Updating firmware for HPE-rebranded Seagate XF1440 without a Linux Live CD

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Aug 30, 2019
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I have a HPE-rebranded Seagate XF1440 NVMe drive with model number VK001920KWDUH. Its preinstalled firmware is HPK2. I can find HPK4 on HPE site, but they only provide a Linux-based updater for this version.

I don't want to burn a Linux Live CD for doing this, so I tried to extract and replace the firmware file into HPK2 updater, and flashed my drive successfully.

Because Seagate's own NVMe drive management tool nytrocli cannot support their HPE variants, while HPE uses an unique format for firmware binary, I can only use this method to update firmware on Windows.

You can use my trick on the following models:
  • MK000400KWDUK
  • VK000480KWDUE
  • MK000800KWDUL
  • VK000960KWDUF
  • MK001600KWDUN
  • VK001920KWDUH
1. Open https://support.hpe.com/hpesc/public/home and search for VK001920KWDUH. You can see HPE provides a Linux-based updater for HPK4 here: Drivers & Software - HPE Support Center.
- and a Windows-based updater for HPK2 here: Drivers & Software - HPE Support Center.
2. Download HPK4 updater firmware-hdd-b45e49679c-HPK4-1.1.x86_64.rpm and HPK2 updater cp033283.exe
3. Use 7-Zip to extract both of them to two different folders
4. Open the extraction path for HPK2 and delete the following files: cp033283.xml (updater UI definition), payload.json (installation directive), spannsk2.rel (firmware binary)
5. Open the extraction path for HPK4 and move the following files to HPK2 folder: CP037962.xml, payload.json, spannsK4.rel
6. Run cpqsetup.exe and enjoy

This trick can be replicated on the following scenario:
- You are using a HPE-customized HDD or SSD;
- You can find both a new and an old firmware on HPE site;
- HPE provides only Linux-based updater for new firmware while the old one has a Windows-based updater.
- Remember: do not try to replace setup.dll from a different firmware package when you are doing similar modification, or the updater fails (but won't brick your drive).
 
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