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Seagate Firmware Update Bricks 500GB Barracudas

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the three-steps-back dept.

Bug 559

Voidsinger writes "The latest firmware updates to correct Seagate woes have created a new debacle. It seems from Seagate forums that there has yet to be a successful update of the 3500320AS models from SD15 to the new SD1A firmware. Add to that the updater updates the firmware of all drives of the same type at once, and you get a meltdown of RAID arrays, and people's backups if they were on the same type of drive. Drives are still flashable though, and Seagate has pulled the update for validation. While it would have been nice of them to validate the firmware beforehand, there is still a little hope that not everyone will lose all of their data."

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559 comments

At least no censoring (5, Insightful)

amclay (1356377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541869)

I'm glad to see them trying though. It's nice of a company to realize they made a mistake, and work to fix it.

Re:At least no censoring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542191)

I love it.... first post and modded redundant.

Re:At least no censoring (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542311)

As he should be, for posting such a redundantly trite faggotist comment.

The only thing to FEAR is FEAR itself (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542557)

The FEAR of losing all that data that is!

Go Seagate! Rah-rah! WDC is behind you all the way but for the love of god, don't drop the soap!

I have a solution for long term data storage. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541871)

clay tablets.

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541947)

cave drawings!

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (5, Funny)

Gerzel (240421) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542183)

No golden plates and seer stones are the way to go.

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (1)

edward2020 (985450) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542343)

And then write it in a language that no one else can read. Brilliant!

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (1, Interesting)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542419)

Although that was probably(?) meant as a joke, I'm wondering if that might not end up being the way things go. Think for a moment. CDs work by blistering aluminium foil with a laser. It's not perfect, but it works.

If you had a more stable structure and a little more oomph on the writing laser, it is quite possible that there are ceramics or metals you could etch with an information density every bit as good as a hard drive.

As you'd be altering the structure of something, rather than playing with very weak magnetic fields on a medium that doesn't hold them very well, the longevity should be every bit as good as that of the baked clay tablets found Mesopotamia.

Not that there's anything wrong with magnetic fields. Core memory is considered good for 100+ years under normal conditions and is still used today for extreme radiation environments. The magnetic field recorded in lava flows has lasted hundreds of millions of years.

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (4, Informative)

beav007 (746004) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542519)

CDs work by blistering aluminium foil with a laser.

Wrong (at least for the vast majority of current cases). Manufactured CDs are pressed [wikipedia.org] , while CD+/-Rs have an organic dye that the laser heats to change its optical properties [wikipedia.org] .

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (2, Funny)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542423)

Yes, because they never get broken.

Here is a perfect example. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L940yIeVZzE [youtube.com]

Re:I have a solution for long term data storage. (1)

Rouverius (1183105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542443)

How about metal scratchings on the case of bricked Seagate drives?

oh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541875)

Well that's just swell

Huh.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541879)

I didn't even know that people updated the firmware on their drives.

Re:Huh.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542065)

I didn't know drives had firmware? I guess it makes sense now that I think about it, but most people I would assume view drives as things that you plug in and they just work until you hear a grinding noise at some point.

Re:Huh.... (3, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542193)

Normally, they wouldn't, but these drives already had issues. Seagate recommended updating the firmware (with their 'handy' windows only updater). Unfortunately, that made the problem worse.

Not Windows. (5, Informative)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542393)

The firmware updater uses FreeDOS from a CD image (ISO). Users had to burn it to a CD and boot from it. Here's an example when I tried it (first release that crashed while upgrading -- did not brick for people and me) under VMware to see if my CD booted: http://img403.imageshack.us/img403/7128/screenshotsa7.gif [imageshack.us] from Sunday night. I didn't bother to try the second one because that one totally bricked 500 GB HDDs which I have!

Re:Not Windows. (1)

Almahtar (991773) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542521)

did not brick for people and me

Dr. Who?

