Seagate Issue Resolved After Posting Complaint Along With Executive Email Addresses On Company's Own Site

Shawn has a nice success story with the Seagate company that provides an interesting twist on the EECB (Executive Email Carpet Bomb) technique that we’ve been telling you about for months:

I bought a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB external harddrive about two or three months ago, and backed up several harddrives to it. Everything was going awesome on every computer I had, but then it had an issue on my desktop. “Delayed Write Failure” WHAT? I try to read the information on the drive, it won’t allow me.

I restart, can use it for a bit more, and then again…same Delayed Write Failure. So I google “freeagent delayed write failure”…and low and behold SEVERAL people are having the same issue with this same drive for this same reason. I searched fixes throughout the web (including their own forums)…attempted all of the fixes…none of which fixed my problem.

I call Tier 1 CSR’s in lovely India, who tell me my drive is dead. I then use the online CSR chat…but I’m of no use to him because I wasn’t physically in front of the computer in question.

Later that night I posted on the Seagate forums…and something snapped. I went to the Investor page of Seagate, found the Seagate email formatting, and posted the email addresses of about 20 executives in my post. That post was removed about 2 hours later…

However, later that day I got a call from an AWESOME Tier 3 CSR (name redacted for his protection, at his request) who stayed on the phone with me for 40 minutes. Low and behold the problem was a small string in my computer’s registry, and he told me that this is the normal issue with these drives when that error shows up, but he legally cant say that when people call customer service, because the registry is Microsoft’s software. So I have the fix, I’m now posting it to the Seagate Forums (he can’t tell people, but I can), and I am happy once again.

I’d probably suggest people call executive customer service, but feel free to go the email bomb route when you’ve hit peak frustration.

There’s a good way to get their attention, post your complaint along with the email addresses for the top executives right on their site’s investor forums. “I’m in your base, giving away the email addresses for 20 of your top dudes.” If you wanted to do something like that, here’s how to figure out corporate email address formats.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. MikeB says:

    “He legally can’t say that…Because the registry is Microsoft’s software”

    Huh? I have seen plenty of Non-MS companies post that the issue is something in the registry and that you had to edit the registry to fix the issue. Sounds like an excuse from Seagate for shoddy CS.

  2. ShadowFalls says:

    @mbouchard:

    Yeah, pretty bad excuse right there. I have seen many non-MS companies post registry fixes. I have even seen Microsoft post fixes when a company has asked them to.

    Personally, I don’t see what in the registry would keep your external hard drive from working properly… It is called Plug and Play for a reason…

  3. phospholipid says:

    BUWAHAHAHAHAHA EXCELLENT SIR, EXCELLENT!

  4. Jon Mason says:

    Am I missing part of the story? I would think that a 3 month old drive should be covered under warranty – when the drive was dead did they not offer to just issue an RMA and replace it? I say this because just this week I returned a dead 6 month old external hard drive to them using the returns feature on their website.

  5. ConnerC says:

    @ShadowFalls:

    I used to work tech support for an ISP, and under no reasons where we supposed to go into someone’s registry (even if we knew it would fix the issue) because the moment you do, and they delete something/do something you didn’t tell them and there computer doesn’t turn on… yeah, all fault. We’d rather loose a customer instead of having someone sue us for the fact their PC won’t boot.

  6. billbillbillbill says:

    If I had a hard drive full of backed up info, I wouldn’t want to just hand it over and get a new one. I will never own a Seagate/Maxtor hard drive again after having a 500gb fail 3 days out of the box.

  7. Walrii says:

    No link to his forum post? Others might have the same issue and it would be nice to have a link to the fix.

  8. catcherintheeye says:

    @Walrii:

    Yeah, as a SysAdmin, I’d kinda like to know the fix.

  9. scoosdad says:

    @masonreloaded: But wouldn’t a new drive have exhibited the same symptoms, until he had tracked down and fixed the registry bug?

    I can understand Seagate not wanting to send him a new one if they already knew it wouldn’t fix the problem.

  10. MikeB says:

    @ConnerC: Thats a completely different reason and I can understand that. But still a poor excuse from seagate.

  11. leonsf says:

    I had an issue w a SeaGate 750GB drive, it was simple the power supply died. I knew this conclusively as I had two of them and the unit in question worked w the other power supply.

    I too dealt the the fine support in India which was completely worthless. In fact I called them several times, enough that I caught them lying to me about the status of parts. They told me first that it would be 2 weeks, then in a later call that they had no estimate for when the power supply would be available, and that this had been the case for over a month (my first call was in a smaller time frame).

    I called executive relations as listed on the Consumerist site and the phone rang literally ONE time before I spoke to the main listed on the Consumerist, he was kind, cheerful and helpful. He literally told me whatever problem I had was no longer a problem and that he would take care of it. I was naturally skeptical after getting the run around the first time. To my shock and happiness though he came through and I had a new power supply mailed to me express mail within 3 days. Consumerist and Executive Relations works.

  12. junkmail says:

    @Walrii: Yeah, same here, as the issue is not exclusive to Seagate hardware. My LaCie drives used to do the same thing. Found the reghack on another site, and it fixed the issue. Sorry I don’t still have it, but if someone else does, please feel free to post.

  13. Hawk07 says:

    @billbillbillbill:

    There would no hard drives on the market left to buy if every time somebody swore off a HD manufacturer, the world followed in pursuit.

    Statistically, I think all HDs fail at about the same rate. Some people just have more bad luck than others.

