Customer update :
Seagate has isolated a potential firmware issue in certain products, including some Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related drive families based on their product platform*, manufactured through December 2008. In some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on. Retail products potentially affected include the Seagate FreeAgent® Desk and Maxtor OneTouch® 4 storage
As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we are offering a free firmware upgrade to those with affected products. To determine whether your product is affected, please visit the Seagate Support web site at http://seagate.custk....p?DocId=207931
Support is also available through Seagate's call center: 1-800-SEAGATE (1-800-732-4283)
Customers can expedite assistance by sending an email to Seagate (discsupport*seagate.com). Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. We will respond, promptly, to your email request with appropriate instructions.
For a list of international telephone numbers to Seagate Support and alternative methods of contact, please access
*There is no safety issue with these products.
An issue exists that may cause some Seagate hard drives to become inoperable immediately after a power-on operation. Once this condition has occurred, the drive cannot be restored to normal operation without intervention from Seagate. Data on the drive will be unaffected and can be
accessed once normal drive operation has been restored. This is caused by a firmware issue coupled with a specific manufacturing test process.
This condition was introduced by a firmware issue that sets the drive event log to an invalid location causing the drive to become inaccessible.
The firmware issue is that the end boundary of the event log circular buffer (320) was set incorrectly. During Event Log initialization, the boundary condition that defines the end of the Event Log is off by one.
During power up, if the Event Log counter is at entry 320, or a multiple of (320 + x*256), and if a particular data pattern (dependent on the type of tester used during the drive manufacturing test process) had been present
in the reserved-area system tracks when the drive's reserved-area file system was created during manufacturing, firmware will increment the Event Log pointer past the end of the event log data structure. This error is detected and results in an "Assert Failure", which causes the drive to hang as a failsafe measure. When the drive enters failsafe further update s to the counter become impossible and the condition will remain through subsequent power cycles. The problem only arises if a power cycle initialization occurs when the Event Log is at 320 or some multiple of 256 thereafter. Once a drive is in this state, there is no path to resolve/recover existing failed drives without Seagate technical intervention.
For a drive to be susceptible to this issue, it must have both the firmware that contains the issue and have been tested through the specific manufacturing process.
Seagate has implemented a containment action to ensure that all manufacturing test processes write the same "benign" fill pattern. This change is a permanent part of the test process. All drives with a date of
manufacture January 12, 2009 and later are not affected by this issue as they have been through the corrected test process.
Seagate strongly recommends customers proactively update all affected drives to the latest firmware. If you have experienced a problem, or have an affected drive exhibiting this behavior, please contact your appropriate
Seagate representative. If you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ)
Q: What Seagate drives are affected by this "drive hang after power cycle" issue?
A: The following product types may be affected by this problem:
Barracuda 7200.11, Barracuda ES.2 (SATA), DiamondMax 22, FreeAgent Desk, Maxtor OneTouch 4, Pipeline HD, Pipeline HD Pro, SV35.3, and SV35.4. While only some percentage of the drives will be susceptible to this issue, Seagate recommends that all drives in these families be update d to the latest firmware!
Q: What should I do if I think I have a Seagate drive affected by this issue?
A: Since only some drives have this problem, there is a high likelihood your drive is working and will continue to work perfectly. However, Seagate recommends that all drives in the effected families be update d to the latest firmware as soon as possible. Seagate realizes this recommendation may present challenges for some customers, particularly those with large distributed installed bases. Seagate will work with customers to correct this problem, but requests customers take the following initial actions depending on what type of customer they are. For individual end-users, please contact Seagate Technical Support via web, phone or email.
or 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283), or discsupportnseagate.com. If emailing, please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision.
Q. If my drives are always on, could I see this issue?
A. No, this can only occur after a power cycle, however Seagate still recommends that you upgrade your firmware due to unforeseen power events such as power loss.
Q: How will Seagate help me if I lost data on this drive?
A. There is no data loss in this situation. The data still resides on the drive and is inaccessible to the end user. If you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.
Q. Does this affect all drives manufactured through January 2008?
A. No, this only affects products that were manufactured through a specific test process in combination with a specific firmware issue.
Q. Why has it taken so long for Seagate to find this issue on Barracuda ES.2 and SV35?
A. In typical nearline and surveillance operating environments, drives are not power cycled and so are not as likely to experience this issue.
Q. Does this affect the Barracuda ES.2 SAS drive?
A. No, the SATA and SAS drives have different firmware.
Q. How will my RAID-set be affected?
A. If the error occurs, the drive will drop offline after a power cycle. The RAID will go into the defined host specific recovery actions which will result in the RAID operating in a degraded mode or initiating a rebuild if a hot spare is available. If you are unsure how your host will respond to a drop ped drive and have not yet experienced this issue, avoid unnecessary power cycles and refer to manufacturer or support for the appropriate instructions.
Q. Is there a way to upgrade the firmware to my drives if they are in a large RAID-set, or do I need to take the solution offline?
A. The ability to upgrade firmware in a RAID array is system dependant. Refer to your system manufacturer for upgrade instructions.
Q. How can I tell which Barracuda ES/SV35 drives are affected?
A. 1). Check the "Drive model #" against the list of affected models below or
2) check the PN of the drive against the PN list below or
3) Call Seagate Technology, support services at 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283), or discsupport*seagate.com
If it is a SV35 SATA drive and it is affected, new firmware will be available 1/23/09