Seagate 1.5TB Firmware Update Fix

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This is quoted from AlanM, a Moderator on the Seagate Forums



This is an official Seagate announcement.

Seagate 1.5TB Customers,

Some Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives may show uncharacteristic operation when used with Mac and Linux operating systems in multi-drive configurations. Users may experiences pauses in video streaming applications or a dropped drive from RAID arrays. Customers seeing these symptoms should contact Seagate Technical Support directly by phone or by email for a firmware upgrade.

In order to assure the proper application of the new firmware, please communicate/have ready a description of the issues you’re seeing when you contact Seagate Technical Support. Please include the following disk drive information:


Model Number: http://support.seagate.com/rightnow/Flash/gtla_locater/Seagate_sn_gtla.html

Serial Number

Current Firmware Revision (Seatools for DOS can tell you, and it should also be listed on the drive label)

Also, please describe

Your System

Your Operating System, and

The application in use when the issue arose.

You will receive a prompt response with appropriate instructions.



Source: http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board...thread.id=2879&view=by_date_ascending&page=21
 

Syntax Error

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So is the firmware user-upgradeable or is it something inherent within the PCB that can't be changed by the end user?
 

novadude

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They don't let end users flash firmware on consumer drives, only on the enterprise drives.
 

theDreamer

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So how long till we might be able to start picking these up from retailers without having to worry about getting a bad firmware?
 

coolrunner84

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i thought this problem also occurred in Windows OS as well?

Some Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB hard drives may show uncharacteristic operation when used with Mac and Linux operating systems in multi-drive configurations.
 

ReelMcCoy

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The issue has been reported to happen with Vista and to a lesser extent, XP. The firmware IS end user flashable however obtaining the firmware update files may take a bit of effort although I didn't have much of a problem but I also had a pre-existing trouble ticket to go by. I updated 6 drives I have and stuffed them back in my ReadyNAS Pro with write cache enabled. H.264 and FLAC file playback has been pretty solid now. It took a while but I'm pleased so far.
 

novadude

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Odd, they've never released updates for consumer drives before that I'm aware of.
 

Syntax Error

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The issue has been reported to happen with Vista and to a lesser extent, XP. The firmware IS end user flashable however obtaining the firmware update files may take a bit of effort although I didn't have much of a problem but I also had a pre-existing trouble ticket to go by. I updated 6 drives I have and stuffed them back in my ReadyNAS Pro with write cache enabled. H.264 and FLAC file playback has been pretty solid now. It took a while but I'm pleased so far.
Care to elaborate more on the process you did to update firmware? Did you boot from a CD/Floppy or something or did you use a utility?
 

Retronym

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I haven't checked to see if my drive is an offender, but it took from last night until like 2 hours ago to move a library of music from my Drobo to the 1.5TB (over USB 2.0 to a Thermaltake BlacX). The folder was about 580 GB. I know thats a large folder but I've never encountered something this slow before. Maybe its the Drobo software lagging things down, but its not this slow writing to it, which should be harder since its backing stuff up too.

Its only a minor nuisance since the 1.5TB is a pure backup that will sit on a shelf for the most part. But still....

I am pleased to discover the drive gets less hot than my 1TB seagate drives though.
 

ReelMcCoy

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Care to elaborate more on the process you did to update firmware? Did you boot from a CD/Floppy or something or did you use a utility?
The file they provide includes an EXE which I would assume is to use when you boot from something like a bootable USB thumbdrive or floppy and an bootable ISO image. I took the bootable CD route. I disconnected other SATA drives, hooked up one 1.5TB drive at a time and booted from the CD, flashed, power cycled, booted, verified firmware, powered down and repeated until all drives were flashed and returned to the ReadyNAS bay I pulled them from. Booted up the ReadyNAS and that's all she wrote. No raid rebuild needed. Nice and simple.
 
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A link from AVS forum to the update for those interested:

Upgrade file for Seagate ST31500341AS SD1A
Use for 9JU138 -300 and -336 part numbers only (firmware SD15 -SD19). DO NOT use on any other part number or firmware.
http://www3.bigupload.com/download_frame.php?id_file=A3PKOYWN11

Basically, you need to disconnect all drives except for the 1500 and update the firmware via boot cd.

