF0. However, if your SSD is operating without any issue, we are of the mindset of “if it ain’t broke”. You could always wait to see if in near future we release a “critical” update which then everyone is encouraged to update to. All the firmware info for your 6G Extreme would be here:

      http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/OWC/SSD/6G/Mac




  • This firmware update does not appear to fix the sleep issue I have with my Mac Pro 5,1. I can manually put the computer to sleep and it will wake just fine, but if I let the computer go to sleep on its own, it will freeze once it wakes from sleep.




    • On 1/31/11, we made a parameter change (which was and is completely independent of any firmware update) to address some sleep issues that persisted with specific Mac notebook models – yours in particular. This change must be done on our premises.
      Please contact our Customer Service Department to arrange to send your SSD in to us so we can apply the parameter update.




      • Can you please just tell me if an ssd updater for 2011 models is coming out this year for mac mnis and macbook pros. Please.. My comp won’t sleep and the sad hasn’t been the same since upgrading




        • We are hard at work on adding more machines to the compatibility list, though we don’t have a definite time table as to when specific models will be added. That model mini is specifically on the list, so we are working on it.




      • Is there any way we can make this parameter change at our end? Sending a drive back for something like this is pretty extreme, and would take quite some time from where I am in Australia.




  • I have the 180 GB Auro Pro Express in my Macbook Air 2011 13″. It has the persistent wake from sleep issues where the drive appears disconnected, beach balls, and eventually I have to hard reboot.

    Firmware revision is 350A13F0. I believe there is a newer rev. However, I don’t have an external DVD. Is there no MacAir compatible firmware updater?

    OWC Aura Pro Express SSD:

    Capacity: 180.05 GB (180,045,766,656 bytes)
    Model: OWC Aura Pro Express SSD
    Revision: 350A13F0
    Serial Number: MXA18011E10B8976




  • Please help.

    I have spent countless hours to update my OWC Mercury Electra 6G from 319ABBF0 to 320ABBF0 to rectify my Macbook Pro 6,2 hibernate issue.

    I downloaded and burned owc6gfwup1.0a.iso into a CD-ROM and boot using Superdrive but the updater fails to detect my SSD. I notice some error message (first 2 lines) during booting. I think the following could be the reason.
    /init: line 7: can’t open /dev/sdb: no medium found

    In addition, I also tried update the SSD via bootcamp (where is installed in my existing SSD) using owc_mercury_6g_firmware_updater.zip. The updater could detect my SSD successfully, updated the firmware with green checked mark (less than 5 minutes). I restart the computer but the firmware revision is remain unchanged, is still showing 319ABBF0.

    Please advice what should I do next.

    Many thanks in advance.
    -Lee




    • The OWC Mercury Electra 6G does not have a firmware update at this time. The updater is available if or when in the future a firmware update is released.




      • Hi Mic,
        My OWC Mercury Electra 6G is using 319ABBF0 firmware and is having hibernate issue. Is the firmware (320ABBF0) from the website is not applicable for me?

        Please advice because I’m still facing hibernate issue with my macbook pro 6,2.

        thanks.
        Lee




  • Can you make the image bootable from another mac in target disk mode over firewire 800? I have your data doubler which swaps out the optical bay for another SSD so I don’t have an optical drive in my Mac Book Pro. I also don’t really want to to out and buy an external usb optical drive just so that I can install a firmware update or tear my Mac Book Pro a part to put the old optical drive back in.

    Can you provide instructions for making a bootable USB updater?




  • I have 2 x 100GB SSD’s ( 3G) set in Raid0 as the main boot drive on my 2006/07 MacPro, will I be able to upgrade them as they are, or will I have to upgrade them separately? I have not had any sleep issues as such on the MacPro.

    Mac OSX 10.6.8
    Model – MacPro 1,1
    SSD revision number – 305A13F0




    • In updating firmware, each drive would be updated separately, however it shouldn’t change any of your data, so the RAID should be intact after running the firmware updater on each drive. HOWEVER, we do highly suggest when upgrading any firmware that you have a backup of all your data before you begin – just in case.




  • I can read (anticipatory defensive statement) and see the “only those who purchased before March 18 2011″ need bother.

    I purchased March 30, or at least that’s the invoice date of my OWC 240.

    #1 Is there any chance the March 18 date is “slippery?” and some older stock was still on hand?

    #2 Does the updater test to see if it needs to run after starting up?

    #3 Will there be possible future updates and updaters?




    • 1. No chance of the date being “slippery” as every drive that was in stock on the 17th received the firmware update prior to shipping on the 18th.

