Home > Diagnostics, Disk Drives, Predictive Failure > Alert! Seagate barracuda & DiamondMax drives are dying en masse due to firmware bug. Seagate reacts.

Alert! Seagate barracuda & DiamondMax drives are dying en masse due to firmware bug. Seagate reacts.

January 18th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Seagate hard drives from the Barracuda 7200.11, DiamondMax 22, Barracuda ES.2 SATA, and SV35 families, Seagate FreeAgent® , and Maxtor OneTouch® 4 may become inaccessible when the host system is powered on.  In other words, they turn into bricks.  If you are unfortunate to have one of these products and have not upgraded the firmware (i.e. if you are unfortunate enough to have one of these products and don’t cruise the Seagate support site on a regular basis), then a firmware bug will instruct the disk to turn itself into a brick some day when you power it up.  Do NOT power off any computer that has the following disk drives until you check the firmware.  Seagate is quietly offering free disaster recovery assistance, firmware updates, and software to determine if you have a disk that is running the evil firmware.  This “boot-of-death” bug rivals the infamous IBM Deathstar which lead to a successful class-action lawsuit.(Below is ver-batum from the Seagate support site, along with live links).

Once a drive has become affected the data becomes inaccessible to users but the data is not deleted.  Seagate has isolated this issue to a firmware bug affecting drives from these families manufactured in December 2008. Please use the following tools and instructions to determine if you have one of the affected products. If you do, we recommend that you update the firmware on the disk drive to prevent this condition:

Click here for instructions on how to find the serial number on your drive.  Click here to use the online serial number validation tool to check whether your drive requires a firmware update or not.
Important Note: When typing in your serial number into the validation tool, make sure to use ALL CAPS. Using lower case characters will invalidate the result.

If the online serial number validation tool states that your drive is affected, we recommend that you contact Seagate Customer Support for a firmware update to your hard drive.  You can expedite assistance by contacting Seagate via email. Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. We will respond to your email request with appropriate instructions.

To retrieve the model number, serial number and firmware revision there are multiple methods:  Seagate DriveDetect.exe method (recommended)

Click here to download Drive Detect: drive_detect_icon

When running Drive Detect you will see a screen like this. Look for the drives that are attached:

drive detect screenshot

drive detect screenshot

In the example above the Drive Name is the same as the Model: ST31500341AS, the serial number is 9VS00J20 and the firmware revision is SD1A.

Device Manager Method :

Use Microsoft Windows Device Manager to see the model numbers of you disk drive.
– Choose Start | Run | type: devmgmt.msc
– Click Ok.
– Expand the Disk Drive branch to see the model numbers:


Seatools for Windows Method:
Download SeaTools for Windows which displays all of the required information.

You can also contact Seagate Support via phone at 1-800-SEAGATE. Please be prepared to give the serial number of your drive as the solution depends on providing the exact serial number.

For a list of international telephone numbers to Seagate Support and alternative methods of contact, please access http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us/

The following are potentially affected models. It is important however to use the online serial number validation tool to verify whether or not your specific drive is affected as not all drives of the same model necessarily share the same firmware revision.
Important Note: When typing in your serial number into the validation tool, make sure to use ALL CAPS. Using lower case characters will invalidate the result.

Barracuda 7200.11 Barracuda ES.2 SATA DiamondMax 22


Editor’s Note:  Seagate’s firmware update program is limited to Windows-based and MS-DOS based PCs.   Once I get the update, I will test with SMARTMon-UX software to see if it can be used to update firmware on Solaris, AIX, LINUX, etc …

  1. August 27th, 2009 at 12:35 | #1

    Hvis disken er ramt af den kendte firmwarebug tager dine data ikke skade og disken kan benyttes igen efter reparation. Jeg har rep / opdateret 56 diske med firmware fejlen og kun set 5 diske med andre hardware fejl.

    Hvis du selv har mod kan fejlen rettes med info herfra: http://www.msfn.org/board/index.php?showtopic=128807

  2. tom
    August 12th, 2009 at 23:31 | #2

    I found this after I now have a 1 TB brick. It is cull of all of my 3d files of which I create. I have lost over a years worth of work (3d modeling) as it was my storage/backup drive. Is there a class action suit? The drive is under warranty and they offer to replace it however recovery they want like $1300.00 USD what a bunch of Aholes, Any advice as to how I can get free data recovery out of them would be wonderful.

  3. Charles
    July 13th, 2009 at 18:18 | #3

    It would have been nice to have been informed of the problem before the crash.

  4. Charles
    July 13th, 2009 at 18:16 | #4

    Great, what do you do AFTER the attack? I now have a brick that will cost me more to have erased for return, it worked great for exactly 4 months to the day.

  5. Martinnez
    March 27th, 2009 at 05:22 | #5

    M?j 500gb Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS po 3 m?sících odešel díky chyb? ve firmware. Našt?stí není problém ne?ešitelný. Více info zde http://www.uwb.cz

  6. Kamila K
    February 19th, 2009 at 13:31 | #6

    Nauczcie si? pisa? po Polsku – People learn how to write in polish language!!!

  7. January 23rd, 2009 at 18:15 | #7

    @Paul Andre
    hang tight … I got to the bottom of the entire thing. Will post exact nature of problem, what the real-world exposure is, and some editorial comment. Suffice to say all is not as is reported.

  8. January 23rd, 2009 at 16:53 | #8

    Perfect work!Keep posting


  1. January 18th, 2009 at 15:13 | #1
  2. January 19th, 2009 at 16:29 | #2
  3. January 20th, 2009 at 07:54 | #3
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  5. January 20th, 2009 at 07:59 | #5
  6. January 20th, 2009 at 22:40 | #6
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