January 24th, 2012 by Kevin OBrien
Samsung SSD Firmware Upgrade Guide
Samsung has an inherent advantage in the SSD space in that they own their own NAND and controller and build the SSD firmware and software in-house. The results on the software side are evident, Samsung's Magician software package is one of the most robust in the industry, providing customers an easy way to manage and optimize their SSD. Being in-house also means Samsung can update their firmware faster and more often, providing users with a reliable and stable experience. While SSD firmware isn't always easy to update, the Samsung Magician tool makes the task about as easy as it gets. Samsung also provides firmware update tools for those who prefer a bootable USB/CD option as well.
The first step before performing any firmware update should be to backup the important information on your drive. While not all updates are destructive, errors and faults can happen that may render your data in accessible. Samsung even warns you of this after clicking F/W Update on the home screen of the Magician software.
After entering the firmware update section, the main screen has you select from the drives currently installed in the system. In this case it is a 256GB Samsung SSD 830 that is a non OS drive (not the boot drive). With the SSD 830 selected, we pulled firmware from a folder on the desktop, even though the Samsung Magician does support downloading firmware on the fly. Once the correct folders are selected or the firmware is downloaded click "Start" and flash the firmware.
The Samsung SSD firmware update process doesn't take very long, a status bar is shown that quickly zips along the bottom of the screen.
Once finished, there's a 20 second warning that the software will automatically turn off your system. Either wait the full time, or click OK which will power it down immediately. In either case, make sure anything you were working on in the background is saved.
If you have access to a Windows system, but the drive is installed in a computer with a non-Windows OS, Samsung does give you the option to create a bootable USB thumbdrive. This process uses the same downloaded firmware files we used in the first step, but merges them with bootable software to let you manage the entire firmware updating process from a standard USB thumbdrive.
Start to finish the process was simple for us to follow and didn't require any significant hoops to jump through. The only gripe we had was the forced shut down, which could cause problems if you weren't expecting it. Overall though the Samsung SSD firmware update process is very easy to understand.