Seagate Drive Crisis FAQ

In case you are unaware of the news, below is a brief, followed by my FAQ’s

http://www.betanews.com/article/Seagate_confronts_an_overflow_of_bricked_hard_drives/1232564973
The scope of the problem is so massive, with so many users complaining in so many places online and attributing any drive failure to this problem, that it’s difficult to determine what exactly happened. But it appears that the majority of those posting originally had a 1 TB drive using SD15, which with no warning became not detectable by BIOS after about three months of use.
Some users felt that the problem was more likely to occur with drives made from Thailand.

A KnowledgeBase note from Seagate said the problem was occurring with 21 models of Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 Drives, and provided users with several ways to check whether their models were affected. However, some users reported that, due to the configuration of their storage systems, they were not able to ascertain the identity of their drives. (Normally, it’s Control Panel -> System -> Device Manager -> Disk drives…but that’s only for systems that can still boot.)
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After waiting nearly an hour on hold and talking to returns and tech support I received the following info from Seagate support:

  1. It affects all drives (on the Seagate list) produced BEFORE December 19th 2008
  2. There is no software to query where the drive was mfg. you need to yank the disk and read the sticker
  3. Seagate is refusing to release what what “specific conditions” would cause a crash but say it is rare. They were not impressed when I noted that their forum now has 50,000 hits on this thread with many people claiming to have bricked disks
  4. You can NOT flash the disks if they are in an array – must shut down, put the disks in a new box, flash them then put them back in the array box and power up – they do not have a written article explaining this process so use at your own risk (which is CRAP!!!!)
  5. Disks with firmware “CC” are fine regardless of date
  6. They have completely unqualified people answering the phone – I ended up with a “returns person, who is just helping out… blah blah blah”
  7. This is important: NOT all of the ES2 drives have a flash yet. The firmware released this morning only covers some models
  8. The problem relates only to 500, 750, 1TB and 1.5TB drives (ie. almost everything)

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Click for Firmware Patches from Seagate

Barracuda 7200.11, Barracuda ES.2 SATA, DiamondMax 22
ST31000340AS
ST31000340NS
STM31000340AS
ST3750330AS
ST3750330NS
STM3750330AS
ST3750630AS
ST3500320NS
STM3500320AS
ST3640330AS
ST3250310NS
STM31000334AS
ST3640530AS
STM3320614AS
ST3500320AS
STM3160813AS
ST3500620AS
ST3500820AS
ST31500341AS
ST31000333AS
ST3640323AS
ST3640623AS
ST3320613AS
ST3320813AS
ST3160813AS

Questions or Comments?