Debian: Update SSD Firmware without CDROM

If you want to update the SSD Firmware of a device you should know some things:

  • Do you REALLY need the update? Bugs? If NOT exit here!
  • Firmwareupdates can destroy DATA on Drives!
  • Data cant be restored if the Controller fails after Update
  • Downgrade a Firmware to older is most IMPOSSIBLE!!

.. now you need a USB Stick 4GB and the ISO File of the Firmware Disk of the Manufacter then open the Gnome Terminal or Console and:

$sudo su - #become root
$apt-get update && apt-get install unetbootin gparted # install the tools
$dd if=/dev/null of=/dev/sdc bs=10240 count=1 # delete usbstick unmounted with zeros (factory reset)
$gparted /dev/sdc #create new Primary Partition with FAT32, set "managed flags" to "boot lba", now exit gparted
$mount /dev/sdc1 /mnt #mount usbstick to /mnt 
$unetbootin #select FreeDOS at Menu, and select /dev/sdc1 and create the FreeDOS Stick, then exit unetbootin WITHOUT reboot!
$mkdir /iso && mount -o loop /home/yourusername/firmware-cd.iso /iso # mount the CDImage to /iso readonly
$cd /iso && cp firmware.img /mnt/firmware.img # copy firmware-data to usbstick

  • NOW, reboot and unplug other HDDs of the PC, ONLY the SSD must be insert!
  • Boot the PC on the usbstick, on the unetbootin Menu PRESS „Tab“ to get the „Unetbootin-Console“!
  • Here change the value of „initrd=/ubinit“ to „initrd=firmware.img“ and PRESS ENTER
  • Follow now the Firmware Update Dialog and Reboot with disconnected usbstick and replugged Drives…

Ubuntu Debian Samsung SSD secure erase with Linux

If you use a Samsung (possible others brands same howto) SSD and you want to secure erase the SSD for reuse or resale (better destroy it!!!) do:

  • Insert your Debian/Ubuntu Setup CD/Stick
  • Boot into Live/Setup Mode
  • open Gnome Terminal or Console and enter $sudo su – #to be root
  • then enter..

$ apt-get update && apt-get install hdparm # get the tool
$ sudo fdisk -l # show drives
$ sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda #show drive Infos and lock for "frozen" state!!! shoud be not frozen/locked
$ sudo hdparm --security-set-pass NULL /dev/sdb # set the "NULL" password to UNLOCK the Controller
$ sudo hdparm --security-erase NULL /dev/sda # run secure erase!

Ubuntu Vivid Debian: Kernel I/O Errors SSD SATA NVIDIA Chipsets

If you use a PC with a SSD Drive and a Motherboard which uses NVIDIA chipsets you may see Errors on boot

Command „dmesg“ Output like..

Buffer I/O error on device sdc, logical block 41
ata5: EH complete
ata5: EH in SWNCQ mode,QC:qc_active 0x1 sactive 0x1
ata5: SWNCQ:qc_active 0x1 defer_bits 0x0 last_issue_tag 0x0
  dhfis 0x1 dmafis 0x1 sdbfis 0x0
ata5: ATA_REG 0x41 ERR_REG 0x84
ata5: tag : dhfis dmafis sdbfis sactive
ata5: tag 0x0: 1 1 0 1 
ata5.00: exception Emask 0x1 SAct 0x1 SErr 0x300000 action 0x6 frozen
ata5.00: Ata error. fis:0x21
ata5.00: cmd 60/08:00:07:04:00/00:00:00:00:00/40 tag 0 ncq 4096 in
         res 41/84:00:07:04:00/84:00:00:00:00/40 Emask 0x10 (ATA bus error)
ata5: hard resetting link
ata5: nv: skipping hardreset on occupied port
ata5: SATA link up 3.0 Gbps (SStatus 123 SControl 300)
ata5.00: configured for UDMA/133
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
Result: hostbyte=0x00 driverbyte=0x08
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
Sense Key : 0xb [current] [descriptor]
Descriptor sense data with sense descriptors (in hex):
        72 0b 47 00 00 00 00 0c 00 0a 80 00 00 00 00 00
        00 00 04 07
sd 4:0:0:0: [sdc] 
ASC=0x47 ASCQ=0x0...

This is a bug by the NVIDIA Manufacterer NOT by LINUX!

The Problem is that the hardware command „swncq“ (DMA-64bit) is set to on by the „default“ Kernels now, but older nvidia chips don’t support it! Only DMA-32bit

sata cable 600 with clip
sata cable 600 with clip

Info found here swnq libsata nvidia kernel (external Link)

Workaround on Gnome Terminal or Console:

  • $sudo echo ‚options sata_nv swncq=0‘ >> /etc/modprobe.d/sata_nv.conf
  • $sudo update-initramfs -u -k all
  • reboot and test with „dmesg“ command on Terminal! there should be NO Error now!
  • If the Problem still exists, then change SATA Cables to SATA-300/600 (II/III) „with Metal Clip on Connectors“ take „shortest length“
  • May be possible that this bug touches other OS like Windows too

 

Debian Ubuntu Laptop mods for SSD HDD and a full encrypted with luks

Major INFO 06-2015: Do not set tmpfs on ubuntu 15.XX or Systems with systemd!!! This block PC boot !!

If you want to setup a Ubuntu/Debian Laptop with a full encrypted HDD use a „alternate“ CD/DVD.
After Setup you have to change some little Parameters to extend the lifecycle of the SSD Chips

  • disable Swap if you have more than 4GB Ram
  • enable a RAMDISK with tmpfs for logs, caches of Browsers
  • install cpufrequtils for CPU freqscaling
  • install laptop-mode-tools to set powersave mode for hardware modules
  • install xbacklight to reduce backlight energy

Steps:

  • open a Console and change to root user, enter „$sudo -s“ and password,
  • now we have to disable swap, edit with $nano /etc/rc.local and insert a „swapoff -a“  before „exit“
  • edit with „$nano /etc/fstab“ insert and set „#“ at line with older „/tmp“ entry  :
    tmpfs  /tmp  tmpfs  nosuid  0  0
    tmpfs /var/run tmpfs nosuid,mode=0755 0 0
    tmpfs /var/lock tmpfs noexec,nosuid,nodev 0 0
    tmpfs /var/log tmpfs noexec,nodev,nosuid 0 0
  • remove /var/tmp and create a symlink „$ln -s /var/tmp /tmp“
  • reboot
  • login as User to Config the Firefox / iceweasel Browser to use the RAMDISK as Cache with „firefox -P“ Command
  • delete the default Profile, create new named „ram“ and let the Profilemanager create the  new Profile to /tmp
  • restart Firefox / iceaweasel with „-P“ option, now all is hold inside the RAMDISK!! (after a reboot all is History and Cookies are deleted!)
  • if you use other applications with CACHE do same with EVERY Applications (read the readme.txt of Apps)

Enjoy the new very secure Internet Laptop with builtin steal protection and secure private permanent browsing!