Re:Huh.... (1)

SoupIsGoodFood_42 (521389) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542695)

I had a Maxtor/Seagate external drive enclosure "update" the firmware on a brand new 400GB Barracuda. It limited the drive capacity to something like 100GB or 200GB. It sits unused because I don't know if it will work reliably and Seagate didn't seem to care about replacing it. One of my 500GB Barracudas has this annoying "feature" where after a while, it starts to randomly move the head to prevent wear -- it's slow clicking is annoying. I wish there was a firmware update for that. This was a while ago, and I seem to be surrounded by functioning Barracudas, but my next HDD will be from Western Digital -- I've had enough of Seagate.

Re:Huh.... (1)

i.of.the.storm (907783) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542787)

Well, I don't think that there had been such a large scale bricking of drives before this, so yeah, most people would never need to flash their firmware before.

Fail (1)

russlar (1122455) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541881)

Seagate never played Whack-a-mole growing up.

Pwnt. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541885)

Mirrors are not a backup, and now a raid array isn't either. I'm gonna stick to printing my porn and storing it in a cargo container.

If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (5, Insightful)

Fieryphoenix (1161565) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541891)

Ay Caramba already.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542101)

Except that there are cases in this incident where you can't reflash it. So bricked is correct.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (0)

courtarro (786894) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542119)

This comment appears regularly on /. articles that use the term "brick." May I suggest that the term "brick" is slang and has no official definition? If I plug a [poorly patched] HD into a computer and get no sign of life, I'd consider that a "brick" until it's been flashed back into proper function.

"If you can reflash it" is also subjective: does that mean via a normal IDE/SATA interface, or does it extend to a direct JTAG connection, or do you have to desolder the ROM to flash it? There's a broad spectrum of functionality, but it seems most useful to use the term "brick" to refer to any device that seems to have no useful function under normal circumstances. My point is that it's open to interpretation, so don't be so picky.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (4, Informative)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542243)

I gotta agree with the GP. I mean, the term is 'bricked' as in 'it is now worthless as anything other than a brick (paper weight, building material, etc). If you can just reflash it, it's not bricked. Now of course there are a variety of levels of not being able to flash it anymore, but I would say that if you can flash it back using the same process you used to flash it in the first place...obviously you know how and are capable of doing it, therefore it should be reasonably simple for you to fix it and therefore it is still worth more than a brick. 'Bricked' means you can't fix it, you send it in for service, and all they can do is throw it in the trash and give you a new one.

You were going smooth, then shot yourself in foot (1)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542579)

I wasn't totally agreeing with your post (IMO curtarro seems to be right on) but still appreciated that your argument was valid and you had a point until (shoot-self-in-foot-time):

> 'Bricked' means you can't fix it, you send it in for service, and all they can
> do is throw it in the trash and give you a new one.

Anyone who has had a HD drive die and then come back to life after swapping out its driver board understands that you are talking out of your ass here and that we probably have very little idea what actually happens at HD service centers. Except, of course, that even if they fixed our drive and we could have gotten it back with the data intact, we won't (because they can't be bothered with the logistics and even more importantly, the responsibility for making sure they don't send Customer A's data by mistake to Customer B).

A pity because your error really doesn't have much to do with your defining "bricked" as "not recoverable by flashing again by exactly the same process". BTW, if "pressing a hidden reset button and then flashing again by exactly the same process" would work, would it be still be "bricked" in your opinion?

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542631)

well, if you can fix it yourself, even if it requires the vendor sending you a small program or a cable of some sort, then its not bricked. If you would need to replace boards or desolder something, then its bricked. Doesn't mean someone else can't salvage it, like data recovery or the mfr. But once they've done their process, its hardly the same product anymore, either its disassembled or used other components to become functional again.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (5, Insightful)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542287)

The whole point of calling something a "brick" is that's how useful it is - it can't be made to do anything better, ever again. If you can plug a cable into something, and run a program on your computer that makes it able to store data or play MP3s or whatever, it's CLEARLY more useful than a brick.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (1)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542481)

The whole point of calling something a "brick" is that's how useful it is - it can't be made to do anything better, ever again

I certainly agree with the first half, but I'm not sure "ever again" needs to be part of the definition. Why shouldn't it be proper to say something is a brick if it can't do anything better unless it's fixed? And how far do we take that? If I can't fix it but I can send it the manufacturer who can, is it bricked? I doubt people would call my hard drive a brick if I bashed it into bits, despite the fact that it'll never be fixed and has absolutely no practical use left.

