Seagate Responds to Freezing HDDs

Last week Tom’s Hardware had covered a bit about the freezing problems with Seagate’s Barracuda 1.5TB drives. We would like to update readers with the response that Tom’s Hardware has gotten directly from Seagate.

“Seagate is investigating an issue where a small number of Barracuda 7200.11 (1.5TB SATA) hard drives randomly pause or hang for up to several seconds during certain write operations. This does not result in data loss nor does it impact the reliability of the drive but is an inconvenience to the user that we are working to resolve with an upgradeable firmware.

We are therefore asking customers if they feel they are experiencing this issue to give our technical support department a call with any questions.”

Along with the above response from Seagate, we also received the part numbers for the affected models of Barracuda drives and their respective firmware revisions. They are as follows:

“Affected part number: 9JU138-300, 336 with firmware revisions SD15, SD17, or SD18.”

These responses come to light after last week’s allegations of 1.5TB Barracuda drives exhibiting random, unexplained freezing problems – the problems were usually most apparent with different types of data streaming, such as, streaming video, audio, or general network data streaming (downloads specifically) even at low speeds.

Linux users were complaining of ‘ata frozen’ hits in their kernel log files after drives would freeze and cause the system to become largely unresponsive from anywhere between a few seconds up to an entire minute. Mac and Windows users both complained of similar symptoms as well, some even reporting the Blue Screen of Death in Windows XP after long pauses.

Some users claimed a work-around by disabling ‘write caching’ features – a work around which stopped the freezing, but also manifest severely degraded disk performance, naturally.

If you feel you have been affected by this specific issue, please contact Seagate via their regular support channels listed below – and as mentioned above, Seagate is currently working on a firmware update for the affected models.

Support contact information:

Technical Support in the USA: 1.800.SEAGATE (1.800.732.4283)

Technical Support in Canada: 1.405.324.4700

Other regions please go to our support web page:

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  • ckthecerealkiller
    small number of Barracuda 7200.11 (1.5TB SATA) hard drives randomly pause or hang

    By my count it's about 10%-20% of drives. How is that small???

    does not result in data loss

    Yet I have read mulitple counts where this leads to catastrophic failure.

    OK Seagate if you say so. Let us know when you get on the ball.... If you still have one.
  • JonnyDough
    I'm not sure if it's my drive or my Foxconn NV chipset mobo, but I was experiencing similar issues upon installation of my SeaGate perpendicular recording 250GB drives.
  • Anonymous
    Some Seagate drives made in Thailand also had a lot of problems.