I'm using my 2 drives as backup right now, and though they're among the part numbers that are affected, I think I'll hold off with this until I am impacted by the performance issues. Too much hassle to pull everything apart for the time being.
 

nitrobass24

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Heres the instructions and link from Newegg

ST31500341AS 1.5 TB
SD1A Firmware load Instructions:

Download Firmware - 8h_SD1A.zip



1 - Unzip the files into a DOS Bootable directory or media. (DO NOT use a CMD Window or command prompt in Windows).

2 - Attach a Single ST31500341AS 1.5TB unit to a compatible system used previously for Seagate HDD interface firmware loads.

3 - Boot the system into DOS and connect to the directory with the firmware files. Then execute the batch file 8HSD1A.BAT
 

nerr

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nitrobass24, thanks for the instructions! I just ordered one of these drives, and am preparing myself to have to update it, should there be a need. How exactly do you create a DOS bootable device though? I've got a 1GB USB drive that should do the trick, but do I simply format it as FAT and the unzip the files, or must other steps be taken as well?

Edit: Got it. I'm all prepped and ready to unload a firmware update should there be a need once my drive arrives. If anybody needs to create a DOS bootable USB drive, here's what I used: http://www.bay-wolf.com/usbmemstick.htm
 

coolrunner84

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I was holding off on buying these because this problem. It seems to be somewhat safe now that they have released a firmware fix.
 

nitrobass24

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Note:

Just to be on the safe side when you do this I would make sure that none of your other drives or even raid controllers are connected to the system.
Not that it will hurt them in any way but this is kind of an interesting situation....Manufactures of HDD's typically dont let consumers flash firmware...its usally done through RMA process.
 

nerr

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That was definitely my plan. Both HDDs will be disconnected from both data and power cables, so the blank Seagate drive will be the only hard disk connected.

And I wonder myself if Seagate condones this end-user flashing of this drive's firmware... It didn't appear so on their website, but Newegg's information says otherwise!
 

Kido1986

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If I order one of these, would it be beneficial to flash the firmware BEFORE installing Windows on it?

Could someone with the firmware email/PM it to me, since it's not available for direct download?
 

FLECOM

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upgraded both my 1.5tb drives, they seem to be happy now, i had them in a 2003 box in a software RAID1 and was having issues with streaming things off them (FLAC, video etc) but now everything seems happy again
 

Azureth

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So if I buy one of these from, say Newegg what are the chances it'll have the updated firmware?
 

GilmourD

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What's the bad firmware that these drives are shipping with and when were they made?
 

nitrobass24

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So if I buy one of these from, say Newegg what are the chances it'll have the updated firmware?
id say your chances of getting one with updated firmware is not good
Hence the reason they are $40 cheaper then everywhere else...and they have directions to update it on the page.
 

Decius

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I have one of the 1.5TB drives on the way. What's the quickest way to check if the drive has the delay problem so I don't have to jump through too many hoops when calling Seagate? Copy a bunch of large files, a bunch of small files, a mix of the two?
 

nerr

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I plan on using a SeaTools for DOS disc to just check the firmware number directly. If I see SD15, SD17, or SD18 as the firmware, I'll just flash the firmware using my USB drive.
 

Syntax Error

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Well, I bit. I bought five of these drives from Newegg yesterday. Let's hope that they're of the updated firmware ilk, otherwise it'll be a pain to get it in working order for my RAID setup.
 

nerr

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Just letting you all know, I'm working on preparing a guide on how to update these puppies, should they come in with the wrong firmware. I've got it all ready. Flash drive running DOS with the firmware loaded on it, SeaTools, etc... I just need the actual drive to get here so I can test my methods.

If it works, I will definitely post the guide here, so hopefully people don't have to scour Google for hours like I did to work out some minor details.
 

SockMan!

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The files that MasterTactician provided were enough for me to flash my two drives fairly easily. The included instructions were fairly easy to understand - though they might be a bit much for less proficient users (particularly when it comes to plugging/unplugging drives and finding out if your drive is the right version for the update - the instructions assume you already know how to do these steps).

