Things you should never do to a customers' machine/disk: Part 10, bricking a drive

We test our JackRabbit and Delta-V (ΔV) units extensively … long burn-in times, after any firmware updates. We like to run into the problems in-lab as compared to in-field. Some customers get annoyed at what they perceive to be slow shipping, but we want to know, when it leaves our lab, that this machine, and all its parts, works.

It appears that Seagate is having an issue with this last bit. Note: We have been huge fans of Seagate product. However I am starting to worry that the units we keep getting back from customers for warranty exchange, may not all be broken. Actually, they may be functional … but with a firmware issue.
This is an issue for us as we have been using (effectively exclusively) Seagate drives.
As of monday, our BOMs now have Western Digital options. We have used WD in the past, and while good drives, we have had a few more failures than we like. We haven’t used them in production boxes for a while. I think it is time.

2 thoughts on “Things you should never do to a customers' machine/disk: Part 10, bricking a drive”

  1. I have had good luck with WD, using them a lot since 2004 (some 15 drives). I worked for a company that run E-Commerce website on WD Raptors in RAID 10, they were happy (there were failures, but not that frequent).

  2. Yeah, this is a huge black eye for Seagate, who had also been my favorite vendor for a while. The first problem was bad enough, but pushing out a firmware “fix” that made drives totally unusable without any ready means of recovery, and apparently was a little trigger-happy wrt which drives it updated (so that entire RAID sets were blown away), has made things orders of magnitude worse.
    I just had occasion a couple of nights ago to buy a new drive for my home NAS. In a break from my own tradition, I went with Western Digital instead of Seagate. It was mostly a matter of better acoustics, but this issue was a factor.

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