Wednesday, January 21st 2009

New Seagate Firmware Turns Sour, Dangerous

You might want to think again before flashing your Seagate hard drive with whatever firmware the company provides as a 'fix' to pending firmware issues with some of its Barracuda 7200.11 series hard drives. The latest firmware by the company, version SD1A turned many hard drives to paperweights. After flashing the drives with the new firmware, users reported receiving disk failure messages, and systems not being able to access - let alone boot from - the drives. Users claimed to have lost data and backups stored on the hard drive, since the drive is rendered inaccessible from any machine.

Following these reports, the company removed the firmware update pending validation. It is not known at this point as to how the company plans to address its disgruntled customers, whether it creates a window for hard drives failed as a result of upgrading to this firmware to be replaced under the company warranty or free of charge. The SD1A firmware update was released by the company to address stability issues certain models of the Barracuda 7200.11 series were diagnosed with.

Sources: Slashdot, Gizmodo
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45 Comments on New Seagate Firmware Turns Sour, Dangerous

#1
mdm-adph
Har har -- a barracuda. :D

First it was Belkin supposedly issuing firmware updates that just masked obvious bugs and problems (to avoid publicity), and now this from Seagate. :shadedshu
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#2
kenken3686
As for myself I have also done the FW update, which I almost went crazy because this was my drive for all my media and backup files that I have collected for years. SD1A was definitetly a failure, I was then able to flash back to AD14 FW and was fortunate enough to be able to access my data again. Anyhow as I heard from many other users, so far only the "Made in Thailand" models are able to revert back to AD14 and access the drive again. If you have the "Made in China" models, even flashing back to AD14 would not help. Well this is the case for poor testing before letting a FW go out to the public.

-Thanks
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#3
Random Murderer
The Anti-Midas
lol, i love the pic.

i remember when, not so long ago, seagate could do no wrong and they were the absolute best... now look at them.
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#4
Sasqui
Oopsies. The barracuda needs a topping of egg on it's face.
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#5
MarcusTaz
Wow I almost updated, and to think I went with seagate over WD for the 5 year warranty. Does us no good when 1TB of our data is gone cause of a screwup in firmware... :banghead:
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#6
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
I updated all three of my 1.5TB drives to the SD1A firmware without issue.
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#7
Mistral
At the moment I'm using 3 Seagate drives from effected series... fortunately enough, the serial number tool on their site claims they are not amongst the effected.... But that was before is was taken down and replaced with "This application is temporarily unavailable."

Oh, Machine God, please keep my data safe...
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#8
OnBoard
edit: father has two of the affected 750GB models, luckily he didn't flash them yet. Though they are brand new still in the wrap, but kinda hard to use them for some clients computer :/
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#10
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
Fortunately for me, I had an issue with Barracuda hard drives long ago & havent touched them since. I WONT have my data lost a second time by the same company.

since that unfortunate issue back then I stopped buying & recommending their hard drives.
Posted on Reply
#11
laszlo
i want to flash my drive but because is working i didn't and i'm glad...

the informations provided by seagate are confusing.. they stated that drives manufactured through december 2008 are affected but i bought my drive in September and according to firmware and other specifications i need to update so till they don't answer exactly i won't (i've asked about this in their forums and waiting for reply)

from what i read it there...all i know a lot of people has flashed with the new firmware and the drives don't work;data isn't lost because a new flash(with a corrected firmware) will bring the drive to life;some desperate ones have flashed with older firmware.. for a few one was ok

as i understand they throw this new firmware without enough testing ....

who think is affected should read :

http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board?board.id=ata_drives
Posted on Reply
#12
infrared
by: FreedomEclipse
Fortunately for me, I had an issue with Barracuda hard drives long ago & havent touched them since. I WONT have my data lost a second time by the same company.

since that unfortunate issue back then I stopped buying & recommending their hard drives.
Likewise, i've had 3 Barracuda's die on me, first a pair of 80gb 7200.7's in raid 0. 1 of the drives failed and became unusable, so i formatted the remaining drive and re-installed the OS, and that one failed within a month of the first. I then bought 2 160gb 7200.9's, one of which is now dead and the other is being used for non-important back-ups.

I don't have any faith in Seagate anymore. WD all the way!
Posted on Reply
#13
niko084
I have a server with 6 1TB ES.2 drives sitting in it with VERY important data... I'm a little ticked off, I will no longer be selling Seagate drives, probably going to order 6 1TB RE3's to replace them today.
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#14
PVTCaboose1337
Graphical Hacker
I have always been a WD supporter, and reasons like this just make me have more and more faith in them!
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#16
Gam'ster
Maybe they knew of this prob means as they downgraded there warranty to 3 from 5 year not so long ago. But what a pisser for the people who've lost all there data, I can see WD sales going up slightly.
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#17
Laurijan
It getting worse all the time.. first of all the drives fail.. then the update fails..
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#18
adrianx
.... let fishing... the big barakuda ... at home... of seagate ... by mail :)
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#19
FreedomEclipse
Crazy Dogmatic Bullsh!t!
by: infrared
Likewise, i've had 3 Barracuda's die on me, first a pair of 80gb 7200.7's in raid 0. 1 of the drives failed and became unusable, so i formatted the remaining drive and re-installed the OS, and that one failed within a month of the first. I then bought 2 160gb 7200.9's, one of which is now dead and the other is being used for non-important back-ups.

I don't have any faith in Seagate anymore. WD all the way!
the first 1 to fail was an 80Gb sata 150 - this one failed 2 weeks after date of perchase. I lost almost EVERYTHING. who expects 'brand new' hard drives to fail within 2 weeks??? i didnt hence it was loaded up with my data at the time.

the 2nd drive just started giving me BSOD's for no reason what so ever half way into the year. I replaced all drives with Pre-seagate Maxtor hard drives - back then when Maxtor was seen as a half decent company to buy stuff from. only 1 out tof the 3 maxtors failed but it took 3 years of thrashing & heavy gaming before it succomed to its wounds & died peacefully, happy with the knowledge that it last 3years & not just 2 weeks
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#20
[I.R.A]_FBi
my brand new 7200.10 320 gb caught fire :|
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#21
Drac
Had seagate for years without issues
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#22
niko084
by: Drac
Had seagate for years without issues
Some people get lucky.. For those of us that deal with hundreds of them a month we see an incredible failure rate...

And now they are simply not stacking up speed wise either. The WD black is slapping the ES.2 all over the place, almost as bad as a Core2 vs a AMD x2.
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#24
Ongaku
*phew* wow, I'm so lucky my HDD isn't part of this mess. Sucks for everyone who has to deal with it though :(
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#25
thebeephaha
7200.10s were great. 11s have really hurt Seagate.

I have nine 320GB Seagates and a 250GB, all the 7200.10 models. They have never given me an issue. Some are even refurbs and worked fine for over a year since I bought them.

I don't have anything against them but... were I work I used to see equal numbers of WD vs Seagate fail. EXCEPT for the new 7200.11s. I have seen MANY of those fail and right now WD is where I would go.
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