Firmware Update Part II – The Results

In case you missed it, we released a new firmware update for our SSD line yesterday. At the same time, we’ve been running tests to determine if there was any impact on performance.

Well, there is a bit of an effect in that this latest revision seems to smooth out the performance of the drive, lessening the variance in write performance considerably.

It’s probably just easier to show you.

We tested a 240GB OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD using the DiskTester diglloyd Tools both before and after the firmware update, and got these results.

As you can see, read rates stay right around the same speed and variance, but take a look at how much less varied the write rates have become after the update. You’ll also notice that while the variance has narrowed, it has narrowed toward the faster range. Now the minimum speed is right around the level that used to be considered the middle-0f-the road for this drive; it’s now slightly faster.

Granted, this increase in speed isn’t likely to be perceptible to most users – you’d have to be writing files in the multi-gigabyte range just to see a couple of seconds shaved off. However, the stabilization of and increase of  write speeds may be an additional benefit if you choose to upgrade your firmware.

Update: OWC Releases Firmware Update For Industry-Leading SSD Line


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  • Hi!

    I have a 240 GB OWC Mercury Extreme Pro SSD 6G with the firmware Rev. 506 in my 17″ MacBook Pro model 8.3 late 2011 running OS X 10.8.5 (and a second HDD in a Data Doubler in the DVD-bay).

    According to the OWC home page the current firmware revision is Rev. 520. However I am not able to find any information on the OWC-home page on the benefits of updating the SSD to Rev. 520.

    As my Rev. 506 drive does seem to function perfectly well and it is somewhat time consuming to reinstall the original DVD-drive just for the Rev. 520 update I would like to have your opinion on the necessity of updating the firmware in my case. What benefits will I get from the update?

    Best regards, Baldur J. B.




  • The 520 update is not working on any of our 240gb drives that we bought for the retina macbook pro.




  • I have the MacBook Pro 13″ Retina Display and Aura Pro 6G. The current firmware on the Aura Pro is 504ABBF0. I tried updating 507ABBF0 a few months back but to no avail. Recently, I downloaded 520ABBF0 and tried again. Both times, the upgrade utility failed to recognise my Aura Pro drive!!




  • Just tried to update my 240GB Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD rev. 311ABBF0 on MacBookPro 8,2 with the latest posted version of the updater. The updater runs from my boot DVD but returns the “no device was found” message. Can you help me resolve this issue?

    Thank you.




    • We are sorry to hear about the issues! It is important to make sure your SSD is internally installed in your macbookpro. Also the DVD player you are using with the computer is the internal burner, an external DVD drive will not work.

      I would try both a SMC and a PRAM reset.

      SMC reset: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1411

      And

      PRAM Reset:
      1) Start the machine while holding down the Option-Apple-P-R keys

      2) Wait until you hear the 3rd startup chime, then let go of the keys and let the machine boot up.

      If the updater is still not working properly for you please contact our tech support team. You may email us or call us at 800-275-4576.




  • Hi, I’ve been trying to run your firmware update for 507ABBF0 for my OWC Electra 6G SSD for

    Model Name: MacBook Pro Model Identifier: MacBookPro8,3

    I put the optical drive back into the computer after removing the data double.

    downloaded your firmware twice – burned it to disc & ran it twice.

    both times the OWC updater states that it cannot find an OWC drive. sounds like this has been a problem with your updater for over a year now.

    suggestions?




  • trying to boot a fresh install of mountain lion from external owc electra 3g ssd via firewire 800,
    mounts as external disk although will not be recognized by as boot disk by imac. I have formatted it GUILD and mac journaled.

    I tried updating the firmware by the DVD os through mac and pc – disk was not recognised by the updater although successfully mounting on both computers… becoming angry.




  • So it has been several months since the question regarding you having a workaround for firmware updating for those with a data doubler already installed. What have you folks come up with. It is quite ridiculous you sell us equipment and then we have to remove it to perform maintenance. And then wait months on end for nothing.