  14. junkmail says:

    @junkmail: Found one. (Not sure if it’s the one I’ve used, but some have reported success.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/SYSTEM/CurrentControlSet/Control/Session Manager/Memory Management/LargeSystemCache. This setting governs the amount of memory set aside by the system for certain kernel processes. If it’s set to 1 (which allegedly improves performance on systems with more than 512MB of memory), it can cause data corruption on some systems, and produce the “Delayed Write Failed” error. Try resetting it to 0 if it’s been set.
    hxxp://searchwinit.techtarget.com/tip/0,289483,sid1_gci1041334,00.html

    .
    Here’s another one:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSet ServicesLanmanServerParametersEnableOplocks
    5. In the Value data box, type 0, and then press ENTER.
    [infotechsolutions.wordpress.com]

  15. Do_They_Get_It says:

    Case is point, this was a compatiblity issue…not actual failure. HD worked on all other computers he tried but one.

    This would take higher level tech support to solve and as we all know here, getting to that higher level of service can be a nitemare. At least he wasn’t put in the middle with the ye ole “this is a OS issue, call MS…No this is a hardware issue, call Seagate.”

    The reality, we all have trouble getting past first level customer service…that is why we are here to support each other so we can actually talk to someone who has the knowledge, authority and willingness to help.

    As far as other HD manufacturers, I have had great success at talking to design techs by going through Sales Dept asking challenging questions (hey, if you can eliminate the outsourced middle man, why not?)

    And that comment regarding not being able to post fix w/ MS OS being BS, it may not be too far off the mark. Look at what ford is doing to a devoted Mustang Club…[www.bmcforums.com]

  16. HalOfBorg says:

    I’ve owned a few harddrives, and the only one I had go bad was a Maxtor. I got a warning from something (been way too long), and ran the diagnostics. Bunch of bad sectors.

    The repair tool got all of my data out, or at least all my pron…err…work files SEEMED ok. So I give that good marks.

    Everything else had been WD. Maybe not better tech, but good warranty. And from reports I heard they handle warrantys well.

  17. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    I dont want to sound racist or anything, but it all boils down to India tech support. If you think that american CSR’s of any type are bad, India are worse.

    A close friend of mine is a high up on the chain for Belkin. He told me that the India tech support scene is a bunch of crap. People have no loyalty at all. They leave jobs mid day, meaning quit the job, and go work at other companies. If you put together how much it costs to have one tech support here in america (avg. salary $17 from what ive seen) and add benefits to that, you can hire 5 Indian tech support people with no benefits.

    The problem with that is they are undertrained, paid by call, and dont give a damn about the customer or the company. I was told that the Belkin India tech support messed up one customers router so badly that it was completely unfixable. Even the factory setting reset button wouldn’t work on it. They ended up sending the guy a new higher priced router for his troubles.

    Higher teir customer service in america is just there to make the persistant customers who are tired of India tech support happy. Thats mainly what my friend does and that seems what the person in this article did. But the thing about the registry is bull. When I was a noob at the internet and using AOL (1997), the AOL tech had me changing registry keys and settings in INI files. Although none of it helped, they had no problem with supposed “Microsoft Software”. That BS excuse could say that all of windows is shoddy so they cant help you with their driver because it interacts with windows.

    Take that crap back, get an external encloser and a big HD. Its cheap and easier and doesn’t require any software other than windows.

  18. iamme99 says:

    I’ve never gotten a good result talking to any Indian tech support person. They all seem to be clueless.

    Check this out :)
    [www.funfreepages.com]

  19. shawntempesta says:

    Hey guys… I am the guy who ended up doing this… got the fix for ya below. Also the drive wasn’t dead at all, the Tier 1 CSR just didnt know what the hell he was talking about. :)

    1. Hit Start
    2. Hit Run
    3. Type “regedit”. Hit OK.
    4. HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Control > Session Manager > Memory Management
    5. Search for the “SystemPages” and Double click.
    6. In “Value Data”, you may see something like c6800 or something along those lines. Replace this string with 8 lowercase f’s (ffffffff) and hit OK.
    7. Exit regedit. Restart computer.

    If your PC successfully restarted (and it did for me), plug in your drive. TRY to break it. Send as much down the pipeline as you can (I played an uncompressed AVI file and skipped through several MP3′s, the same stuff that would cause the “Delayed Write Failure” error in the first place). Chances are that’ll fix your problem.

    THIS DOESNT FIX EVERYBODY’S PROBLEM. Most though. Some people also had issues with the drive’s sleep functionality (deactivating sleep on the drive would fix it in that case).

    Ben Popken…you taught me to fight the man. Thank you. hahaha

  20. fluiddruid says:

    Changing registry entries is indeed a pain in the ass because people can ham-hand it… which is why you *back up the registry first*. Problem solved.

    (Speaking as a technical support rep who has to make registry changes fairly regularly.)

  21. barty says:

    Helpful hint, make SURE write caching is turned off on a removable drive!

    Go into device manager, find your disk under “Disks”, right click, select properties, then look at the Policies tab. It should be set to “Configure for fast removal” or something to that effect. Also, when you disconnect the drive, make sure you eject the drive properly. You risk corrupting virtually everything on a drive if you just unplug it from the PC while its still powered on. I’ve done it once with a 2gb USB drive I had. I evidently unplugged it while Windows was doing something with it and corrupted the whole thing.

    If you’ve ever wondered why your iPod flashes “Do Not Remove” while its connected to your computer, that’s exactly why.

  22. Wimpkins says:

    Who cares if it’s a BS excuse, the problem was fixed.

  23. stegosaurus1 says:

    I had the problem of “X:$Mft dalayed write failed” on an external WD drive. The Reg settings were all ok. I found that, with large files (4.7Gb .isos), I was getting the error when the drive was filled to >90% capacity (remember the old Unix rule to keep below that number?)
    I can only guess that I was up against some Master File Table capacity/fragmentation/? issue.

    Anyway the problem went away when I reduced it to ~80%.