      2. When the updater is run, It checks to drive to see if an update is necessary.

      3. While there may be future updates and the updaters will be revised to accommodate more machines, it is important to note that since we started, we’ve only had the need to provide a single firmware update on only our first line of SSDs. Firmware updates are released for the most part to fix a problem caused by or regarding compatibility with the drive itself. Our development and testing process is very, very thorough and we don’t release a product just to rush it to market, we strive to get it right the first time.

      In short, we don’t use our customers as beta testers so far fewer firmware updates become necessary.




      • Thanks for the detailed response. I certainly didn’t intend my questions as a slam, or a suggestion OWC uses its customers as Beta Testers. Given my OWC SSD purchase had been in process for sometime (and was briefly on hold for lack of drives) I thought it reasonable to ask if there was a possibility my drive my benefit from the update, even though it was installed, invoiced, and shipped after the cut off date.

        Quite frankly, I’m used to getting Firmware updates of various kinds for different kinds of gear, and have a much higher opinion of companies that keep previously sold gear updated.




  • Hi,
    Can you advise whether there is anyway given my macs I can use the firmware update? I have a 240Gb Extreme Pro firmware 343A13F0, but it in an old Mac Pro 1.1, (its the one thing that has allowed to me continue to run this machine, thanks), but I see this, and also my MacBookPro 2011 are not on the list of permitted machines. In addition I run Parallels rather than boot camp. I take it for now there is nothing I can do, and I just have to wait for the additional software to be released. When it is, can you tell me if I put the SSD in a dock and connect it via firewire, rather than installing it in the MBPro, will that work for the firmware update?
    Many thanks,
    Ian




  • Is the 6G updater still coming out today? Also, is there a change log somewhere about what this update addresses?




  • I’ve downloaded and burnt the ISO to a DVD, reboot… hold option… choose Windows… then the Apple logo will flash alternating with a no entry sign. Nothing more happens.

    I’m using the OWC data doubler, so I’ve got my MAC superdrive inside an OWC external case and using both USB cables.

    Any idea why it’s not working?

    I see a post above with same problem, they told him to swap out the data doubler… is this the only option? I didn’t really want to strip it all down.

    I’m using MacBook Pro 6,1.




  • On windows 7 (64 Bit) , when i try to update firmware, i take fatal error message.What s the problem?

    ScreenShoot = http://c1109.hizliresim.com/11/9/7/2256.jpg




  • I’m having no luck with this because it won’t allow access for my Apple Trackpad or keyboard. Do I need to install it with a wired mouse connected?




  • I tried the updater using a 2010 Mac Pro; the updater started and then at the software agreement screen it prompted me to accept it; I could not do it since both the wireless mouse and keyboard did not work; does it work with the bluetooth mouse? di I need to use a wired mouse?

    thanks
    Carlo




  • I have a 17″ MBP (6,1) with an OWC SSD where the HD used to be, and another SSD (another reliable brand) in the bay where my optical drive used to be. (I’m using a Data Doubler and an OWC SuperSlim external enclosure for the Superdrive.)

    I downloaded the firmware update, and used DiskUtility to burn it to DVD.

    I can’t boot from the resulting disk. When I hold down the option key, I only get my main Lion install and the Restore “disk.” When I hold down C (to force boot from the optical drive), I get a symbol indicating that it can’t find bootable media.

    Suggestions?




  • I burned the bootable image but is not seen as startup disk so I can’t boot on the updater.
    Any suggestion?




  • The bigger question is, for those have have removed the DVD drive to make room for the SSD and who do NOT have a USB connected dvd drive, can we run this off of a USB flashdrive? Have you considered offering an ISO image so we can add it to a flash drive? I’d hate to have to take my machine apart to install the DVD drive to run this or have to buy an adapter to run the dvd from usb.




  • I think this updater is great. I’m sure SandForce would never have designed an updater this elegant. This is just the sort of thing to expect from OWC, first class professionalism all the way.




  • Great news on the Mac specific firmware updater. Is it a good idea to run the firmware updater if everything works well as it is? In other words, is anything gained by updating the firmware to the latest rev?

    Thanks!




    • As the saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”




      • On September 6, OWC Michael recommended that you NOT upgrade your SSD firmware if the SSD is working fine. Unfortunately, that advice was not included with the original upgrade info. My SSD on my Mac Pro (used as a boot drive) was working great, but (shame on me) I decided to do the upgrade anyway.

        Iniitally, the upgrade went fine, except for the fact, noted by others, that I had to dig out my wired keyboard and mouse once I booted from the DVD. I got confirmation that the upgrade was complete and successful, then shut down as instructed and rebooted. The Mac couldn’t see the SSD, a problem reported by others here. I booted from a cloned external backup drive – still couldn’t see the SSD. Tried the upgrade software again – same result – no SSD visible.

