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Where can I get firmware updates

December 29th, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Disk (tape, autochanger, whatever) firmware is intellectual property, and is owned by the manufacturer and/or a particular OEM that purchases the peripheral from the manufacturer.

In general, don’t bother calling Seagate, WD, or any of the other drive vendors and ask them for the firmware update.  Unless somebody posts otherwise, it is almost onheard of that they will just send it to you.   You typically need to get that from the company that sold you the hardware.

Helpful places to look

  • Support blog sites from high-volume PC resellers who purchase disks directly from the manufacturer
  • Use your favorite search engine. You might get lucky.
  • Contact a company that sells the products that are in need of a firmware update.  They may not be able to legally send you the firmware update, but I am sure for a fee they would be glad to work something out.

Once you have the firmware image (make darned sure it is the right image, as it is possible to turn your peripheral into a paperweight.

WARNINGS:

  • Some firmware updates may reformat the disk, which will destroy all data.  Always read release notes. If you do not have the release notes, then think again about your motivation to update the firmware. Remember the old adage, don’t fix it if it isn’t broken.
  • Firmware updates nearly always change mode page settings, so you should save the mode pages before you flash updates, then restore them.
  1. david
    December 29th, 2008 at 17:08 | #1

    Firmware updates for consumer-class ATA & SATA drives are rarely released or even made available. This is due to a variety of reasons ranging from it just isn’t worth the time & expense of the vendor to release them, to the inherent risk that Joe PC User will screw things up in the process, and nobody wants to deal with RMAing a paperweight because of a botched firmware update.

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