Seagate firmware update bricks 500GB HDDs

Just days since Seagate released a firmware update for a range of hard drives, which were hit by firmware bugs, Tom's Hardware reports that things don't look much brighter for hard drive giant Seagate. This time the problem is with the SD1A firmware update, for the 500GB hard drives in the 7200.11 series, which many unhappy customers have said completely bricks the hard drive.

The problem lies in the firmware update, which causes the drive to freeze up. As far as un-bricking the devices goes, there has been little success. Some have claimed that downgrading the firmware has fixed the problems, for the moment. Others have had no luck as of yet, and are awaiting a response from Seagate, who have taken the faulty firmware offline.

The complaints will have hurt Seagate's reputation further, after a similar issue a few days ago, with the 1.5TB hard drive issues, although most updates were successful then. The Seagate forums, filled with complaints and queries regarding the problems, have had no official solutions yet.

While there's no official word on when the firmware update will be released, users which are having the problem should keep an eye on the Seagate forums and knowledge base, where any solutions are likely to be posted first.

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16 Comments

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Interesting that the SD1A firmware is bricking the 500 GB Drives.

I got two of the 1.5 TB Seagate drives yesterday, and according to seagate's website they're both unaffected by the issue. They both came with Firmware CC1H which is fixed already :).

I've had two Seagate drives die on me in less than a year; one 250GB OEM and another 500GB both bought in March. The 250GB was replaced by the place I bought it from with a 320GB WD (which I've had NO issues with) and the 500GB was replaced by Seagate; just got the REFURBISHED drive yesterday, UGH. But even this one, which is suppose to be SATA-300, only is connecting to my system as SATA-150. The Intel Matrix software sees the WD drive as SATA-300 and the Seagate as SATA-150. I've contacted Seagate support AGAIN about this and will see what they say. But, Seagate's have gone to crap recently. I'm unhappy with them thus far..

How do you even get firmware updates for standard hard drives? I've seen a few people that have updated drive firmware to get better performance in some cases... all I've ever seen released is server class firmware upgrades for servers by OEM's like HP...

That's what I'm wondering, why are people updating them? If your hardware is working leave it alone. Updating firmware for no reason isn't a good idea.

TRC said,
That's what I'm wondering, why are people updating them? If your hardware is working leave it alone. Updating firmware for no reason isn't a good idea.

Well in this case the hardware wasnt working with Seagate and they wanted you to upgrade, but in other cases....

TRC said,
That's what I'm wondering, why are people updating them? If your hardware is working leave it alone. Updating firmware for no reason isn't a good idea.

The problem is that the hardware wasn't working properly because of a firmware problem, and upgrading it made the situation even worse.

TRC said,
That's what I'm wondering, why are people updating them? If your hardware is working leave it alone. Updating firmware for no reason isn't a good idea.

I guess if people think their HD is liable to fail at some point in the near future, and a firmware flash will stop this from happening, then they're likely to flash the firmware to ensure the integrity of their data. Except in this case it appears that flashing the firmware is as bad as not flashing the firmware, so really, what's a guy to do?

I'm not much of a fan of Seagate, I've had two HDD failures, and a 20 number at work, where we use HP DC7800 but I suppose that's not too bad for 1356 PC's which we rolled out, throughout the site.

The best thing Seagate can do at this point is bite the bullet and replace all the dead drives for free. File a company insurance claim and perform a recall of the affected drives, and write it off as an operating loss on their taxes.

While it may sound crazy, Seagate could also benefit from offering a sacrificial lamb. Pin all of this nonsense on one of their executive supervisors, or a mismanaged department/supplier, and start firing people. Whether those people deserve to be fired or not, it makes Seagate appear to have accountability within their company, which will help customers forgive them for the bad press.

Rumour has it they will offer free data recovery services to those who cannot fix their drives. I say rumour because only 1 out of the 5 sources I used stated this, but I would imagine it's true.