Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Seagate Updates 1.5 TB Drive Firmware

11:00 AM -- Over the past month or so, the enthusiast blogosphere and Seagate's own support forums have been hopping with reports from users of Barracuda 7200.11 1.5 TByte drives "freezing" for up to 30 seconds at a time. These reports came from users running the drives on a variety of platforms from Windows XP to Ubuntu Linux.

Users attempting to run the drives in RAID arrays reported that their RAID controllers marked the drives as failed and dropped them from the array, leaving them without protection from a second drive going offline.

The affected drives are model number 9JU138-300 and -336 with firmware revisions SD15, SD17, or SD18. Users with these drives can get the new SD1A version firmware only by calling Seagate support and reporting that they have affected drives.

Despite certain pressure from customers looking for the densest storage available, these 1.5 TB drives haven't yet made it into SME and enterprise disk arrays, as the three-letter acronym vendors generally stick to the near-line versions of SATA drives like Seagate's ES and Western Digital's RE series.

While the mechanical parts may be similar or even the same, between workstation SATA drives and their RAID oriented near-line relatives the firmware is very different. Drives designed to run in a RAID configuration run a much shorter retry cycle than their desktop brethren. While a desktop drive should take a second or more to attempt everything in the drive designer's bag of tricks to read a block, it's faster for a RAID controller to read the other copy or parity information and reconstruct the data if the initial read fails.

  • 1