The flagship of Seagate, the Barracuda 7200.11 hard disk drive series, especially the ST31000340AS terabyte drives, is failing at an alarming rate.
Apparently the source of the problem lies in firmware fault code and that the problem is expected to be detected sometime in the process of identifying the components, at the time of system boot. A hard drive that is known to be problematic in this series will function normally for some time, then in one of the boot drives the drive will lock itself and not be recognized by the BIOS. In most cases the information will not be damaged, although the drive will be completely useless. In other words, there is electricity, the plates are rotating, but there is no identification to allow the system to boot.
Data recovery centers and warranty services report that there is a high rate of failures on these drives. One user in particular even reports that half of the drives, from an 6 terabyte drive array, failed after a month of operation. There are no official statistics about the faulty drives, but according to industry sources, the percentage of faulty drives is between 30 and 40.
Seagate responds to the call
After many customers expressed their anger in Seagate forums, the company responded to their call. Seagate issued a statement acknowledging the problem and describing that "in some cases, the information on the hard drive will become inaccessible to the user". Seagate has isolated the problem and states that it may indeed be due to problematic firmware, which will be solved by updating a firmware offered to customers for free.
Seagate adds that the firmware bug is also found on some DiamondMax 22 and Barracuda ES.2 SATA drives. In the Barracuda 7200.11 series, the infected drives are mainly those whose volumes are 1.5 terabyte, 1 terabyte, 640 gigabytes, 500 gigabytes, 320 gigabytes and 160 gigabytes. The failure was not related to the known problem with the 1.5 terabyte drive (model ST31500341AS) that sometimes "freezes" for a short time (the problem is more severe in Macintosh and Linux systems), a problem that Seagate also solved with a firmware update.
According to Seagate, the problem in question should not cause information loss. However, in case the firmware update does not resolve the problem, and the information remains inaccessible, the company will provide free data recovery services. Seagate added that the problem will be found only on drives created by December in 2008, and the problem has been solved In the company's new series.