Seagate Releases Firmware to Fix HDD Bricks

It’s been a rough past week for Seagate, and even more so for owners of new large-capacity Seagate hard disk drives.

Seagate today issued a much needed firmware fix that hopefully resolves one of the biggest bungles for in recent memory. Last week, Seagate released a preventative firmware update for Barracuda 7200.11 drives affected by a faulty firmware which caused the drive to lock up and fail to be detected by the BIOS. But instead of making the drives more hardy, the firmware turned the fancy drives into magnetic bricks.

Thankfully, the company expedited a fix that couldn’t have arrived too soon for those affected. Seagate today sent word that it “isolated a potential firmware issue in limited number of Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related SATA drives based on this product platform, manufactured through December 2008. In some unique circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on.”

Seagate said that the “new firmware upgrade corrects compatibility issues that occurred with the firmware download provided on our support website on Jan. 16. We regret any inconvenience that the firmware issues have caused our customers.”

While suddenly bricked drives would be enough to send even the most stoic computer into tears, there’s no need to cry as Seagate assures that “the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue.”

If you have a Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA or DiamondMax 22 drive, hit this support page to identify if you have an affected drive (though you may already know all too well if that’s the case) and for links to the appropriate firmware update.

We hope it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out, but Seagate is does add to its message, “In the unlikely event your drive is affected and you cannot access your data, the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue. Seagate is working with customers to expedite a remedy.”

For those of you who had problems, did the new update bring your drives back to life? Have you ever had a catestrophic drive failure? How did you recover data from a barely working drive?

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  • 68vistacruiser
    I bought a 500gig SATA drive from Seagate that went bad after a few weeks, and sent it to Seagate under warrenty. They sent me a PATA drive in return. I'll never buy Seagate again. Too bad they bought Maxtor, I liked Maxtor, but I won't buy them, either.
  • Anonymous
    SEAGATE IS NOT PROVIDING FREE DATA RECOVERY! read what drives owners
    were told, just read at seagate forums! all they saying is the date is safe but not accessible, problem is you can fix it with a firmware upadte since the driver is not seen in BIOS.. to be continued.......
  • Jake_Barnes
    I posted this update in a previous thread:

    Seagate has released new firmware ISO's for effected HDD's. See this Seagate Knowledge Base article: Firmware Update for ... ST3500320AS, ST3500620AS, ST3500820AS, ST3640330AS, ST3640530AS, ST3750330AS, ST3750630AS, ST31000340AS [207951]

    Please note that these updates appear to be drive specific and are ISO files. You will need to create a bootable CD to update the appropriate firmware. Seagate has included instructions on How to burn an .iso image onto a CD [201431]

    Note that Alex Feinman’s ISO Recorder (Freeware) is the only free burning software they mention, but I believe you would be successful using the excellent (and free) ImgBurn version: 2.4.2.0. Just follow the instructions for creating a bootable disc from an ISO file.

    Hope this helps.

    RE: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/6867-55-seagate-firmware-update-bricking-functional-drives-update