Good news! Barracuda 7200.11 owners can now download a new firmware fix that (hopefully) won't brick their drives. Seagate has put out yet another statement with the latest on the bricking fiasco:
Seagate has isolated a potential firmware issue in limited number of Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related SATA drives based on this product platform, manufactured through December 2008. In some unique circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on.
While we believe that the vast majority of customers will not experience any disruption related to this issue, as part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, Seagate is offering a free firmware upgrade to proactively address those with potentially affected products. This new firmware upgrade corrects compatibility issues that occurred with the firmware download provided on our support website on Jan. 16. We regret any inconvenience that the firmware issues have caused our customers.
To determine whether your product is affected, please visit the Seagate Support web site at http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/news.jsp?DocId=207931.
In the unlikely event your drive is affected and you cannot access your data, the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue. Seagate is working with customers to expedite a remedy.
Support is also available through Seagate's call center: 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283)
Seagate released its initial firmware fix for the bricking issue on January 16, but soon after, some 'cuda users complained that the update effectively induced the very problem it was supposed to fix. Seagate subsequently took down the firmware update for "validation."
Interestingly, the latest statement (and the knowledge base article) say nothing of the free data recovery services Seagate promised last week. Nevertheless, Seagate spokesman Mike Hall tells us, "[There is] no change from our previous stance on data recovery. Seagate will work with customers to expedite a remedy to the firmware issue, and in the unlikely event that it is determined data recovery is necessary, we intend to make that available on a case-by-case basis."