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Thread: Seagate drives and the "bad" firmware problem?

  1. #1
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    Confused Seagate drives and the "bad" firmware problem?

    "Welcome, Seagate hard drive owners. A number of Seagate hard drives from the following families may fail when the host system is powered on:

    Barracuda 7200.11
    DiamondMax 22
    Barracuda ES.2 SATA
    SV35" here's the link to Seagate:http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/cr...p?DocId=207931

    What's the story and how would one go about doing a firmware update on drives in an external enclosure connected to a Macbook Pro
    Last edited by babbkutz; 01-19-2009 at 07:41 PM. Reason: link
    Tom Babb

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    Of the Seagate Barracuda ONLY the 1.5TB drives have a problem, and those have SD17 firmware. No excuse to buy the server drive ES version, it works poorly in desktop implementations anyway. DOn't know anything about the Maxtor models.

    Seagate will supply you a firmware updater. Only works in a MacPro or a PC (same thing really) You burn it as a disk image to CCD, swap your drives so just the ones to be updated are attached and boot to the updater. It has all of 4 different commands which enable you to scan and flash the firmware.

    All drives shipped from MacGUrus were flash upgraded in our warehouse as of December 8th.



    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Default Baracuda Drives

    I've got 6 Baracuda 7200.11 drives that are 1 TB. They are all listed as model numbers ST31000340AS with firmware SD15. Unfortunately, this model number is on the list of drives Seagate is advising owners to update. Also, it is noteworthy that the Seagate advisory says drives affected were manufactured in December 2008. My drives shipped from a ZipZoomFly order on 11/26/09. I also have a set of affected ES drives. I purchased these earlier on November 11th and decided to keep them as an offline backup even after I read that they are not the best drives for a desktop setup.

    I'm running my two Burlys from a non-Intel Mac using a Sonnet Tempo Sata X4P. I've got another Intel Mac in my studio. I take it that I can just move the Sonnet card to the Intel Mac and do the hard drive firmware update from there. Any advice is welcome.

    I've got an e-mail into tech support at Seagate, but I read on another forum that they are not responding very fast at this point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Of the Seagate Barracuda ONLY the 1.5TB drives have a problem, and those have SD17 firmware. No excuse to buy the server drive ES version, it works poorly in desktop implementations anyway. DOn't know anything about the Maxtor models.

    Seagate will supply you a firmware updater. Only works in a MacPro or a PC (same thing really) You burn it as a disk image to CCD, swap your drives so just the ones to be updated are attached and boot to the updater. It has all of 4 different commands which enable you to scan and flash the firmware.

    All drives shipped from MacGUrus were flash upgraded in our warehouse as of December 8th.



    Rick
    Hi Rick...you seem to be saying that my 750gb seagate drives I bought from you in April of 2008 are fine...but at the link below they don't talk about drive size only model number...my model number, ST3750330as with firmware SD15 is on there...here's the link...at least I didn't see mention to drive size...

    http://forums.ncix.com/forums/displa...p?DocId=207931


    Here's the page I found with the firmware downloads and instructions...

    http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/cr...951&NewLang=en

    Also, you know all of my drives are in a 5 bay Burly hooked up via the express34 card...I wonder if this will matter if I try the firmware update...

    so far my drives have been working fine...and the Burly enclosure is sweet...

    thanks for any clarification...I did send off an email to seagate this morning...waiting on a response...

    kind regards

    M

    ps...I don't seem to be getting new firmware when I try the download button via my second link here...it just gives me a DriveDetect.exe file that I can't do anything with...

    pss...I just read that Seagate may have pulled the firmware revision because it was 'problematic'...maybe that's why the firmware link doesn't seem to give anything useable right now?...here :

    http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/01/21/0052236#

    also, this link to someone writing about the problem who claims to work for Seagate...

    http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=...3&cid=26542735

    man, hope all these links work...
    Last edited by momo; 01-23-2009 at 02:35 AM. Reason: more recent info
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Seagate will supply you a firmware updater. Only works in a MacPro or a PC (same thing really) You burn it as a disk image to CCD, swap your drives so just the ones to be updated are attached and boot to the updater. It has all of 4 different commands which enable you to scan and flash the firmware.


