There’s a problem potentially affecting the great majority of Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 hard disk, including models based on the same series (Maxtor).
Since these were in the last year the best performing drives on the market and with low prices as well, I also bought two. The problem is a most pleasant one, instead of presenting issues that you can recognize and fix, the drive simply stops working one day and you can’t do anything anymore about it. If at the time of shutdown the internal drive journal has the magic cumber of 320 entries in it, when you power on the computer again the drive will be dead.
This event is clearly rare, but you can also understand that every time you turn off your pc there’s a small probability that it happens. The more time passes, the more the chances.
From this originated the whole clusterfuck. Since the problem was affecting most of the drive models, a huge number of typical anxious computer users started to storm Seagate with mails to get their fixed firmware before it was too late. With this big tide coming to them Seagate decided to break their usual policy of only offer firmwares via dedicated mails and instead made the “fixed” firmware public.
Only that this broke their usual safety processes and lead to the majority of people getting a wrong firmware for their drives. The huge number of people started giddily flashing their drives to prevent the problem and only obtained to have the problem executed. What was before a rare risk, became certainty after flashing the bios. All drives went dead. A huge number of people with suddenly dead drivers thanks to a fix that was supposed to prevent exactly that rare risk. A funny implementation of reciprocation.
The story goes on Slashodot and the tide continues to rise. From a side all the users that got to know about the potential failure, from the other all the early adopters who were rewarded of their zeal with a dead drive. Both asking for a fix. Now.
Today the fix arrives, with model versions clearly spelled. On the forums people are reporting that they seem to work.
I’m here wondering if taking the risk of flashing my drives (no space for backups), or live with the other of one day turning on my PC and see all my stuff gone. Sure this was good advertising for Seagate.