During boot, the ATAPI driver enumerates devices attached to the EIDE controller. It checks to see if the attached devices support the advanced ATA attachment interface commands, such as multi block I/O. If a device fails, the above event event is logged. See "JSI Tip 0753" for details.
See "Intel Support Solution ID: CS-001408" for additional information about this event.
for a hotfix applicable to Microsoft Windows NT 4.0.
As per Microsoft: "Many errors on the device have been logged. Contact your hardware support provider for updated firmware for the drive". See MSW2KDB
for more information.
The event log message that device ultra0, 1, etc has out of date firmware may actually mean that SMART is not enabled on the disk. Use IBM DFT utility to enable SMART on all disks.
Your device's firmware is out of date and you need to consult your device's manufacture to see if they have an update that's current.
This error is caused most of the time by corupted IDE drivers or IDE devices with problems. I think is very unlikely, for existing devices, that suddenly Windows decided that the firmware is "old or out-of-date" after working with the same device, unmodified, for a long time. Of course, if you added a new device and you get this error, then the message maybe true.
For the IDE device drivers, I am using for a while and strongly recommend "Intel Application Accelerator". This is a fancy marketing name for the best drivers I know for Intel IDE chipsets. It works for most motherboards with Intel chipsets and the results are very good: the system is stable, fast IDE transfer and with reduced CPU usage. This is achieved by automatically selecting the highest possible DMA transfer mode for the particular hardware.
and the link to Intel chipsets information.