    Rick
    What if you don't have a Mac Pro or a PC? All my drives are in my Burly...except for one that travels in an owc single enclosure...how are we supposed to upgrade firmware?...I'm using them all as external drives for back up with a MacBook Pro...
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  6. #6
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    Got a feeling we're (Macbook Pro owners) going to the Post Office with a box of drives..........
    Tom Babb

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    I have yet to ever hear of a problem with the drives we sold - other than the 1.5TB drives batch from the first month they were out. In end of Oct through Nov the 1.5 drive shipped were brand new and a few users had some issues. As of Dec 8th all the 1.5s leaving MacGurus had the firmware updated in our warehouse. No 1.5 with the firmware updated had any issues and even those who originally had problems were back up and running perfectly once they applied the update.

    I have yet to talk with anyone who bought any other capacity drive from us ever have a problem. And were talking thousands of drives here. We sell a lot of Seagate drives.

    Most of what you are hearing on the forums and chats is hysteria. Typical, a small group of people got it happening, a bunch of others start in and it has a life of its own. Much of the problem came from people installing the wrong firmware on drives. Seagate blew it by having updaters that didn;t care, but would overwrite firmware on most any drive. Oooops, gonna cost Seagate a gazzillion dollars in recoveries.

    For the most part I suggest you sit tight and wait for the smoke to clear. Seagate is completely overwhelmed with emails and phone calls. Let the details come out and just keep things backed up - like we always do.

    The old adage is still true, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Applying firmware updates is always a risky procedure. Better to make sure we know for sure that we need it.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by babbkutz View Post
    Got a feeling we're (Macbook Pro owners) going to the Post Office with a box of drives..........
    The DOS Firmware Updater from Seagate will run off any Intel Mac, including the MBP. That updater also has the drivers on it to mount the SIlicon Image SATA host card. So updates can be made on drives attached to a MBP.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    I have yet to ever hear of a problem with the drives we sold - other than the 1.5TB drives batch from the first month they were out. In end of Oct through Nov the 1.5 drive shipped were brand new and a few users had some issues. As of Dec 8th all the 1.5s leaving MacGurus had the firmware updated in our warehouse. No 1.5 with the firmware updated had any issues and even those who originally had problems were back up and running perfectly once they applied the update.

    I have yet to talk with anyone who bought any other capacity drive from us ever have a problem. And were talking thousands of drives here. We sell a lot of Seagate drives.

    Most of what you are hearing on the forums and chats is hysteria. Typical, a small group of people got it happening, a bunch of others start in and it has a life of its own. Much of the problem came from people installing the wrong firmware on drives. Seagate blew it by having updaters that didn;t care, but would overwrite firmware on most any drive. Oooops, gonna cost Seagate a gazzillion dollars in recoveries.

    For the most part I suggest you sit tight and wait for the smoke to clear. Seagate is completely overwhelmed with emails and phone calls. Let the details come out and just keep things backed up - like we always do.

    The old adage is still true, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. Applying firmware updates is always a risky procedure. Better to make sure we know for sure that we need it.

    Rick
    thanks Rick...that's what i'm gonna do...sit tight till I hear more from Seagate...like you say, my drives have been working fine...so far...
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    The DOS Firmware Updater from Seagate will run off any Intel Mac, including the MBP. That updater also has the drivers on it to mount the SIlicon Image SATA host card. So updates can be made on drives attached to a MBP.

    Rick
    when I clicked on this it said it was a windows app., I'm talking about the drivedetect.exe file...I didn't say ok to open...you mean my mac can open this?...
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  11. #11
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    Hate to say it where anyone might hear.... I'll say it quick.

    Macs are PCs


    Don't quote me on that, please. What I said earlier was the firmware updater can run on any Intel Mac, and that you can quote. The updater is a bootable CD you burn and boot to that will update the drives.. It is a REALLY simple DOS code, just enough to do the job.

    The .exe files require that you are actually running in Windows. THAT you will not be able to run unless you have BootCamp or Parallels with a version of XP or other Windows OS installed and running. Only the firmware updater is a standalone DOS boot code and it runs just fine on an Intel Mac or a PC.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Hate to say it where anyone might hear.... I'll say it quick.

    Macs are PCs


    Don't quote me on that, please. What I said earlier was the firmware updater can run on any Intel Mac, and that you can quote. The updater is a bootable CD you burn and boot to that will update the drives.. It is a REALLY simple DOS code, just enough to do the job.

    The .exe files require that you are actually running in Windows. THAT you will not be able to run unless you have BootCamp or Parallels with a version of XP or other Windows OS installed and running. Only the firmware updater is a standalone DOS boot code and it runs just fine on an Intel Mac or a PC.

