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Seagate Issues Fix For 1.5-Tbyte Barracuda Drives

Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 1.5-Tbyte hard drives may need a firmware update in certain circumstances.

Seagate introduced the new Barracuda 7200.11 drives in July.

Users have been complaining about issues with drives freezing or not showing the full capacity in various blogs and shopping forums since early this month.

On Wednesday, the storage vendor released the following statement about how customers and solution providers can deal with the issue:

"Some Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives may show uncharacteristic operation when used with Mac and Linux operating systems in multi-drive configurations. Users may experiences pauses in video streaming applications or a dropped drive from RAID arrays. Customers seeing these symptoms should contact Seagate Technical Support for a firmware upgrade.

"In order to assure the proper application of the new firmware, please email a description of the issues you're seeing to Seagate (discsupport@seagate.com) Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. Also, please describe your system, operating system and the application in use when the issue arose, and you will receive a prompt response with appropriate instructions.

"As an alternative to the contact email address above please access http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us/."

Bill Rudock, customer support engineer at Seagate, said that every new product tends to have something that needs adjusting, and firmware gets updated over time as new units are manufactured.

However, Rudock said, the company has not had a situation in the past when it wanted to broadcast a new firmware release.

"This time, the problem has no risk to data," he said. "But it is inconvenient. People who play streaming video might get a pause. It's annoying. It was first reported by people in Linux environments. Then it was noticed by people in Mac environments. It's, it's just annoying."

Seagate has seen almost no mention of issues in Windows environments, with complaints almost exclusively in high-bandwidth situations under Linux and Mac operating systems, Rudock said.

Based on customer feedback, Seagate was able to duplicate the issues in its labs and work with firmware engineers to start sending the fix out on Friday or Saturday, Rudock said. "I've not heard of similar problems with the drive after the upgrade," he said.

With hard drives, upgrading the firmware is something that should never be done just because there is an upgrade, Rudock said. Instead, upgrades should be tailored to specific instances, he said.

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