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I was recently hit with a fatal firmware bug that affected dozens of Crucial SSDs deployed in my datacenter. Many of the affected machines use LSI or other proprietary SAS controllers, which Crucial's bootable ISO does not recognize. None of the affected machines has a Windows license. The story is roughly similar for other SSD mfrs, including Samsung and Intel.

To resolve this issue, I was forced to stop each machine, remove the affected SSD, remove the SSD from its hotswap caddy, install it temporarily into my ThinkPad, flash the firmware, reverse, rinse, repeat. It took the better part of a day to get through all the affected devices.

I am looking for hardware, software, and/or purchasing strategies to ease this pain, as SSD firmware bugs seem inevitable, and our SSD footprint is growing.

My first thought is to get a laptop with eSATA and one of these cables. That should at least make it so I don't have to remove the drives from their caddies.

Surely others have run into this. Any novel solutions?

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What RAID controller do you use? Some offer to put themselves in HBA mode. This effectively disables any type of RAID or logical volume abstraction and provides every disk to the OS independently. In such mode the firmware upgrade could be executed in batch, after which you can restore RAID functionality again. Example of such an LSI based controller is the IBM M1015 controller (Google IT firmware with it). –  gertvdijk Sep 14 '12 at 0:07

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Some controllers allow to flash drive firmware with built-in utilities (adaptec does for sure), but anyway - it's not safe, especially for arrays. Even utilities can do that - I won't.

It's better to update drives one-by-one and rebuild them. There is a risk that drives might not work after firmware flash and in case of batch upgrade - you may lose several drives at once and as a result lose whole RAID data, not talking about single drives.

For SAS drives - consult your disk and controller vendor for compatibility. There are no generic and USB-SAS adapters (couldn't find or seen after searching, need them too for safe erase). For SATA - just connect them to your desktop via SATA/eSATA cable or use adapter as you already said. I do have few of these multibrand Chinese adapters and they're working fine enough - I've updated firmware on many SATA drives.

Good luck

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