Seagate hit with class action lawsuit over defective hard drives

By Scorpus
Feb 1, 2016
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  1. Consumers aren't happy with the reliability of Seagate's hard drives, filing a class-action lawsuit against the company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California alleging that their hard drives "failed to live up to the advertised promises."

    The lawsuit specifically relates to Seagate's 3TB hard drive models: the Barracuda 3TB Hard Disk Drive, or the Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive. Hagens Berman, the firm representing consumers against Seagate, claims that these drives "failed at exceptionally high rates, leaving consumers with broken hardware and significant loss of data."

    The exceptionally high failure rates these drives exhibited were higher than advertised, according to the complaint, with some failures occurring "days after their first use". These claims are backed up by Backblaze, which have stated for several years that Seagate's Barracuda 3 TB drives were the least reliable in their collection of over 49,000 drives.

    On top of that, the suit alleges that replacement drives sent to consumers after an original drive failure were also faulty and unreliable, violating consumer law and Seagate's drive warranties.

    The lawsuit is hoping to deliver consumers compensation for replacement costs, loss of data, and data recovery expenses. Anyone who has experienced a Seagate 3 TB drive failure is encouraged to contact Hagens Berman and join the class action suit.

    Permalink to story.


    IAMTHESTIG TS Evangelist Posts: 906   +244

    Hope the consumers get something out of it... I stopped buying Seagate consumer drives years ago after having so many failures. I've gotta say Backblaze has been pretty spot on with their findings for the same drives I have.
    darkgtx, rpjkw11, Mandark and 2 others like this.
  3. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 633   +163

    What makes me sick with both seagate and WD is that when you send faulty drives back they give you a "certified repaired" drive in return.
    So they just do the same remap that I can do and then clear the smart table.

    It's just hiding the existing errors and basically guaranteed that "new" drive will also fail again within a year of getting it with no recourse after.
    It really should be illegal to do that and they should send people new working drives :(
    DAOWAce, rpjkw11 and Mandark like this.
  4. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,104   +532

    I stopped buying seagate a couple years back because they did the same thing to me. I would have a drive fail and every replacement drive would fail within a week to a month until the warranty expired.

    I've never had a WD drive fail on me before but then again I only buy WD Blacks so that could be part of it. I also don't buy over 2 TB drives because as far as I know that's the largest size for single platter drives, which have the lowest failure rate.
  5. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 1,600   +411

    I let the bad reviews sway me from Seagate since I got into computers in 2004. By the looks of the comments, I came out okay. Out of 6 HDD's and 3 SDD's, I've only had one WD fail and they sent me a bigger drive so I was more than happy.
    alabama man likes this.
  6. Raoul Duke

    Raoul Duke TS Guru Posts: 860   +308

    I don't buy Seagate because when I go to their website and read 'the fine print' they are not rated for the hours of operation and type of duty I require. It is important to remember there is no such thing as a hard drive type/brand with a zero per cent failure rate. Ironically the only drive I can recall failing on me was a WD 10,000 rpm drive 600 GB (some kind of raptor) which as an Enterprise drive should have been more reliable than the other WD drives I used then. More and more files on the drive became corrupt until it was toast (metaphorically). My replacement was directly from the retailer, it's still running today in my father's computer.
  7. yRaz

    yRaz TS Evangelist Posts: 1,830   +881

    My 150GB raptor is still running to this day, it's been under near 24/7 load since 2007
  8. sepirocth

    sepirocth TS Rookie

    After they bought maxtor their drives durability went down the drain, I bet they also do what a company I worked for did, all the returned devices would be put in a new box and shipped to another customer, I heard one customer one day complain their device came with grease all over it.
  9. Satish Mallya

    Satish Mallya TS Addict Posts: 124   +92

    If you think you have it bad in the US, in India, between 2005 and 2010, my friends and I all had Seagate drives. They failed so often we nicknamed the journey to the service center 'The Pilgrimage'.
    The service center guy knew us by name.
    To their credit, the drives had five year warranties and almost always traded up in capacity for warranty returns.

    I personally went all the way from 100 GB to 500 GB.

    Redundancy was the watchword, with everything backed up to DVDs.
  10. tonylukac

    tonylukac TS Evangelist Posts: 1,292   +55

    A small, 8 year old seagate drive failed on me last week that was hardly used. A smaller western digital drive failed 2 days earlier in the same machine. Must have gremlins. 5 years ago a wd drive failed after a power failure, but they replaced that one with new. The data on these multiboot systems is what the big loss is. I've found no backup programs that properly restore multiboot (multipartition) drives except the windows backup included with vista business, and most of my computers don't have the business version of windows. Haven't tried with win 8 or 10. Windows xp backup didn't work either. Symantic didn't work. Remember how iomega didn't work? That tape drive cost a hundred dollars.
  11. kanehi

    kanehi TS Rookie Posts: 41   +6

    I've had both a WD and Seagate HDD and both failed, it's like the luck of the draw if it doesn't die. On my laptops I went for Hitachi HDD and Samsung SSD's. This is where backups are utmost important and wouldn't hurt cloning your drive once in a while.
  12. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    We've had one Seagate drive fail. It was a 3TB external.
  13. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,189   +1,219

    About three years ago I stupidly bought 10 of these 3TB Seagate drives, today zero work.

