Seagate Promises Firmware Update for Barracuda Drives

Jan 21, 2009

In the past weeks, Seagate hard drive users have been experiencing failures with their Barracuda drives. Seagate responded with updates, then with a recall, and now promises a resolution.

The problem with the Seagate drives goes back at least as far as November 2008 with complaints on the company's community forums site. The Barracuda drives quit working and the BIOS didn't recognize them after restart, making them inaccessible. In response, Seagate issued a firmware update just a few days ago, but had to recall the update.

The spokesperson from Seagate has promised a prompt followup.

The problem mostly affected Barracuda hard drives of the 7200.11 series with 1 TByte capacity, but others of the Barracuda ES.2 SATA and DiamondMax 22 series also showed the same problem. The full list of affected drives are on the Seagate Knowledge Base webpage. Seagate claims a failure rate of about 2-6%, although other forums suggest a considerably higher one.

Users of the affected hard drives are recommended not to stop and start the drive, in that an update will no longer fix the damage. However, Seagate promises that no data is lost and offers a free restoration service.

If uncertain whether a Seagate hard drive is one of the affected ones, send email with the serial number, model number and firmware version to discsupport@seagate.com". Determine the firmware version by using "hwinfo --disk".

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