In other words, all I'm saying is there's some nuance here. No need for anybody to get huffy about somebody calling something that could be fixed a brick.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (2, Interesting)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542563)

Why shouldn't it be proper to say something is a brick if it can't do anything better unless it's fixed?

Because a brick can't be fixed to do anything better. The term as originally used is wonderfully descriptive - I think I first heard it used about the PSPBrick trojan, which really turns the PSP into a BRICK. Like, you can't do anything with it anymore. There isn't a thing in the world that you can do with your PSP, ever again, except keep a table from wobbling. I like having a term for that sort of hardware-disabling software problem, and I can't imaging there's anything as evocative as "brick" for the purpose.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (1)

Shadow of Eternity (795165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542577)

No, we call that stress relief.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (3, Informative)

Flentil (765056) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542583)

What if you could send it to a 3rd party to get it working again, like one of those data-recovery specialists? What if it costs $800 to do that? Is it considered bricked then because it's 'totaled' like a car? See it's a slippery slope that easily avoided by simply accepting the current accepted meaning of something being bricked. It's not working right now. It's not good for anything but a paperweight. It's like a brick. It's bricked. Get it fixed tomorrow and it's un-bricked. See that's easy. If you want to talk about something being broken beyond repair, I'm sure there's some other word for that.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542769)

fubared

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (5, Insightful)

smellotron (1039250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542593)

...I'm not sure "ever again" needs to be part of the definition.

Every time I've ever heard the term "Bricked", the "ever again" has been the most significant implication. The term loses its meaning if you expand it to include any device that is currently not functioning.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542741)

Why shouldn't it be proper to say something is a brick if it can't do anything better unless it's fixed?

The word you are looking for is "disabled". As in, "That firmware update disables the drive." As in, "You can re-enable the drive by re-flashing it with a better firmware."

"Bricked" properly means forever.

I doubt people would call my hard drive a brick if I bashed it into bits

Now you are just being pedantic. I agree that if you have rendered it into bits, it is no longer brick-like, and I for one am not prepared to start using "gravel" as a verb to mean "render into bits".

But if you were to knock over an operating PC, and the hard drive heads crashed so hard that the drive fails and can never be used again ever, you have just bricked that drive. See how it works?

No need for anybody to get huffy about somebody calling something that could be fixed a brick.

I don't think "huffy" is the word here. "Brick" as a verb has a specific meaning, and we hate to see that meaning diluted.

It may be a losing battle... we lost the one about "hackers" being a word for cool people. No reporters ever say "crackers" and darn few use adjectives like "black-hat hackers".

"Brick" as a verb is a fun bit of language. Demoting it to mean "disable" sucks the joy from it. But if we have to bicker about it, that sucks the joy too.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (4, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542793)

I have to agree. The manufacturer can generally reload the firmware from scratch through a serial or diag port. After all that's what they do in manufacturing. When I worked with disk drives, we had ROMware, firmware (in flash) and Diskware. The ROM is mask programmed and has only boot code that can program the flash ROM, the flash ROM can be reloaded via the disk interface or a serial port (and can't do much more than load a track from disk), and the disk contains the actual code.
Then we got rid of the flash ROM and things became a little more exciting because the code in ROM had to be able to read and write a few sectors reliably - for the entire lifetime of the product [line], including cost reductions.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542703)

You can always use it as a boat anchor. If it's a real drive that is, not those puny ones they have these days. 8" FTW! Or at least a DLT drive.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542821)

By your definition we shouldn't even call a brick a "brick", since it can also be used as a paper weight.

