Seagate bug fix hits problems

Seagate has confirmed that a fix for broken drives is faulty, but has denied reports from some users who say the fix can 'kill' drives and cause data loss

A fix for broken Seagate drives is itself faulty, Seagate said on Wednesday. The company confirmed that a software update issued recently for an issue affecting some Barracuda disk drives could stop drives from working temporarily.

However, the company denied reports that the problem would 'kill' drives and cause users to lose data.

The fix, which was announced on Sunday, was intended to solve a problem with some models of Seagate's Barracuda disk drives, but on Wednesday it emerged users could face serious problems. Some users reported that while they followed the company's advice, their drives were unable to work, and in some cases they had lost data.

Seagate put out an immediate alert on Wednesday warning users of Seagate's Barracuda 7200.11 drives about the problem. The warning clarified the issue, and said "the software and information in this article [the drive] could be data destructive and/or render your hard drive inoperable". The company added that this could only happen if the guidelines on how to implement the fix were "not followed carefully".

The company then issued a subsequent statement, warning users not to attempt to carry out the upgrade that had first been recommended.

According to Seagate, only drives in the Barracuda 7200.11 family and with certain model numbers are affected by the problem caused by the fix. Its advice to users is not to attempt to carry out the firmware upgrade at present.

Seagate has completely removed the software that had caused the problems, the company said, and now hopes to have the replacement software up again within 24 hours. "We believe that the vast majority of customers will not experience any disruption," Seagate said in its statement on Wednesday. The company also said it was offering "a free firmware upgrade" to address the issue.

"In the unlikely event your drive is affected and you cannot access your data, the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue," Seagate added.

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