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Confused about updating SSD Firmware

Last response: in Storage
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March 19, 2014 7:05:39 AM

Hi. I've recently purchased a Seagate 600 SSD and I'm planning on doing a fresh install of Windows 7 on it. My question is, how do I update the firmware BEFORE I install the OS, which seems to be the recommended way. Seagate seems to only have an online way of checking and updating their firmware, so if I have no OS installed on the SSD, how do I update it without first installing an OS? Maybe I'm missing something, but I'm not quite sure what to do.

Thanks!
March 19, 2014 7:12:39 AM

I'm assuming that you have the SSD installed in the machine already? If not, I'd go ahead and install it, update the firmware on the SSD and other components, and then do your re-install of Windows 7.

I don't have a Seagate, but I have two other SSDs. I've done firmware updates on them periodically (and my optical drive, and my MOBO BIOS, etc.) and never had a problem with adverse effects.

Hope this helps.
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March 19, 2014 7:14:15 AM

It is perfectly fine to do after windows install. It actually involves a few more risks if you don't.
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March 19, 2014 7:45:40 AM

Thanks for the replies!
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March 19, 2014 12:36:28 PM

Gee Bee said:
It is perfectly fine to do after windows install. It actually involves a few more risks if you don't.


Hi Gee Bee,
I am not sure that I understand your statement. To clarify, are you saying that it is more risky *not* to update the firmware, or that it is more risky to update the firmware *before* you re-install the OS?
Thanks!
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March 19, 2014 2:04:14 PM

Yes, before os installation.
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March 23, 2014 6:50:13 PM

Gee Bee said:
Yes, before os installation.


Hi Gee Bee,

Just seeking to understand your response. I have always understood that the best time to make your firmware updates is prior to a new OS install. This way you have all of the most current updates in place. I'm curious to understand your rationale that it is more risky to update firmware prior to a new/clean OS install, and thus your recommendation to install the OS and then update firmware across your system.

Thanks much,
-GorfTheFrog
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March 23, 2014 9:24:40 PM

most updates are non-destructive.
most will find it easier\quicker to do so from OS. One does not have to worry about cd's. usb sticks or whatever media your updating from.
There risks inherent in any firmware update, just like updating a bios in some respects.
I've always done this from OS, using the manufactures software, ocz toolbox for example for my vertex 4.
The only concern would be if the update was destructive, then you would of course find yourself re-installing OS.

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March 24, 2014 5:14:59 AM

Gee Bee said:
most updates are non-destructive.
most will find it easier\quicker to do so from OS. One does not have to worry about cd's. usb sticks or whatever media your updating from.
There risks inherent in any firmware update, just like updating a bios in some respects.
I've always done this from OS, using the manufactures software, ocz toolbox for example for my vertex 4.
The only concern would be if the update was destructive, then you would of course find yourself re-installing OS.



Hi Gee Bee,
Maybe I'm just being thick, but the way you are explaining this, I don't see the difference. I agree with all of your premise points:
o Yes, there is some inherent risk
o Yes, these are almost always intended to be non-destructive
o Yes, it is easiest to use the OS tool instead of a boot CD or USB
o Yes, I almost always update using the OS tool or program provided by the vendor

I'm not sure that I understand how you make the assertion from these points that it is better to install an OS and then upgrade the firmware.

Re-reading the initial question, I wonder if the answer is really in two parts:
A. The question asks about installing a new SSD and then a clean OS. If I were doing a new build, then yes, I would put the whole thing together and then upgrade BIOS and firmware across the new system.
B. If I have an existing system and I'm upgrading, I'm personally more likely to install the new components and first confirm that they work. After confirming that all is operating correctly, I would then upgrade BIOS and firmware and then do the OS re-install.

In the case of scenario "A", you're building a new system, so the impact of a failure is very low.

In the case of scenario "B", I'd like to find out if my new component is working *before* I embark on an upgrade process. I feel like I minimize my risk if I install the hardware, upgrade, test, and then re-install the OS. If some part of the HW install/upgrade fails, then I can still use my machine until I get a replacement. If I jump straight into loading the new OS, then a failure would make my machine unusable until I get a replacement part and trouble-shoot the problem.

Of course, in either scenario, you will hit a point of no return, and that's where you have to rely on your backup. But I think that you covered that when you stated that there are always some inherent risks, be they firmware, BIOS, or other updates.

Gee, Bee, are we saying the same thing, just with different words, or is there a fundamental point that I'm missing, that makes it significantly, inherently *less* risky to jump into a new OS install on an existing machine ... and then update your firmware/BIOS? Seems like we're pretty close, and it may boil down to personal preference. Just want to make sure that I'm not missing something in your logic.

Thanks,
GorfTheFrog
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March 24, 2014 5:23:42 AM

It may well be personal preference, but how many people with a new ssd will go the pre-install path with or without advice.

same thing, the update from vendor will tell you if it's destructive or not, mostly it isn't. If it is then you will surely go with pre-install, unless you don't mind doing a clean install twice.
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March 30, 2014 6:05:57 PM

Hi Gee Bee,
Ok, thanks. Appreciate the thoughts.

-Gorf
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