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prdarkfox

Attention Seagate Owners:

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Pulled this from another forum. I thought I'd bring the word over here.

Evonet @ MekTek:
As the amount of typing errors may show, I am not currently on my usual computer.

Thing is, I bought a computer and placed a pair of 500GB barracudas on it.
Last month, one of my hard drives died. It didn't squeek, it didn't cough. I shut down my computer and when I turned it on the HD was no longer detected.
Since a HD dying is not that uncommon, I sent the drive for RMA... data was not an issue: after all, that's the reason why I bought twin HD's.
Today however, my 2nd HD died. The exact same thing: computer was fine. I shut down the computer. Start it up, and HD is no longer detected.

Well, a lightning does not strike twice in the same place in such a short time, so I went to the seagate forums... and was stunned: An ungodly amount of ppl were having the exact same problem with the exact same HD (500GB and 1TB 7200.11 barracudas). Some vendors were posting there, reporting numbers as high as 40% failure in those models. Some groups are "working on the case" and discovered that there is a firmware issue that results in BSY busy (BIOS does not detect the HD) or the HD being detected with 0GB space.
Seagate is yet to admit they have a problem with those hard drives, but the numbers speak for themselves: over 20% of the 7200.11 barracudas have received a 1 star (minimum) rating. The store where I bought mine, sold a couple hundred of those HD's in the last semester of last year, of which 110 (!!!) have been returned with my exact problem. I bought 2, and they both died.

So this is a heads up: if you got a 500 GB 7200.11 barracuda (apparently, the troublesome ones are ST3500320AS-SD15 made in Taywan) BACKUP YOUR DATA. Into a non Seagate HD for that matter.
This ain't some ridiculous alarmism: step onto the Seagate forums, and see the numbers. All the pages are flooded with ppl with this exact drives and this exact problem.


Do note that this is the same drive that Randy Heit was also using for a little while. Otherwise I have no comment.

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I haven't had very good luck with Seagate hard drives in the past, so this doesn't come as much of a surprise to me. Thanks for the heads up, though.

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I was planning on buying a new hard drive soon and I usually buy Seagate. Thanks for this.

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caco_killer said:

I'm glad I bought a Western Digital Harddrive instead of a Seagate.


My WD failed a while back. I wasn't the only one - apparently there was a problem with a few of their models too. It was about 2 years ago though.

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I usually get Seagates but the last I got was a Hitachi actually. Works like a charm.

I've had 2 Seagates fail. But one was due to thunderstorm and the other never truly failed it was just damaged (probably from the same thunderstorm). Would still work, though I couldn't install XP while using it. But 2k worked just fine with it.

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Bloodshedder said:

I've had four Western Digital drives fail. I've had one Seagate drive fail. Guess what the only two brands I use are?

Maxtor and Hitachi?

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Fujitsu & Samsung?

My most recent drive failure (fingers crossed) was several years ago, coincidentally that was a Seagate though I'd say it died of old age.

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I have a SD15 too and this is true that it indeed sucks, my second seagate disappointment ever (first was in 1995 with their new 800mb'ers having similar fate)

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I've always had a "it won't happen to me" attitude towards hard drive failure. So far I've been right.

Now that I've jinxed it, I'd better start making backups.

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I used to not back up anything because I was too lazy, but once I realized how stupid this was, I signed up for Jungle Disk. It's super easy to use and quite cheap.

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Bloodshedder said:

I've had four Western Digital drives fail. I've had one Seagate drive fail. Guess what the only two brands I use are?

Western Digital and Seagate, by your own admission. :p

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exp(x) said:

I used to not back up anything because I was too lazy, but once I realized how stupid this was, I signed up for Jungle Disk. It's super easy to use and quite cheap.

Yeah, I've been thinking of S3 services as well, although I'm a bit paranoid about my data being outsourced (easily nullified with GPG, but heh).

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There were problems with Zune 30, now problems with specific Seagate harddrives?


Really, what's happening?
Handheld consoles, behold! You are the next victims of 2009.


Just kidding, but this is a big fault, and if some people don't back up their files, they have big problem.

Good job, Seagate. Customers are happy now(To get their money back).

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I see HDs failing daily where I work, but most of them are shit-old. If I was to make a rough stat...most of the failing ones are 20 GB WD HDs mass-purchased some years ago.

On the converse, I have found a full height 3.5" 200 MB IDE HD from 1988 that still works (from Maxtor, don't remember the model). Considering how my first PCs HD in 1993 was 330 MB, 200 MB in 1988 must have been high-end.

