The Seagate Barracuda is a series of hard disk drives produced by Seagate Technology. Most of the drives in this series have a spindle speed of 7200 RPM. The line initially focused on high-capacity, high-performance SCSI drives; since 2001, it became Seagate's most popular product as the hard disk drive industry started to move to a 7200 RPM spindle speed.
Launched in 1991, the Seagate Barracuda was the first 7200 RPM hard drive. Owing to its rotational speed, it was very fast but very expensive at the time. Its SCSI-2 interface targeted the drive to servers and high-performance systems. The original models, called the Barracuda 2LP series, were available with a 2.5 GB or 1.2 GB capacity with up to six platters.
ATA and SATA models
Barracuda ATA II
Barracuda ATA III
Barracuda ATA IV
These were available in capacities between 20 GB and 80 GB, with a 2 MB cache and the ATA/100 interface. These drives operate very quietly as they are one of the first second hand hard drives to use fluid dynamic bearings in their spindle motors.
These disks cannot operate reliably at ATA/100 on RCC/ServerWorks IDE controllers, as their drivers blacklist the disks, thus limiting their operation to ATA/66.
Barracuda ATA V/Barracuda ATA V Plus/Barracuda Serial ATA V
Available with SATA/150 and ATA/100 interfaces, the Barracuda Serial ATA V is one of the first hard drives to feature a SATA interface. Capacities range from 30 GB to 120 GB, with a 2 MB cache buffer.
The SATA models have many problems, including random data loss (such as disappearing partitions). These disks cannot work with some Silicon Image SATA controllers, as their drivers blacklist the disks and limit the maximum sectors of each transaction below 8 KB (15 sectors), leading to considerably reduced performance.
Barracuda 7200.7/Barracuda 7200.7 Plus
Available in capacities between 200 GB and 400 GB, with either an ATA/100 or SATA interface with NCQ, these were sold alongside the 7200.7 series, providing higher capacities than the 7200.7. The drives have 8 MB or 16 MB of cache, depending on the model.
Available in capacities between 40 GB and 500 GB, with ATA/100 and SATA II (3Gbit/s) interfaces. 2 MB, 8 MB or 16 MB, depending on the drive model and interface.
This was the first Seagate hard drive to use perpendicular magnetic recording technology. It was available with capacities from 80 GB to 750 GB and either an ATA/100 or SATA II interface. It was available with 2, 8 or 16 MB of cache, depending on the model. Seagate was the only manufacturer of 750 GB IDE hard drives.
The SATA models of this family with firmware 3.AAK [codename GALAXY] or older (e.g. 3.AAE[codename TONKA]) have introduced a firmware (microcode) bug:
- There is a performance anomaly using hdparm with an NCQ queue depth of 31 in AHCI mode. Speed test measures only 55–64 MB/s (expected: >70–75 MB/s).
Seagate does not officially provide firmware updates for this issue; however, an unofficial firmware update (3.AAM) exists for the following drive models:
- ST3320820AS with part number 9BJ13G-308,
- ST3320620AS with part number 9BJ14G-308 (with firmware 3.AAK),
- ST3500830AS with part number 9BJ136-308 and
- ST3500630AS with part number 9BJ146-308.
With a SATA II interface, capacities range from 160 GB to 1.5 TB. Codenames are Moose (earlier revision) and Brinks (later revision). Their cache size can be 8 MB, 16 MB or 32 MB, depending on the drive model.
This family has introduced many severe firmware (microcode) bugs:
- Disks may not show and utilize all the cache.
- FLUSH_CACHE commands may time out when NCQ is used.
- There is a performance anomaly using hdparm with NCQ queue depth 31 in AHCI mode. Speed test measures only 45–50 MB/s (expected: > 100–110 MB/s).
- Disks may be inaccessible at power on.
Disks affected by the last bug will not be detected by the computer BIOS after a reboot. Numerous users have complained about this and are discussing it in a public forum when discussions in Seagate's forums were subjected to heavy moderation and subsequently closed. The symptom of the problem is that the computer BIOS will no longer detect the hard disk after a reboot, and upon connecting to the hard disk with a serial TTL board, this error code will be seen as "LED:000000CC FAddr:0024A051." Faulty firmware triggers this "failure."
Seagate FreeAgent external drives have also utilized 7200.11 hard disks with the SDxx firmware, and failures of these hard drives were also reported. The access LED remains permanently on, despite being disconnected from USB and no longer being recognized by the computer. However, Seagate says that the LED light remaining permanently on had nothing to do with firmware problems. The drives have also become known for their unusually high failure rates, including sudden mechanical failures; the rapid development of large numbers of bad sectors; the motherboard detecting the drive as a different model and the drive regularly "freezing" when being read from or written to.
