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How to Upgrade Hard Drive Firmware?

January 22nd, 2010

Upgrade Hard Drive Firmware Firmware is a type of software stored directly inside hardware components, such as hard disk drives or motherboards, that tells the hardware how to interact with your computer’s operating system. You would typically only need to upgrade your hard drive’s firmware if you installed a new motherboard or upgraded to a new operating system that the drive was not originally intended to interact with. Firmware upgrades are meant to be administered through a floppy disk, but with some extra work you can also apply them with a standard CD as well.

Note: Save a backup copy of each of your important files to an external source before attempting to update the firmware of your hard drive. If you stop the upgrade process before its finished or accidentally install the wrong version of the firmware, your hard drive may stop functioning properly and you could lose all of your data.

  1. Open your web browser and navigate to the website for the manufacturer of your hard drive (see “Resources” below). Access the support or downloads section and search for the model number of your computer or the hard drive itself.
  2. Click on the download link to download the firmware upgrade. Insert a 3.5 inch floppy disk into your computer’s floppy disk drive if it has one or instead insert a rewritable CD into the computer’s CD drive. Transfer the firmware upgrade file to the floppy disk.
  3. Return to your web browser if you are using a rewritable CD instead of a floppy disk. Navigate to a website that offers ISO software such as “MagicISO” or “PowerISO” (see “Resources” below). Access the downloads section of the website and download the program’s installation file.
  4. Double-click on the file you downloaded and follow the instructions on the screen to install the ISO program. Open the program once it’s installed and follow its ISO burning procedures to burn a copy of the firmware upgrade to the rewritable CD.
  5. Leave the CD or floppy disk in the appropriate disk drive and re-start the computer. Wait for a new menu screen to appear and scroll down through the options using the arrow keys on the keyboard. Highlight the hard disk drive you need to update and hit the “Enter” key.
  6. Wait for the operating system to finish loading and then open the “My Computer” icon on the desktop. Navigate to the floppy disk drive or CD-RW drive. Double-click the executable file saved on the disk and then follow the instructions that will appear on the screen to upgrade the hard disk drive’s firmware.

Useful Links:

  • IBM Hard Drive Firmware Downloads
  • HP Hard Drive Firmware Downloads
  • Download MagicISO
  • Western Digital Firmware Downloads
  • Download PowerISO
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