    I don't recall what I paid for them but I don't think I want to know. I have replaced them with WD 4TB's a year ago, so far so good.
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,258

    Well that's pretty damning!
    I've seen many Seagate (and the Maxtor's sold by Seagate) drives fail in relation to their WD counterparts, but I haven't bought a Seagate drive of any description since before the SD15 firmware issue that soured many people to the Seagate brand. I've never had cause to change from WD's drives ( Black, RE for system drives, Red/Red Pro for external/NAS)... and so it remains that Western Digital's best marketing comes from Seagate being Seagate.
    Phr3d likes this.
  15. Radd Icenoggle

    Radd Icenoggle TS Rookie

    My Backup Plus 3TB External Hard Disk Drive died with a resounding thud...I mean no warning, DEAD...stop buying Seagate
  16. jeffstaples1982

    jeffstaples1982 TS Rookie

    Are they really that unreliable? I've had a Seagate 500GB for the past 6 years across 3 different computers and it's still going strong. Before that I had a 250GB WD for a few years that I bought used from a pawn shop...that one did fail but it more than lived its life.
    Icysoul likes this.
  17. jeffstaples1982

    jeffstaples1982 TS Rookie

    Sounds like your PSU voltage regulator is going bad if it burns out 2 drives a few days from each other.
  18. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Enthusiast Posts: 92   +47

    I remember reading an article posted by a company who keeps track of hard drive failure rates in their data centers (probably most do, but don't post those figures publicly), and what was interesting was that they found 3TB hard drives had significantly lower reliability and endurance rates vs other sized ones of the same lineup. This was consistent across seagate, western digital, and I think either toshiba or hgst. Can't remember the third company they used. Never buy a 3TB hard drive as for some reason, at least according to that company, they are the most likely to fail no matter the company or lineup (however seagate's ratings for 3TB were the worst out of the other companies).
  19. Steve

    Steve TechSpot Editor Posts: 2,189   +1,219

    Yeah well I really only buy WD now and that is a shame, is nice to have options. I will have at least 6 of the dead 3TB drives, almost all of them suffered the click of death.

    As far as I am aware it is an issue that impacts the 3TB models, they are horribly bad.
    Darth Shiv likes this.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 8,430   +2,822

    I have to but for some reason I'm not so trusting of the 3TB models. I did however just purchase a 5TB Expansion. Wish me luck!
  21. TitoBXNY

    TitoBXNY TS Addict Posts: 225   +46

    I bought my daughter a PC that came with a 1TB Seagate Drive. It lasted about 30 days. The second lasted about 6 months. I put in a WD drive and it's been fine. I still have my WD 74 Raptors and my WD 150 Raptor. Still kicking. Stay away from Seagate.
  22. danwat1234

    danwat1234 TS Rookie

    I hope my Seagate ST6000DX000 6TB 7200RPM hard drive will be reliable for years. So far so good but it runs hot and not particularly fast.
  23. TheHackman

    TheHackman TS Rookie

    At the place I work, 95% of the hard drives that fail in our HP computers are Seagate. I also made the mistake of buying one of these external 3 TB drives. Magically, the files I moved to it seemed to disappear several days later. Why I made the mistake of buying it, I have no clue! My lower capacity WD NAS drive is 5 years old, and I've experienced no data loss.
  24. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,462   +1,760

    I have a superstition cut-off capacity of 2 TB. That said, the single platter 1 TB Seagates don't seem to cause me any trouble. (Yet?)
    Their old single platter 320 GB used to be fast & quiet, more so than the 250 GB WD Blue. (As I have several computers in the house spanning about 11 years). My reliability assessment may not mean that much as these boxes lay around for years on end.

    BUT, the 160 GB WD Blue that came with my 11 year old eMachines is still going strong, and it runs almost every day for a few hours.

    AFAIK, 3 TB drives seem to be a problem across all brands, although not to the extent of the Seagate woes.

    I'm of the opinion that the push for massive storage capacity, has run up against our ability to manage manufacturing tolerances. I suppose we'll find out moving forward, but I've never heard any of this nonsense back when 500 GB was a "big drive".

    In fact, back then, Seagate's reputation was as good or better than Western Digital's
  25. infiltrator

    infiltrator TS Booster Posts: 140   +21

    I am so glad, I am using hard drives from HGST. My last NAS had x4 Seagate Enterprise level hard drives and within 2 years of usage, x2 failed in a row.

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