I don't think its wrong to call an update that makes an item completely unusable a "brick", even it can later be "un-bricked".

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542749)

So, maybe I should try flashing a brick ?

Definitely cheaper, possibly with better results.

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542127)

If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked

At the rate Seagate's going, permanent drive bricking will be in the next firmware update!

Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542203)

CAN YOU FUCKING FAGGOTS __NOT__ USE THE WORD BRICK IN EVERY SINGLE FUCKING ARTICLE?? thanks.

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Re:If You Can Reflash It, It's Not Bricked (1)

jaxtherat (1165473) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542275)

Brickety Brick McBrick Brick.

Ahem, anyway, I do agree with the GP, if you can re-flash it, there is a high probability that you have a working drive, and even if the data is now out of sync, you can do a raw dump and repair the FS using any of the many data recovery tools out there.

Whilst this is an absolutely embarrassing move by Seagate, it isn't ZOMFG we've all lost our dataz.

If Seagate keeps this up (2, Interesting)

Killer Orca (1373645) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541899)

They'll be no different from other HDD manufacturers. I recently got a Seagate external because the price and 5-year warranty were a great combo. I hear they are going to lower the warranty period and now these problems; makes me wonder where I will be able to buy reliable drives in the future.

Re:If Seagate keeps this up (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542041)

I wonder if this is coming from the Seagate side of the house or the Maxtor side? This sure seems a LOT more like something the old Maxtor would have done than the enterprise provider of choice Seagate.

Re:If Seagate keeps this up (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542131)

Everything Maxtor (both good and bad) was thrown away in 2006. This is all Seagate.

Re:If Seagate keeps this up (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542585)

Do you mean they scrapped the technology, or fired all the people and closed the plants, or what? The reason I ask is Seagate certainly still uses the Maxtor name, specifically for external drive products.

Re:If Seagate keeps this up (2, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542681)

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/05/23/seagate_6000_job_cuts/ [theregister.co.uk]

http://articles.latimes.com/2006/may/23/business/fi-maxtor23 [latimes.com]

This was practically all of Maxtor US, Longmont and Milpitas, including what was left of Quantum HDD, except Shrewsbury AFAIK.

Where's the validation? (1)

klashn (1323433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26541917)

If Seagate validated the firmware before releasing they would save lots of time wasted on customer issues post-firmware update. Seagate has been solid, but I think now it had plunged into the water

Re:Where's the validation? (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542223)

It may have driven off the bridge, accidentally killed a hooker, and shot someone's dog, but thankfully their SLOW-ASSED support (I've still not received the validation to get the key to update the firmware on my 1TB drive) has actually saved my disk. :)

So, meh... this is one time the glacial support staff has actually BENEFITTED me. :)

An interesting fact (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26541963)

It is interesting to note that Obama will only be president for a few years,
but he will remain a nigger all his life.

Re:An interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542341)

Can you please go elsewhere and die you complete and utter waste of space.

I'm guessing you really hate black people. That's fine, everyone is entitled to their opinions.

But if you really hate black people so much, quit making such an issue of it with idiotic provocateur trolls, as all you'll create is legions of african americans who have a defensive mentality and a victum complex, and you'll become marginalised by what you despise.

As much as you become what you hate, what you hate becomes like you. It will be hilarious when the african american population will be steeled by years of racism by poorly educated and bitter rednecks like you, and will come out being more affluent, socially mobile and enlightened than you will ever be.

Now please go away.

Re:An interesting fact (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542553)

You're new here, aren't you? Don't feed the troll.

yeah, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542017)

...will the flashed drives run linux?

Upgrading and flashing 'untested' technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542023)

How many times have I heard of people getting burned by throwing the 'latest and greatest' firmware, software, etc on things? Many.

If you have data that is terribly important, you need to test that it is going to work in a TEST environment.

