Seagate Hard Disk Firmware Reportedly Breaks Barracudas

A simple firmware patch went awfully wrong for Seagate users who own Barracuda 7200.11 hard disk drives with DiamondMax22 and Barracuda ES.2 models.

A firmware "bricking" bug that was supposed to be solved by a firmware update (ref: SD1A) ended up causing more harm than good, causing 500GB Barracuda drives to fail as well as 1TB models as well.

The update has been withdrawn and is expected to be "updated" further and tested extensively before being released. Going back to the previous firmware helped in some cases.

Seagate has issued a statement saying ""There is no data loss associated with this issue, and the data still resides on the drive. But if you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business."

Seagate is just about to announce the new 7200.12 drives but this PR disaster could not come at a worse time. Most Seagate hard disk drives are covered by a five-year warranty.

Users can make or break hard disk companies. IBM produced Deskstar 75GXP hard disk drives which were notoriously unreliable, and infamous for their reportedly high failure rates and were frequently referred to as "Deathstars". The Deathstar episode ended after IBM settled class-action lawsuit in 2005. But the damage was already done long before. In June 2002, IBM sold its HDD operations to Hitachi.

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In an intriguing post on Slashdot, someone by the nickname of Maxtorman pointed his virtual finger at the middle management saying that they started freaking out as it could be a liability for Seagate adding that "Right now, the engineers are crapping themselves, the firmware's been pulled, the support agents are told to say "The firmware will be released soon" and no real procedure to fix this issue is in place."

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