Seagate Censoring Posts About Barrucada 7200.11 500GB Drive Failures

A number of consumers are complaining about their Seagate Barrucada 7200.11 500GB hard drive failures, and the company is censoring them. While Seagate has issued a firmware upgrade, it doesn’t work if your drive has already been affected, like reader Danny, who just lost all his research material and papers for school. According to some posts on MSFN, moderators on the official Seagate forums are deleting user posts about the issue, and even going so far as to disabling links made on the Seagate forums to posts on other forums about the issue. Danny’s letter, inside…

Danny writes:

Hard drive manufacturer Seagate has a series of hard drives still on the shelves which have a faulty firmware that will cause the hard drive after a few months to go bad and not show up in the bios. The series of hard drives is the Seagate Barrucada 7200.11 500GB (Still being sold at my local MicroCenter)

I recently purchased this drive in October to safe guard my research material and paper for school. This morning I turned on the computer and poof the drive wasn’t showing up. Drive works and spins but is just not recognized by the bios.

So I head over to the seagate forums (which are getting censored rather quickly everyday about the issue according to other users). Seagate has issued a firmware update BUT it will not work if your drive has already been hit with the bug. Guys and gals I am in tears right now. I can barely afford to eat let alone ship this to some data recovery place to the tune of $600 dollars +.

So in much disbelief I kept on reading and started to turn up hundreds of people who have had these drives fail. The problem is even now extending to the new 1.5TB drives they are selling.

This is one of the more collective data threads of actual serials etc.:

http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=128514

As you can see the problem is global. The recall seagate would have to do is massive but honestly for them not to have people send in the drive and fix the problem is TRULY unacceptable.

I honestly hope the consumerist takes this story to the front page. There are still people out there who don’t know about the bug and or have ever even flashed firmware on a hard drive.

Seagate 7200.11 fail & fine dataset, Upload your 7200.11 drive history data over here [MSFN]
RELATED: Seagate 1TB 7200.11 drive firmware update breaks 500GB models [Geek]

Comments

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  1. EmperorOfCanada says:

    Streissand effect hits Seagate! Nicely done.

  2. Dan Grossberg says:

    can you add the picture you used for the guy who fell for the nigerian scam? seriously, that sucks. good luck bro. start up a paypal link.

    if theres anything we learned from scams its that getting one person to give $600 is much harder than getting 600 to give $1.

    • Corporate_guy says:

      @Dan Grossberg: It’s much easier to get 600 from one person than it is to get 1 dollar from 600 people. That is why scams exist. All you got to do is find the right person and BAM you get a lump sum.

      • docrice says:

        @Corporate_guy:
        Wrong! People will easily part with a small amount of money – they tend to think more about parting with a few hundred. That’s why commission in pyramid schemes works. And scientology.

        You are much less likely to second guess the fake cable guy if he asks for $10 to fix something than $500. It’s easier to get cash from large quantity of average people than getting the same from a single idiot.

  3. concordia says:

    If this turns out to be true it’ll be a pretty major black eye to Seagate who, up until now, has been the primary provider of my drives. Even though they tend to be slightly more expensive than their competitors, their 5 year warranty together with their excellent customer service has been keeping me coming back. I really hope this turns out to be a misunderstanding or something.

    That being said, for a researcher this guy isn’t terribly bright. “I recently purchased this drive in October to safe guard my research material and paper for school.” How, exactly, is purchasing one drive to store your data ‘safeguarding’ anything? The mantra is true as it ever was: back up, back up, back up. Always keep multiple copies of your data on multiple devices, preferably of different types. If your stuff is stored on one drive it’s just asking for trouble.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @concordia: Seems like having a backup hard drive would be a good safeguard. I think having five copies would get redundant…

      • Jameson Jendreas says:

        @downwithmonstercable:
        Seems like having a backup hard drive would be a good safeguard. I think having five copies would get redundant…

        As an IT Professional, I find that statement to be quite funny. I have 4 backup points – Internal Drive (RAID Mirror), Local eSTATA HD, Server @ Branch office, Tape Backup. And you know what that’s called – redundant backup

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @Jameson Jendreas: I think I implied something different than what I meant. I was mainly referring to concordia calling the OP not terribly bright because he had an HD backup. As a retort to that, I meant that it seems like that IS a good idea, to have an HD backup. Then when I referred to the five backups, I meant that is overkill in the grand scheme of things, and that it’s stupid we even need that many backups. I think maybe my post was politically motivated. Like a call to manufacturers for improvement. If we needed spare motherboards and CPUs because they failed as much as HDs do, I don’t think people would stand for it.

