Dead Seagate 3TB HDD

I bought a 3TB drive to consolidate stuff spread across several drives which were getting full. It is about six months old and failed without warning. I've done the usual checks - swapped cables/ports, tried it in an external enclosure, tried it in another PC. Result: dead - no spin-up, not recognised in bios. I'm guessing it's the control board rather than other failure.

*Most* of what's on it is backed up, redownloadable, or in the case of CDs, re-rippable. But there's several gig of stuff which isn't, or the back up is old enough that updating the files/databases would be a real pain (e.g. genealogy files). Since the HDD is within warranty I could return it, but I'd rather try recovering the data.

Has anyone used one of the various companies which offer to swap the PCB of the hard drive?

geek_daikiwi, Jun 28, 10:47 pm

If it's the usual 3tb seagate failure, I read that there was a bug in the firmware that counts the number of power up cycles, to allow for slower spin up times as the drive gets old. The upshot is because that counter would reset itself to zero the drive would suffer a head crash. That is somewhat fatal I would think.

This may not apply to you, but there certainly have been a lot of 3tb seagate drives crash because of this

geek_piperguy, Jun 28, 11:20 pm

I thought that bug was way back, on the 500GB or 1TB drives?

geek_r.g.nixon, Jun 28, 11:24 pm

I read about the Backblaze stuff. Looks like they they refuse to say what the cause or type of failure is. Adaptec has a page on 7200.11 & 7200.14 issues. The firmware issue seems to refer to a different series (9YN vs 1CH) and was related to RAID.

Anyway, if it was a head crash, wouldn't the device still be recognised when connected? In this case, it isn't.

geek_daikiwi, Jun 29, 12:27 am

You know, now I go looking for that article I can't jolly well find it. I am positive the counter bug was relating to the 3tb drives as it came out in the wake of the backblaze report. Oh well. If I find it I will link to it

geek_piperguy, Jun 29, 8:54 am

piperguy, I think the link below is what you're referring to. It appears to relate to 7200.11 series drives manufactured before January 2009. Mine is a later 7200.14 series.

geek_daikiwi, Jun 29, 12:33 pm

Nope, read the Backblaze posting.

Not that it is necessarily very relevant for home use reliability as using these disks in a datacentre environment is significantly different to home use.

geek_vtecintegra, Jun 29, 12:38 pm

Agree about use environment. I have read the Backblaze blogs. Reasons for the ST3000DM001 failure don't seem to be mentioned in the blogs or comments, though they'll be in the raw data. I thought piperguy might be conflating two different sets of issues with Seagate drives - one several years ago in the 7200.11 series and one more recently with 7200.14 drives.

Anyway, has anyone got direct or anecdotal experience with PCB replacement services? US$50 + postage seems like a good gamble against the time it'll take to re-update some of the files.

geek_daikiwi, Jun 29, 1:36 pm

At a price that low its a no brainer to try it.

I have had no sucess in the past with board swaps when I have had previous known seagate issues happen. There is also a small eeprom on the board that holds all the configuration information for the drive. I had to move that chip over before the drive would even respond to the host PC, Then the problem was exactly the same so it was a physical issue. End cost was going to be a few $100 to get a pro place to look at it since I had done the board swap their "no recovery no cost" policy wouldnt apply.

The eeprom was a small but not tiny 8 pin surfacemount chip.

geek_richms, Jun 29, 4:20 pm

Yeah, I saw the quote includes them swapping the chip and testing the new board if you send the old one.

geek_daikiwi, Jun 29, 5:02 pm

Found it!

1 min 20 they discuss the backblaze drive failures.

geek_piperguy, Jul 12, 5:23 am

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