Cannot update HD firmware

Davide Ferrari at
Wed Apr 14 07:08:56 CDT 2010

On Tuesday 13 April 2010 13:09:13 Tim Small wrote:
> This might be of some use - I've updated a ST31000340NS (ES.2  1TB 
> version) under Linux to MA0D using hdparm v9.27's --fwdownload switch on 
> Debian 5.  You have to strip the first 256 bytes of Dell header from the 
> start of the Dell update binary using dd bs=256 skip=1 ...

You're the man!! Your method worked like a charm (after rebooting in a clean, 
live environment).
These are the steps I did to update the SATA HD firmware on my Dell R410 
without SAS controller and in Debian:

1) boot the server from a live CD (Ubuntu 9.10 in my case)
2) downloaded from the Sid package of hdparm (v9.27)
3) installed it in the Ubuntu live session
4) downloaded the firware from and unpacked it
5) dd if=payload/MA0D.fw of=payload/MA0D.lod bs=256 skip=1
6) hdparm --fwdownload payload/MA0D.lod /dev/sda
7) then added the extra switches that hdparm needs to follow with this 
dangerous operation
8) firmware updated!

Just to mention that I did the first hdparm --fwdownload with the HD *working* 
(I was using the system installed on it, not a live one) and the updated 
failed (due to the disk disconnecting from the SATA bus) but the disk worked 
without problem. No fried disk, no bricking at all.

Thanks again, tim!

Davide Ferrari System Administrator

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