        After consulting with OWC tech support (good interaction!) I removed the SSD from my Mac and sent it to OWC for analysis and repair or replacement. I was told that the matter would be resolved in 1-2 days after receipt, and that a drive would be shipped back to me at that point. OWC received my SSD on 9/7 at 9:08 am, and I was delighted, looking at the OWC order status page, to see what appeared to be a return SSD shipment the very same day.

        Now it’s almost a week later (9/13), my SSD hasn’t arrived, and it turns out it apparently is still being tested and the order status information is wrong. It may be shipped today (with OWC picking up the tab for overnight shipping – thank you!). My Mac is ok booting from the backup drive, but performance is noticeably slower, as would be expected.

        OWC has been pretty reasonable so far on this, but is guilty of over-promising and under-delivering on dealing with my drive issue. Which has been a hassle. I have no idea how many problems are occurring with the firmware upgrade, but I’d heartily second OWC Michael’s advice NOT to do the upgrade unless you have a specific need to do so.

        This is my first interaction with OWC tech support/customer service. Prior to this I’d only done purchases, which went very smoothly. l’ve been planning to buy my wife a new iMac with the OWC SSD upgrade service, but since that requires using OWC for tech support (and shipping the iMac to OWC for service) I’m having second thoughts.




  • I don’t suppose you have a way to get this onto a USB flash drive and boot off of that? Faster than any DVD will ever be.

    Also, am I correct in that the issue with the first three Mac Pros (1,1 , 2,1 , 3,1) is due to the fact that these models do not boot into AHCI mode on their SATA buses when booted into a foreign (i.e. not OS X) OS?




  • I have removed my DVD and doesn’t have an external enclosure for it. I tried to “burn” the ISO to an USB stick, by

    dd if=/Users/janne/Desktop/owc3gfwup1.0a.iso of=/dev/rdisk2 bs=1m

    with apparent success, but was unable to boot from the stick.

    Is there a way to do this with an USB stick?




  • I was running RAID0 with 2 OWC SSD (with Data Doubler of course) and when I tried to perform the upgrade via external DVD drive, the screen keeps showing Apple logo and “Stop sign”.

    Then I chat with one of your tech support and I was told to remove Data Doubler and put back the original DVD drive and upgrade the SSD one at a time.

    I did that and all was good.




  • Can I upgrade firmware for OWCSSDMXE200?
    thanks




  • Is it possible to boot this updater from a USB mass-storage device?




  • Have tried to install this, but once I get to the license screen neither my wireless keyboard, mouse or trackpad will work. Does the installer need a wired input device?




  • Great! I’m so pleased to see a Mac-compatible firmware updater.

    But one question before I embark on the update: Since I removed my DVD-ROM drive to make room for the new SSD, will the updater boot and run off a USB-connected DVD-ROM drive? (Using OWC’s new external SuperDrive enclosure, naturally.)

    I suppose I could figure this out by trial-and-error, but I thought it worth checking out before I started the process.

    Thanks,

    -Barry




    • Yes. On machines that the firmware updater is compatible with, you certainly can download the updater from our site, burn it to DVD in an external DVD burner, and boot from that external DVD drive to launch the updater.
      Update: On some models, booting from an external DVD drive is NOT supported. We are actively investigating all possible solutions and will update the if/when one is found.




      • Was there ever a solution to the issue of certain models not booting from an external DVD drive?

        My mid-2010 (6,1) MBP does not boot the updated when using an external DVD drive.

        Thanks!




        • As listed on the firmware update page:
          Due to an Apple EFI restriction, on MacBook Pro 6,1 – 8,3 with an installed OWC Data Doubler, you cannot boot this updater via a USB or External Optical Drive. You will need to remove your Data Doubler and reinstall the factory optical drive to utilize this updater.
          There is no optional workaround at this time.




          • How is this thing progressing? Do I just take out the tools and put the DVD-drive back in… I really need this update. My Macbook Pro 6,2 gets a black screen kernel panic at least once a day. I took it to Apple service and they found nothing wrong with it. Told me to try running the OS from the original HDD instead of the SSD and surprisingly it never crashes. I hope this update fixes my problems that I thing MIGHT be because of the SSD. Love the speed though, would never go back. And ironically this is the first time I would actually need the DVD-drive again :D




            • Yes, if you have a MacBook Pro 6,1 – 8,3 with an installed OWC Data Doubler, you will need to re-install the optical drive to complete the firmware update – alternatively, you can contact our Customer Service Team and they can make arrangements to have the update performed here if you no longer have the optical drive available.