    • warf0x0r says:

      @concordia: I lost 2x Seagate drives in one month… I felt bad cause I liked buying products from a corp who has offices literally 2 miles from me, but I cannot risk certain data with these failure rates.

      Fortunately Western Digital is also in my state so I don’t feel as bad.

      • downwithmonstercable says:

        @warf0x0r: WD is the best brand IMO. I never really trusted Seagate. Maxtor is the suck. Other brands are questionable. Never had any issues with a WD.

    • taking_this_easy says:

      @concordia: i recently got a WD 7200rpm 1TB Caviar Black (5 yr warranty) from Dell for about $100 with tax and shipping… sticknig with WD for now….. hopefully their 2TB drive will drop in price quickly

    • cunninglinguine says:

      @concordia: Thumbdrives FTW.

    • emt888 says:

      @concordia: Not to blame the OP, but I am a grad student and for my important research and papers, I have them stored on my computer, my folder on my university’s hard drive and on a flash drive. When I walk across campus with my laptop in my bookbag, I carry my flash drive in my pocket because if I get mugged, they can have one or the other, but not both. I know it’s redundant, but it’s important research.

      This saved me when I was writing my undergrad thesis and my computer crashed as I was putting finishing touches on it. I was able to plug my flash drive into a computer in the lab and I only lost a couple of hours worth of work instead of a couple of months.

  4. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    In this digital age, a HDD faliure is worse than any other consumer electronics faliure (other than saftey and life support type devices).

    People can lose their work, family photos, all sorts of data they may never be able to recover.

    Of course, eveyone has heard they should back up their data…but unfortuantly that is a life lesson you learn after a HDD failure happens to you.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @AlteredBeast: Backups are so hard to do now though, because a DVD-R only holds like 5 gigs. That’s a lot of DVD burning to back up MP3s, pictures, videos, etc…

      It sucks that consumer electronics this day in age are only expected to perform well for a few years then crap out. It’s like we expect it.

      • concordia says:

        @downwithmonstercable: So buy another hard drive and do a drive image/mirror them.

        Alternatively, invest in a BluRay burner and some blanks. The blanks are down to like $5/disc now.

        • SacraBos says:

          @concordia: What? You mean backup to *another* Seagate?

          Personally, I rsync everything to a different drive(s) and sometimes to storage on other systems. Keep backups of your backups, remotely if possible.

      • David Brodbeck says:

        @downwithmonstercable: You don’t necessarily need to back up to removable media. Backing up to a second hard disk is often easier and more cost-effective. At work we back up our 1 TB disk array to…another 1 TB disk array.

        Removable media is only necessary if you want to do offsite backups. While offsite backups are a good idea (in case your house burns down, for example) an on-site backup will suffice for most people.

      • ThickSkinned says:

        @downwithmonstercable: DVD R backups are not the only option. A RAID is much more reliable and not nearly as expensive as they used to be. If you’re not familiar with a RAID, check out the details here, [www.techwarelabs.com] There is also plenty of info online to DIY a RAID yourself to cut the cost down.

        • SScorpio says:

          @ThickSkinned:

          Repeat after me: RAID != backup

          RAID can save you from a HDD dying; however, it doesn’t protect you from corrupted files, restores files after a virus attack, or getting back a file you just mistakenly deleted.

          • MikeGrenade says:

            @SScorpio: Indeed. The ideal setup in my mind would be this:
            -One drive for the system
            -Two drives in RAID 1 for data
            -One internal backup drive
            -One external backup drive

        • downwithmonstercable says:

          @everyone who replied to me: Thanks for the tips. I know a little about raid but not enough to go out and do it. I’d be wary of using a second HD to back stuff up, because HD failures seem so common. I know personally I’ve had two fail on me in the last four years, both drives were less than three years old. Both were Maxtor, which I didn’t buy – they came with the computer. That’s why I stick with removable media to back up. Unless you scratch it, it’ll still be ok. But when you have gigs and gigs of stuff, it gets pretty difficult.

