A FEW DAYS after our original article, Seagate had scrambled the techies and produced a new firmware to flash the drives. So far so good.
The new SD1A firmware promised to take away the pain even though it did not solve the problem for people whose drives were already KIA. It would - according to the company - avoid the bricking feature before it happened...
... If it worked.
Adding insult to already injured customers, there are reports streaming in to our inboxes of users who have attempted the firmware flash and have ended up with bricked drives. Yes. That's right... Paperweight city all over the place. Seagate customers are up in arms.
Right about now, a very angry mob is giving phone support a good yell and filling the forums with complaints. If you want to join the festivities and leave a piece of your mind to Seagate's deaf, dumb and blind forums you can visit the forums.
Seagate has hastily removed the doubly-offending firmware before any more customers get their drives killed and is advising that a new firmware will be ready in 24-48 hours time. Naturally, if the drives are already bricked there won't be much you can do in terms of applying new firmware - RMA seems to be the only solution right now.
Oh, and if you want to ask someone at Seagate if it's safe, just forget contacting tech support via chat: the company will not discuss firmware updates on chats. Which brings us to today's mise en scène of "the devil's advocate": if we found we'd been telling people to apply firmware that bricks their drives we'd want the least amount of incriminating evidence (ie: chat logs) around, wouldn't we? But that's just us... because we're The INQ.
The situation, of course, begs the obvious question: how the heck does such a piece of firmware get launched without passing through thorough testing and certification?
We've tried contacting Seagate again, but it appears they think we're a customer.
Anyway, the dung should hit the fan at the stockholder meeting today... stay tuned. µ