Seagate Reverses Course, Offers Free Data Recovery for Borked Barracuda Hard Drives

Illustration for article titled Seagate Reverses Course, Offers Free Data Recovery for Borked Barracuda Hard Drives

Seagate's tone has softened since sites started reporting on the plague striking down its Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives. They're not deleting threads anymore and are offering free data recovery services.

Seagate's got a support page setup now where you can check if you've gotta one of the susceptible-to-death drives and download the firmware update that'll supposedly innoculate it against the brickage. If your drive is already borked, you get to the go through the fun support process to get your free data recovery—the screwy firmware doesn't actually kill the data on the drive, so Seagate should be able to get it back, no problem.

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I know people are very weird about what hard drives they will or won't use after a crash—I still have a weird thing about Hitachi drives—so how much does this shake your faith in Seagate? [Seagate via Techreport]

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DISCUSSION

The earlier problem with the 1.5 TB drives was exacerbated by the fact that Seagate did NOT provide a convenient download link for the firmware update. They obscured it, and it was up to Newegg and various users on deals sites (like SlickDeals, where numerous people discussed this in multiple threads) to put up the download themselves. A type of damage control gone hideously wrong.

There is no good reason why this should've happened: Seagate could have put out a list of affected firmware revisions/serial numbers/other identifying specs, and stressed that you only need upgrade firmware if your case matched those details.

To make matters worse, Seagate didn't respond promptly when asked, either. I emailed them and it took over a week before I got a response; and even then, they wouldn't provide the update without a serial number. I understand this, so I provided my serial number, and endured another few-day wait... only to be told my SN was invalid. This was absolutely not true, as I double-checked it, and sure enough, it was accurate.

I later found out, through no help of Seagate but fellow 1.5 TB drive owners, that my firmware, CC1J, was a newer revision which was unaffected.

Both 1.5 TB drives I have are working fine and I'm pleased with their performance.

I'm not happy with Seagate's lack of simplicity and openness on the issue; they just made things more complicated for themselves and for their would-be customers.