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Seagate stumbles

By C. Steve | January 15, 2009

Over the years, Seagate has produced some of the most reliable hard drives available. I have used nothing else for the past decade and a half.

However, gremlins have recently appeared in the firmware of some of the company’s high-capacity 7200.11 series SATA drives that turn them into bricks. Owners have posted their troubled experiences on Seagate’s forum and elsewhere on the web.seagate

To its credit, Seagate has acknowledged the problem, and has thusfar been quite willing to replace the bricked drives. Unfortunately some replacements contain the same firmware and suffer the same fate. While one assumes they can and will fix the problem, they are not proactively replacing them in the field. I’m reminded of IBM’s troubles with the Deskstar series (or, as we liked to call it, the Deathstar series). Those difficulties helped ultimately to drive IBM out of the hard drive business.

Until Seagate’s firmware issue is completely sorted and fixed drives arrive in the field in numbers, consumers would do well to avoid the larger-capacity Seagate SATA drives, and to stick with the 500 GB and smaller units. This has the added benefit of making backup easier – about the only thing that will backup a 1 TB drive is another 1 TB drive (or larger). Meanwhile Seagate still has a far better reputation for reliability than any other drive manufacturer, but this is troubling.

More at MacNN/Electronista here.

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