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Firmware Updates for Seagate, Toshiba, Hitachi, Western Digital HDs


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IBM has just recently (2009-01-20) released version FWSH24 of their HD Firmware ISO (for SATA drives). It applies mainly to Thinkpad systems, but any other PC/laptop who uses the listed drives will also benefit from the fixes.

The utility will then check the firmware revision of the hard drive and judge whether your system requires a firmware update or not. If required, it will prompt you to run the appropriate firmware update program for your drive.

This revision adds firmware updates for

  • Momentus 7200.1  4.07
  • Momentus 5400.3  3.CLH
  • Momentus 5400 FDE.2  3.CLG
  • Momentus 7200.2  3.CME
  • Momentus 5400.4  3.CMF

Complete list of supported HDs

  • Toshiba MKxx32GSX
  • Toshiba MKxx34GSX
  • Toshiba MKxx08GAx
  • Fujitsu MHV2xxxBH
  • Fujitsu MHV2xxxBH PL
  • Fujitsu MHW2xxxBH
  • Fujitsu MHW2xxxBH PL
  • Hitachi HTS5410xxG9SA00
  • Hitachi HTS5416xxJ9SA00
  • Hitachi HTS5432xxL9SA00
  • Hitachi HTS543216L9SA01FDE
  • Hitachi HTS7210xxG9SA00
  • Hitachi HTS7220xxK9SA00
  • Hitachi HTS7220xxK9SA00FDE
  • WD WDxxxxBEVS-08RS
  • Seagate Momentus 7200.1
  • Seagate Momentus 5400.3
  • Seagate Momentus 5400 FDE.2
  • Seagate Momentus 7200.2
  • Seagate Momentus 5400.4


  • This firmware update includes the fix for the case on a system with Windows Vista, that the system may display the following error message at each power on, and then cannot boot from the hard drive.
    "2100: Initialization error on HDD0 (Main hard disk drive)"
  • This Hitachi drive firmware updates include the fix for the case on a system with Intel Turbo Memory, that the system may show blue screen error during operations.

The full Changelog holds detailed information about the fixes, which drives were added in the past and how to burn an .ISO :)

As some of you probably own a desktop PC it should also be noted that Seagate has released firmware updates for a variety of their latest 7200.11 generation drives to prevent random failure during the power up process.

Seagate's official knowledge base article offers a Model Number and Serial Number check for affected drives, but has been modified a couple of times over the last 2 weeks, so make sure to check back often for updates.

One of the most useful source with lots of information is over at MSFN where they keep an user-reported list of affected models up to date.

OEM drives were (according to Seagate) not affected, but DELL released a week ago already 2 firmware for Seagate drives:

Affected DELL Desktop PCs:

  • Dimension C521
  • Dimension E521
  • XPS/Dimension 410/9200
  • XPS/Dimension 420
  • XPS/Dimension 210/9200C
  • Dimension E520
  • Inspiron Desktop 518
  • Inspiron Desktop 519
  • Inspiron Desktop 530
  • Inspiron Desktop 530S
  • Inspiron Desktop 531
  • Inspiron Desktop 531S
  • Dell Precision WorkStation 390
  • Dell Precision WorkStation 490
  • Dell Precision WorkStation 690
  • OptiPlex 760
  • OptiPlex 330
  • OptiPlex 740
  • OptiPlex 755
  • Dell Precision WorkStation T3400
  • Dell Precision WorkStation T5400
  • Dell Precision WorkStation T7400
  • Studio Desktop 540
  • Studio Desktop Slim 540s
  • Vostro Desktop 200
  • Vostro Desktop 220
  • Vostro Desktop 220s
  • Vostro Desktop 410
  • Vostro Desktop 420
  • XPS/Dimension 430
  • XPS/Dimension 625
  • XPS/Dimension 630i
  • XPS/Dimension 730x

Official Seagate statement

Seagate has isolated a potential firmware issue in certain products, including some Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related drive families based on their product platform*, manufactured through December 2008. In some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on. Retail products potentially affected include the Seagate FreeAgent® Desk and Maxtor OneTouch® 4 storage


As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we are offering a free firmware upgrade to those with affected products. To determine whether your product is affected, please visit the Seagate Support web site at http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/self...sp?DocId=207931.

Support is also available through Seagate's call center: 1-800-SEAGATE (1-800-732-4283)

Customers can expedite assistance by sending an email to Seagate (discsupport*seagate.com). Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. We will respond, promptly, to your email request with appropriate instructions.

For a list of international telephone numbers to Seagate Support and alternative methods of contact, please access


*There is no safety issue with these products.


