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Seagate Acknowledges Problems With 1.5-TB HDD 239

Posted by kdawson
from the sorry-for-the-inconvenience dept.
AnInkle writes "Seagate's 1.5TB Barracuda has been available for a couple months from multiple retailers. But shortly after release, reports of random freezes appeared on several sites. The hang apparently occurs in Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows Vista when streaming video or transferring files at low speeds. After a couple of weeks of silence, Seagate has finally officially acknowledged the problem. In a response to The Tech Report, they say they're investigating the 'issue' affecting 'a small number of Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives.' Acknowledging the 'inconvenience' is a start, but most users expect at least average performance and prompt service from the capacity king of data storage." In a related story, reader Lucas123 plugs a ComputerWorld piece examining the question of Seagate's plans to stay relevant at a time when SSDs increasingly capture OEM mindshare.
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Seagate Acknowledges Problems With 1.5-TB HDD

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  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by negRo_slim (636783) <mils_oRgen@hotmail.com> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:37PM (#25726967)

    On a more serious note, I read something in Maximum PC this month that there are thermal reliability issues with perpendicular storage technology? Does this mean that all perpendicular drives are less reliable?

    This link [wikipedia.org] might be of use to you in that regard.

    Echoes of Intel... [tomshardware.com]

  • by cheater512 (783349) <nick@nickstallman.net> on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:55PM (#25727171) Homepage

    Thats with RAID 5, RAID 6 can reduce the possibility of data loss even further and if your data is critical then RAID 10 would be *extremely* to fail completely.

  • by Moryath (553296) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @06:55PM (#25727173)

    Sony Vaio Laptop. Someone in my company almost bought one. Thankfully they came to me for advice before sinking money on their "new" personal machine.

    I pointed out the following: the SSD drive was a mere 32 GB.

    A standard installation (infection?) of Windows Vista (and no XP-downgrade option, Sony won't give you the drivers) eats up a good 12 of that. Office 2007 (yeah yeah I know, I work with what they use), another 6 easily. Miscellaneous preloads, drivers, "service" software, and of course the (ugh) "restore partition" eat up another 4-5. Swap file eats another 1-2.

    Functionally, their "32 GB SSD drive" has about 7 GB of usable space before it maxes out in which they have to fit all their programs, utilities, miscellaneous pictures/video of the kids, games... or they can buy a normal laptop and we can get them a 500 GB internal drive and they're good to go for a decently long while.

    And THAT is why the SSD's, even though OEM's would love to use them for marketroid reasons, are going to be a long time in making anything obsolete. I wouldn't use anything less than a 500GB drive for a machine today, whether laptop OR desktop, and the largest commercial SSD currently is a mere 128 GB.

  • Re:Seagate is good (Score:4, Informative)

    by mapsjanhere (1130359) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:10PM (#25727305)
    Guess you never bought any of IBM's Deskstar disaster series. I have a drawer full of these, none made it past 3 years. The drives were so bad, IBM sold the division, to Hitachi I think.
  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:13PM (#25727337)

    Patterson, David; Gibson, Garth A.; Katz, Randy (1988). "A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)" (PDF). SIGMOD Conference: pp 109â"116.

    http://www.eecs.berkeley.edu/Pubs/TechRpts/1987/CSD-87-391.pdf

    right....

  • by jebrew (1101907) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:19PM (#25727395)
    I call shenanigans on this. I'm running on a 32Gb SSD using XP pro with all the trimmings, VS2005 SP1 (With full MSDN install), Office 2007, VMWare, Firefox, Chrome, Picasa, GIMP, Photoshop CS3, and Cygwin (just to name the largest programs). I've still got 12GB of free space.

    Throw in some external storage in the form of a USB drive and I've got a system that boots in ~10 seconds, restarts in ~15, and cut my compile time by a factor of 10.

    Not to mention all the apps open a lot more quickly. I don't know if I can go back to a non-SSD setup honestly. I've got one at home and I almost never use it anymore...need to switch that one over.

  • On a large lot.. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Fubar420 (701126) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:23PM (#25727433)

    On a lot of 60, a random subsample of 10:
      - 7 have been nothing but blissful
      - 2 throw random errors enough to stall a raid array
      - 1 just hangs the controller after some amount of time.

    Not saying the percentages bear out over the long haul, but people saying "WFM" are probably telling the truth, as are those complaining of errors.

  • by NinthAgendaDotCom (1401899) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:28PM (#25727485) Homepage
    This is a relatively new drive. If you really need stable performance, you probably should buy something more time-tested, like a well-reviewed 1 TB unit.
  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by koko775 (617640) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:35PM (#25727565)

    I actually talked with Randy Katz about RAID, as I was in one of his classes at Berkeley. As late as last May, it still meant "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks".

    Sorry to burst your bubble.