  • hi

    first of all, sorry for my poor english.

    i tried to firmware update yesterday my MBP 2011 Late.
    (i bought Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G at 2 Feb, 2012(South Korea) and my firmware version is 332ABBF0)

    i downloaded firmware ISO(Ubuntu?) from OWC Official tech support pages, and burned DVD.
    after boot from dvd, i run firmware update program(icon), and that program shows me “no update needed”.
    i clicked scan button many time, still shows me “no update needed”.
    (and my current firmware version is still 332ABBF0)

    but support guide said

    Do I need to update my OWC SSD firmware?
    Your OWC SSD firmware is already up to date if it was purchased after February 16, 2012.

    Current firmware revision:
    502ABBF0

    is this normal?




  • Hi.

    Any update on updating firmware w/o having to take apart a MBP & data doubler combo and reinstalling the superdrive?
    I remember reading that an alternative solution was being worked on.




  • OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSD 240GB
    firmware 320ABBF0
    SN MX6G24011E31E1219

    MacPro 3,1 – Lion 10.7.3 and Lion 10.7.4

    Firmware updater stay at ‘Getting device firmware configuration…” for 30 seconds, then ERROR in updating firmware.

    I own other 4 OWC SSD and I was able to update them.
    This one absolutely refuses to have its firmware updated!




  • Both this firmware and the latest (Mar 23) fail to recognize my OWC Electra 6G. It reports that “No OWC SATA devices found”.




  • I cant even get the updater to recognise my SSD even though if I click go > computer its clearly listed as 120 GB Solid-State Disk: Lion




  • I’m also someone with the disk doubler who doesn’t want to have to take it out and then reinstall it. Would it work to move the installer on a blank HD and connect that by USB or Firewire to run the SSD update?




  • Hello, I have bought Mercury extreme pro 6G SSD on summer 2011 time, The revision is 311ABBF0
    As I was a bit dissapointed with SSD speed I found out that it need firmware upgrade, I didn’t do any backup, so I took a risk, but unforunately when I wass doing upgrade it said that It said that “Sorry, No OWC sata devices found”
    Macbook pro 8.1
    Is there any solution for this?




  • Hi – I thought that this last fw would fix the sleep/hibernation issue that I’m having with my Dell E6420.
    Unfortunately its still not working.
    Since the beggining, I’m experiencing cold boot issues with my Dell running a owc ssd mercury pro 6g / 480gb. When I leave the computer off for a while (3+ hours) it wont recognize the SSD HD on the BIOS.. so I have to leave it on on bios screen for 6 or 7 minutes, turn the computer off and on again, and it will recognize and boot fine.
    Reading some forums on internet I could see that this is a known problem for Sandforce driven SSDs… When I asked OWC Tech support about it – the answer was “The current version should work fine in PCs”…. My gosh, I’m saying that this is not working… I RMA’d another OWC SSD drive (240GB) that had the same problem… by that I assume that this is not a hw issue.. Please dont tell me to RMA the HD again, because I will get another one with the same sleep problem. Running 501ABBF0 on the HD… let me know if I can try anything different from RMA’ing the drive or reinstalling the all system again, because I already did both.




  • Can you create a partition on the data doubler drive and use the image on said partition and when booting select this partition?




  • I tried the updater for my Electra 6G on my MacPro 3,1. It recognised the drive, started the update process and then gave a message stating the drive could not be updated due to an error.

    Then I thought I should try it with the MacBook Pro I had previously used to update the Mercury 3G. After a 3hour download and time wasted dismantling the MacBook to get the sdd in there it came back with a message saying no drive suitable for updating found.

    What a huge waste of time. Was this updater tested at all? You’d better take it down and test some more because a lot of people will get pretty annoyed when you waste their time and effort.

    For reference the Electra has the 320ABBF0 firmware.




