Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3609 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Bad Seagate HDDs - Vote for my bugzilla
  • From: Greg Freemyer <greg.freemyer@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 Jan 2009 09:55:11 -0500
  • Message-id: <87f94c370901210655s7763d668i65b8c37342e03d26@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Wed, Jan 21, 2009 at 3:46 AM, Dominique Leuenberger
<Dominique.Leuenberger@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 1/21/2009 at 1:58 AM, "Greg Freemyer" <greg.freemyer@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

We have about 40 that match the model numbers in question. I haven't
seen a list of firmware revs yet that are affected.

FYI: We have had a lot of drive failures, so I'm sure we have bad
drives. I just don't know which ones.

From the Seagate KB: Affected drives are from the series
Barracuda 7200.11
DiamondMax 22
Barracuda ES.2 SATA

Apparently Seagate is not having all the information to identify themself if
the disk is affected by the problem, and they actually recommend against
flashing the disks firmware 'to prevent' anything. The suggestion goes
clearly in the way of 'crash and flash'.

I'm very confused by that. Do you have a link that says "crash and
flash" or similar.

It is my understanding that once is crashes, it is too late. The
firmware can no longer be upgraded. At least not via the standard

AIUI, the drive simply becomes unrecognizable and is effectively a
brick. Data recovery can be performed, but it is not a simple matter
of applying software tools that are readily available.

I have not seen it officially, but I have seen unofficial mailing list
posts saying that Seagate is offering free data recovery services for
drives that have bricked themselves due to this firmware bug.

The fact that there seems not to exist a (public) table of affected bios
revisions (yet) would also make it close to impossible to create a tool
that can identify if your disk is at risk. Just because you have the correct
model can't be an indication, as the user might already have the newest
bios applied.

I believe there is a partial list of known bad firmware releases and
for those there is a recommended firmware upgrade. New info is
expected as Seagate investigates the situation.

So the situation is dynamic. It seems there are 2 choices:

1) The community (Novell or even a more comprehensive Linux community
team) monitor the situation and roll-out notifications /
recommendations as they become available. This was done for the
faulty laptop batteries, so the mechanisms are in place. I believe
all that is needed is config files for HAL.

2) Have everyone that purchased one of the potentially affected models
research the Seagate recommendations on a regular basis.

I believe 1) is the best for the community and given the severity of
the problem it is a minimal amount of effort.

Greg Freemyer
Litigation Triage Solutions Specialist
First 99 Days Litigation White Paper -

The Norcross Group
The Intersection of Evidence & Technology
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