  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @07:57PM (#25727777) Homepage

    I stopped buying Segate a few months ago when I bought a set to upgrade my G5 editor. I purchased 5 750gig drives and 2 of the 5 were defective. They are getting as bad as the IBM deathstars were back in the late 90's/ early 00's. I have had to do data recovery on many drives this past year and over 1/2 were seagates.. Seagate used to be the drives that NEVER failed. and now they are sending low grade refurbs for any warranty replacements and the warranty replaced drives have only 90 days on them so that nice 5 year warranty turns into a 90 day warranty when the drive dies and is replaced.

    I only do HD video editing so I can get away with tiny 750 gig drives, but I dont like having them fail on me like segates have been lately.

    As for the SSD drive remarks.. I cant see SSD drives getting near the capacities and speed I need for HD video editing within the nest 3 years.

  • Re:Half baked (Score:3, Informative)

    by Master of Transhuman (597628) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @08:26PM (#25728047) Homepage

    Just check the reviews of these drives - indeed, most 1TB drives as well as the Seagate 1.5TB drives - on Newegg or TigerDirect. These drives die regularly - they have an astronomical rate of failure, regardless of what the manufacturers claim. Some are DOA from the store (some people blame this on the OEM packaging - but the reviews vary from drive company to drive company, suggesting the packaging is not the culprit.) Of course, I know that negative reviews on such sites tend to outweigh positive reviews - but when you see the overall ratings dropping low, it's best to bypass that make and model, especially if there are a lot of reviews in total and the percentage of negative is way up there.

    I was considering these drives for a client, but based on my research, there's no way I would touch them with a ten foot pole. Seagate 1TB drives aren't much better according to the reviews. Samsung drives seem to be better - considerably more positive reviews than negative. Even Hitachi 1TB drives are getting better reviews than Seagate or Western Digital these days - and I've stayed away from them since back when IBM sold them their defective Deskstars.

    If you need more than 2TB in your box, best make sure you have enough drive bays to hold multiple 1TB or 750GB drives, because using 1.5TB is not a good idea. Either that or go for an eSATA external enclosure or NAS box with multiple drive bays. I'm considering an eSATA enclosure or an iSCSI SAN for the above mentioned client since some of his machines are Dells with not enough bays for the storage space we need for an individual workstation.

  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Tuesday November 11, 2008 @08:59PM (#25728377)

    For whatever reasons the otherwise smart chaps who devised RAID decided to use that word, at no stage was it a characteristic of RAIDsets that they were made of inexpensive disks.

    The term "inexpensive" in the RAID acronym is used to mean relative to the cost of a single disk with equal performance. It doesn't mean cheap it means cheaper.

  • Re:Half baked (Score:5, Informative)

    by blahplusplus (757119) * on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @12:34AM (#25729893)

    "I stopped buying Segate a few months ago when I bought a set to upgrade my G5 editor. I purchased 5 750gig drives and 2 of the 5 were defective. They are getting as bad as the IBM deathstars were back in the late 90's/ early 00's"

    Your sample is not representative ... "I had x and y fail on me, therefore the maker of x and y is crap". I used to buy western digital, and over %50 of the drives failed before 3 years. Seagate backs their drives with 5 year warranties compared to everyone else, if anything I think that's a statement of confidence in their ability to create drives that outlast the competition. All hard disks are destined to fail at some point due to moving parts and after prolonged use, even flash drives have a limited lifetime (even if it will never see failure during the time it is used). This is just the nature of the beast.

    The biggest improvement's in hard disk life in my experience has been in adding active cooling to the disks themselves. Ever since I've added active cooling, I've noticed a mark decrease in failure before the 3 year mark, and I tend to go through a lot of hard disks.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 12, 2008 @04:40AM (#25731205)

    No, there's two distinct sets of 7200.11 disks with different platter size. The original set included a 4 disk 1TB disk (ST31000340AS), the different models use platters with between 250 and 320GB (might or might not be the same 320GB platters with wasted space)

    The 1.5TB disk came much later and has (at least) 375GB per platter. At the same time a 3 disk 1TB version (ST31000333AS) showed up on Seagate's web pages (334+GB per platter).

    Since we've not heard more about it and only about the 1.5TB disk I think we can assume that the older 7200.11 models are likely not affected by this, and all online stores I checked only lists the old 1TB 7200.11 disk. The fault could also lie in newer firmware though again it may well only be used for the new disks (different HW)

    We don't know if the new 1TB disk uses the same platters and/or firmware as the 1.5TB one (it could use an intermediate platter size), but I'd be rather wary of that model until we know more.

    We also don't know if the new 1TB 7200.11 is on it's way into the channels or not, it may be that they're holding it until they've fixed this. For that matter it's possible they may still have whatever problem delayed the 1.5TB (there was a lengthy period between announcement and launch), it could be that they can't make enough 375GB platters so still send out the older version.

    http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/products/desktops/barracuda_hard_drives/barracuda_7200.11/

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose

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