Seagate Early Success, Ultimate Fail

Hard Drive Graphic Seagate’s been in the news for even more hard drive problems but I was finally able to download the BIOS update from Seagate and apply it to the drives. With all their problems Seagate finally made the BIOS downloads available publicly, rather than having to get a link from their tech support. Even better, the download was an image of a bootable CD that could be used for the BIOS upgrade.

The BIOS upgrade itself went fairly well after some false starts. I interpreted the “model expected” error message to mean it was finding the wrong drive, rather than no drive. So I swapped out the SATA DVD reader for an IDE one and retried. Same error. Finally I went into the BIOS and switched the SATA controller to IDE mode and was then able to apply to BIOS update. All seemed to go well.

I put the drive in the new Windows Home Server I’m building. The drive seemed to be running just fine but I was yet to actually use it for files. Once the file copy moved onto that drive it almost immediately error’d out and the WHS software said it went missing. Reseat the drive and it returns but when I repeat the copy the error repeats. Now, everything in this rig is new so I’m figuring it’s a cable or the new hardware, probably a bad connector. But nothing changed after checking cables and connections. I eventually freed up a Western Digital 1TB drive and slapped it in the same drive bay. No problems since and the drive now has 808GB successfully copied to it.

I realize Seagate is a top hard drive maker and any drive maker can have a problem. But based on my problems with this Seagate drive, combined with the problems Seagate is having in general and the lack of problems with my 13 Western Digital 1TB drives I’ll be avoiding Seagate drives for awhile. As it happens I just ordered a Hitachi 1TB to try since they were ten bucks cheaper than the Western Digitals. I should also point out that another Seagate 1.5 TB drive is running fine in my old WHS. In this case it was factory flashed with a recent, unaffected BIOS. In any event, no Seagate drives are in my immediate future.

So I guess next up will be do download Seagate’s diag utility and hope it finds an error with the hard drive so I can return it under warranty for a replacement. It’s not one of my higher priorities as the effort is quickly outweighing the benefit of the extra space.