Using third party SSD’s (solid state drive) has become quite common. If you can afford it, using a SSD on your Mac is totally the way to go. Spinning hard drives are still fine for external storage, but SSD’s rule the day for internal use. The one problem with using third party SSD’s is updating the firmware. Apple updates its own internal drives, but you and I have to perform our own firmware updates if we are using a third party SSD. So, how do you go about doing that?
The first thing to do when updating the firmware on a third party SSD is to determine what firmware version your are currently running. There are several ways to do that. You can go into About This Mac and click on the System Report button. Then scroll down and click on SATA for a list of your internal drives:
In my case I am checking my Crucial MX300 SSD. Look for “Revision” which will show you the current firmware of that drive. Write it down, because you are going to the drive manufacturers website to compare it with the most current version.
There are other Apps that show you the firmware version of your SSD. If you own Smart Utility, go to the main screen:
In the Drive Information area, click on the More Info button:
If you don’t have Smart Utility, then maybe you have DriveDX:
If you do not have either one of those Apps, you could use Disk Sensei:
The point is, there are several ways to determine the firmware version of your third party SSD. Once you have that information, you need to go to the manufacturers website.
In my case, I went to the Crucial website and found my MX 300 in the support area:
The manufacturer will list the current firmware version of your particular drive. In my case, my MX300 is up to date. If you look at the bottom of the above image you see WHY you want to update the firmware on your third party SSD. The updates usually contain improvements and fixes that are crucial (pardon the pun) for the drives health and performance.
If your drives firmware is out of date, just follow the manufacturers procedure for updating the drive. In my case, I would download the “firmware guide” and the latest firmware for the Mac. Then I would burn the firmware iso image to a CD, boot the Mac from the CD and update the firmware. Yes, it is a bit convoluted, but you only have to do this once every year or two.
Different SSD manufacturers use different processes for updating their firmware. I think Samsung has its own updating tool which you download and run on your Mac. The bottomline is, you have to check with the manufacturer of your particular SSD to see how to update the firmware.
By the way, all the manufacturers admonish you to have a good backup of your data before updating the firmware. That probably sounds a little scary, but as far as I can tell SSD firmware updates usually go pretty well.
If you are running a third party SSD in your Mac, I highly recommend consulting the manufacturers website to compare what you are running with the latest version. Keeping the SSD firmware current will extend its longevity.