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Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

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Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby Ian on Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:32 am

Seagate has released a firmware fix for failing Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives. Barracuda 7200.11 drives made in Thailand (ref: ST31000340AS with firmware level SD15) are failing at boot time with a firmware error that locks the drive up.

Here is the thread on Seagate's forum that covers the problem: http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/mes ... ing&page=1

Here is the firmware fix: http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/s ... cId=207931
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:50 am

Thanks!!! Have a couple of these!!!
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Mon Jan 19, 2009 10:23 pm

Wow... Seagate sucks... I got home from work tonight and bricked both of my drives... seems they were a bit premature in releasing this:

http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/mes ... ing&page=1

Guess I am not alone.
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby LoneWolf on Tue Jan 20, 2009 11:54 pm

Ouch, Tracy.

I applied the firmware to my 1TB without incident. Still glad I had all my data backed up though.

P.S. There are rumors that you can unbrick a drive by backing up to release AD14 of the firmware, which also pre-dates the SD15 firmware that is reportedly the whole problem. I'd see if you can find the AD14 firmware.
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Wed Jan 21, 2009 8:20 pm

Nope... No go for me... seems hit or miss... if your drive at one time had AD14 you can step back it seems... Mine shipped w/ SD15... Also Seagate is claiming they have fixed the issue and unbricked drives in a press release... not according to the forums at Seagate... The only ones claiming their drives unbricked are those that were able to roll back to the older firmware... that, well... still has issues. Glad my data was backed up and I have a couple spare PC's... some are not so lucky. Ordered some WD's... No more trusting Seagate's product offerings after this debacle.
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Thu Jan 22, 2009 12:54 am

Update folks... My drives are unbricked and data seems to be intact... still my faith in Seagate is gone... going back with WD and new drives are on order.
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby Ian on Thu Jan 22, 2009 1:46 am

How'd you fix them?
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Thu Jan 22, 2009 9:31 am

They pulled the firmware after they realized it bricked drives... they re-released it around 10PM last night and I re-flashed with the new release... rebooted and voila! Drives were back and no lag at bootup like a had before.... Not sure about the random freezing yet, but we shall see after I put it to some use... I will try to process our xmas videos from MiniDV to dvd tonight with VirtualDub... before I had tons of dropped frames. Must get to work now...
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby LoneWolf on Thu Jan 22, 2009 4:07 pm

After reading a lot more, I discovered a few things:

1) The bricking with the updated firmware seems to only happen on 500GB models (I upgraded my 1TB model without incident)
2) Seagate released an updated SD1A firmware that unbricks the drives
3) Seagates engineers were pushed to quickly develop a fix for the first bricking incidents, to the point at which the firmware (by directive) went through less QA checks than usual, resulting in the second set of incidents.

I don't hold this against the Seagate engineers. However, others have (validly) pointed out that the issue with the 7200.11's bricking (apparently if your system is rebooted when the SMART logs have exactly 320 entries in them) has existed since at least this summer, and was kept quiet, to the point of deleting posts on Seagate's forums. That's the part that really bugs me. At first, I could see the company thinking this was an anomaly (it's a small percentage of drives relative to the number sold), but at some point, it should have become obvious, and solving it should have kicked into overdrive. It didn't.

I don't have a need for drives right now. We'll see what the market is like when I do. Note that WD apparently had issues in the beginning with their Greenpower drive series, so nobody's entirely immune from problems.
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby SithTracy on Thu Jan 22, 2009 6:49 pm

Agreed... I have had drives fail from all mfg's... IBM, , Quantum, Samsung SpinPoint (never again -- their service sucked royally), WD, Seagate SCSI, and Maxtors... But I have seen more failures as the drives jumped over 160GB in size... I have made a habit of staying as small as possible... go with the "don't keep all your eggs in one basket" approach. But this was quite a debacle and fumble by Seagate from the word go. Clearly this was a management decision that backfired and in the current economy, may be fatal. I'm grateful my data is in tact and it saves me time rebuilding my system... but when the new WD's arrive, that is what I plan to do eventually... but may hold off as I plan on putting a quad in my Intel 965 board to replace my E6600...
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Re: Seagate Releases Firmware Fix For Barracuda 7200.11 HDD

Postby LoneWolf on Fri Jan 23, 2009 1:10 pm

Tough call for me. While I don't like how Seagate corporate handled this, truth is, I've been using Seagate since NCQ SATA drives came out (around the 160GB point, 7200.8 models) and I haven't had one fail in one of my rigs since that time. I have two 400 giggers (probably around 2.5-3 years old), two 500GB drives, and the 1TB. Since the 500's and the 1TB are newer, my decision will be made based on their lifespan and how things shake out when I need a new drive down the road.

Though at some point, I'm strongly tempted to a) Buy a second 1TB to RAID-1 my first one, or b) buy two 1TB drives and run a RAID 5, replacing the two 500GB ones in my desktop entirely, and adding some performance to the mix. I just bought this P45 board (need to ship my BadAxe 2 overseas for family) so I don't plan on changing RAID controllers any time soon.
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