well, out of sheer desperation. i really had no where else to go.
I put the SATA card into another computer, and set it all up in there.
Tried writing the firmware, and it worked in about 5 seconds flat :|
So if all else fails, and you're 100% sure you are doing it all right, you probably are, and its the computers fault!
Thanks anyway guys. Especially chickan who helped me exhaust every possible way of trying to fix this