  5. Mr_D says:

    There’s always the option of swapping the drive electronics. If it’s not showing up in the BIOS, that seems to me that some component on the board is out to lunch. Buying a drive of the EXACT SAME model and swapping out the boards may help. Not free, but a far sight cheaper than data recovery.

    • legwork says:

      @Mr_D: Unless you’re talking about component replacement this rarely works these days, for several reasons.

    • jsbeagle says:

      @Mr_D: I came here to suggest the same thing. I successfully did this a few years ago on some drives that weren’t even identical, but close enough for the board to work the same.

      The fun part is that there was smoke involved when my drive got screwed up. Not much was on it, but I recovered it anyway. It was a computer that I had built out of parts donated to my school.
      Lesson: don’t try to run a hard drive just sitting on top of a case. It can short out and smoke.

      • MightyDwarf56 says:

        @jsbeagle: Yes, that’s why I always tested a new drive for a computer on a non-metallic surface before putting it a computer. It’s a good tip though.

  6. iakoolguy says:

    From what I’ve read, the majority of the failures come once the drives are placed into a RAID array.

    Buy two of the next size up, and backup, backup, backup. Their something to be said for keeping the setup simple.

  7. Fuzz says:

    This is sorta old news . .well, a week anyway! I have already flashed a couple drives with no problems, I have 6 more to do. For ones that are already bricked and won’t take the firmware upgrade, you can send them to Seagate for free repair.

    Seagate has recognized the problem and are offering solutions. What more do you want?

    • concordia says:

      @Fuzz: Apparently the submitter wants Seagate to travel back in time and teach him backup best practices.

    • legwork says:

      @Fuzz: I’m a long-time Seagate supporter but the number and severity of problems they’ve been having is disturbing. Their 1.5TB drive drop-out problem bit one of my RAIDs. Not fun, and their support was terrible. “Oh, sorry, but those aren’t supported in RAID configurations.” (In spite of their product information recommending them for RAIDs.) They were doing forum-shenanigans with that problem, too.

      Something besides drives is broken at that company. I hope they get a handle on it. The last thing I want is a WD-only world (for the last few years of spinning platters anyway).

  8. demonspawn says:

    It definitely seems that Seagate has been less than professional about this hard drive issue. They have been censoring posts on their forums, and have removed links to external stories about the problem.

    One aspect of your story appears to be incorrect, though:

    “While Seagate has issued a firmware upgrade, it doesn’t work if your drive has already been affected…”

    Looking on the Seagate forums, it seems that quite a few people have managed to flash their busted drives with the new firmware and get all their data back. Have a look at some of the comments in this thread on the Seagate forums.

    • Ubik2501 says:

      @demonspawn: To me, the fact that they’re censoring posts and doing other things to manipulate information to their benefit constitutes a grievous ethical breach that I refuse to support. The other aspects of how they handled this situation also imply some major internal issues that make me wary of future products from them. I used to buy nothing but Seagate drives a few years back, and since their losses in the performance department I’ve mostly switched to WD drives. After this, I refuse to support Seagate’s business practices ever again and will not be buying any more of their products.

  9. Brian Marks says:

    I had a 500GB 7200.11 Barracuda that I bought 9 months ago from Newegg fail in the same manner. I contacted Seagate, who in early January told me “we know of no such problem.” I proceeded to send in my drive (the data recovery services both quoted over $1700 to get the data back) and get a replacement, which I promptly sold on Craigslist. Less than 10 days later, I saw the news about Seagate offering free replacement plus free data recovery, so I contacted them to find out if the drive I sent in was still available for this data recovery and their answer was that they trash all drives within 12 hours of receipt. My data is completely lost and I’m devastated over it. The drive was only 9 months old and I was in the process of working out a backup solution to this drive (which was already my backup but contained some original content which is now forever lost).