    Rick
    right now all I'm able to download is the drivedetect.exe...no access to any universal firmware updater via the Seagate links I have...at least none that I've found...the link I go to, below, takes me to a download button for the recommended firmware update but it's just the drivedetect.exe file...is that file bootable once burned to a cd?...not clear...

    http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/cr...951&NewLang=en
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  13. #13
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    You cannot run the exe file. It is NOT the updater. And note: There is NO UNIVERSAL updater. Thinking there is just one updater for all the different drives is how the wrong updater gets applied to drives - thus creating inert blocks of aluminum and silicon that work perfectly as paper weights or pucks for quick pickup games of hallway hockey at work.

    The file that I downloaded and installed on 1.5TB drives had 3files in it:

    1) An .exe that is intended to be burned on a floppy to boot and upgrade but run FROM Windows.

    2) An .ISO that is intended to be burned as a Disk Image to a CD that can be booted TO by any Intel or AMD based computer and will install said upgrade to Seagate drives.

    3) a Read Me that I will quote below.

    FWREADME.TXT 29-Nov-2007
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Seagate Technology LLC
    Seagate Firmware Upgrade Utility v4
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Copyright (c) 2007 by Seagate Technology, LLC. All rights reserved.

    Welcome to the Seagate Certificate Download Firmware Upgrade.

    The ZIP file you downloaded from the Certificate Download system
    contains two files supporting either a bootable floppy diskette or
    bootable CD-ROM disc. Both versions boot to the FreeDOS operating
    system.

    * The file with the EXE extension is a bootable floppy diskette
    creator that runs from Windows. It will overwrite any data on the
    1.44MB floppy diskette.

    * The file with the ISO extension is a bootable CD-ROM image file.
    This file will need to be burned to a blank CD-ROM. For instructions
    on how to burn ISO images please see this Seagate Support Knowledge
    Base article # 4933 located here:
    http://seagate.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/...p?p_faqid=4933.

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Welcome to Seagate's Firmware Upgrade Utility and Procedures.

    Seagate highly recommends that you do a complete system backup of all
    data on your hard drive prior to performing a firmware upgrade to
    ensure there is no chance of data loss during the process. Seagate is
    not responsible for any data loss that may occur during or after your
    firmware upgrade.

    Read the End User License Agreement below.

    Basic instructions:
    1) Create the FreeDOS bootable floppy or CD-ROM.
    2) Use a standard desktop PC with an integrated SATA controller, or
    a common SATA add-in controller like a Promise SATA150-TX2.
    3) Disconnect all PATA or SATA devices from the system, except the
    device needing the firmware update.
    4) Boot the system using the update floppy or CD.
    5) Follow the onscreen prompts.

    ***WARNING**************************************** ********************
    ** DO NOT POWER DOWN the system or the drive during this upgrade
    process. If power is lost during a firmware upgrade, the drive will
    be destroyed.
    ** WAIT until all drive LED activity has ceased before powering off
    the drive. Your system should come back to the message "Cycle power
    to continue..." after the software finishes uploading the firmware.
    ** DO NOT use this software for any other purpose than the specific
    firmware upgrade. Improper use of this tool can quickly destroy the
    drive.
    ************************************************** ********************

    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    Troubleshooting
    ---------------

    FIRMWARE UTILITY WILL NOT LOAD

    - If when you insert the firmware diskette or CD and power on the
    computer, it does not load the firmware utility, the "boot sequence"
    may be set to boot to the hard disc drive first.

    To change the boot sequence to boot from the A: or CD drive first,
    you must enter the "Setup" or "CMOS Setup" of your computer. Methods
    for entering the Setup or CMOS Setup vary depending on your
    computer's make and model, but most methods consist of pressing a
    key or key sequence during the initial power on boot sequence.

    Watch the screen closely during boot up for a message like "Press F2
    to enter Setup" or something similar to determine which key or key
    sequence to press for your computer. Nearly all systems will
    continue on automatically after a brief period of time if the key is
    not pressed, so act quickly. You may have only a few seconds to find
    and press the appropriate key or key sequence.

    The most common keys or key sequences to enter setup are:
    - [F2]
    - [DELETE]
    - [F1]
    - [CTRL]-[ALT]-[S]
    - [CTRL]-[ALT]-[ESC]
    - [CTRL]-[ALT]-[ENTER]

    NOTE: Some computers that use the "[CTRL]-[ALT]-[___]" sequences
    must be at a prompt before pressing the keys. If you are unsure
    about how to enter the setup, see the owner's manual for your
    computer or seek assistance from your computer manufacturer or the
    store where you purchased the computer.

