Bug hits Seagate disks

A firmware fault has crippled recent Seagate disk drives, and users may need data recovery to get their files back

Seagate on Friday acknowledged failures among recent models of its Barracuda and DiamondMax disk drives. Users affected lose all access to data on their disks, and the disks themselves are reported to become undetectable to the computers in which they are mounted.

Seagate acknowledged the problem in a statement on its website that said: "A number of Seagate hard drives… may become inaccessible when the host system is powered on."

The drives in question are the Barracuda 7200.11, which comes in capacities ranging from 160GB to 1.5TB, the DiamondMax 22 and the Barracuda ES.2 SATA drive.

Once a drive has become affected, "the data becomes inaccessible to users but the data is not deleted", the Seagate statement read. According to the company the issue is caused by a problem with the firmware on the drive, which "is affecting drives from these families manufactured in December 2008".

With the statement, Seagate provided details on how users could check if their drives were affected, but did not provide an immediate update to the firmware that could fix the problem. Instead Seagate advised users of affected drives to contact the company directly, and offered a data-recovery service if required.

More information on the issue is provided on the Seagate website. Users who believe they have affected disk drives Seagate must contact the company by calling them directly. According to a Seagate spokesperson, although an international call is required it should be at no charge. Users can also contact the company by sending an email (discsupport@seagate.com), mentioning drive model number, serial number and current firmware revision.

ZDNet UK contacted Seagate for comment but the company had not responded at the time of writing.

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