    Because of Seagate’s attitude and epic failure on this, they have lost a customer for life. I’m a young guy and buy a lot of hard drives, and will be sure to tell all of my friends about this (of course, at this point, who doesn’t already know about this problem?).

    I’m now back with Western Digital, this time set up in a RAID format, as well as using Carbonite for a 2nd backup.

    • biggeek says:

      @Brian Marks: “I’m now back with Western Digital, this time set up in a RAID format, as well as using Carbonite for a 2nd backup.”

      Repeat after me:

      RAID is not a backup

      RAID is not a backup

      RAID is not a backup

      RAID is not a backup

      RAID is not a backup

      Please continue until you get it.

  10. valarmorghulis says:

    Advice: If you are unable to prevent this from happening with an update, and that data is very important, there is something you can try that has worked for me in the past. On the exterior of HDDs there is some control circutry. This is where that nast bad firmware is located. It is possible to purchase another identical drive to the one that has failed, remove its (hopefully still functional) control board, and swap it for the bad one. If that is where the problem really was, chances are that it should work again and you could now update the firmware. As far as the other drive, you can take it back to the store for a replacement one, or send it to Seagate for warrenty repair (without risking your precious data). In the end you have paid for two drives, but you then have two working drives. Depending on the store’s policy they might even let you return it for a refund.

    However, if you aren’t sure you’d be able to attempt this w/o causing further damage I’d advise against it.

    • downwithmonstercable says:

      @valarmorghulis: I’ll second this! I had a drive fail from a similar issue where the board failed. I took the board off a good drive I got used on ebay, and replaced it. Worked good as new.

    • mewyn dyner says:

      @valarmorghulis: Note! This should only be done to remove the data, not as a permanent solution.

      There is certain data that a drive keeps about the specific platter set on the control board that will not come over when you do a swap like this, particularly exactly where the tracks are and the bad sector map (believe it or not, all drives have bad sectors, just the modern ATA standards are good at keeping them from the users, and keeps good track about sectors that go bad).

      While this may be a good solution to get the data out of the drive, don’t do it for a permanent storage solution. You may run into data loss if you do. (You may also luck out and not, but /I/ surely wouldn’t trust my data with a mismatched controller board.)

    • shepd says:

      @valarmorghulis:

      In this case that won’t work. This is how the bug is caused:

      A secret non-user-accessible area of the HDD is used to write a log file. At 320 entries, and every 256 thereafter, the log file pointer points outside the secret area if a certain pattern has been written to the secret area (this pattern is written by some, but not all, of the inhouse Seagate testing tools applied to each HDD). Upon powerup, the log file is read. If the log file is in this error state where the pointer to the data is outside the correct area, the controller will prevent further access to the drive to stop corruption of user-accessible sections of the drive.

      The new firmware writes a safe pattern to this area on boot that prevents this error from ocurring.

      But now we get into the part that sucks. The ROM built into the controller is a mask ROM. It isn’t programmable at all. It is only smart enough to power the drive up and read the firmware that is saved in another user-inaccessible portion of the drive into the drive’s RAM.

      This means that even if you get a good drive, flash it to SD1B, the controller will still have the same error on the other drive.

      You can ONLY clear this error by either getting the new firmware onto the platters of the bad drive, since in this case the error causing pattern and the buggy code both reside there, or clearing the bad log pattern.

      This means either following the “Solution to Seagate 7200.11″ circuit guide, which uses the RS-232 “backdoor” on these drives to clear the error, giving you a chance to “flash” the drive, or getting Seagate to do it for you.

      • valarmorghulis says:

        @shepd: Do you mean as a perminant solution, or as a method of retireving your data? mewyn dyner is completly correct in stating that this would be an unstable solution at best for the long-term. I also agree that this wouldn’t fix the controller that had broken, but now the broken controller would be attached to a drive that contained no data, and thus would be of little concern to send off to be fixed (both for time and data security reasons).

        • shepd says:

          @valarmorghulis:

          It is a permanent solution when combined with updating to SD1B firmware. It is temporary if you don’t take that preventative measure. :-)

          But yes, if I did this to the drive, I’d right away back up the data.

