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Author Topic: ALERT - Seagate Firmware Problem - Data at Risk  (Read 27939 times)
Ken
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« on: February 05, 2009, 09:26:16 AM »

I know this is not directly answering the original post, but since the name Seagate came up, I thought I would post this link in case you could be impacted by this issue:

http://www.desktopreview.com/default.asp?newsID=593

I hve no issues or gripes with Seagate, but I wanted to inform people about this issue in case they are vulnerable.

Take care,

--Ken
« Last Edit: February 09, 2010, 06:23:49 AM by peterkrogh » Logged
peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2009, 06:37:01 AM »

Ken,
Thanks for that - I've split it into it's own thread.
This sounds exactly like a problem that I recently experienced, where a Seagate 500 GB totally died with no warning.

The most important take-away is that owners of the affected Seagate drives should make immediate backups without rebooting, if they have data on the drives that is not backed up.  As to the firmware update, this sounds like a huge pain - and a really huge pain for RAID users.

I dread having to work on this - I'll have to comb through a lot of drives to see which ones may be in need of the firmware update.

Ugh.
Peter


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peterkrogh
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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2009, 08:04:31 AM »

I just got off the phone with Seagate, and here's what I was told.

MOST IMPORTANT - If you have  a reasonable suspicion that you may have an affected drive - do not power the unit off - make fresh backups immediately. The power-on process is what triggers the failure.

Determine if you need the update

IF YOU HAVE AN AFFECTED DRIVE, SEAGATE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS YOU RUN THE UPDATE.
______________________

1. Check your drive serial number for its inclusion in the list of affected drives.  The first two Seagates I checked were not - one was a 1 TB 7200.11 drive that was new enough to have the right firmware.  The second was a 750 GB 7200.10 drive that is not affected.

2 If you are on PC, there is a free utility you can download from Seagate that identify drives that need the update.  It may even be able to tell you about drives not currently connected, or drives that are in RAIDS.

3. If you are on MAc, you can get the serial number from the About This Mac window.

4. If you can't determine the status of drives in RAIDs or Drobos, you'll need to power off, pull the drives, and look at the labels.  Always make sure that your data is backed up before you start messing with any multi-drive mechanism. And keep in mind that powering off can trigger the problem.

Update the Firmware
_____________________
If you are on PC or Intel Mac, download the updater, make a bootable CD, boot, update, and restart.  Instructions available from Seagate. I have not tried this yet (don't know if I will have to).

If the drive is connected to a Power PC Mac (G5 or earlier), you'll need to find an intel machine to do the update, or if the update fails (which it would on a power PC machine) you can send the drive back to Seagate for RMA.

___________

that's what I know so far.

Peter
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msknyc
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2009, 08:42:59 AM »

The seagate link only provides software to identify the serial number of the drives for WINDOWS users.  How do you identify the serial number for a MAC?

Thanx!

~Mark S. Kornbluth
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2009, 08:55:38 AM »

Mark,
Go to the About this Mac, and hit More Info. Then look under Serial ATA.

I have to say that I'm a little concerned with identifying the drive model as well. I have not found a place on the Seagate site where you can enter the drive model number and have it tell you with confidence if the drive needs the update or not.  I was looking for another of my drives, and it's a real cross-eyed experience trying to tell if it's on the list.  I'm pretty sure it's not, but not totally sure.

Glad I've mostly bought Western digital drives recently.

Peter
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msknyc
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2009, 09:01:42 AM »

lucky you about WD.

The ABOUT MAC doesn't seem to point me to my external hard drives on my burly...

The link you provided at seagate has both a model number and serial number link to check.  Both my model numbers are affected, but I don't want to turn my drives off to find out what the serial numbers are.

I guess this is an excellent example of the backup rule... three different copies on two different types of media.

~Mark S Kornbluth

p.s.  I purchased my drives from Macgurus, and just got an email that they're shipping all the drives out with the new firmware update, and have been since early December, when the first warning went out about the 1.5 terabyte drives.  I'm still glad I bother to burn DVDs though, and hope to be able to upgrade to a blu-ray soon.

~Mark

« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 09:15:49 AM by msknyc » Logged
Ken
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2009, 09:14:37 AM »

I just got off the phone with Seagate, and here's what I was told.