  • 1) My MacBook Pro 8,2 with Electra 6G SSD would not work with the current firmware update. Tried twice with the built-in Superdrive, and on both occasions I received the message, “No OWC SATA SSD device detected.”
    2) When this was reported to Tech Support using Live Chat, I was told the firmware update could be safely be ignored, in apparent contradiction to the advice on the firmware page: ” If you received your drive with an invoice dated prior to this date, the firmware update is highly recommended.”
    3) I was disappointed that the Tech Support rep didn’t ask for information that would allow the issue to be troubleshooted for the current and/or future firmware updates.
    4) A usability issue: the firmware utility failed to acknowledge two-finger scrolling from the trackpad, and wouldn’t allow me to drag the scroll bar on the Terms and Conditions page.
    If it wasn’t for the fact I own a 2010 Mac Pro, I’d have to send my SSD to OWC for updating, not a pleasant prospect given I’m in the UK for the foreseeable future.




    • Sorry on the delay in responding. We do state that comments may be held up to 72 business hours – it allows us time to verify, test and resolve any issues before posting suggestions for you and others to try.

      We will be reaching out to you directly for a little more information as your particular issue with the Electra 6G drive detection seems to be an isolated incident. Hang tight, we’ll get you squared away.

      As to the two-finger scrolling and dragging of the scrollbar, we are aware of that and do state that a Wired USB Mouse is required for this exact reason. It didn’t make much sense to delay the release of the updater to add trackpad support. It may be added to future versions, but for now, the wired USB mouse is necessary.




      • That’s weird. I thought the wired mouse requirement was for Macs without a trackpad. On my MacBook2,1 I was able to use the trackpad to do the update so I guess the trackpad must be working on some systems even if it’s not meant to.




      • “As to the two-finger scrolling and dragging of the scrollbar, we are aware of that and do state that a Wired USB Mouse is required for this exact reason.”

        Oops, sorry – I must’ve skimmed over that bit.




  • Just a few points:

    Snow Leopard and later consider 1KB=1000Bytes (i.e. 1MB = 1000^2 Bytes). Some users might find the sizes you mention a bit confusing as they are 1KB=1024Bytes. So the 779MB image actually shows as about 817MB (779 / 1000^2 * 1024^2) on Snow Leopard and Lion due to this measurement difference.

    Might be a good idea to post a hash of the files (e.g. a SHA1 or MD5 one). since the files are so big this could easily be used to verify a successful download of the iso before using disk utility to burn it to a CD/DVD.

    Also for images > 700MB you need a DVD not a CD. Might be worth pointing this out for the benefit of less technical users.




    • We’re well aware of the base-10 size measurement used in Snow Leopard and later. However, most (if not all) web browsers still use base-2 (binary) for measuring file size. If you compare it there, then the sizes are the same. No matter which way we go, there’s the potential for confusion, save for putting up the size in bytes (817,055,744), but that’s just a tad unwieldy. So, we stuck with Internet standards, which is currently still Base-2.

      A hash of the file is a good idea, though, and we’ll look into implementing that. As for the CD/DVD issue – yeah, that one slipped by us and the changes should be made shortly to reflect that a DVD is required.




  • Both updaters (3G and 6G) DO NOT WORK on my MacPro 3,1. I went through the whole process of getting the drives ready and on the 3G drive it kept giving me a “Update Failed” message and on the 6G drive it wouldn’t even see the drive at all. Tech support just asked me to re-download the updater which made no difference.
    Pretty disappointing, since my MacPro has been having issues waking up from sleep ever since I’ve been using these drives.




  • Has there been any internal testing feedback for updating the Mercury Express Pro 6G from firmware 300ABBF0 to the current version? I have not been able to get it to work, and the same goes for other people in the previous blog post comments.




  • I am using a USB Optical Drive with my Macmini5,3 and found that the DVD disc cannot be detected, looks like that the recent EFI updated break it.

    Any chance to come up a USB boot solution.




    • On the Mac mini 2011 without optical drive – booting via USB optical with the provided ISO should be without issue. Please confirm you are burning the ISO to the disc as per the instructions and not just the updater file.




