Seagate to issue fixes for troublesome hard drives

Seagate is offering free data recovery services to customers whose data on the affected drives is not erased but rendered inaccessible

Seagate will issue fixes soon for faulty firmware that is causing several models of the company's hard drives to freeze, it said Wednesday.

The models due for a fix are the Barracuda 7200.11, DiamondMax 22 and the SV35, said company spokesman Ian D. O'Leary.

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On Friday, Seagate posted new firmware for the Barracuda ES.2, another model also affected by the problems.

However, that firmware will not repair drives that have become inoperable, or "bricked," because of the fault, O'Leary said.

"The initial problem was, under a very specific set of circumstances, the drive would crash or brick or not work," he said.

Seagate has not revealed the scenario under which the drives would become bricked. O'Leary said that's because the information is of a highly technical nature, although the company may release more information later Wednesday about the problems, O'Leary said.

Data on the affected drives that are still working is not erased but rendered inaccessible. As a remedy, Seagate is offering free data recovery services to customers through its i365 data recovery service.

"In the unlikely event your drive is affected and you cannot access your data, the data still resides on the drive and there is no data loss associated with this issue," the company said in a statement.

Users complained on Seagate's online forum that some drives freeze for around 30 seconds during streaming video transfers or when reading or writing files at low speeds.

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