We have customers interested in using these drives. So we are looking into getting some. I am seeing some awful reports on the fora about buggy firmware.
The response from Seagate doesn’t appear to be good. First they say they don’t support Linux, then they say they don’t support RAID with these (despite small local RAIDs being on their list of best fit applications). Now they claim it is a Linux problem, and the folks on the kernel list … um … disagree.
But the problems aren’t isolated to Linux. People are seeing them on Mac’s under OSX, on Vista, on XP. It looks like the only constant throughout this is the drive and its firmware, and it has a similar failure mode all around.
The current work-around appears to be disable write caching. This is a good thing in general for RAID units, but absolutely horrible for desktop RAID (suggested use case as noted on their page) where you are usually aiming for performance.
More than that, their suggested fix, of disabling the write cache, will generally result in more head motion as the on-board disk elevators won’t be used for writes, which means more wear and tear on the drive, and earlier failures.
We saw a similar problem with the early 750 GB ES devices. High failure rates.
This is a shame as we like the Seagates. They have generally been good drives.