          Since the controller isn’t the broken part in this case, the firmware + log file are, you just need to fix those. Getting the SD1B firmware onto the drive fixes the firmware, and in turn SD1B fixes your log file. Once that’s done, your drive should be perfect.

          If you trust Seagate, that is. :)

          You cannot just swap controllers in this case, since the error (firmware + log file) is contained on the platters of the drive. The mask rom built into the controller contains no (known) bugs and hardware-wise, the controllers are A-OK.

          Anyone buying a new Seagate drive is fine too if the first thing they do when they turn the drive on is “flash” it to SD1B, since the log file is empty at boot the error combination cannot occur on first power on.

  11. demonspawn says:

    It definitely seems that Seagate has been less than professional about this hard drive issue. They have been censoring posts on their forums, and have removed links to external stories about the problem.

    One aspect of your story appears to be incorrect, though:

    “While Seagate has issued a firmware upgrade, it doesn’t work if your drive has already been affected…”

    Looking on the Seagate forums, it seems that quite a few people have managed to flash their busted drives with the new firmware and get all their data back. Have a look at some of the comments in this thread on the Seagate forums.

  12. 3drage says:

    Dell XPS systems use these drives, we’ve had both of our computers crap out on us and Dell refuses to ship us a different brand of drive. This really needs class action status.

  13. kewlfocus says:

    Why doesn’t this guy just take up Seagate’s offer on Data Recovery?

  14. processfive says:

    Sucks that Danny’s drive is dead, but really… when you buy a hard drive, you simply CANNOT expect it to last longer than the warranty covers it for. If it dies on the day after the warranty is up — regardless of the reason for the failure — you’ve gotten what you paid for, and the manufacturer is no longer under any obligation to help you.

    From the sound of it though, Seagate is attempting to address the issue. As stated by a previous commenter, Seagate is even offering to repair drives that are already affected by the bug. It’s not clear if that extends to drives that are out of warranty, but still.

    At any rate, anyone with a computer should know enough to back up their critical data, and the fact that Danny failed to do that really isn’t Seagate’s problem. Hopefully Danny will learn a lesson here far more valuable than whatever he’s been learning in school.

    • demonspawn says:

      @processfive:

      He never said that he expected it to last for longer than the warranty. He bought the drive in October, and it is now January, three months later. Seagate drives, depending on whether you buy retail or OEM, have warranties of 5 years or 3 years. I don’t think 3 months falls outside either of those periods.

  15. Clipdat says:

    Yeah Seagate pretty much dropped the ball on this one. They put out an initial firmware fix that was supposed to resolve user’s potential problems with the drives. Instead, it bricked people’s hard drives. It then took them another few days to correct the firmware and actually release one that addressed and resolved the original issue. They are offering free data recovery but it’s still pretty amateurish. As someone who had to flash their drive, I can say that I will not be supporting Seagate again in the future.

    [www.computerworld.com]

  16. ThickSkinned says:

    Was Danny using this drive to backup his work? He mentions the reason for the drive was to “safe guard my research material and paper for school”. If this was just the backup, isn’t the only real problem being without your backup drive while it is being repaired? I’m not counting any shenanigans on Seagates part. Those are a bigger issue and worthy of much scorn.

    And if it was the sole storage location for his work, sometimes we have to learn the hard way that redundant backups are the best way to go. In my senior year of school, I lost 2 years worth of animations, models, and digital artwork because of a drive failure. Since then, I’ve always kept backups burned to either dvd or stored on a raid.

    • Mari Walker says:

      @ThickSkinned: It’s a really crappy lesson to learn the hard way. Since losing my documents folder, full of irreplaceable stories, I back stuff up on my flash drive, external, and MP3 player. I think I have my most important stuff (as in, I’d cry if I were to lose it) burned to a DVD somewhere. There’s no such thing as your backups being too redundant!

  17. Technick says:

    This is why you stagger your backup strategy across multiple drives from different companies. I use seagate to store all of my important files and I back them on up western digital hard drives.

    • Mari Walker says:

      @Technick: Who the hell can afford that?