An issue exists that may cause some Seagate hard drives to become inoperable immediately after a power-on operation. Once this condition has occurred, the drive cannot be restored to normal operation without intervention from Seagate. Data on the drive will be unaffected and can be

accessed once normal drive operation has been restored. This is caused by a firmware issue coupled with a specific manufacturing test process.

Root Cause

This condition was introduced by a firmware issue that sets the drive event log to an invalid location causing the drive to become inaccessible.

The firmware issue is that the end boundary of the event log circular buffer (320) was set incorrectly. During Event Log initialization, the boundary condition that defines the end of the Event Log is off by one.

During power up, if the Event Log counter is at entry 320, or a multiple of (320 + x*256), and if a particular data pattern (dependent on the type of tester used during the drive manufacturing test process) had been present

in the reserved-area system tracks when the drive's reserved-area file system was created during manufacturing, firmware will increment the Event Log pointer past the end of the event log data structure. This error is detected and results in an "Assert Failure", which causes the drive to hang as a failsafe measure. When the drive enters failsafe further update s to the counter become impossible and the condition will remain through subsequent power cycles. The problem only arises if a power cycle initialization occurs when the Event Log is at 320 or some multiple of 256 thereafter. Once a drive is in this state, there is no path to resolve/recover existing failed drives without Seagate technical intervention.

For a drive to be susceptible to this issue, it must have both the firmware that contains the issue and have been tested through the specific manufacturing process.

Corrective Action

Seagate has implemented a containment action to ensure that all manufacturing test processes write the same "benign" fill pattern. This change is a permanent part of the test process. All drives with a date of

manufacture January 12, 2009 and later are not affected by this issue as they have been through the corrected test process.


Seagate strongly recommends customers proactively update all affected drives to the latest firmware. If you have experienced a problem, or have an affected drive exhibiting this behavior, please contact your appropriate

Seagate representative. If you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.


Q: What Seagate drives are affected by this "drive hang after power cycle" issue?

A: The following product types may be affected by this problem:

Barracuda 7200.11, Barracuda ES.2 (SATA), DiamondMax 22, FreeAgent Desk, Maxtor OneTouch 4, Pipeline HD, Pipeline HD Pro, SV35.3, and SV35.4. While only some percentage of the drives will be susceptible to this issue, Seagate recommends that all drives in these families be update d to the latest firmware!

Q: What should I do if I think I have a Seagate drive affected by this issue?

A: Since only some drives have this problem, there is a high likelihood your drive is working and will continue to work perfectly. However, Seagate recommends that all drives in the effected families be update d to the latest firmware as soon as possible. Seagate realizes this recommendation may present challenges for some customers, particularly those with large distributed installed bases. Seagate will work with customers to correct this problem, but requests customers take the following initial actions depending on what type of customer they are. For individual end-users, please contact Seagate Technical Support via web, phone or email.

http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/self...sp?DocId=207931 or 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283), or discsupportnseagate.com. If emailing, please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision.

Q. If my drives are always on, could I see this issue?

A. No, this can only occur after a power cycle, however Seagate still recommends that you upgrade your firmware due to unforeseen power events such as power loss.

Q: How will Seagate help me if I lost data on this drive?

A; There is no data loss in this situation. The data still resides on the drive and is inaccessible to the end user. If you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.

Q. Does this affect all drives manufactured through January 2008?

A. No, this only affects products that were manufactured through a specific test process in combination with a specific firmware issue.

Q. Why has it taken so long for Seagate to find this issue on Barracuda ES.2 and SV35?

A. In typical nearline and surveillance operating environments, drives are not power cycled and so are not as likely to experience this issue.

Q. Does this affect the Barracuda ES.2 SAS drive?

A. No, the SATA and SAS drives have different firmware.

Q. How will my RAID-set be affected?

A. If the error occurs, the drive will drop offline after a power cycle. The RAID will go into the defined host specific recovery actions which will result in the RAID operating in a degraded mode or initiating a rebuild if a hot spare is available. If you are unsure how your host will respond to a drop ped drive and have not yet experienced this issue, avoid unnecessary power cycles and refer to manufacturer or support for the appropriate instructions.

Q. Is there a way to upgrade the firmware to my drives if they are in a large RAID-set, or do I need to take the solution offline?

A. The ability to upgrade firmware in a RAID array is system dependant. Refer to your system manufacturer for upgrade instructions.

Q. How can I tell which Barracuda ES/SV35 drives are affected?

A. 1). Check the "Drive model #" against the list of affected models below or

2) check the PN of the drive against the PN list below or

3) Call Seagate Technology, support services at 1-800-SEAGATE (1 800 732-4283), or discsupport*seagate.com

If it is a SV35 SATA drive and it is affected, new firmware will be available 1/23/09

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