This problem isn't unusual. It is unusual for people to be prepared when it happens.

Re:Upgrading and flashing 'untested' technology? (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542097)

Arguably, when version "latest and greatest" -1 has a cool bug that causes it to permanently and (without hardware intervention) irrecoverably brick itself for no obvious reason, applying version "latest and greatest", at the manufacturer's recommendation, is a fairly reasonable thing to do.

Anybody who thinks that RAID=backup is going to learn an exciting lesson; but I don't think we can, in fairness, blame people for applying the update.

Re:Upgrading and flashing 'untested' technology? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542707)

Since "latest and greatest" is false and -1 is true, I say stick with the -1.

Re:Upgrading and flashing 'untested' technology? (1)

GigaplexNZ (1233886) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542513)

Often people only have one hard drive (or if they have multiple, they are often different models). That makes it a little tricky to test the firmware on a test environment before applying it to production.

call the waahhhbulance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542077)

poofters have lost their gay porn!

3rd time in the last few months? (2, Insightful)

tiffany98121 (1094419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542149)

what is happening with seagate? did they downsize their qa staff or something?

Re:3rd time in the last few months? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542257)

I dunno, but I'm sure as hell glad I have good, tested full backups. I'm looking at it right now.... Iron Mountain gives me warm fuzzies.

How was this firmware was released?? Dear god the QA staff at my work would have have been ripped a new one for that kind of screwup. This is gonna cost Seagate big time.

Re:3rd time in the last few months? (1)

tiffany98121 (1094419) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542517)

i got one of those 1.5 tb drives for what i thought was non-essential server. the thing is not backed up and we were using it to complement some other servers. well it turns out now that people have started to stick things on it that have since become essential and i am now starting to get pretty worried about it. time to buy a decent array i guess :|

Re:3rd time in the last few months? (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542775)

... just 1 more 1.5Tb electric brick device should suffice.

Re:3rd time in the last few months? (1)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542715)

The question is... does Iron Mountain use Seagate?!

Re:3rd time in the last few months? (1)

flygeek (460427) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542825)

Iron Mountain uses enterprise-class RAID gear; those vendors get custom drive firmware loads from their drive suppliers, and the firmware is tested before it is given to customers. That provides an extra level of scrutiny that should minimize this problem, especially if it's that obvious.

Trashing their name (1)

ndberry (1369409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542197)

Seagate use to be a respected name, a to many maybe it still is, but I personally no longer feel like taking the risk of losing important data. The only real leg up they had was their 5 year warranty and now they are cutting that back. I was going to purchase a 1 TB drive tomorrow and had already picked a Seagate out....but now....nope. Seagate better get their shit together if they want to stay in the game because there are plenty of no-names that have better reliability and cost far less than them at this point.

Re:Trashing their name (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542367)

there are plenty of no-names that have better reliability and cost far less than them at this point.

Yeah? I thought it was all WD and Seagate, with a few Hitachi, Fujitsu or Samsungs popping up occasionally. Do tell, I need a bunch of cheap drives.

Re:Trashing their name (1)

ndberry (1369409) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542449)

I was just trying make a point that Seagate use to be reliable and had good service therefore it was worth the extra money. It doesn't seem worth it to me anymore when every time you get a firmware update you need to ask yourself is this data backed up.

Re:Trashing their name (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542529)

Well if you want really large you're best bet in my exp with my customers would be Hitachi or Samsung. If you don't mind smaller I would recommend ExcelStor. Although I have also had pretty good luck with WD, but I mainly buy in the 500Gb range for myself. But for cheap you can't beat a 1TB Samsung [newegg.com] for $95.

Re:Trashing their name (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542777)

If you don't mind smaller I would recommend ExcelStor.

I had trouble finding them, but it looks like $70-80 [buy.com] for a 250GB drive? That's not what one would usually consider cheap.

Although I have also had pretty good luck with WD, but I mainly buy in the 500Gb range for myself. But for cheap you can't beat a 1TB Samsung for $95.

Those look nice. It would be great if they had 1.5's - those steal the $/GB and GB/cm3 shows. I had half of a lot of WD's fail within a few weeks last year. I've just been mixing brands in RAID-1 mirrors for now.

customer support offline too ? (1)

waterwingz (68802) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542205)

Over 48 hours now - still waiting for a response to my request for a firmware upgrade submitted on their website on Jan 17th. Starting to think I better not hold my breath - their bad customer service might actually work in my favor if it gives them time to actually test their updates.

Re:customer support offline too ? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542333)

Over 48 hours now .... Starting to think I better not hold my breath

I agree, but good job for holding your breath for so long :P

As the owner of 4 of the 1 TB drives... (3, Interesting)

ShadowBlasko (597519) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542207)

I would like to know where the hell the firmware update IS? I have opened a ticket with Seagate for each drive. Followed the directions (which were linked to here last week) in detail, and I have heard back NOTHING.

Not even an acknowledgment that they have looked at my tickets. I got a "your ticket was created" email, and that is it.

Seagate is getting very close to losing a lot of customers.

Re:As the owner of 4 of the 1 TB drives... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542269)

I would like to know where the hell the firmware update IS?

It was here, apparently, but as said in the summary it has been pulled at least temporarily:

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=207951 [custkb.com]

Re:As the owner of 4 of the 1 TB drives... (5, Funny)

Banichi (1255242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542373)

Obviously, they are using their own product.

Re:As the owner of 4 of the 1 TB drives... (1)

RedWizzard (192002) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542413)

I would like to know where the hell the firmware update IS? I have opened a ticket with Seagate for each drive. Followed the directions (which were linked to here last week) in detail, and I have heard back NOTHING.

Not even an acknowledgment that they have looked at my tickets. I got a "your ticket was created" email, and that is it.

Same here. But now I see that the knowledge base page on the original issue is saying to email discsupport@seagate.com direct. Try that.

Re:As the owner of 4 of the 1 TB drives... (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542831)

Just do what I do, RMA the damn things, I gave up waiting and it only takes about 10 days to RMA them.

Alternate headline (2, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542237)

Barracuda Flounders

Re:Alternate headline (1)

PiSkyHi (1049584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542791)

I smell something fishy...

Another word for Estuary ?

Incompetence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542255)

Nice to see that there's no limit on idiotic incompetence -- even from a company with the supposed sophistication of Seagate.

Sorry about AC, but posting from another PC.

Oh what a long, long fall. (4, Insightful)

jd (1658) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542261)

Once upon a great while back, Seagate was one of the première names in hard disk technology. These days, the only press I'm seeing them get is bad firmware, questionable reliability, etc. They've been around longer than Microsoft, they really have no excuse at this point for not even testing their bugfixes on their own hardware. It's not like they even have to test third-party stuff.

What leads to this sort of decline?

Re:Oh what a long, long fall. (4, Insightful)

tono (38883) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542389)

I don't know, you should ask IBM the same thing. Deathstar?

Re:Oh what a long, long fall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542403)

"What leads to this sort of decline?"

Beancounters

Re:Oh what a long, long fall. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542467)

Seagates first product, under the name Shugart technology, was released in 1980. Microsoft predates them a little....

But i do see your point.

Re:Oh what a long, long fall. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542493)

What leads to this sort of decline?

Greed. From shareholders, managers and customers.

More more more for less less less....something's gotta give.

Re:Oh what a long, long fall. (1)

hydromike2 (1457879) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542507)

time, as it does with everything else, no institution has ever withstood the test of time, governments on the top of that list, but with respect to a company, the founders die off/retire, the original ideals no longer enforced, or we could just settle on this being a corporate fuck up that will happen at somepoint with every company, or MAYBE its a new feature so that your data cant be stolen... In recent news, the white house uses seagate drives to store all official emails and record official phone calls

bad Seagate, bad! (4, Insightful)

Eil (82413) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542433)

I work for a web hosting company and we get these drives by the case. I couldn't guess how many are deployed throughout the datacenter but on some of our backup servers alone I've calculated that I have almost 100 drives that need the firmware update. Thankfully none of the disks on the systems that I admin have shown problems yet, but we try to run a quality operation and that includes preventive maintenance wherever possible.

