SANtool storage diagnostic device (Pre-announcement)

April 25th, 2009 No comments

Getting close to releasing what I believe will be the new standard in storage diagnostics for sysadmins and service people …  Let me know what you think!!

The SANtool™ is a multi-platform portable storage diagnostic tool. The SANtool enables the administrator/technician to efficiently diagnose, test, tune, break and/or repair storage peripherals. Unlike traditional software diagnostics there is nothing to license, “install” or remove. Plug the SANtool USB Flash stick into a machine running a supported Windows or UNIX/LINUX operating system, and start using the software. The diagnostics are performed by SANtools® command-line program, (SMARTMon-UX), and controlled via a web browser over a secure (SSL) connection. All HTML, Javascript files, images, the embedded web server, and O/S-specific executables are included on the SANtool.  No java runtime, external DLLs, drivers, or web servers are required.

This is picture of the SANtool desktop

This is picture of the SANtool desktop

Read more…

Microsoft told to pay $388 million over piracy patent

April 8th, 2009 1 comment

Microsoft was told by a federal jury to pay $388 million to a Singapore company for infringing a patented invention used to deter software piracy. Read more…


Failure rates and MTBFs calculated on 2400 hours usage annually

January 27th, 2009 No comments

“AFR and MTBF specifications are based on the following assumptions for desktop personal computer environments: .. 2400 power-on-hours per year” , so reads this screenshot is from the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 product manual.  Read more…

How to contact Seagate 24×7 critical data recovery services

January 25th, 2009 3 comments

The link to Seagate data recovery services is  Fill out the form, and they send you information.  If you drop the disk drive off to a UPS store, then they pick up the costs so shipping is free (unless you want to overnight it).  The two recovery centers in the USA are in Chicago and Santa Clara. The Seagate (US) 24 Hour Critical Response Number is: Read more…

Seagate boot-of-death analysis – nothing but overhyped FUD

January 25th, 2009 29 comments

The nature and scope of the Seagate 7200.11 boot-of-death problem has been blown way out of proportion, and people are making grossly incorrect assumptions.  Seagate recently released a failure analysis report under non-disclosure to some (or all, I don’t know) OEM partners and distributors that describes the issue in great detail. Why under NDA? In my opinion, full knowledge of the problem could potentially create a blueprint for virus writers who want to go beyond just erasing files on targeted machines. So to be safe, full specifics aren’t being disclosed (but you can now find a little more info on Tom’s Hardware if you know where to look). 

As part of the manufacturing process,  Seagate writes diagnostic information to reserved areas of the disk drives.  These bit patterns work with the test equipment and drive firmware to perform diagnostic actions such as placing it in a secure lockdown modeRead more…

Disk failures in the real world: What does MTBF of 1M hrs mean to you?

January 20th, 2009 No comments

From 5th USENIX Conference on File and Storage Technologies

Component failure in large-scale IT installations is becoming an ever larger problem as the number of components in a single cluster approaches a million.In this paper, we present and analyze field-gathered disk replacement data from a number of large production systems, including high-performance computing sites and internet services sites. About 100,000 disks are covered by this data, some for an entire lifetime of five years. The data include drives with SCSI and FC, as well as SATA interfaces. The mean time to failure (MTTF) of those drives, as specified in their datasheets, ranges from 1,000,000 to 1,500,000 hours, suggesting a nominal annual failure rate of at most 0.88%. Read more…

Seagate boot-of-death firmware “in validation”

January 20th, 2009 2 comments

The firmware that is supposed to fix the boot-of-death problem on Seagate 7200.11 disks is  “In Validation”.

The software and information in this article could be data destructive and/or render your hard drive inoperable if not followed carefully. It is always recommended to keep a backup of critical data.

This article applies to the following models:

Drive Family
Models Affected
Recommended Firmware Update Status
Seagate Barracuda 7200.11
In Validation*

Read more…

Seagate’s boot-of-death identification software now offline

January 19th, 2009 No comments

Surely this is a temporary thing.  The Seagate boot-of-death disk drive identification site worked just fine up till Sunday evening (update … Still offline as of Wed Jan 21st 10:14 PM)


Seagate boot-of-death class-action lawsuit?

January 18th, 2009 36 comments
KBK LLP examining class-action lawsuit

KBK LLP looking for plaintiffs for class-action lawsuit against Seagate

Owners of Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives are reporting that their hard disk drives are failing at alarming rates. These failures, which have been reported to be as high as 30 to 40%, are believed to arise from faulty firmware that can cause the drives to suddenly lockup and stop working.  We  (Kabateck Brown Kellner LLP) are presently investigating a potential lawsuit

Read more…

Using Seagate’s online tool to see if your disk is destined to become a brick.

January 18th, 2009 3 comments

In light of the sev-1 Seagate firmware bug that bricks both consumer and enterprise-class SATA disks, I ran the Seagate online tool that tells people if any of my disks are affected by the boot-of-death bug.

Is my drive destined to become a brick?
Is my drive destined to become a brick?

Seagate 'cuda test results

Yup, this just isn’t my day. Worse, my affected barracuda drives are running in a Solaris system as part of a zfs-based software RAID file system, and Read more…