Since they asked… My survey submission to Seagate

At work we have a boatload of Seagate ST3500320AS drives. They’re all failing. On a recent RMA submission of 4, and then 6 such drives, Seagate asked me for my feedback. Here it is:

Every one of our approximately 100 Seagate 500GB SATA drives appear to be failing.  Of the approximately 20 drives that I have RMAd, about 5 have already failed a second time.  Due to the sensitive nature of the data on some of these drives, I am forced to destroy them rather than RMA them a first or second time.

This not only causes major work disruptions, but it has left me with no confidence in the AS line of drives, or in Seagate’s RMA returns.  I still buy Seagate NS series drives (one of which I have just RMAd) and Seagate’s XT line of laptop drives, but overall I am now having to move to other brands of replacement drives, just to ensure that I don’t interrupt peoples work twice.

Seagate has not handled these failures well, and I am now moving to WD or Hitachi drives in workstation machines.

On the positive side, I was quite impressed with my recent telephone experience with Seagate.  Your drives may be failing repeatedly at alarmingly high rates but at least your service people are nice and competent.

Ben Hall
School of Computing
Queen’s University

Do yourself a favour, don’t buy Seagate 3.5″ AS-series SATA drives.  As alternatives, I’ve been buying WD Blue or Black series for the same price.  I’m also very impressed with Seagate 2.5″ Momentus XT drives.  These platter/SSD hybrid drives are very fast and quite reasonably priced.  I have 4 now, all are performing well.  Of course, so were these AS-series drives for the first year or two…

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