Smokey's Security Weblog

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Fatal failures Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 Drives

Normally not an item on my blog, but after reading numerous alarming reports concerning fatal failures in Seagate Barracuda 7200.11, ES.2 SATA, and DiamondMax 22 Drives, with total data lost as result, here an alert for these Seagate Drives.
Seagate is playing down the issue, but reality is different……In particular the 1TB, 750GB and 500GB (ST31000340AS, ST3500320AS, ST3750330AS) units are failing at an alarming rate and prompting outrage from their customers.

According to AtomicPC: A new self-bricking feature apparently resides in faulty firmware microcode which will rear its ugly head sometime at boot detection. Essentially the drive will be working as normal for a while, then – out of the blue – it’ll brick itself to death. The next time you reboot your computer the drive will simply lock itself up as a failsafe and won’t be detected by the BIOS. In other words, there’s power, spin-up, but no detection to enable booting.

RMA and Data Recovery Centres are also reporting that there’s a very high rate of failure on these drives. One user in particular reports having set up a 6 TB drive array and over the course of 1 month having half the drives fail on him. No official stats are available, but at least one RMA middleman has told us there’s about 30-40 per cent failure rates.

According to data recovery experts Seagate has diagnosed the problem and issued a new firmware to address it. However, drives that have already been affected can’t have the firmware applied to them due to their locked-down status.Over a month into the problem Seagate had still not come back to customers with an official solution. Despite the company updating the firmware on newer drives, it has issued no recall on the firmware-defective drives that are still on shop shelves.Drive origin and firmware seem to be Thailand and SD15, but at least one user reports having had identical problems with a unit from the Wuxi(ng) fab and the SD35 firmware.

Urgent advice: update the firmware of concerning drives NOW! If you have the intention to buy a new drive, don’t buy one of mentioned Seagate drives (see survey below)! These (possible) firmware-defective drives are still on shop shelves…..


This alert concern the Seagate drives  ST31000340AS ST31000340NS STM31000340AS ST3750330AS ST3750330NS STM3750330AS
ST3750630AS ST3500320NS STM3500320AS ST3640330AS ST3250310NS STM31000334AS ST3640530AS STM3320614AS
ST3500320AS STM3160813AS ST3500620AS ST3500820AS ST31500341AS ST31000333AS ST3640323AS ST3640623AS
ST3320613AS ST3320813AS ST3160813AS.

Firmware download of mentioned firmware-defective drives: http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=207931

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January 26, 2009 - Posted by | Advisories, Alerts, Friends | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Four hours ago, I have just bought two Maxtor DiamondMax 22 (STM3500320AS) drives (500GB) each, to be installed as RAID-0. When I read this article I got frightened as the drives I am holding right now are still sealed & un-opened. I have considered returning them for a replacement with another make/model but could not resolve the issue of how can I explain this problem to the retailer. So, I went to the support page in Seagate’s web site:
    http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=207931
    I entered the serial numbers of my 2-drives, and then i got relieved when Seagate’s reported immediately to me that my drives are not affected and that no action needs to be taken (no firmware update necessary).
    Thank GOD.
    BTW, my drives firmware code is: MX1A , and the product is made in China

    Any comments & mails are welcome.

    Mamoon Khader
    Amman, Jordan

    Comment by Mamoon Khader | June 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. My 750gb Seagate Powered HP crashed last week… just as described above… after 4.5 months of service. I got a new HP, with another Seagate drive, then within a day, received an update bulletin from HP on the need to upgrade new firmware to the HD. I did… Hopefully, no worried.

    Comment by bill | July 20, 2009 | Reply

  3. My DiamondMax 22 STM3500320AS went down yesterday… No problems till yesterday`s turning on of my PC. OS couldn`t recognize and in other PC same result… firmware version is MX15. Disk is product od Thailand. I already contacted Seagate in case of it, I found some articles in which stands that the datarecovery done by Seagate is free of charge and i can apply my warranty on the bad HDD`s with firmware bug… i will see how it will go. if someone have got some knowledge in this topic write it down please.

    Comment by Igor Stacho | November 4, 2009 | Reply


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