MOST IMPORTANT - If you have  a reasonable suspicion that you may have an affected drive - do not power the unit off - make fresh backups immediately. The power-on process is what triggers the failure.

Determine if you need the update

IF YOU HAVE AN AFFECTED DRIVE, SEAGATE STRONGLY RECOMMENDS YOU RUN THE UPDATE.

Peter,

Thank you for taking the time to verify this problem with Seagate.  There seemed to be enough posts related to the original article to give the issue credibility, but I was not able to verify it for myself.  Hopefully with this bit of warning, we can further avoid any possible data disasters.

--Ken
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2009, 09:19:22 AM »

Mark,
How recent are your backups? (Run them now, if not current).
Any chance you have the boxes the drives came in?
Are the drives in your Burly RAIDed?

Also note - just to make all this more fun - if you have *current* firmware, the firmware update will kill that drive.

Peter

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msknyc
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2009, 09:24:43 AM »

Well of course, my backup drives are part of the affected model numbers.   I'm a bit behind with my DVD backups, so that's what I'm working on right now.  But Rick at MacGurus confirmed that they installed the proper firmware on the drives before they shipped, which was the first week of January.

I purchased the burly drive with the drives installed, so I don't have the boxes they came in, and I'm not running RAID.

I can't seem to find information on firmware version dates, is the update related to the link you've posted more current than the middle of December?

~Mark
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Emile
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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2009, 09:40:50 AM »

Great, I have an affected drive and it's part of a 6-drive RAID0 array. Furthermore, the Seagate firmware upgrade for my model is for PC users only. Great.

So I have two questions: Does Seagate have a firmware upgrade for Mac users, and will I need to break my RAID to upgrade the firmware on that single drive?  I'm checking with Seagate, but I haven't heard back yet. 

Any help with this is greatly appreciated.

-Emile Wamsteker
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2009, 10:08:48 AM »

Emile,
I feel for you.

#1. Backup the data right away.  I'd want it in two different places.
#2. There is a firmware update that works on Intel Mac.  I'm not sure it's difficult to do.
#3. I would call Seagate tech support and have them walk you through the process.
#4. Updating the firmware should not kill the RAID, but it certainly seems like one of those events that adds considerable risk to the data. Be careful, think it through, give yourself enough time to do the process completely, and make sure you have enough space to store all your data in two other locations.
#5. Did I mention backing up your data?

Did you buy the RAID and drives from a single source like Mark did from MacGurus? If so, you might want to ask for tech support from them.

Mark,
Call Seagate and see how they can help with firmware versions.
Peter
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msknyc
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2009, 10:18:14 AM »

Of course I was on hold for a good 30 minutes before I was disconnected this morning.  If I find out any information regarding dates for firmware updates, I'll be sure to post it here.

In any event, I'm glad I have a solid workflow.  on download I always copy to a pocket drive and unplug before I do anything.

Back to burning DVDs...

~Mark
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Emile
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2009, 11:08:55 AM »

Thanks, Peter!

Everything is backed up--part of my normal routine.  Unfortunately I don't have an Intel Mac.  I've got an "old" G5.  I just recently purchased 8 drives from Mac Gurus.  Fortunately, only one of them is affected, so I consider myself lucky.  I'll give them a call.  Seagate has heavy call volume, and a long wait.

Thanks again.  Once I get this resolved, I'll try to post my solution in the event someone else is affected in the same way.

Best,

-Emile
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2009, 11:16:36 AM »

Emile,
I look forward to the update.  According to my call, you could send the one drive in for RMA, (since the updater won't work on your G5), but that may be more trouble than trying to find an intelmac to boot from to fix the problem.

Thread on Mac Gurus that deals with this:

http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25006

Peter
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Arlen
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2009, 11:40:58 AM »

My 1TB Seagate drive is on the list, but my two 750GB drives are not. The affected drive is already backed up in two places--you guessed it, the backups are on the other two (non-affected) Seagate drives. I'm making sure both backups are current, then I'm going to update the firmware on the 1TB drive. I see on the Seagate forum that some people are claiming that models and serial numbers not on the official list are also affected; I hope they're wrong about that.
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