      • Ubik2501 says:

        @Mari Walker: An alternative is simply to use different forms of backup. For instance, my most important files are backed up from my hard drive to an external 500GB backup drive, but are also backed up to my iPod, an 8GB thumbdrive on my keychain, my netbook, and a non-public folder on my webspace. Multiple redundancies are where it’s at!

  18. fcastro says:

    A drive that is only a few months old shouldn’t fail. If seagate were more open about the bug then maybe people wouldn’t freak out. Once the drive is hit by the bug it can only be fixed by sending it in to seagate as the drive is locked into busy and NO bios can read it. It can only be fixed by hardware.

    [techreport.com]

    “Seagate has isolated a potential firmware issue in certain products, including some Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related drive families based on this product platform, manufactured through December 2008. In some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on*.

    As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we are offering a free firmware upgrade to those with affected products. To determine whether your product is affected, please visit the Seagate Support web site at [seagate.custkb.com]

    Support is also available through Seagate’s call center: 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283)

    Customers can expedite assistance by sending an email to Seagate (discsupport@seagate.com). Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. We will respond, promptly, to your email request with appropriate instructions. There is no data loss associated with this issue, and the data still resides on the drive. But if you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.”

    If they honor the above then I think they have made ammends, but the fact that this information isn’t readily available on there own forums is unjust to costumers.

  19. FooSchnickens - Full of SCAR says:

    Glad the only Seagates I deal with are at work. At least I don’t have to re-purchase and re-image everything.

  20. HogwartsAlum says:

    I have a Western Digital backup hard drive and it’s on a computer that isn’t currently connected to the Internet. That said, I’ve been meaning to burn a lot of the stuff on it to a DVD. Guess I should get on that!

  21. Anonymous says:

    I was about to buy a Seagate 1.5tb hard drive, but luckily I saw some articles about the 7200.11 Seagate drives failing before I made my purchase. I ended up buying a WD 1tb hard drive. I don’t think I will ever make a Seagate purchase again. Seagate silencing users who are trying to make their trouble known and evading the issue is bad publicity for them. I think that while we are waiting for the class action, we should try to spread the news as much as possible, by posting on other forums, spamming Seagate’s own forum, and giving all of Seagate products bad scores on online stores where ratings are accepted.

    On another note, did anyone else notice Seagate hard drives dropping in price drastically these past few weeks?

  22. Inglix_the_Mad says:

    Okay I’m not defending Seagate’s censorship here, that is reprehensible (other than to eliminate hyperbole) to do.

    People, back up your freaking data. If you lose data in the age of cheap flash drives, DVD burners, online backup’s, et al, you’ve pretty much got only yourself to blame 99.999999999% of the time. Always keep your data in multiple places. You know that old adage about putting all your eggs in one basket? Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) fails, and in electronics the first 90 days is when it’s most likely to.

    Buck up and learn your backup options. He’s in school? Research paper? I could fit 1000 research papers with notes on my flash drive (8gb) and still have space left over. Heck, I could do iteration saves so if the professor were to ever accuse me of plagarism, I could give him / her the iterations and go “take a look.”

  23. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @downwithmonstercable:

    I used to back up my music and other files to CD-Rs, then DVD-Rs (I have “MP3 Disc” volume 1 – 15 or something like that).

    The problem I have discovered is that DVD-Rs start to become unreadable after a few years. So if I backed up vacation photos from 2003, I may not be able to view them anymore. :(

  24. CaliforniaCajun says:

    Every hard drive ever manufactured will someday fail. No one knows exactly when or how for any of them.

    If you aren’t backing up daily, you have no one to blame but yourself if you lose data, regardless of whether there’s a preexisting fault in the drive or not.

  25. KarateMedia says:

    I heard about this right after buying a Seagate 7200.11 500GB SATA drive. I entered in the part # and serial # on their site, and they claim that my drive is not affected.

    Does anyone know how accurate SG is being w/r/t which drives are affected? I really don’t want to have to wipe this drive and return it — but I also really don’t want it to crash in a couple months.

  26. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    @downwithmonstercable: Nope. I think the only way to be sure my data won’t dissapear is a solid state HDD. By the time they become reasonably priced, the size of the data will have gotten larger (such as higher megapixel cameras, higher resolution videos, etc).

