As for updating the firmware before installing the OS, I've been down that road before! Tried many things, but long story short, the best option I've found is:
Use the "Linux-based Tool" from the OZC website
, to set up a bootable USB drive, with all the software to do firmware updates, secure erase, and such.
I really does a good job. And it's easy, if you follow directions. It's all there in the link.BTW, the link is for Veterx 3 series and such. OCZ doesn't have a firmware update listed for the Vertex 4, yet. But I bet the tool still works.