Updated: Seagate 1TB Drives Biting The Dust

In the wake of freezing issues with Seagate's 1.5TB drives comes yet another problem with the Barracuda 7200.11 series. Failure rates of the 1TB drives in particular are abnormally high, but Seagate has not acknowledged the problem.

Now 11 pages long, the "official" problem discussion thread on the Seagate support forums is full of users reporting problems with the ST31000340AS, the 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 drive.

One user built a 6TB RAID array three months ago. In two months, one of the drives failed. A second drive failed about a month later, and a third eight days after that. Another user had four out of five of their drives fail within 12 days of purchase. Reports of failures can also be found on other forums as well. Some data recovery and RMA centers have reported failure rates of approximately 30 to 40 percent, but Seagate has not released any official information.

The issue lies with faulty microcode in firmware version SD15, found on drives manufactured in Thailand. Generally, the drive will operate normally until the time of failure and at some point will lock up and prevent detection by the BIOS, rendering it completely unusable.

While Seagate has not publicly acknowledged the problem as of yet, they have reportedly updated the firmware on all newly manufactured drives, however the firmware cannot be update on drives that have already failed because the BIOS does not even detect them. This means that owners of affected drives require data recovery services to save their critical data.

No recall on unsold drives with the affected firmware has been issued.

Update: Seagate has acknowledged the problem and is providing firmware updates through customer support. Additionally, if your hard drive has already failed, Seagate will provide free data recovery services, since the data is not actually affected.

For more information, visit this page.

  • retxed333
    Didn't Tom's recommend these drives?
  • I guess Tom's didn't review the one manufactured in Thailand...
  • Gopherboy6956
    I do have the Firmware update to fix this issue. If anyone wants it, just email me at matt@bytespeed.com
  • roynaldi
    Straight from Seagates website. It tells you which drives are bad and what to do to get the firmware!!

  • roynaldi, did you bother to read that page? It says right there on the top: "A small number of Barracuda 7200.11 drives with firmware versions SD04 or SD14 may show and utilize only part of the available cache."
    That's a DIFFERENT problem.
  • Gopherboy6956
    Just to clarify: The firmware I have WILL NOT correct the problem, but it will prevent it.
  • Lowdown
    I think this may be something with their whole 7200.11 series drive. I have the 750GB version of this drive and I'm on my third drive in 10 months. I hope they figure this problem out cause I would hate to loose my information again.
  • Dave K
    I had one of two Hitachi 1TB drives (in a Raid1 configuration) fail after 2 weeks, it was replaced and both drives have been good for the last 15 months (running 24/7).

    I definitely wouldn't trust 1TB drives outside of some sort of RAID architecture (and if not mirrored then I'd be sure to have a hot swap with auto-rebuild in the system).
  • Pei-chen
    Crap. I have two 7200.11 1.5TB in RAID 0.
  • gsteacy
    retxed333Didn't Tom's recommend these drives?The problems started to appear in October but only in December did they become so widespread. The drives don't always fail right away. If yuo read the article I linked in the first paragraph (http://www.tomshardware.com/news/seagate-barracuda-1-5TB-freezing,6558.html) you will see that a comment was made at the end that no problems were found with the 1.5TB drives when reviewed. I haven't seen a 1TB review by TH myself, but I don't read everything here ;)

    roynaldiStraight from Seagates website. It tells you which drives are bad and what to do to get the firmware!!http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/s ds/cuda-fwAs someone else mentioned, that is for a problem with an older firmware version. But by fixing performance issues, Seagate seems to have made things worse :heink:

    Pei-chenCrap. I have two 7200.11 1.5TB in RAID 0.
    Better make it RAID 1 and hope both drives don't die together ;)