Seagate confronts an overflow of bricked hard drives

Faced with a firmware bug fix that is making many of its hard disk drives even harder -- to read, that is -- Seagate is offering a firmware upgrade and free data recovery services if users still cannot read their data.

The scope of the problem is so massive, with so many users complaining in so many places online and attributing any drive failure to this problem, that it's difficult to determine what exactly happened. But it appears that the majority of those posting originally had a 1 TB drive using SD15, which with no warning became not detectable by BIOS after about three months of use. Some users felt that the problem was more likely to occur with drives made from Thailand.

A KnowledgeBase note from Seagate said the problem was occurring with 21 models of Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 Drives, and provided users with several ways to check whether their models were affected. However, some users reported that, due to the configuration of their storage systems, they were not able to ascertain the identity of their drives. (Normally, it's Control Panel -> System -> Device Manager -> Disk drives...but that's only for systems that can still boot.)

Then, a January 17 firmware upgrade Seagate called SDIA, originally designed to fix the problem on some 1 TB systems, actually caused the problem on some 500 GB systems. Seagate said on January 21 that a new version would be available in 24 hours, but as of this time, it is not yet available.

Notifications for new firmware are being posted to Seagate community forums.

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