    CD ROM WILL NOT BOOT

    - Booting to a CD requires that the system BIOS is compatible with the
    operating system on the CD. In rare cases that seem tied to older
    systems, this indicates an incompatibility with the boot CD. In
    this situation, the solution is to use the firmware boot floppy
    diskette instead of the boot CD.

    DISKETTE WRITE ERRORS

    - The diskette may have a bad sector. If this is the case, create a
    new firmware diskette and run the tests again.

    snip........
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  14. #14
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    BTW, when you download the files from Seagate you also get the updater. The Drive Detect app mounts as a disk image but the updater is in your downloads folder as well.


    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    BTW, when you download the files from Seagate you also get the updater. The Drive Detect app mounts as a disk image but the updater is in your downloads folder as well.


    Rick
    Hi Rick...well, I verified all my drives by plugging in the s/n here :

    https://apps1.seagate.com/rms_af_srl_chk/

    and only one drive comes up as needing the firmware update...

    so I downloaded the update file linked via my model number, the seagate disk image comes with the drivedetect.exe and I burnt the cd via disk utility and the iso...

    I took all the drives out of my burly except the one that needs updating...I restart and hold down the 'option' key and the cd boots...i get two icons...one for my hd on the macbook pro and another icon that's a cd that says 'windows' under it...Instructions on the Seagate site say this should say Seagate...

    Well, I clicked on the CD icon and it takes me through two windows but when I click in the second window, choosing the letter for the model number of my Seagate drive nothing happens...it takes a moment and then a flashing 'i' comes up under my choice and that's it...this because it seems that once my macbook pro boots from the Seagate cd the drive via the burly doesn't boot up...

    at least that's how it looks to me...

    the green light of the burly enclosure is lit up but not the orange one indicating the drive...

    what am i doing wrong?...

    M
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  16. #16
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    In Windows bios, only one drive can be seen on a port multiplier board. The one port on the PM board that is by itself is a pass through port in bios, which is what you are running - the basic Windows bios.

    All you need to do is move the drive to the bay that is connected to that lonely single port and it will be seen and available for upgrade.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    In Windows bios, only one drive can be seen on a port multiplier board. The one port on the PM board that is by itself is a pass through port in bios, which is what you are running - the basic Windows bios.

    All you need to do is move the drive to the bay that is connected to that lonely single port and it will be seen and available for upgrade.

    Rick
    You know, I didn't know where to move the drive to so I just took it from where it was and put it in the first bay on the bottom of the burly...

    Success...drive came back up fine and now has FW SD1A...I checked via the system profiler...

    Maybe I'm looking for trouble, but do you think I should do this to all my drives, Rick?...they're all the ST3750330AS model...I mean I did get the message that the other serial numbers were not affected but I'm a little concerned...do I risk anything by changing all the rest which do have FW SD15...make 'em all SD1A?...

    maybe like you said...don't fix what ain't broke?...but would updating them all be some kind of insurance?...

    whatever...thanks for your help...and oh my god that dos screen stuff was like a blast from the past...

    kind regards

    M
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  18. #18
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    Heck NO. Do not flash any drives that are not implicated and directly pointed to by Seagate. Most of the problems and screeching on the forums is from people randomly applying updates to drives. You have no way of knowing how the updater will react with a drive that it is not specifically designed for.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Heck NO. Do not flash any drives that are not implicated and directly pointed to by Seagate. Most of the problems and screeching on the forums is from people randomly applying updates to drives. You have no way of knowing how the updater will react with a drive that it is not specifically designed for.

    Rick
    Ok, thanks...I'll leave 'em be...again, thanks for your help...
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

  20. #20
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    Default After firmware update from SD15 to SD1A...

    The only thing I've noticed that has changed : the amber/yellow colored led light on the tray that the hard drive is in doesn't stay lit up like the others...it's off unless the drive is in use, then it flashes while working and goes out. Would the firmware change affect these led's?...

    The amber lights on the other four trays stay lit all the time and flash a bit brighter when in use.

    All five amber lights at the bottom of the enclosure stay lit.

    The drive works fine.
    "Storm on storm, snow on drifting snowfall,
    shifting its shape, flurrying in moonlight,
    bright and ubiquitous,
    profligate March squanders its wealth.
    The world is annihilated and remade
    with only us as witnesses."...

    Dana Gioia
    from The Gods of Winter

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