Seagate Barracuda drives, 7200.7, 7200.8, 7200.9 and 7200.10 series in particular, have an extremely common head problem. Seagate brought in a special coating for the platters that was aimed at protecting their magnetic layer. Unfortunately, it caused more problems than anything else. The coating starts to flake after time and minute bits of the substance get stuck to the heads’ read/write elements. With reading becoming more unstable, the drive eventually starts losing track and finally the typical symptoms of bad heads start to materialize – knocking, sweeping and clicking sounds , , – resulting in inaccessible data.
Usually, data recovery in a case like this involves opening up the drive in a class one hundred, clean room and replacing the heads with those of a matching donor. But there are special technological processes for sufficiently cleaning the heads enough to repair them (temporarily) for successful data recovery. This makes recovery less expensive as ordering of matching donors is not needed.
Circuit Board Issues
The other common issue with Seagate HDD’s is with the circuit board(PCBA). In general, hard drives are quite vulnerable to power spikes, surges and overheating. A bad power supply together with a power surge is typically enough to burn out the spindle motor controller driver or SMOOTH chip on the logic board. Once this occurs, the PC either reboots itself or completely shuts down. You would then notice an acrid smoke smell and the drive wouldn’t spin at all when powered up.
On multi-platter Seagate Barracuda HDD’s, non-spinning may also mean a seized motor. You would also hear the drive making a buzzing sound as it tries to spin up. In this case, data recovery requires moving platters from the bad drive into that of a donor in a class 100, clean room environment.
Seagate Laptop Issues
Seagate Momentus (laptop) drives share some common 2.5″ hard drive problems as well. One of these is the heads sticking to the platter surface.A parking ramp outside the platters is where the heads are normally parked. However, if the laptop has experienced a sudden termination or fall, the heads sometimes don’t go back to their usual parking space and remain on the surface. As soon as the motor stops spinning, the heads stick to the very smooth surface making it impossible to free them without the correct experience and tools.
As I’ve said before: don’t try to open up the drive yourself! You will cause more damage to the platters and your data may become lost forever.
Bad Sectors – Common Culprit
The final problem that is common for every hard drive is bad sectors. After time, the magnetic media which covers the platters begins to degrade, resulting in bad sectors. When the drive tries to read these bad sectors, they start to freeze, scratch, click and tick. This causes more damage to the surface and erases more data.
The moment you start to experience these symptoms, you need to stop the drive immediately to avoid losing any more data. Using special imaging tools, labs are able to read the raw sector data and retrieve as much of it as possible, while ignoring checksum checks.
Seagate Firmware Failure
The firmware microcodes which Seagate drives operate under are also able to fail. HDD’s with firmware that is corrupted usually spin up OK and don’t click, but they still don’t initialize. These drives may have any of the below symptoms:
– shows wrong capacity or S/N – hard drive isn’t found anywhere in the BIOS – fails to boot up or read data
Trying to boot up or read data from such a drive would result in one of the following BIOS error messages:
“Disk boot failure. Insert system disk and press enter”, “Primary Master Hard Disk Fail”, “S.M.A.R.T. Capable But Command Failed” “No operating system found”, “USB Device malfunctioned”, “Drive Mount Failure”
The Barracuda 7200.11, one of Seagate’s latest models, has an especially high failure rate. These either don’t show up anywhere in the BIOS or identify with a zero capacity. It is unfortunately impossible to repair these drives without the proper equipment needed to access and repair the firmware modules.
We support data recovery on all models of Seagate Hard Disk Drives as follows:
Ajax, Barracuda, Barracuda ATA, Barracuda ATA V, Bobcat, Cabo, Cheetah, Cayman, Decathlon, Elite, Hawk, Kiwi, Marathon, Medalist, Momentus, NL35, PC Card, Sabre , Savvio, Swift, STE, U series 5, U series X, U Series 9, U4, U6, U8, U Series X 10, U10, U Series X 20, Wren, Wren Runner.