I've removed my Optical Drive and installed my HDD there instead on my MacBook using OWC's Data Doubler. Furthermore I've installed a Intel 520 180GB SSD in my main drive slot.

Now I want to install the Intel® SATA Solid-State Drive Firmware Update Tool but I'm having a seriously hard time doing so.

First of all Intel's instructions are to burn a DVD, which I obviously cannot use. So I'm thinking USB flash drive instead.

The second problem turns out to be that they distribute this update as a Joliet 9660 ISO containing an .exe (how come this .exe will work on a Mac when it's burnt to DVD? I'm probably just not experienced enough with the ISO disk image format). Disk Utility is unable to work with Joliet so I've converted it into a Mac OS Extended/ISO (Joliet) Hybrid Image using DMGConverter (after not being able to maintain GUID with dd command).

So far so good, now I can restore my flash drive to the new .iso-image.

However, this flash drive does not show up after holding the alt-key during MacBook startup. I get my Bootcamp partition and the Recovery HD etc. but no USB drive.

Starting from an external USB storage device (Intel-based Macs) tells me that:

Intel-based Macs support starting from an external USB storage device's volume that:

  • Has been formatted with a GUID partition type

  • Contains an installation of Mac OS X 10.4.5 or later, or Mac OS X 10.5 or later, which is compatible with (or shipped with) the Mac that the USB device is connected to. Note: You should not use a version of Mac OS X that is earlier ("older") than the version your Mac shipped with.

My flash drive fulfills the first requirement, but obviosuly not the second.

Is there any way around this? Is there any possibility to install Intel's SSD Firmware using a USB Flash Drive on a Mac?

  • The article you linked to is for external drives. Your description of what you did does not make it sound like you have an external drive.
    – Ramhound
    Jun 7, 2012 at 15:16
  • Do you mean the Apple Support article? I linked to it because I want to install the Intel SSD Firmware from an external drive (a USB flash drive to be exact). My SSD is an internal MacBook boot drive however.
    – Willem
    Jun 7, 2012 at 15:49
  • Sorry for the late answer. I'm afraid I didn't find a solution and simply went with not updating the SSD.
    – Willem
    Jun 4, 2014 at 23:53

1 Answer 1


You should be able to do the following turn a USB drive into a bootable ISO:

  1. Insert the USB drive you want to use. You’ll be erasing the whole thing, so don’t use one that has anything you care about on it.
  2. Use diskutil list on the command line to see what the disk identifier for that USB drive is. Let’s say it’s disk12 for the sake of this discussion.
  3. Use diskutil unmountDisk disk12 to unmount all partitions on the USB drive.
  4. Use sudo dd if=whatever.iso of=/dev/rdisk12 to replace the entire contents of the USB drive with the contents of whatever.iso — use the path to the ISO here.
  5. Retsart your Mac with the option key down. The USB drive should be labeled “Windows” in the boot picker.

Your Mac should now boot from the USB drive.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .