Seagate Barracuda hard drives plagued by failures

Numerous complaints are being reported from customers who own the 1.5TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive at the Seagate's online support forum.

The hard drive seems to just freeze during data transfers. Kabatek, Brown and Kellner LLP, a consumer law firm, is considering a lawsuit against Seagate because of the high failure rates of the Barracuda 7100.11.

Seagate, the world's largest Hard drive maker released the 3.5-inch internal drive, Barracuda 7200.11 in July 2008. The hard drive offers 1.5TB of capacity on four platters and uses a SATA 3GB/sec interface, delivering a sustained data rate of up to 120MB/sec. The drive is also available in 1TB, 750GB, 640GB, 500GB, 320GB and 160GB capacities, with 32MB and 16MB Cache buffer size.

Seagate has stated that some other hard drive models like DiamondMax 22, Barracuda ES.2 SATA, SV35 are also affected by a firmware bug which makes the drive fail when the host system is powered on and the data becomes inaccessible.

Seagate is currently offering a free firmware upgrade for the affected drives. Customers can expedite assistance by calling Seagate Support(1-800-SEAGATE) or by sending an e-mail to Seagate. The e-mail should include the disk drive model number, serial number and current firmware revision which can be known by downloading the Seagate Drive Detect software program available in Seagate Knowledge Base.

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i would buy there products again planetik so unless you have actual evidence to back up your claim. what you people need to do is research reviews and if there are alot of negative reviews i would buy it and look for reviews from more than 1 place.

I will NEVER, EVER buy Seagate products again.
My drive is affected, and thankfully it hasn't died yet. However, the firmware patch they released for the model number of my drive CAN'T detect it! This is happening to everyone with the same model! (500GB / 7200.11)

They can't get one thing right...

is the part number the same? i noticed people complaining they couldn't apply the update when their part numbers were different. those i saw saying it didnt work had a part number ending in 303 and the updater is looking for part numbers ending in 300, even if the model number matches

So Seagate got their act together and released a new firmware for people who had the issue that I had. Now it got bricked, along with a bunch of other people's. I hope word goes around the intarwebs to NEVER buy their products.

I never had problems ith seagates hard drives. I've been using them for years and they lasted long. I still have my seagate 4.3 GB which I bought last more than 10 years 1997. Still it's alive and no still no bad sectors.

Judging by Newegg customer reviews, Seagate has some serious issues with the 7200.11 drives. Most of the bad reviews are from buyers who have had their drives 3 months or more. Seems like the only good reviews are those that posted a review when the buyer received the drive rather than after the drive has had some use.

I could have posted a good review for my drive when I received it but chose to wait until I had used the drive for several months. All of the dying drives have all worked great up until they completely bricked without any warning.

Wonder how many more bad reviews the drives would have received if the buyers had waited a few months.

Reviews are deceptive. People will review a product when they are not happy with it, but if they are happy, you will probably never hear from them again.

People love to complain, not so much praise.

you know i still have an old seagate 545MB drive that runs as well now as it did when i bought 12yrs ago i replaced it with a seagate 20GB U5 series which got fried in a lightnig strike. So i replaced it with and you guessed it another seagate this time a 40GB Baracuda IV i then added a 80GB Baracuda V SATA I which i then replaced the boot drive with 2 WD800JD's in raid0 and 2 x WD2500AAJS's and i've had no bad drives , iv'e also replaced several hundred drives of various sizes and manufacturers and never had a problem it's just the luck of the draw just like the Deskstar drives a few yrs back they had a masive failier rate well now it's seagates turn and i'd have to say campared to the ammount of drives they make as to the ones that fail they do a pretty good job of it as do any HDD manufaturer most failed drives can be attributed to poor handling by transports/couriers and enduser F Up's

i've had my 200GB Sata 1 Seagate 8MB cache drive last so far since 2003 and it works great still. The only drive that has failed on me is a Maxtor Drive so i stay away from Maxtor.

theyarecomingforyou said,

It's worth bearing in mind that updating the firmware will effectively nullify your warranty by limiting the potential liability to $1.

It's scandalous. This means you're better off waiting for your drive to drop dead and getting them to recover the data and provide a replacement.

What is that whistling sound..?

Oh, it's Seagate's customer base plummeting.

Kojio said,

What is that whistling sound..?

Oh, it's Seagate's customer base plummeting.

It says if your drive fails during the firmware update the liability will be $1. Once the firmware has been updated your warranty is restored back to what it was.

Are you sure? Wouldn't the firmware itself classify as software, therefore remain under the limited liability? Even so there is still the risk that the firmware required to fix an issue with the drive could tank it. That would be understandable if it was an optional update but this is to prevent the drive from failing.

I still haven't heard back from Seagate yet, only a confirmation email. I would hope they'd be a bit more prompt when the issue is so severe.

Intelman, a firmware update would have saved my drive. You should check Seagate to see if an update is available for your drive.

My 3 month old 500 GB Seagate ST3500320AS failed last week due to this very issue . Seagate is using refurbs for replacements, which are also failing according to Seagate forum users. My first and last Seagate.

You know, the whole lawsuit thing is getting really, really old. If you buy a HDD and it's bad, take it back. You don't have to get your undies tied up in a knot and sue over it. It's a flippin' hard drive, not the end of the world.

Sometimes I think I should have been a lawyer for the money. But then I would despise myself.

Part of the reason I went out and bought a Fujitsu 160 gb laptop drive. I did that after loosing 300 gb on a Seagate drive head crash. Just recently lost 100 gb on an older but still under warranty Seagate laptop IDE drive. Data was there, but also had a head crash on the end of the platter. Used a software item to retrieve mayb 20 % of the lose info. But gave up on that. Seagate isn't what they used to be. Why I would be crazy enough to buy something like 1.5 tb drive?? At least the Fujitsu has a 3 year warranty on it. not great but better than others

I knew nothing good would come from the Maxtor / Seagate merger... god I hate Maxtor

I was thinking of buying a new Seagate, might choose another brand now.

I would still go with Seagate. This is just a fluke that can happen with ANY hardware.. Its just faulty firmware in ONE model line.. Been using Maxtor, WD and Seagate since 80MEG drives and all have had the same failure rate over the years.. Infact, my first drive to die, and the 3 others after were 80MEG, 2.1GB and 6GB WD's.. My 10GB Maxtor in my 386 still works!

ive just done a serial number check on my 500GB and 2x 1.5GB and none of them are effected, touch wood.

Its only the 1.5TB drives doing this due to firmware.. Have been using 6x7200.11 1TB's for a while now and all work fine.. My 4x750's are fine, and my 3x500 7200.10's are fine in other machines in the house.. Never had a problem with Seagate drives..

I have a 1TB drive affected by this, though my 750GB and 500GB drives are unaffected. I haven't had any issues yet but I've contacted Seagate support and have a case number - I rarely shutdown my computer (which is apparently how the issue develops) and all my data is being backed up just to be safe.

Even so I haven't had any data loss and my experience with Seagate is still more positive than with Western Digital or Maxtor.

I've never had any trouble with a Seagate drive, granted the oldest is almost three years old, but every Western Digital I've had has died within 2 years, one was DOA. And my one Samsung is working fine after 3 years.

I bought a Seagate drive, and withing days the thing bricked. And it wasn't even this one!

As the first comment says, Western Digital FTW

My friend has the same HDD model as mine and his hdd is affected while mine is not, we both checked with the Seagate Validation Tool.

Of course there is that possibility. However, what happens if only 5% of drives are affected: should they panic the 95% of users that will never have a problem? I think the chance of them maliciously misleading people is virtually zero.

Glad this issue has gained the attention it deserved. Hasn't affected me directly, but i'd hate to see this story buried.

I think that if one of the DiamondMax series drive are affected means that Seagate and the old Maxtor are making hard drives together in the same factories. And I'm sorry to say this, but Maxtor wasn't exactly the most reliable company out there. They were nearly as bad as Hitachi.

I've had two of the older Seagate 7200.10 drives in a RAID0 config for over a year now without issue. Its a shame to hear about the problem with those 1.5TB drives; good thing there's a fix.

Not so good to hear, as Seagate I think manufacture drives for other brands too ... I was only reading the other day that some Iomegas are actually Seagate ?

Would like to see Neowin do a review of Hard Drives, especially external ones ..

theyarecomingforyou said,
None of my drives are listed as being affected:


is that what u've written? they need serial not the model if so.

Yeah, I just realised that - I was only going from the link provided and it didn't explain what I had to do. I just ran the actual check and one of my drives IS affected.

I'm not sure if the 1.5TB one is evan completly a firmware fault but rather a hardware and then ON TOP of that other drives have firmware problems.

Aye I went on the internet and found this.... seems like the 1.5TB have a different problem, wow bad days for Seagate...

Well I guess no surprise that 7200.11 series is replaced by 7200.12 series so soon.

Just setup an account to register for support (the seagate hard disk I bought a few days ago is prone to this issue according to the seagate website), when logging into the website I get this error:

"Your login attempt has failed. The username or password may be incorrect, or your location or login time may be restricted. Please contact the administrator at your company for help."

Is there a direct email address for seagates tech support?

Posted two cases in Seagate's customer support, one for each of the 1Tb drives I own. Last I heard the new firmware is due Tuesday. And as a correction, only the 1.5Tb have the data transfer failure. The rest of the series could just stop detecting in your BIOS entirely.

This is Deathstar 2.0 for new year. I have three 1TB hdd.How am i supposed to backup all the 1TB data i own..? Got to buy a western digital/samsung and got to backup just in case.

Anyone know of a good alternative other than Western Digital ?

Samsung drives often review quite well. And despite the article Seagate still are a viable alternative. Just make sure you always have two copies as regardless of the brand hard drives may fail on you. Maybe just avoid the 1.5TB ones for now since they appear to be getting a bit of flak around the place.

The question of backups should occur to you at a later point anyway (when you stop trusting the lifetime of the drive for whatever reason, to be precise), so it's really just good that you start thinking about that now. :P People buying these sizes should consider if they actually want to backup their data, and in that case how. Before they buy the drive, and regardless the brand... Pretty much all drives fail at some point, after all.

(fine print: this post is not written in defense of Seagate; some people draw those kind of conclusions)

rakeshishere said,
I have three 1TB hdd.How am i supposed to backup all the 1TB data i own..?

Which is why I don't buy 1TB drives.

warwagon said,
Which is why I don't buy 1TB drives.

Its 160GB/1TB .... one and the same I am a seagate user since 10 years and this has made me cry all over

warwagon said,
Which is why I don't buy 1TB drives.

Does it really matter but? Alternatively you get multiple smaller drives but in the end you still end up with 1TB worth of data that needs backing up.

Really it doesn't sound like a very hard question. If you need to back up a 1TB drive just buy a 2nd 1TB drive for the backup. Same thing you would do if you had a 320 or a 640 drive.

warwagon said,
Which is why I don't buy 1TB drives.

i just burn anything important to DVD recordables (Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden if you want the data to LAST any length of time as there the best discs on the market)

Our company has been through 5 Samsung 2.5in disks all less then a year old. Could be very bad luck but I haven't had the nerve to buy any of their drives again. Especially not laptop drives. We have some servers running Seagates that are over 10 years old. All manufactures have a bad batch from time to time but my experience (17 years) has been that overall Seagate is a good pick.

I just bought one of these for my PC, have yet to have any problems.

Good to know there's a firmware upgrade should I have any problems though.

If Seagate has been selling sub par drives for years they would be bankrupt. They have offered a 5 year warranty on all of their drives the last several years. This even included external drives. Your hero WD tricks people into buying an "Essential" version drive and gives them a 1 year warranty. I have one of these beauties at my office that they conned someone into buying and it died after 14 months. I have the 1.5 Terabyte drive in my system now. It was slow to spinup when I got it but the firmware patch fixed it. The patch is easy to apply and takes about two minutes.

You're right. Western Digital is so bad, they have their own article about how their drives are failing at an alarming rate... oh wait...

For what it's worth Seagate has dropped the Warranty Length from five years to three on quite a few of their hard drives just recently.

Theres an article here along with the warranty summary at The Baracudas 7200's are one of the drives which has dropped to three years. Infact besides the enterprise level drives, basically all OEM ones now are three years.

I think this is because Seagate just bought another drive vendor (name?) that couldn't hold up to the 5 year warranty. So, my guess is that those hard drives are being rebranded as "Seagate" even though they really aren't. Very sad.

I don't know if they bought any recently but they bought Maxtor a few years ago. Thing is back they sold those alongside Seagates with different branding so I can't see why they couldn't do that still.