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Update Firmware on Seagate SCSI HDD

Posted on 2010-11-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
On a PowerEdge 1800 server running Windows 2003 Server, I have a RAID1 array - 6 physical drives for an array of 3 logical drives.  One of the two hard drives (Disk 3, one of two comprising Drive D) indicated an impending failure.  So I bought what I thought was an identical hard drive - Seagate ST373454LC SCSI 15K.  After installing, the "new" drive won't rebuild, won't go online, won't convert to a hotswap - it simply shows as a "failed" physical drive on a "degraded" logical (virtual) drive.

As it turns out, although the Seagate number is identical, the "new" one has IBM firmware.  The Seagate brand shows 3.2gbps and 68.3gb capacity (firmware D404), the IBM version of the same, exact drive shows 1.6gbps and only 65.3gb capacity (firmware C618).

Dell says that the IBM firmware results in a smaller capacity hard drive and that a RAID1 array must have two hard drives exactly the same size.  In short - throw away the new drive and start again.

Before trashing a "factory refurb" ST373454LC with IBM firmware and buying a new one with D404 firmware, I'd like to find out if the firmware on the IBM version of the ST373454LC can be "updated" or changed to match the Dell/Seagate version?  If so, will I lose the data on my D drive?  Will the speeds match up (3.2gbps)?  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Question by:classicmark1
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12 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:PowerEdgeTech
ID: 34159548
Firmware updates don't affect data on the drives, but it's not possible (to my knowledge) to update between branded firmware (Seagate -> Dell, IBM -> Dell, etc).  The update package usually does a version test before updating, so it probably won't even allow it.  I've heard of drive becoming paper weights when trying to force it.
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David earned 500 total points
ID: 34159634
hdds check the VID before accepting replacement FW. Give it up.  
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by:David
ID: 34159688
but having said that ... the problem is mode page settings. the disk can be programmed to work with a mode page editor .
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by:andyalder
ID: 34163330
I doubt it's the firmware limiting the size, more likely it's set using SeaTools, you can try to set it to maximum vis - http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=203451

I won't guarantee that SeaTools willl work on one with IBM firmware but it's just a SCSI command that SeaTools sends so it probably will. I'm not sure your Dell controller will accept the drive with IBM firmware on either but it's worth a try. You won't get SeaTools to work through a RAID controller, need to put it on a non-RAID one temporarily.
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Author Comment

by:classicmark1
ID: 34464117
Only diethe was close.
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Author Closing Comment

by:classicmark1
ID: 34464134
Problem not solved.  SeaTools not applicable.  Hard drive is unusable.  No details to explore page mode soluition.
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Expert Comment

by:David
ID: 34464231
You simply can not load incorrect firmware on a HDD.  It will be rejected. You can have 2 identical Seagate drives, but if one has IBM firmware and the other has factory seagate firmware, then they are different. Once the IBM firmware is loaded, then the disk is no longer a "seagate" drive and vice-versa.  Dell takes a seagate drive, and loads their firmware on it, and it ceases to be a "seagate" drive.

Seatools won't help you, nothing will help you with firmware.

But if you had mode page editor software, then you could meticulously go through all the mode page settings, and query the dell/seagate drive, then program the same settings on the dell/ibm drive.  (Assuming BOTH firmware sets don't lock certain settings in).

In order to do this, you need a non-RAID SCSI controller, and the software.   A commercial product for a few hundred dollars is the santools software at http://www.santools.com, but I am not aware of a freebie
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by:andyalder
ID: 34465775
classicmark1, wouldn't seatools let you resize the disk to maximum? That normally works whoever's firmware is on the disk.
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by:David
ID: 34465820
Not necessarily, it is not uncommon for firmware to specify total addressable capacity, most often you see this in disks that are destined to go behind RAID controllers.   Lowest-common-denominator thing so that IBM can use the same Hitachi, Seagate, whatever 73GB drive and they will always present same number of blocks. True you can change capacity via mode page editor, but the upper limit is sometimes set in a specific firmware variation.

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by:andyalder
ID: 34465986
I was asking classicmark1 whether they actually tried to resize with SeaTools for DOS or not and what the result was.
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Author Comment

by:classicmark1
ID: 34467829
I had tried to use SeaTools after installing the IBM-firmware drive on a non-RAID PowerEdge 1600SC and could not work out a solution.  I will try again this weekend (when our network is down) and let you know if re-sizing (if I can) helped at all.  Thanks for continuing to help.
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