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Bucket said:

Western Digital, bitches. RepraZent.


Gah, beat me to it. That was more or less the first thing I wanted to say as soon as I knew this a thread about problems with a non-Western Digital HD brand.

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My old 40GB Samsung hard drive crashed a year ago, and like a dumbass, didn't back it up until it's too late. It had a lot of personal stuff there, too, not to mention a lot of games (Thank god my DOOM folder wasn't on that drive). However, maybe it's because my hard drive is old (7 years), and has run its course. So I bought a 160GB WD that's been running clean ever since.

My two most unreliable hard drives, IMO, are Seagates and Maxtors. I hardly see Maxtors anymore, of course. I've seen many people on hard drive forums complain about Maxtors and how easily they crash. I guess Seagate is the new Maxtor.

EDIT: I just read up on this fact: Seagate bought Maxtor. Maybe that's why they're having a high failure rate.

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I think toshiba made this hard disk. Think because I've never taken it out before. But I backup everything anyways so I'm not worried.

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Anecdotal evidence is awesome!!111one

ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL. Every single one of them, from every brand; it's just a matter of time. Don't trust any hard drive and back up your %$*# data (and remember, RAID is not a backup).

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david_a said:

ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL. Every single one of them, from every brand; it's just a matter of time. Don't trust any hard drive and back up your %$*# data (and remember, RAID is not a backup).


Amen to that. I've learned my lesson.

The reason that they fail often (every 5 or so often years) is because hard drives are VERY delicate, to the point where even a tiny little speck of dust can crash it.

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I just recently bought a 500GB Barracuda. :(

Which is odd because I meant to buy a 500GB Maxtor. Not sure what went wrong, maybe clicked the wrong button somewhere. If it dies I will be pissed.

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david_a said:

Anecdotal evidence is awesome!!111one

[b]ALL HARD DRIVES WILL FAIL.


True, but at least anecdotal evidence can help evidence notable cases of bad batches of a particular product at a certain time, including e.g. batches of contaminated chinese powdered milk :-(

"If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck..."

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All the doubters in this thread really need to do some research. This isn't new. Most hard drives 500 gigs and up have much higher fail rates than drives in the 40-320 gig range (I don't know about 400 gig drives). I don't ever buy drives that large that I intend to use on a regular basis. For storage purposes, I'd say it's ok. Hell, terabyte and up drives are getting so cheap nowadays it wouldn't even be a serious dent in your pocket to buy more than one and back up your data twice (assuming you have that much data to back up).

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alexz721 said:

All the doubters in this thread really need to do some research. This isn't new. Most hard drives 500 gigs and up have much higher fail rates than drives in the 40-320 gig range (I don't know about 400 gig drives).

Which is only common sense. The more delicate stuff you try to cram into smaller and smaller physical space the more easily it will screw up. And it's not just HDs: If you have a 1cm long scratch in both a CD and a DVD there's a lot more data susceptible to that scratch in the DVD.

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Hard drives contain materials of limited lifespan, such as ferrofluid. Once it breaks down, the stuff's going to quit no matter how well it was manufactured. So far I've not had a HD completely fail, but my current computer's Seagate has come up with bad clusters out of nowhere so now I have to watch it very carefully.

The old Seagate in my PII has made some funny noises on a couple of occasions that scared me, but it seems to still work fine for the time being. It's a machine from 1998 so it's been in service for a very long time. I think that all well-known brands of HD probably have fairly equal risk when it comes to failure, excepting obvious manufacturing flaws like in the case mentioned in this thread.

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Speaking of anecdotal evidence, I've worked out my last dozen years or so of hard drive purchases:

Of the fifteen drives I've owned in that timespan, three were made by Western Digital and one of those is still working. (Oddly enough, it's the oldest one from 1997. To be fair, this wasn't used much from around 2003 to 2007 and even now doesn't get used more than once every few weeks.)

Five were made by Maxtor, and none of these lasted more than about three years. (The only reason I had so many is that one was purchased from a friend who bought it at Future Shop with a three-year warranty. I took advantage of the warranty until it expired so three of these were acquired more or less for free.)

Seven were made by Seagate. All of these were purchased from 2004 until 2007, and all are still working. Given the age of some of them I wouldn't be surprised if I saw a failure in the next year, though. Also note that none of them exceed 250GB in size, and the two largest and newest are 7200.10 Barracudas. The 7200.11 Barracudas could very well be flaky...

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