    I have actually lost photos from one entire vacation about 10 years ago when a HDD crashed. If I had actual negatives, I wouldn’t have this problem. It seems like film fades at a much slower rate than the dye used for DVD-Rs.

  27. legwork says:

    Barrucada? Agh! There is again! Ben, fix it, please!

  28. mewyn dyner says:

    7200.11 is a reason I’m staying away from Seagate for a while. I purchased 2 of them, one for my OS drive, one for my development data drive. Heard about this firmware bug on Columbus day, so I decided to check my drives. Sure enough, both were affected, so off to update. Right before I updated my OS drive… bzzz bzzz bzzz. Dead as a doornail.

    How’s that for timing?

    Good thing I was able to get my dev drive updated, the data off to a smaller drive, then put the former dev drive into my system as the OS drive. Took a few hours to get my OSes back up, but at least I had no data loss. (And it’s a fairly new system, so not /too/ painful, but painful enough that I’m avoiding them for a while). Good thing I bought the drive from newegg, and was still in the return period.

  29. wastedlife says:

    From what I understood of the issue, it should be recoverable. You need a working computer to burn the update CD, but after that you just boot with the CD and it updates your drive’s firmware. I might be thinking about a different issue though, there have been 3 with this model alone that required firmware fixes.

    1.)[www.seagate.com] Cache reported as 0, degrading performance.

    2.)[seagate.custkb.com] Data could become inaccessible after reboot.

    3.)#2 but for one specific model the firmware fix would cause the drive to become inaccessible, but a new firmware was released.

  30. pete says:

    I have no sympathy for people who lose their data due to drive failure (but then I’m an evil, jaded IT bastard).
    You have to have a backup solution, period. Data does not exist until it exists in two, physically separate places.

  31. heltoupee says:

    For awhile now, I’ve used Seagate drives in every computer I’ve built. Like many others out there, I will never touch another Seagate product again after this clusterf**k. In my mind, they’ve supplanted the Quantum 5.25″ Bigfoot (that wouldn’t run on it’s side), and the IBM Desk(Death)star. It’s so sad that the only companies we really have left to trust are Maxtor and Western Digital.

    • Gobd says:

      @heltoupee: Maxtor is owned by Seagate so I wouldn’t trust them. Looks like you’ll be buying WD drives from now on, so sad. All I’ve ever owned is Seagate drives and I’ve never had one fail, 1.5TB 7200.11 included.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Bought two of these in early Nov. First one died about mid dec, and I just got back a replacement from Seagate. haven’t installed it because I’m waiting for the firmware issue to be resolved.

  33. Mari Walker says:

    Not surprising. EA does the same thing on its message boards when people complain about SuckURom.

  34. shepd says:

    For people who are handy with electronics, you can fix the issue yourself if your drive is “bricked”:

    [www.msfn.org]

    Then download and install the updated firmware.

    And that link is one of the more popular deletions from the Seagate forums. :(

  35. fcastro says:

    Maxtor was purchased by Seagate a few years ago. Generally maxtors are low end drives and have a higher rate of failure. Hence they only carry like a year warranty.

    Whether to back up your data or not, the problem is Seagate covering up the problem. Errors happen but cover ups and denials only add gasoline to the mix.

  36. Tamar Weinberg says:

    While I don’t have a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, I personally find it ironic that my Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 HDD died at around the same time that these reports cropped up. I haven’t heard a thing about that though on the Internets; maybe it’s just coincidence.

  37. Cam Jamieson says:

    So how do i update my firmware? I have had a 500GB 7200.11 for some time now.

  38. fcastro says:

    Check the seagate web site. Its pinned in the forum along with the correct model number. I have 2 of these drives and updated the firmware. Thank God they didn’t go bad yet. Basically you burn the iso on cd. Reboot and make sure the CD is your first boot device and then follow the instructions. Good idea to backup your hard drive before you do this just in case.