I was all set to update the firmware on these when one of our guys found that the update rendered unusable 8 of the 8 drives he upgraded the day before Seagate pulled the update. We currently have some massive amount of Western Digital 500GB and 750GB disks on rush order as a result of this debacle. It wouldn't surprise me if management tells us to swap the Seagate disks for the WDs and decides to just sell the whole lot of Seagate disks off in bulk as defective. It would be cheaper than paying people to update each one by hand.

Before this, Seagate used to mean "quality" in my opinion as their failure rate seemed to be lower than the competition and their 5-year warranty was unmatched. For the average home user, this situation is a headache. For people running datacenters filled with these disks, it's an outright fiasco.

Re:bad Seagate, bad! (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542525)

How many people are running a datacenter full of SATA? Out of ~700 drives in my small datacenter only about 30 are SATA, the rest are a mix of SAS, SCSI, and FC.

Re:bad Seagate, bad! (2, Informative)

seifried (12921) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542611)

"web hosting company" - lots of cheap servers with lots of disk (how else do you sell 10gig VPS servers? It's not like these machines have high IO requirements typically.

Re:bad Seagate, bad! (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542641)

Depends on the application; but probably a lot. With SATA drives natively supported by SAS controllers, and substantially larger and cheaper than SAS, they are quite attractive for anything that doesn't need very high speed.

Seagate's forum is on fire from this mess. (3, Funny)

antdude (79039) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542437)

Go here http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board?board.id=ata_drives [seagate.com] to see the angry users and posts in Seagate's official forum. Most of us are pretty angry and upset. Definitely read this super long thread: http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/message?board.id=ata_drives&message.id=6272 [seagate.com] (42 pages).

I find it ironic that our HDDs are about to be bricked EITHER way (on its own) or with the pulled firmware updater (released twice already too; first one crashed with memory dumps and stuff for everyone; second one bricks 500 GB models).

FYI, http://support.seagate.com/firmware/MooseDT-32MB-SD1A.ISO [seagate.com] was the ISO file that was released (404 error now due to brickings) according to my download history. Seagate needs to get the next one right!

Not bricked! (5, Insightful)

ZorkZero (6507) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542561)

It's not bricked if you can fix it without modifying the hardware. It's a nice term -- stop destroying it.

scandal nomenclature (4, Funny)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542607)

is this seagategate?

I talked with A/S 10 minutes ago (5, Informative)

digirave (569748) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542617)

I talked with A/S 10 minutes ago

After talking with Seagate A/S a few days ago and told I needed to update my firmware and sent an email on how to update, no fireware was downloadable from the links in the email provided.

Annoyed I talked to Seagate A/S again today, it seems I do not need a firmware upgrade anymore, and only some of the hard drives made in Taiwan between some date seem to be defective and updating firmware in non-defective drives seems to be causing problems. Hence they removed all links to firmware. Since they are not 100% sure of what I mentioned above yet, they told me they are going to update their site and call me back when things get finalized next week.

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542619)

When I built my home raid 5 server I used wd disks since they were cheaper and rated for av use (24/7). Prior to that I'd mostly bought seagate. Seems like it was a good time to break off that relationship... I've read nothing good about seagate since

Call the waaaambulance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26542657)

I feel bad for those home users running the "raid" provided by their motherboard but any hardware admin worth his salt knows the risk of flashing a HD thats in a raid array. You always do them one at a time, on a clean system, and reintroduce them to the array after each successful flash.

Western Digital had this same issue 2 years ago with their RE2 line of drives. Bad firmware would cause the 250gb drives to randomly drop out of raid and flashing them would cause them to fall out as well.

