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Thread: Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?




  1. #1
    Prevail's Avatar
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    Default Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?

    I just added a second Samsung EVO 840 SSD in a RAID-0 configuration. Is there any way to update the firmware while in the RAID array? The Samsung utility (Magician) for doing this seems useless since it does not recognize drives in a RAID array. Samsung periodically updates the SSD firmware to prevent performance deterioration. Supposedly an improved firmware update is due out later this year. It would be a PITA to have to reinstall the OS and apps.
    Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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    Default Re: Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?

    You can update the firmware with drives that are in a RAID array, but not in Windows, and using a little trick. I've done this with other SSDs I've had in RAID arrays and it worked.

    The main thing you need is a firmware update method that is done with a DOS or Linux bootable USB flash drive. The Magician software has an option for creating a DOS bootable USB flash drive for a firmware update and secure erase. A bootable CD or DVD in an optical drive would work the same way.

    Once you have the bootable USB flash drive with the firmware update program on it, you go into the BIOS and select the flash drive as the first boot device. Before you save and exit, you change the SATA mode from RAID to AHCI. Since you are not booting Windows from the OS RAID array, you can be in AHCI mode and nothing is bothered by that.

    Then save and exit, boot into the flash drive, and perform the firmware update. Exit the DOS boot or just press Reset and get into the BIOS. Set the SATA mode back to RAID, fix the boot order, save and exit, done.

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    Default Re: Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?

    parsec,
    Thank you for the valuable information you always provide in your replies to questions. I tried using the DOS boot media created by Magician to perform a secure erase before creating the RAID array. It booted, but the display was garbled, so I instead used PartedMagic per Jon Coulter's instructions.
    Fortunately, Samsung provides firmware updates in both a zip file (to be used with Magician) as well as an iso file to be used from DOS bootable media. Samsung also provides both a Windows and a DOS version of their performance restoration software. I haven't tried the performance restoration software since I didn't think it would be needed with a secure-erase/factory reset. I will use it in the future. The performance restoration software not only updates the firmware, but also scans and recalibrates all existing data on the drive. See: Samsung SSD 840 EVO Performance Restoration Software.
    Cheers,

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    Default Re: Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?

    Thanks!

    If you check the documentation in the Magician application, for the DOS bootable media creation, there is a fix for the garbled display. There are one or two DOS command line commands that load a font IIRC, that fixes the unreadable display. They are listed in the documentation.

    You won't need to do the performance restoration update if you've done a secure erase. It's also not certain that every 840 EVO is affected by the "old file, slow performance" issue, most of them apparently do but some seem immune to it.

    I retired my 840 EVO after it just seemed flaky in its operation, but I should try it again.

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    Default Re: Any way to update SSD firmware in a RAID array?

    Yes, I would try updating the firmware and running the Performance Restoration Software.
    Hopefully, Samsung has resolved the issue of performance degradation with the newer 850 series.
    Since the Performance Restoration Software is only available for the 840 series, I suspect that the 850s don't need it. Only time will tell for sure.

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