Three weeks after we first caught wind of the issue, Seagate tells us it has finally fixed the "freezing" problem some users witnessed with 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives. Here's the full statement from Seagate spokesman Mike Hall:
Some Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives may show uncharacteristic operation when used with Mac and Linux operating systems in multi-drive configurations. Users may experiences pauses in video streaming applications or a dropped drive from RAID arrays. Customers seeing these symptoms should contact Seagate Technical Support for a firmware upgrade.
In order to assure the proper application of the new firmware, please email a description of the issues you're seeing to Seagate (firstname.lastname@example.org) Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. Also, please describe your system, operating system and the application in use when the issue arose, and you will receive a prompt response with appropriate instructions.
As an alternative to the contact email address above please access http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us/.
Perhaps that's not the end of this story, though. One of the Seagate support forum members who initially complained dropped us a line saying the new firmware negatively impacts performance. According to Nick, average read performance for his 1.5TB 'cuda was in the same ballpark as the 105.8MB/s we obtained in our own benchmarks. With the new firmware, however, he claims read performance dipped to 86MB/s. Disabling write caching allegedly brought that figure back up to 101MB/s.
We plan to test the new firmware to see if these claims check out, so stay tuned.