  39. kbrook says:

    That sucks. I bought my Seagate on the recommendation of my father, who has had one for donkey years as a backup. Neither of us have had any problems. This isn’t increasing my confidence in a future purchase…

  40. wdcr0ck says:

    Was bitten twice by the Seagate bug. Because of the relative media blackout by Seagate (their tech support KB article was down for the longest time), I didn’t know about the issue until recently. RMA’ed both drives. Received replacements with new firmware.

    Ended up buying 2 x Western Digital HDs to replace ‘em anyway. Can’t trust a company that would hide the truth from their customers.

  41. trujunglist says:

    I feel pretty bad for the dude because I myself have lost hundreds of gigs of data to crap drives. The first time it happened, I lost about 120gb and was very hurt for months. Another time, I lost two drives (160 and 80) within 2 hours of each other. That was more or less brain death for me. I didn’t feel too bad, probably because of the complete insanity of it all.
    Still, whenever I had a huge paper or some assignment that was essentially a make or break type of situation, I ALWAYS e-mailed everything to myself multiple times or otherwise uploaded it somewhere where I would have a copy to download, just in case everything I owned somehow took a crap. I’m very paranoid when it comes to doing hundreds of hours of work over again but not so much when it comes my favorite music that may not be easy to find, but at least exists somewhere in some form that can be retrieved again because others have it. Unless you can popularize your paper and get a lot of people to download it, you’d better back that thing up 10x over.

  42. Robert E. Hodge says:

    For those that have a major pain from these or other hardrives; use this as it got over 98% of what was locked up in My Seagate Barracuda 320===Recuva. Also, it got more yet from the drive put in by Dell on my older pc.

    A good file retriever too.

  43. kyle4 says:

    @downwithmonstercable: One of the best things ever invented for modern computers: Apple’s Time Machine. Wow does it make backing up an HD easy. I literally just attach the external drive and click
    “Back up now” and it does it. Never had a problem since.

  44. James Anderson says:

    Seagate has offered data recovery and they should be able to return the drive to working order. This guy won’t have to pay if he can reach Seagate tech support. My experience is that is a big IF.

    Out of 45 1TB AS and NS series drives in our research lab 3 disks have failed within days of each other. One of these drives was a week old, the other two we bought in August ’08. I’ve flashed the remaining disks. They seem to be in working order, but we’ve already had to restore our main data storage server from backup.

    This problem is bigger than Seagate is letting on I suspect. I would not trust their website to tell you whether your drive is affected until the bad press forces them to come clean. Also, don’t install firmware the first day it is released. Their first release of the 500GB firmware was breaking drives because management forced the early release of the patch.

  45. loueloui says:

    I purchased one of these drives several months ago from Newegg on special for I think, $119. I did have the good fortune however of having it fail almost immediately, and sent back for a refund.

  46. Bog says:

    I have had a series of Seagate drives fail. The next most failing drives were IBM. Seagate made me very unhappy.

    I’ve been lucky with Western Digital however. I have not had any fail on their own. I even have a some that have been in operation 24/7 for over four years.

  47. wadewood says:

    I had a Maxtor (owned by Seagate) 1 Tb drive fail recently. I sent in under warranty. I had backup of the data on the drive, so I did not need recovery.

    My issue is Seagate sent me a replacement drive with this known issue. They also don’t have a updated firmware that fixes this problem for my particular model number.

    No way I’m installing this, they basically sent me a brick.

  48. BrazDane says:

    I wowed never to buy Seagate again after an incident back in 1997, when I had just started college. I had bought a drive used from a good friend and it died just ONE week out of warranty. The first Seagate rep I talked to told me they might be able to get me a deal on a replacement, considering the time frame, and promised to get back to me. When I heard nothing from them by the agreed time I called them back. Suddenly, the person I talked to was not available and some manager person completely refused that anyone could have offered me a deal on anything. She instead quoted me a ridiculous $2000 for data recovery services.
    Clearly, deals were sometimes made in the name of good customer service, but I guess I just did not qualify. Well, suddenly, Seagate does not qualify for any more of my business!
    Funny enough, I now do tech support and always advise people to not buy Seagate. I also never quote Seagates when my university department needs equipment – that decision back then has cost Seagate A LOT of money by now! :o)