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Old 01-21-2009, 09:23 AM   #1
ktinkel
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Default Seagate drive problem

According to discussions at Macintouch, PC Hardware, and elsewhere, there is a serious problem with some Seagate hard drives, which lock up without warning, usually after a computer restart. There is reportedly no loss of data, but the drive itself does not work.

The problem exists mostly (but evidently not exclusively) with drives in the 500GB to 1TB size range, including models labeled Barracuda 7200.11, DiamondMax 22, or Barracuda ES.2 SATA, as well as some rebranded drives with the Maxtor label. Some (all of?) the drives are made in Thailand (site code KRATSG) or China (WUXISG).

The remedy appears to be a downloadable firmware updater. To obtain this (there may be different versions available) Seagate requires that customers contact them, providing the model number, serial number, and firmware revision of the drive. Information or tools at this Seagate site may help users of Windows-based PCs gather this information without having to remove drives (the link was working Jan 21).

For Mac users, it is more complicated. In my case (external FreeAgent Pro 750) the System Profiler provides the firmware revision number, and the drive packaging lists the model, serial number, and place of origin, so that may be enough information for contacting Seagate. (Or not.)

PC users should be able to update their own firmware. According to the discussion on Macintouch, Mac users on Intel Macs may also be able to use a downloadable firmware update, but users of older Macs may be out of luck.

It appears that the problem arises after the drive has been turned off, so one temporary solution might be just to keep it running.

   
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