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Seagate 1TB Disk Fails

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Two posts in a row on hardware failures – whew :-(. Just after fixing my Mac Pro Video card, one of my 1 TB Seagate Barracuda hard drives failed. Naturally, it’s the one with half a terabyte of virtual machines.

First thing I checked was whether or not the disk still spun. It did but was not recognized by the Mac OS X or Windows 7 OS. Then, I swapped the disk controller card with another one of the same model numbered disks. The Mac OS X recognized it and launched Disk Utility but with a catch. I’d need to re-partition it, which would trash the important data.

I’m now working on recovering it byte-by-byte, big ouch! As time consuming as it is, I’m going to start performing weekly backups to DVD on my test and development machine.

To add insult to injury, I found out that Seagate knew about the problem but kept it quiet. Hoping the data recovery works, I’ll do an RMA afterward on the broken drive, which also makes a clicking noise after the disk controller failure.

This is the Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 (1 Terabyte) Drive, Model #ST3100340AS, which was heralded for its breakthrough four 250 GB platters. It is prone to failure. You may avoid failure by applying a firmware update but only before the disk fails. I’ve got two more of these that require a firmware update. Also, my eroded confidence in Seagate causes me to worry whether they’re in my External Seagate drives. I use them for time machines. You can read the story from January 2009, which unfortunately I missed before now.

A quick update, you can download DriveDetect from Seagate if you’re running the Windows OS but they’ve not got a utility for Mac OS X. You’ll have to manually pull the drives. For the USB drives, it appears that you’ll need a PC to run their utility.

Written by maclochlainn

May 1st, 2010 at 3:14 pm

5 Responses to 'Seagate 1TB Disk Fails'

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  1. As an update, somebody at Seagate sent me an email. It was useless and pointed me to their self-service page. The only way to run the utility is from a Windows OS. I don’t want to dual boot my Mac Pro, so I’ve opted to trash the remaining two Seagate drives and replace them with Hitachi disk drives.


    6 May 10 at 10:28 pm

  2. Is there a reason you don’t do online backup of all your data? It seems to me that this would save you a lot of time in the long run rather than having to make weekly DVD backups.


    18 May 10 at 10:55 am

  3. VMs are 38 GB each at 500 GBs total, and I was using all internal drives for other things. I didn’t want to pay for a separate array for my test box.


    18 May 10 at 12:44 pm

  4. Thanks for this blog.

    I found this blog because I’ve had an apparently identical problem this week with my Seagate LP 2TB disk – Manufactured OCT 2010.

    If you still have your “trashed” drives, Seagate “offer bootable CD ISO images” for updating the firmware – see bottom of this page:

    The ST3100340AS is the last entry in the table.


    18 Mar 11 at 5:03 am

  5. […] first time my Mac Pro failed […]

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