Tuesday, January 27, 2009

boycott seagate

Last year I have bought a 1T Seagate HDD (model ST31000340AS). At the beginning, all was fine and, after 1 month, I even bought a second Seagate drive, the 1.5 T version.

The 1.5T was really a let down: I tried to put it in a RAID configuration, but it was expunged from it every now and then. Searching the net for an explanation, I've discovered there are major problems with 7200.11 Seagate series, especially with the 1.5T models.

The Seagate site assured customers that the problems were minor and no data loss will come to us. I have checked my firmware on both the 1T and the 1.5T and, according to Seagate, none of them were having problems.

Oh, boy, I was really stupid!

After another month or so (so, after around 2 month after buying it), the 1T wasn't recognized by the BIOS any longer. Moving the HDD in another PC didn't help. I can hear the drive spinning, but the BIOS will just hang for a couple of seconds trying to detect it, fail to do so and continue.

Now I am waiting for a solution that might never come. I have some important data on the 1T drive and still hope that, some day, I will be able to recover them.

The 1.5T is used now as a second backup solution and I keep on it only data that I already store on DVD's. I would not trust sensitive data to it.

Even when I copy the DVD's to it, I often have to copy some files twice or thrice, as they get corrupted during the copy process. Lucky me, all my DVD's are now having MD5 on them and I can easily detect such a problem from the beginning. Usually, the second copy of the file gets fine on the drive, but copying correctly a whole DVD to HDD is, unfortunately, very rare with this 1.5T Seagate HDD.

I have registered a ticket with Seagate, but, after 1 week I still have not received any human answer. If you live in USA, the solution is simple: just send the bricked HDD to Seagate and they will update its firmware, with no data loss. Nice and simple. But because I live in Romania, this is not possible - at least, for now, the only answer I have received is to RMA the drive and get a new one instead. But I want my data back, for free, as other Seagate customers do.

I have learned my lessons:
  • never buy another drive from Seagate,
  • always use RAID and,
  • for really-really important data, do regular back-ups.

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