Meta-suggestion for eds (5, Interesting)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542689)

Can we, for God's sake, just permanently ban the use of the word "brick" or "bricked" in the summaries. I have yet to see it used correctly.

        Brett

THE FACTS (5, Interesting)

maxtorman (1457897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26542735)

I work for Seagate. I was there when the fit hit the shan, and I saw everything going in internally, as well as externally.
I really love my job, so please excuse the sock-puppet nature that creating a brand new account and claiming to be an authority on the subject I must seem to be. But I am a geek, and I really think you all need to know the true story behind the scenes.

This whole thing started with the 1.5 Terabyte drives. It had a stuttering issue, which at first we all thought was a simple bad implementation of SATA on common chipsets. Seagate engineers promptly jumped in and worked to try to duplicate the issue and prove where the problem was. This wasn't a massive rush as 1.5tb drives are what? 5% of the drives on the market. When it became obvious that the issue was more widespread, they buckled down and put out a couple of firmware revisions to fix it.

Now, in the 1.5tb drives, there are 2 main revisions. the the product line that gets the CC* firmware, and the line that gets the SD* firmware. They came out with firmware CC1H and SD1A to fix these issues and started issuing them.

But, seagate has always been restrictive of handing out their firmware, so such updates required calling in with your serial so that the people who had access to hand out the firmware could check a) model, b) part number, and c) current firmware just to make absolutely sure that they were giving the right firmware out. This has been a procedre that has worked for YEARS up until now.

Then the bricking issue came to their attention. It took so long because it's an issue that's hard to track down - pretty much the journal or log space in the firmware is written to if certain events occur. IF the drive is powered down when there are 320 entries in this journal or log, then when it is powered back up, the drive errors out on init and won't boot properly - to the point that it won't even report it's information to the BIOS.

This is a rare, but still obviously bad issue. Up until now, we all figured it was just some standard type of failure, as it was such a rare event, so we'd RMA the drives.

So, for whatever reason, mid management started freaking out (as it could be a liability for seagate, I suspect - ontop of the already potentially liable issue of the stuttering problem causing drives to fail in RAIDs). So, they pushed the release of the SD1A firmware to the general public. They took a few days to 'test', though it was mostly just including some code in the batch file that kicks off the firmware updater, to check that it is a BRINKS drive, and the proper model number. Then it was kicked out to the public.

Please understand, this firmware had to go through five different checks to make sure it applies to the specific conditions to qualify sending to a customer, before now. 5 chances for us to go your drive needs the other (or none) firmware update. Suddenly, it's down to ONE check, and even that was more designed for a contingency just incase the wrong firmware was sent out.

Of course, it starts bricking drives.

Right now, the engineers are crapping themselves, the firmware's been pulled, the support agents are told to say "The firmware will be released soon" and no real procedure to fix this issue is in place. Our phones are flooded so bad that it locks the system up when there are too many calls in queue, and emails are coming in at hundreds an hour.

We simply cannot keep up.

The good news is, the chance of your drive simply not spinning up one day is very low. And for those of you who flashed the wrong firmware - be patient. It's not bricked, just unable to write data to the platters properly. When they have a *GOOD* firmware out, a new flash should un-brick the drives. If not, flashing it back to SD15 should make it work again.

Seagate really pushes the idea of being open and honest as much as we can without being sued to hell. They let agents make choices and use their skills instead of scripting us to death. They worked hard to bring their support back to the USA.

Seagate does care about their customers. They just got caught with their pants down, twice in a very short period of time! So, they're wanting to double, triple, and quadruple check the firmware so it doesn't brick anymore drives.

As for why it takes so long before an issue is reported and before seagate makes an announcement - we get a dozen 'reports' of issues that are really just one-off problems a day. It takes time for an issue to be 'significant' enough to escalate to the product teams, and time before they can provide a fix.

I hope this clears up a few things. I may or may not be able to answer questions if you have any.

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