Updating the firmware on SSD (Solid State Drives) has become a fairly common practice as more and more SSD’s are in circulation. I installed a Crucial MX300 in my iMac a while back. Lately, I have been trying to figure out how to update the firmware.
CD Image Burn
If you have a Mac with a builtin SuperDrive then updating an internal SSD is pretty straightforward. You download the .iso image from the manufacturers website, burn it to the CD and then follow the instructions on how to install it. In Apple’s infinite wisdom, my Late 2012 iMac does not have a SuperDrive. We don’t need those anymore don’t you know. Being the cretan that I am, I still do some CD and DVD burning so a while back I bought a Samsung SuperDrive replacement. It connects via USB and works great, except when you are trying to update the firmware of an internal SSD. Thanks to an excellent online Mac site I found a solution so read on.
The firmware update for my Crucial MX300 SSD is located here:
The links in the top of the window are for Windows software that installs the updates for you automatically. No such animal on the Mac side, so you have to go through a short process.
Once the .iso image was downloaded, I used the builtin macOS burn software to burn the .iso image to a CD. I then tried to boot the iMac from the CD to install the update, but no joy. I burned the CD several different ways, but it never worked. So, I posted a question on a Mac board about using the external Samsung drive to make the updater and received a suggestion to use an app called ImageBurner to create the CD.
I had never heard of this app before. I downloaded and installed it. It only does one thing, it burns CD’s. When you first open ImageBurner you get this window:
It shows my Samsung SuperDrive. Just follow the instructions in the window by dropping the .iso image on the it. Before you do be sure and uncheck the “Erase rewritable media” box if you are using a plain CD. Once the image is ready and you click “Burn” the program clicks open your SuperDrive requesting the CD media. When you put the CD media in the drive the app starts it’s writing routine:
When it is finished writing to the CD it does a “Verification:”
When that is finished it kicks out the CD and asks if you wish to do another burn:
After I had my burned CD updater it was all a matter of seeing if it would work.
Crucial Firmware Update
Once I had my CD updater in the Samsung, I Restarted the iMac and held down the “C” key during startup. It took a while, but the .iso firmware updater took effect. I took a couple of screenshots with my iPhone. Here is what the beginning of that process looked like:
And, here it is at the conclusion:
I pressed a key on the keyboard, the iMac rebooted just like normal. The actual update process took about 1 minute, not long at all.
Once I found the ImageBurner software this whole process was seamless. I had no problems whatsoever. Speaking of problems, I have had zero problems on my iMac since performing this update. It is highly recommended to have a good backup or clone of your Mac hard drive before doing a firmware update of a SSD. That is just good common computer sense really.
So, if you have an internal SSD in a Mac without a builtin SuperDrive and you are using an external SuperDrive, there is hope for updating your firmware. Download the ImageBurner software, it is free and may work for you.