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Seagate engineer explains Barracuda firmware issues

Posted on Tuesday, January 27 2009 @ 00:09:07 CET by

A Seagate engineer has given an explanation for the firmware debacle from last week, you can read it at Tom's Hardware. Here's a snip:
The problem with the 7200.11 series bricking, which has been in the news for the last month, was what really got the ball rolling. The Seagate employee says that is an old problem that was difficult to diagnose. A log or journal is written to in the firmware when certain events occur. If this reaches 320 entries and the drive is powered down, it will produce errors during initialization and not report information to the BIOS. Engineers quickly began work on a new firmware update to prevent this from happening.

Normally, a customer would go through the usual process of contacting customer support for the new preventative update and “this firmware had to go through five different checks to make sure it applies to the specific conditions to qualify sending to a customer, before now. 5 chances for us to go 'your drive needs the other (or none) firmware update'.” However, management, in order to quell the possibility of liability for drive failures, pushed a general public release of the firmware. “Suddenly, it's down to one check, and even that was more designed for a contingency just in case the wrong firmware was sent out.”



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