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OWC Announces Firmware Update For Industry-Leading Mercury Solid State Drive (SSD) Line

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012 | Author:

Other World Computing announced today it has released a new firmware version—MP5.0.1—to deliver optimum performance and stability from its industry-leading, SandForce Driven Mercury Solid State Drive line when installed in the latest Macs and PCs. The GUI driven, Mac experience friendly and bootable updater for Solid State Drives is freely available from OWC for use exclusively with OWC Mercury Extreme Pro, Mercury Electra, and Mercury Aura Pro SSD models.

The Only Mac Friendly Update Experience

OWC’s proprietary firmware updater, now available with support for all of Apple’s latest Mac models, as well as nearly all prior machines, eliminates the need for a PC, ownership of Windows or other operating system, or the creation of a specially designated drive partition that many SSD updaters have required. Mac users only need to download the updater from OWC’s site, obtain and burn a DVD, and then boot from that DVD to launch an easy to use, point and click GUI for installing the latest firmware revision to their OWC Mercury SSD. OWC’s Mac-friendly firmware updater continues OWC’s unmatched firmware update support for Mac users of SandForce-based SSDs. OWC also provides update support for PCs running the Windows or Linux OS.

We recognized SSDs would be an ever-evolving product, so we made it our priority to ensure users of OWC Mercury brand SSDs would immediately be able to utilize the benefit from any hardware and/or firmware updates,” said Larry O’Connor, Founder and CEO, Other World Computing. “As such, this latest firmware update is quick, easy and performed with no guesswork or doubt via the only point and click Mac-friendly updater; as well as standard upgrade packages for Windows and Linux Operating System users.”

Category: Press Releases

Sometimes, “Recommendations” Are Actually “Requirements”

Friday, October 14th, 2011 | Author:

About a month ago, we talked about how MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2 “secretly” resolved problems that 2011 MacBook Pros were having with 6.0Gb/s SATA performance.

Since we posted about the fix, we’ve been hearing from customers that some firmware updates are not fully completing… even though it appears that it is. These failed updates offered no indication that the update didn’t complete.

So a bit of sleuthing on our behalf turned up the culprit. When installing the update using Software Update, the installer informs you that it is recommended that you plug in your MacBook Pro to working power source while installing. This makes sense – the one time you don’t want your battery to go out is when running a firmware update.

However, if you download the update via its Apple KnowledgeBase page, though, the description there states that you must have your MacBook Pro connected to the power connector for installation.

From all the reports we’ve seen, it would appear that the KnowledgeBase instructions are the more accurate or at least more specific. Connecting the power supply while updating your firmware isn’t a recommendation; it’s a requirement.

Taking that requirement mindset even further is that when installing any firmware update on any Mac notebook, make sure you have it connected to its wall outlet power adapter before you start the update. Then, after running the updater, check the Hardware Overview screen in System Profiler and see if the the correct new Boot ROM or SMC version number for the update you’re running is present. If you still have the old version, then you will need to run the update again.

Naturally, this connect to power requirement is already solved for desktop machine users. But if you can think of a way to update a desktop machine like an iMac, Mac Pro, or mini without being connected to power, we’d like to hear about it!

Category: Tech Tips

2011 MacBook Pro SATA Problems Resolved!

Thursday, September 15th, 2011 | Author:

If you’ve been reading the OWC Blog for the past few months, you’re probably well aware of the problems that 2011 MacBook Pros were having with 6.0Gb/s SATA performance. If you’re not familiar with it, the short form is that in many 17″ 2011 MacBook Pros (and some 15″ and 13″ as well) had problems with SATA 3.0 Revision SSDs such as the Mercury EXTREME Pro 6Gthrough no fault of the SSD— resulting in spotty performance,  beach ball timeout delays, and even complete failure to recognize SATA 3.0 6Gb/s SSDs at all.

Well, if you ran Software Update this morning, MacBook Pro EFI Firmware Update 2.2 appears to be the answer. Nearly seven months after these machines first became available, all indications are that we can now reliably count on taking full advantage of the 6Gb/s capability provided.

Apple has somewhat dodged giving any direct response on the issue itself, but this long awaited solution just happens to be there in this update with the official description on Apple’s support site only mentioning the update as addressing Lion Internet Recovery and Thunderbolt. We are very thankful and excited to see the ‘quiet’ fix for 6Gb/s SATA 3.0 main bay drive reliability as a further benefit of this update. Article Continues…

Category: Tech Tips

OWC Radio #59 – Podcast Of The Apes

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011 | Author: , , and

“It’s a mad house! A mad house!” Steve Jobs retires. Apple loses an iPhone prototype…again! Orangutans are the next demographic using the iPad. Have we gone bananas? Journey with us as we figure it all out!

OWC Radio is a monthly, forum-based podcast focused on the events and happenings in the Mac community. This week’s hosts are: OWC Grant, OWC Chris S., and OWC Mike H. Article Continues…

Category: OWC Radio

More on the OWC SSD Updater

Friday, September 2nd, 2011 | Author:

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. Article Continues…