In the wake of the 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 freezing issues, swarms of users have started reporting another problem with a different 7200.11 model. According to a nine-page thread on the Seagate support forums, an abnormal quantity of 1TB 'cudas are failing just months after being purchased.
Going by the user complaints, ST31000340AS hard drives running SD15 firmware can fail after three months of use with no warning signs—they just mysteriously vanish from the POST screen after a reboot. In an extreme case, one user posted to say two of six 1TB Barracudas from his three-month-old RAID setup bit the dust, and he returned eight days later to complain of a third failure. Another user says he suffered only two weeks after buying the drive, and at least one member has complained of a similar problem with a lower-capacity drive running the same firmware.
The Inquirer reported on the failures yesterday, claiming the issue has to do with a "faulty firmware microcode" that can brick the drive at boot detection. Supposedly, product return and data recovery centers are reporting "a very high rate of failure on these drives."
We've dropped Seagate a line to get to the bottom of the issue, and we'll post an update once we get a response. Stay tuned.