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Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

 
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Thomas Olsen_1
Frequent Advisor

Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Hi All

Does anybody know the recommendations from HP when it comes to upgrading firmware on ProLiant hard disks?
I notice that they release new firmware for their disks, but it doesn't say anything about the improvements or fixes in the new releases; only that it is "Hard drive firmware maintenance release".

What about the risk of doing this upgrade in for example a RAID 5? Will it upgrade all disks in one go, or one at a time to make sure it is successful?

Some advice would be great.

Thanks.

/Thomas
7 REPLIES
KarloChacon
Honored Contributor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

the point of updating HDDs it's like every upgrading (for example windows) better performance, compatible with controllers, fixes,...

it's very important to have the latest firmware for HDDs and controllers for RAID activities migrations, add or replace, rebuilding,

about your RAID 5 there is no problems upgrading them you can use the Firmware CD, this CD make thas all at once.

regards
Didn't your momma teach you to say thanks!
Thomas Olsen_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Thanks Karlo for the feedback

Regarding firmware updates, it is usually stated what is fixed, etc, but for all the Proliant HDD firmware it is not stated anything.
That's why I wanted to post a note here to get some feedback.

Thanks again.

/Thomas
e4services
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Thomas, as you might guess, any hard disk firmware updates by compaq/hp are usually to correct reporting to the RAID controller. As you might be aware, the hard disk amnufacturers (of which compaq/hp are not) do not offer the end user updates to firmware anymore and I do not believe there has been an update in a long time. They are pretty soloid these days.
Since HP/Compaq required to add their own signiture to the drives, purchasing OEM drives and tring to make them appear and act identical to the previoud versions and being able to go from one manufacture to another (seagate to fugitsu for example) they need to produce a generic firmware. Soemtimes problems appear because of this but they have never noted what they were.
For us, bottomline, if it is not broke for you, don't fix it.
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Ryan Goff
Valued Contributor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Firmware updates for HDDs can increase performance and or correct issues with the drives not being reported right away if they are failed or failing. This is why sometimes you might find that a drive won't rebuild or reports false errors or shows up failed when it's not failed at all.

Personally I'd recommend to always have your controller and hdd firmware at the latest revision. Leaving them at lower versions can put your data at risk.

Some people say that they're worried about failure when running firmware updates. The thing of it is, if it fails when it runs an update, there was something wrong with the hardware anyway, and that is not normal, so would you rather have a drive fail under a controlled firmware update or randomly during peak usage? Or have a drive fail when one is allready marked bad.

From my experience a lot of data loss and failed rebuilds are simply from not running the latest firmware updates. Just from experience though.
Blazhev_1
Honored Contributor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Hi,

I 100% agree with Ryan.

Regards
Thomas Olsen_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

Thanks a lot guys

This is very good feedback.

I guess I start planning for upgrading firmware on my HDDs during our next scheduled maintenance window.

/Thomas
Thomas Olsen_1
Frequent Advisor

Re: Importance of upgrading firmware on hard disks

See above for the firmware update advise.