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More hard drive firmware bugs cause data loss

One thing people don't realize is that just how fragile of a device a hard drive is, and how easily they can stop working. Fortunately most of those failures are caused by mechanical issues that can be reduced such as ventilation. However I've noticed a growing trend of software issues causing hard drives to fail. Most notibly I have seen several Seagate drives fail for firmware glitches and bugs. In a recent case I have seen drive heads become damaged in the 1TB barracuda models due to a firmware glitch. Another very common issue is overflows of firmware data in the system area of the hard drives, causing them to not be accessed at all.

Now that SSD (Solid State Drives) is starting to become more popular I was hoping to see more reliability from the drives. However it appears that firmware issues are striking at these devices as well now. ARS Technica is reporting that the Intel X25-M SSD drives (known for their performance) are the latest victim to a firmware bug. This bug causes data loss if you remove a bios set hard drive password. You can prevent this issue by applying a firmware patch (in development), however if you already removed the password... your out of luck.

People trust in hard drives far too much, and as I have said many times - BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! However what about quality control? I mean sure I should have backed up my data, but should'nt there be some quality control to prevent bugs like this from happening? Should'nt there be some through testing to prevent drive heads from flying off because the firmware LOST TRACK of where they were.

I know they do some testing, but I just keep seeing more and more of these issues now. Does it have something to do with how cheap storage is getting, or is it just shear oversight in the code?

What do you think? Do you have at least two copies of your data, or are you hoping your hard drive will still be working when you wake up tomorrow?

Last Updated: 09/05/2009 02:52 AM

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Hard Drive disk SSD HDD Intel Seagate

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