Seagate Hard Drives Failing – Warranty Shrinks

In seems that certain Seagate hard disks are failing at an alarming rate. The Seagate Barracuda drives in question are being manufactured in Thailand with reference # ST31000340AS firmware level SD15. It is being said that Seagate is replacing the drives with the exact model and firmware which could again fail. In the article it states that:

Users seem convinced, energetically so in some cases, that the incidence of such drive failures is far higher than the statistically low incidence of failures to be expected with any drive.

Data can be recovered from a failed drive by using a data recovery firm which, of course, costs money that Seagate will not refund. For example, you could use i365, a Seagate company, to get your data back and pay Seagate twice – once for a disk to store your data on and a second time to get it back when the drive fails. Perhaps Seagate could issue special i365 vouchers to customers with Barracudas bricked by the problem?

As always users should backup their data, but there is an obvious additional problem here. What happens if you backup to disk and the backup disk is also a Barracuda 7200.11?

A 17-page thread about this firmware failure problem is going strong on a Seagate forum. Frustrated users have complained that postings and threads have been removed by moderators.

But what I found disturbing is the fact that starting in 2009, Seagte is reducing their warranty from 5 to 3 years on their drives. I always used Seagate because of the strong warranty period. :-(

What do you think?

Comments welcome.


Warranty cuts

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Tech

    Good that were you live you get a full 3 to 5 yrs, warranty were I live everything is limited to 1 year warranty, but this news still suck.

  • Turc1656

    I have the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 500 GB hard drive (ST3500320AS). It just failed on me. Fortunately I noticed it started to act strange earlier this week and I suspected it was just in need of a chkdsk. I was able to copy over all my important stuff and then the drive basically died. It looked like the MFT was corrupt but that was because the drive is toast. I couldn’t even format the damn thing. SeaTools fails all tests except the information test for drive identification. THANK GOD I was able to save the important stuff from that drive.

    This was the first non-western digital drive I bought in a long time. I won’t make that mistake again. I bought it because at the time I purcahsed it, it was at the top of the list at Tom’s Hardware. I already ordered the Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Hard Drive – OEM from even though my drive is under warranty. No way am I trusting my system drive to Seagate again. When they RMA the drive it will serve as a backup drive only since they can no longer be trusted in my mind.

    Be careful. My suggestion to everyone is to go with WD. I’ve had Maxtor fail on me. And now Seagate. I have NEVER had a WD fail on me. NOT ONCE in 15 years. The only time I throw their drives out are when They are so old I don’t even want them or I change interfaces (IDE to SATA, etc) or the drive becomes “small” by modern standards.

    WD all the way!


  • Turc1656

    Oh, and I was running SD15 on that drive as well. My OTHER Seagate drive (which I purchased well before this drive was showing problems) is a SV35.3 Series (ST3500320SV), and is NOT a Barracuda, so hopefully it will last. This secondary Seagate drive is running SD16 according to SeaTools.


  • Steve

    And you think you have problems…….try this on for size

    1. Purchased 2 new 80 GB 7200.10. (long overdue backups
    for my wife’s and my machine).
    2. Loaded Windows and two days later one died (nothing
    would recognize it and I have a lot of tools).
    3. Sent it back.
    4. Received a “reconditioned drive”.
    5. Again loaded all my software and two days later it failed
    after passing all the SeaGate diagnostics initially.
    Identical problem – drive could not accessed and nothing
    recognized it.
    6. Now, one might think I had a machine problem but, the
    drive in the machine is a 7200.10 and it’s run fine for
    a year.
    7. Complained to Seagate Tech support (good guys) and
    they sent me a new drive.
    8. It works with no problem thus far.
    9. Did I forget to mentioned that a new 320 GB did the same
    thing. Seagate, courteously replaced with new (we are on
    a first name basis.) Oh well, there went my multi-boot
    operating system (for the moment).
    10. Sent another drive in for a older gal, an 80 GB 7200.10
    again. Got back a ‘reconditioned” drive with a rattle. It
    works but am currently asking the obvious question.

    What’s the score in a THREE WEEK TIME FRAME? It’s taken 6 drives to equip 3 machines with one or one additional each and there is still a possible problem with one. Without the warranty Seagate would be personna non-grata but the bigger issue is the time it takes (days) to determine what’s going on. Fortunately my wife has the identical machine.

    Now let’s see @ $10.50 (USPS flat rate box) for every one I sent back……

  • Ron Schenone

    Hello Steve,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. It is appreciated.