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Seagate Barracuda drives failing en masse?

updated 05:00 pm EST, Tue January 13, 2009

Seagate Barracuda Failures

A chronic firmware problem is triggering failures in Seagate's current-generation Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives, according to owners in the company's forums, NewEgg buyers and elsewhere. The disk series, particularly the 1TB model, reportedly suffers from a bug triggered on boot that incorrectly locks up the drive as a protective measure and prevents the system from recognizing the storage from then onwards. The problem appears tied to firmware from drives issued in Thailand but isn't exclusive to models from those factories.

The issues are common enough that data recovery firms have reported significantly higher failure rates on 7200.11 drives than on other Seagate models or storage from other vendors.

Although Seagate has reportedly acknowledged the problem and issued a firmware update with a fix, those with existing drives aren't being offered more than replacement drives that often have the same issue. The company has also taken to deleting posts on its forums suggesting possible fixes and insists that customers aren't entitled to additional compensation besides the warranty.

Seagate officials have reportedly ignored requests for comment on the drive failures. [via The Inquirer]



By Electronista Staff
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  1. dom2cool

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 2006

    -3

    mine did

    mine died on fri, got collected monday for replacement. flipping pc's good thing i have my macbook : )

  1. SlimGem

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +1

    Better Alternative

    I buy Western Digital. No issues so far.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    +2

    No firmware fix.

    Though there may have been updated firmware put on Seagate's drives (according to The Inq) at this time no customers have been offered any new firmware to fix this issue.

    We're just expected to wait for the drive to die, lose our data, and then pay to send it back in return for a refurb.

    Load of us have been opening trouble tickets and asking on the Seagate forums for a firmware upgrade to prevent the drives dying. Tickets are ignored and messages deleted, and Seagate just doesn't care.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Mine Cokked Too

    I've had 500GB version of 7200.11. Got cooked after six month. Got to pay additional $20 for shipping (on top of purchase price). Seagate sent me some refurb. garbage, - it's not even two month since I've got it and it's already starting to give me trouble again! Wont send it again. would be cheaper to buy a new one! So much for quote "The capacity, reliability and performance of this drive ensure the longevity of digital content for years to come." end of quote.
    Maybe we should start a class action law suite for FALSE claims regarding reliability?! That'll wake 'em up!
    Don't buy Seagate 7200.11! There's a reason why they're cheap.

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999

    0

    Mine Cokked Too

    I've had 500GB version of 7200.11. Got cooked after six month. Got to pay additional $20 for shipping (on top of purchase price). Seagate sent me some refurb. garbage, - it's not even two month since I've got it and it's already starting to give me trouble again! Wont send it again. would be cheaper to buy a new one! So much for quote "The capacity, reliability and performance of this drive ensure the longevity of digital content for years to come." end of quote.
    Maybe we should start a class action law suite for FALSE claims regarding reliability?! That'll wake 'em up!
    Don't buy Seagate 7200.11! There's a reason why they're cheap.

  1. bill_mcgonigle

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: May 2001

    +3

    Thailand, What?

    If it's not exclusive to the drives from Thailand then it's not tied to drives from Thailand... that sentence doesn't make any sense. Perhaps drives from Thailand have a higher rate of bad firmware, but if it's not only from Thailand then that's not a root cause, just correlated.

    I don't know anything special about the issue, but this Seagate page appears to address it directly:

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/other_downloads/cuda-fw

  1. DerSnoezie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2009

    +1

    Regarding the link above

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/other_downloads/cuda-fw

    Adresses another problem observed in "Barracuda 7200.11 SATA models with firmware SD04 or SD14" and has nothing to do with the issue mentioned in the Inquirer article.

  1. makesense

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2007

    -1

    another approach

    I noticed that the power plug can make a difference. I found recently that the Barracuda did not register either in Windows or OSX even though the drive was presumably powered in its external enclosure (based on 'on' light). I moved around the power plug in back of the enclosure a little bit, and noticed the drive spinning up. Sure enough, the drive then showed up in Windows and OSX. This report, of course, may address the external enclosure more than the drive itself.

  1. el3133

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2009

    0

    Seagate bug explained

    This boot thing is way out of proportion. Specifics on the bug, and why detailed by insider ..
    http://storagesecrets.org/2009/01/seagate-boot-death-analysis-overhyped-fud/

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