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Seagate 7200.11 known issues?

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July 3, 2010 10:15:55 PM

I just got a "refurb" workstation from HP with three Seagate Barracuda 1.5TB 7200.11 internal drives that I plan to put into a RAID-5 array for my data. (Separately, I plan to install a 500GB Barracuda 7200.12 for OS/apps, and a 160GB Barracuda 7200.12 for swap.)

As to the three 1.5TB 7200.11 drives for the RAID array, they sent me this refurb machine with two of those drives already in the box (which means the drives “may” be used), and then they sent me a third drive to match it (which I presume is new) which has almost the same specs since they matched it with the HP part number of the other two.

I've seen a number of warnings about Seagate 7200.11 known issues, but haven't yet come across the details or fixes.

The specs on the two drives that came in the machine are:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
1500 GB
ST31500341AS
P/N: 9JU138-621
Firmware: HP22
Date Code: 10072 Site Code: TK

The specs on the additional drive they sent me to match those are:

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
1500 GB
ST31500341AS
P/N: 9JU138-622
Firmware: HP23
Date Code: 10257 Site Code: TK

Is there a firmware update I should apply, or a "homemade fix" I should employ? Or should I just use the drives and wait to see if I have any issues before I worry about it? (I will have the RAID-5 redundancy, and I do image the whole system reasonably often.)

Or, since it's an important production machine and we’re a tiny but fast-growing tech company (with a quite modest budget for the time being), should I toss them and buy newer ones?

(It's been suggested to me Samsung Spinpoint F3 tests faster, quieter, cooler... and less money... and, well, more reliable. Though, of course, "not" replacing or updating what I have now is obviously the least expensive in terms of cash and my time... "if" it doesn't give me issue later.)

Thanks.


More about : seagate 7200 issues

July 3, 2010 10:48:18 PM

A "refurb" HP computer should NEVER be used as an "Important Production Machine". The company mat be tiny, with a limited budget, but if it's a question of being up and working versus downtime with dubious hardware, you'll be out of business sooner than you can say 'refurbished'. NEVER compromise up-time with questionable...
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July 3, 2010 11:25:47 PM

Actually, marcellis, if you are at all familiar with the remanufacturing process, you would be yammering at the OP to ONLY use manufacturer refurbed product. For one, in most circumstances, the product was return for cosmetic problems (dent & scratch) by the retailer and repaired, but could not be sold as new product, so it gets sold as remanufactured.

If there was a hardware issue, it has been repaired/replaced and it has passed through the manufacturer's QC process again and will typically come with a new warranty. And you get the price discount cause th product isn't new anymore.

The key is it has to be refurbished by the manufacturer. Some kit will be passed as remanufactured, but if you check the fine print, you will find that the manufacturer was not involved in the refurbishment, but rather another third party. In this case, I would be wary of any retailer who sells such kit.
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July 3, 2010 11:37:09 PM

marcellis22 said:
A "refurb" HP computer should NEVER be used as an "Important Production Machine". The company mat be tiny, with a limited budget, but if it's a question of being up and working versus downtime with dubious hardware, you'll be out of business sooner than you can say 'refurbished'. NEVER compromise up-time with questionable...


Other than hard drives, pretty much every tech advisor I've spoken with has said it’s no big deal. They say, "New machines break. Refurbs break."

Also, “I'm told” that with HP workstations the refurbs they ship usually were new units sent out without any software installation configuration and thus no testing, and they were DOA (or something died within the first 30 days). They fixed, cleaned up, tested and shipped. Of course, this is hearsay that could be complete nonsense. Looking inside the machine, though, it looks… well… no more used than my prior two-year-old machine.

That two-year-old machine, which I bought "new" from HP/CDW (over $7,000) two years ago gave me nothing but issues – and HP can no longer find a way to fix t by throwing more parts at (hence their choosing to send me the refurb of a newer model workstation).


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July 3, 2010 11:43:04 PM

After looking at what I'm initially reading about Seagate 7200.11 drives, I think I better toss all the Seagate 7200RPM drives and replace them with a different brand.

The posts I’m seeing so far are indicating that the firmware update approach is not enough. They’re just bad drives. Check out this long list of complaints on NewEgg (28% of 2,000 reviews gave it the lowest possible rating with some scathing comments – compared to 5% out of 300 giving the Samsung SpinPoint F3 the lowest rating, for instance). This link is to just the "lowest rating" reviews for the Seagate 7200.11 drives:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductReview.aspx?Item=22-148-337&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&SelectedRating=1&PurchaseMark=&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&Page=1&Keywords=

Here’s one post from that thread, posted late May 2010:

“It's been found that apparently Seagate has been pumping these drives out with a somewhat well-known and easily-detectable design-flaw... On what appears to be the entire 7200rpm model line-up (regardless of capacity), Seagate appears to have employed a new layer on their platters to help magnetically-protect them... This layer ends up scraping off over time onto the heads, and after a consistent amount of buildup will become increasingly more unreliable. It can eventually lead to mechanical head-failures, which explains the clicking that nearly half of these reviews discuss... Since I had employed two of these drives right out of the box in a mirrored array, they had been run identically from day one... and they both failed within 5 days of one another after consistent use for 9 months... this is an obvious manufacturer defect... it effects their entire model lineup... and they've done absolutely NOTHING to resolve it. Hopefully they'll agree to a refund under this Magnuson-Moss law..."
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