Now that the kinks have (supposedly) been ironed out, hopefully I'll be able to get a few more of these drives before NewEgg bumps the price up. $120 is damn cheap.
 

a123456

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The quickest way to check is probably to stream some movies off the drive and see if they pause every 30s or so but this method may not be 100% if you are using RAID. For brand new drives, I assume you can create a small partition quickly to copy files over and then delete the partition after the tests fail/succeed. I don't have it in a RAID, though, and some people were complaining about RAID dropping.

I don't really think you need Seatools to view the firmware version. At least for me, all the product number and firmware versions, etc. are printed right on the drive so I just glanced at it since I was too lazy to grab Seatools.
 

GilmourD

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The quickest way to check is probably to stream some movies off the drive and see if they pause every 30s or so but this method may not be 100% if you are using RAID. For brand new drives, I assume you can create a small partition quickly to copy files over and then delete the partition after the tests fail/succeed. I don't have it in a RAID, though, and some people were complaining about RAID dropping.

I don't really think you need Seatools to view the firmware version. At least for me, all the product number and firmware versions, etc. are printed right on the drive so I just glanced at it since I was too lazy to grab Seatools.
Isn't the firmware revision that the drive shipped with printed on the sticker underneath the serial number?
 

CarlsonCustoms

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The firmware is listed on the sticker of all my Seagate 7200 drives.. i'm assuming the 1.5 TB is no different
 

a123456

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On my drive, right on the sticker, there is serial number, part number, model number, firmware version and some other numbers right on the top in plain view. Of course, it's possible that Seagate actually flashed the drives to something else but I really doubt it. Windows device manager has the firmware version also but not the part number as far as I can tell. You need Seatools for that probably.
 

SockMan!

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Some other tools can also report back firmware version; including HD Tune and some RAID software.

I'd double check with software to make sure the firmware you've got is what's on the sticker. It's very unlikely that they're different, but it only takes 10 seconds to do.
 

DJS2

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Just letting you all know, I'm working on preparing a guide on how to update these puppies, should they come in with the wrong firmware. I've got it all ready. Flash drive running DOS with the firmware loaded on it, SeaTools, etc... I just need the actual drive to get here so I can test my methods.

If it works, I will definitely post the guide here, so hopefully people don't have to scour Google for hours like I did to work out some minor details.
Anxiously awaiting your results. I will definitely order one of these for my system as a storage drive (windows xp-32) if the problem that I commonly hear about is supposedly fixed.

If anyone has any further comments or news please keep us all updated :)
 

Syntax Error

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I ordered some of these drives from the Egg the other day, I'll report back as to what firmware revision I have for these drives as a reference point for others who are thinking about purchasing these drives soon. Hopefully, the drives are of the latest (or at least functioning) revision so I won't have to do it myself.
 

DJS2

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In fear of retailers raising the price of these drives (because of a possible fix) I placed an order for one from tigerdirect. These are out of stock on newegg for $129.99 w/ free shipping.

Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1.5TB Hard Drive ST31500341AS - Serial ATA 7200/32MB/SATA-3G

Product Total - $119.99
Shipping & Handling (3-7 days) - $6.99
Sales Tax TX, NC, IL, FL - $0.00
Order Total - $126.98

8.4 cents / GB not bad if I can get it working!

I will report back with the firmware once I get the drive. I will also probably report back with some questions on what exact steps to take ensuring the best possible chance to get my drive up and running without problems :)
 

drdamour

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Can someone help me out. My computer can't boot from USB, so i'm trying to do this all from the CD rom drive. Is there a good way to do this? maybe something like that usb boot disk guide?

Update:
I figured it out, this is what i did.
First i downloaded and burned a copy of a windows 98 cd from http://www.bootdisks.us/windows-98/13/windows-98-bootable-cd-images.html

I used 98 se disk

Then i burned the sf.exe, bat, and lod files to another disk.

I booted up with the 98 se boot disk. It set up a C: and D: drive. C: was a ram dirve, and d: was my cd drive

I then switched disks to the disk with sf.exe and the bat & lod files. I copied from the d: to the c: all the files.

I ran the bat file, and it all worked.

Note: when i ran the bat file from the disk, it kept giving me a read error when accessing the lod file, not sure why.

Hope this helps others
 
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