1TB Barracudas failing in droves, users claim

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.

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DAVIT
DAVIT
13 years ago

FreeAgent 1TB Barracuda 7200.11 drive failed on me., Only a week or so use. Sounds like the platter spindle wont rotate and gives a beeping sound.

Accourding to my question on Failure rate of these drives with Seagate service support, Seagate responded with 0.34%, probably under their new MTBF system, the AFR (Annual failure rate). No indication of failed drives (returned or not.).

Kent_dieGo
Kent_dieGo
13 years ago
Reply to  YeuEmMaiMai

Did you notice the new WD 2TB drive was not released this week as rumored? My guess is they pulled the release to do extra testing due to the Seagate press. Either that or they found a show stopper bug.

YeuEmMaiMai
YeuEmMaiMai
13 years ago
Reply to  Kent_dieGo

yeah I almost bought one too….but reading reviews = bought a WDC 1TB caviar black…..totally rock solid and quiet……and don’t have to worry about some firmware update to keep the drive running….obviously they didn’t test their product well enough before release….

YeuEmMaiMai
YeuEmMaiMai
13 years ago
Reply to  just brew it!

WDC RMA process is pretty much like anyone else’s cross ship with a credit card #. They used to send the drive 2nd day air and provide a return label. last and only drive I had fail was a 13GB unit due to a flaw in the casting…..

just brew it!
just brew it!
13 years ago
Reply to  pogsnet

Which problem? Hardware problems, or problems with RMAs?

Every brand has hardware issues from time to time. Seagate is just the most recent one (though the fact that Maxtor also had problems not too long ago makes me wonder about Seagate/Maxtor in general these days).

WD and Hitachi (a.k.a. IBM) have also had their issues in the past, though given the current situation, they are the brands I’d recommend today.

I’m not familiar enough with each vendor’s RMA procedures to know first-hand who is best in this regard, though I’ve heard that WD is pretty good.

pogsnet
pogsnet
13 years ago
Reply to  _Sigma
xii
xii
13 years ago

Hmmm… return rates for this sort of product should be made public by law. If there was a sure way of having return rates listed publicly, companies might spend more time in QA and testing their products, and customers would have a better idea of what they are buying.

Delphis
Delphis
13 years ago

Just FYI, Seagate’s announcement is back up:

§[<http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=207931<]§

_Sigma
_Sigma
13 years ago
Reply to  tesla120

pfft, I just lost a Samsung SpinPoint F1 1TB drive. Hell, I even paid the early adopters tax ($300 cad). Bought it in March, died in November. It went from 4 to 10 bad sectors in 24hrs. Can’t remap them, nothing. And now I can’t figure out how to RMA the damn thing.

/edit
Ok, FWIW, I was able to RMA the drive over the phone. Their website is horrible and broken. At least I’ll get my new drive 🙂

tesla120
tesla120
13 years ago
Reply to  pogsnet

that doesn’t solve any problem, it just replaces a potential problem with a device that is prone to the majority of the same problems..

Delphis
Delphis
13 years ago
Reply to  ludi

Yea, even when we move to SSDs there’ll still be firmware bugs that cause all the data not to be readable any more.

Delphis
Delphis
13 years ago
Reply to  just brew it!

I know, I have my affected drives in Linux machines too. #92, I didn’t see your post until I posted mine. I’m glad I was able to see the article while it was up too. I referenced it in a support email to Seagate. I have 2 drives at home (750GB ones) and 2 at work (1TB ones) that I’m concerned about, since in that article it says they were manufactured *through* December.. that’s a hell of a lot of drives. My ones were made earlier, I’ve had the ones in the work machine for nearly a year now and… Read more »

ludi
ludi
13 years ago
Reply to  LoneWolf15

Word. Seems like every time there’s a problem with a HDD vendor it produces a big flury of raging “never again” posts. Of the remaining vendor names on the market, Maxtor, IBM, and now Seagate have taken a turn at having some major problem or quality control flaw in their disks. I can’t recall if WD ever had a major problem but they were one of the last holdouts against fluid-dynamic bearings, and as a result their older drives had the faint whine of a dentist’s drill. Solution? Don’t be an early adopter for any new disk line, and always… Read more »

pogsnet
pogsnet
13 years ago
tesla120
tesla120
13 years ago
Reply to  LoneWolf15

no, no guarantee, but they didn’t list any .12’s in their KB article that was up for like 5 minutes…

i think i will just ask for a .12 with a full 5 year warranty, its not like its a major cost to them, and as long as i dont tell them m never going to buy a seagate again they will try to keep me happy

moose17145
moose17145
13 years ago
Reply to  Synchromesh

Idk… i have had 3 WDs fail on me… altho my 120GB WD is still rockin strong. At this point i am pretty much just ready to say that all the drives from all the manufacturers are gonna fails all the time all over the place and just deal with it. Part of the reason i don’t keep anything i can’t afford to lose on my computer. So i lose my saved games and pr0n… oh well. Biggest thing that would piss me off about it would be the annoyance of having to reinstall everything.

just brew it!
just brew it!
13 years ago
Reply to  TTC

Heh… the drive I’ve got that is on the affected list is in a Linux system. What do you figure the odds are that the firmware updater will require me to move the drive to a Windows box?

LoneWolf15
LoneWolf15
13 years ago
Reply to  tesla120

A refund. You won’t get it, but other non .11 drives are affected too, and it’s doubtful you’ll get anything other than a .11 either.

You could try asking for the ST31000523AS, which is the 1TB 7200.12 line, but they’re relatively new, and I don’t know if they’re available. No guarantee on whether or not they have the same issue either.

tesla120
tesla120
13 years ago

just so everyone knows, the drive Seagate sent me for my Priority RMA died today when I tried to boot up my machine….

its not in the system and not in the BIOS….

I think im going to demand something not in the .11 series… what should I ask for???

LoneWolf15
LoneWolf15
13 years ago
Reply to  Kent_dieGo

And prior to “the Deathstar fiasco”, IBM had some of the fastest drives on the market, continually reviewed as such. The shop I worked for started carrying DeskStars when they were 1.5GB drives; they were some of the fastest drives we had seen at that point (up until I got the first 5400rpm IDE drive on the market, a Seagate 2.1GB). People who know the complete history have a much longer memory of the DeskStar line than a single generation of failed drives. Provided Seagate handles their current issues properly (something IBM did not do well during their issue), hopefully… Read more »

MadManOriginal
MadManOriginal
13 years ago
Reply to  TTC

Well it does suck and it will surely hurt Seagate’s reputation a lot but what else can they do? The thing I can think is data recovery which would be the best thing and very good ‘above and beyond’ customer service but they aren’t obligated to.

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