  • Can I do the update with Windows via VMware?




  • Can you not make it so we can boot the firmware update from a external HD or USB Thumb drive.

    Removing the data doubler is just lame….




    • The way the files systems work it would require the entire hard drive be initialized – not just a partition – for the OS/Updater. This isn’t anything to do with us – it’s the support available from Apple for non-Apple OS versions.

      This issue lies in Apple’s EFI and what Apple allows and doesn’t allow. In addition to the current models Apple doesn’t ship with an optical drive, 2008/2009 MacBook Pros (as well as various prior) do allow for the USB stick boot. Perhaps Apple will more broadly open this support in the future as it certainly benefits more than just Data Doubler users in the firmware update scenario.




  • Can’t you use a USB drive?




  • I agree with Robert. I use a OWC Data Doubler and it is kinda lame not to be abled to do this without a internal CD.

    Hope you find a way around this for us DD users.




  • I’m disappointed that this update requires a DVD reader to function.
    Surely there is a way to do the update if the DVD/CD player is non-functional.




    • Unfortunately due to limitations Apple imposes – only have a couple ways to go about the update. One is with Windows via Bootcamp, the other requires booting via the optical. This is entirely an Apple bit… the models that Apple ships without an optical drive you are able to boot/perform the update via USB Optical Drive – but Apple restricts that capability on the optical drive quipped MacBook Pros. Sorry.




      • OWC Larry this is really, i dont have windows machine and now i dont have a external enclosure to my Optical, can you tellme with the 332ABBF0 need this update ?




        • There are substantial benefits to the new 501 firmware and we do recommend it – especially for MacBook Pro 2011 with respect to general 6Gb/s challenges in those models. It’s not absolute that you do, but we would recommend it.




      • This update failed to boot on Macmini 5,3 even if I burn the image on DVD Disc.




        • Please confirm you have downloaded the updater that is correct for booting on the Mac mini 5,3 and that you are burning the ISO image as per the online instructions and not just burning the updater image file to the disc. Please contact our tech support for further assistance if needed, why here and happy to assist.




    • I’m on a 2011 Macbook Air with an Aura 6G drive. I was able to use unetbootin to create bootable USB pen/key drive for the firmware updater.

      1. Get unetbootin app (http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/)
      2. Plugin USB key drive > 1GB
      3. Open unetbootin
      – select ISO and choose the OWC firmware updater ISO
      – make sure USB drive is selected as installation target
      4. When finished, eject USB pen drive
      5. Restart computer while holding down option/alt key
      6. You should see a screen allowing a choice of drives to boot from. When this happens, plug in the USB drive. An option for “WINDOWS” should now show. Click on this.
      7. Let linux boot and update firmware.

      If this approach doesn’t work, you may need to use these same steps, but use unetbootin on a linux computer or virtual machine.

      Hope this helps!
      -Josh




      • Thank you for posting this! We will review the current version of that support utility as prior hadn’t worked with any of the 2011 models. It’s questionable to be operational on 2011 MacBook Pro models -but a good chance it should now work with Mac mini 2011s.

        Thank you!




      • That didn’t work for me on a recent MB Air and using an SD card. The card never popped up as a bootable option.

        Could this be a format issue? I tried both FAT and HFS+




      • I can confirm this works using UNetbootin on Windows. Simply select the ISO and your USB stick and off you go.

        Did not work when creating the USB from Mac OS, so you must do it from Windows. Not tested on Linux.




        • Still waiting to hear of a workaround from OWC for those of us who are using datadoublers. With the absence of internal optical drives, any firmware updaters are going to be obsolete. It’s about time.




          • Ditto. Insulting to hear of fware updates to newer products and not a single peep about this issue despite the assurance on the site that work is ongoing. Either admit you’ve stopped working on it or give the many of us with data doubler, wonky firmware drives a decent explanation as to what’s going on.