I downloaded the latest 21A firmware from the NEC website and checked out the readme file for instructions on how to upgrade. And the instructions are bit bewildering to say the least.
Connect drive to secondary IDE channel as Master
Disconnect all slave hardware from IDE secondary Master
Use standard UDMA-2 IDE cable
Update in Windows “Safe Mode”
Under Windows 2000 & XP login as administrator
Update without DMA mode, under Windows XP & 2000 in the device manager - “IDE ATA/ ATAPI controllers”, you can switch from DMA to PIO mode
Disconnect all external USB/ FireWire devices.
Deactivate virusscanners, active desktop programs and packetwriting agents
Do not turn off power during the updating process.
Note: Warranty will be lost during false updating procedure, especially unofficial modified firmwares were used before.
In such cases we could not offer you a solution any more. You have to repair it by cost then.
First of all, are all these steps really necessary?
Second of all, what does it mean to connect drive to secondary IDE channel as master? How do I determine which cables I have? When they say disconnect USB devices, I’m guessing from the computer? If my mouse is USB, wouldn’t that make it more difficult to use the upgrade software? What are packetwriting agents, and how do I determine whether I have any of those, or active desktop programs running?