Other companies have claimed to be able to resolve this problem using their own solution, namely Ace Laboratory PC3000-UDMA (version 4.13).
In order to fix the first bug, Seagate released firmware update AD14 for the affected disk models; to fix the second, third and fourth bugs, Seagate released firmware updates SD1A, SD1B, SD2B and SD81. The SD2B firmware update for Brinks removes the DCO ATA feature from the disks, while SD1A for Moose adds two ATA features.
Their capacity ranges from 160 GB to 1.0 TB. Initial models (CCxx firmware) supported up to SATA II, while later revisions (firmware JCxx) support the newer SATA III interface. Their cache size can be 8 MB, 16 MB or 32 MB, depending on the drive model. Power consumption is reduced from previous models, resulting in lower operating temperatures with reliability advantages, but no warranty period is stated according to Seagate documentation.
Meant for mass storage applications favoring low heat output, quiet operation and better-than-average energy efficiency, these drives rotate at 5900 RPM instead of the standard 7200 RPM. Capacities range from 1 TB to 2 TB. They support SATA II, with 16 MB and 32 MB cache sizes, depending on the model.
The Barracuda LP series also present firmware issues that might be alleviated by the latest firmware available on the Seagate web site (CC35), although there are reports that drives with the CC35 firmware loaded continue to exhibit the same problems as earlier firmware releases. The most commonly referred issue with the Barracuda LP series drives appears to be one variation or another of the infamous click of death problem; the drive will start to emit a regular clicking noise at some point in its early life (possibly even at first start) and after some time will fail altogether, often after a few months of use. While the clicking noise is emitted, the hard drive is inaccessible and may prevent the BIOS from detecting it.
There is also a CC95 firmware (at least some of those drives came as part of external Seagate FreeAgent drives), but it is not clear whether this build fixes all known issues, and why firmware versions between CC35 and CC95 do not seem to exist.
The Barracuda Green series was introduced in December 2010 as a high-performance, eco-friendly, low-power internal drive, replacing the Barracuda LP series. It is the first to use Advanced Format sectors and operates at 5900 RPM. They are available in capacities of 1 TB, 1.5 TB and 2 TB, with support for SATA II or SATA III and 32 MB or 64 MB buffer sizes, depending on the model.
This is the first Barracuda family supporting SATA III and its buffer size is 64 MB. Available with 2 TB and 3 TB capacities, they are meant as a serious high-performance drive for gaming computers and workstations. The disk's sustained data transfer rate is 149 MB/s.
Introduced in Q1 2012, these were the first hard drives with 1 TB per platter technology, while continuing the SATA III interface. Capacities vary from 250 GB to 3 TB at 7200 RPM, with cache sizes varying from 16 MB to 64 MB depending on the model. Seagate claims that the accompanying power savings removed the need for their previous low-power "green" models, which were phased out. Lower power usage is becoming more common from various drive manufacturers, as it reduces temperature increases, thus increasing drive reliability. Since Q4 2012, this is Seagate's primary Barracuda model.
With the introduction of its first 15th-generation hard drive product in April 2013 with 1 TB platters, Seagate rebranded the series as "Desktop HDD." The first hard drive in the series is a 4 TB drive, rotating at 5900 RPM, rather than the traditional 7200 RPM. The next one in the series, introduced in May 2014, is a 5 TB drive, also rotating at 5900 RPM.
The original ES (Enterprise Storage) family were high-reliability drives designed for business-critical use, with all drives having a 5-year warranty. Capacities range from 250 GB to 750 GB, with a SATA II interface and 8 or 16 MB of cache. The drives in the series perform similarly to the Barracudaa 7200.10.
Similar to the 7200.11 family, this family has introduced many firmware (microcode) bugs:
- RAID arrays using these disks may fail.
- Secure Erase command is not handled properly.
- There is a performance anomaly using hdparm with NCQ queue depth 31 in AHCI mode. Speed test measures only 50 MB/s (expected: >100MB/s).
- Disks may be inaccessible at power on.
- "Seagate Barracuda 2LP Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda ATA Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda ATA II Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda ATA III Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda ATA IV Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda ATA V Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda 7200.7/7200.7 Plus Manual" (PDF).
- "Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 Manual" (PDF).
- (Page 28 of the Seagate Barracuda 7200.12 manual.)
- Warranty of Seagate hard disk drives.