Seagate customers swamped by Barracuda drive failures
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Seagate firmware to blame
By Chris Mellor • Get more from this author
Posted in Storage, 16th January 2009 11:31 GMT
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Seagate 1TB Barracuda drives are failing at an alarming rate, with users complaining of a plague of such failures spreading across the globe.
Barracuda 7200.11 drives made in Thailand (ref: ST31000340AS with firmware level SD15) are failing at boot time with a firmware error that is said to lock the drive up and render it inoperable. Seagate's warranty procedure for failed drives has been used by owners, with an RMA (Return Merchandise Authorisation) number issued for the failed drive to be returned to Seagate and replaced. However, replacements are said to be of the same type, and so prone to the same error.
Barracuda failure map
Countries affected by the Barracuda firmware failure. (Map from user DerSnoezie on MSFN forum.)
Users seem convinced, energetically so in some cases, that the incidence of such drive failures is far higher than the statistically low incidence of failures to be expected with any drive.
Data can be recovered from a failed drive by using a data recovery firm which, of course, costs money that Seagate will not refund. For example, you could use i365, a Seagate company, to get your data back and pay Seagate twice - once for a disk to store your data on and a second time to get it back when the drive fails. Perhaps Seagate could issue special i365 vouchers to customers with Barracudas bricked by the problem?
As always users should backup their data, but there is an obvious additional problem here. What happens if you backup to disk and the backup disk is also a Barracuda 7200.11?
A 17-page thread about this firmware failure problem is going strong on a Seagate forum. Frustrated users have complained that postings and threads have been removed by moderators.
There is no Seagate Knowledge Base article about how to fix the problem. All it shows in response to a search on the topic are product overviews and references to forum postings which say that there is a problem.
Seagate recently reduced its bare drive warranty period, raising some doubts about product quality standards.
It has yet to respond officially about the failing Barracuda firmware issue and wasn't able to immediately answer any questions. ®
Fonte em inglês.
Fonte traduzida com o google.
Sem resumo e sem tradução.. É bom ficarmos atentos..