The OCZ RevoDrive 3 X2 Preview: Second-Gen SandForce Goes PCIe

An Aside: Secure Erase? Firmware Update? It Can Be Done

Enthusiasts are all about control. For early adopters of the RevoDrive and RevoDrive X2, almost exclusively enthusiasts, the challenges of updating firmware and secure erasing are particularly frustrating. In many cases, secure erasing a drive is the only way to restore it to the original factory condition. And firmware updates are important in the same way that a motherboard BIOS upgrade can make or break a platform's usefulness. Sometimes those updates solve series issues. Other times they improve performance. In either case, you want the flexibility to do both.

The RevoDrive and RevoDrive X2 do support both capabilities. However, both processes can only be accomplished with a Live CD distro of Linux and a basic understanding of Unix commands.

In the case of secure erasing, you need to use the wipe command in terminal to erase each member of the striped array (two on the RevoDrive and four on the RevoDrive X2). If you're not Unix-savvy, the only other alternative is to use the GUI provided in Parted Magic. Of course, in order to do so, you'll should to break the stripe prior to performing the procedure.

Unfortunately, there is no easy GUI option for updating a RevoDrive's firmware. The process is limited to terminal. But first, download OCZ's Linux Update Tool to your Live CD distro and find the device ID of each array member. The update process involves issuing the update command on each SSD array, sudo [fwupd location] /dev/sh? (replace ? for the drive ID).

The very good news is that OCZ makes secure erase and firmware updates much easier on the RevoDrive 3 X2. You only need to download OCZ's Toolbox tool. The drive pops up just like a familiar SATA-based SSD. And, since OCZ creates the equivalent of a unified stripe, there's only one logical drive to deal with.

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  • doive1231
    Interesting that Crucial's m4 products show up well in benchmarks but are often overlooked in favour of Corsair and OCZ SSDs.