Here's a last-minute news flash Mike Hall at Seagate Technology sent me Jan. 16:
"Seagate has isolated a potential firmware issue in certain products, including some Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and related drive families based on this product platform, manufactured through December 2008. In some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on. (There is no safety issue with these products.)As part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, we are offering a free firmware upgrade to those with affected products. To determine whether your product is affected, please visit the Seagate Support Web site.Support is also available through Seagate's call center: 1-800-SEAGATE (1-800-732-4283).Customers can expedite assistance by sending an email to Seagate. Please include the following disk drive information: model number, serial number and current firmware revision. We will respond, promptly, to your email request with appropriate instructions. There is no data loss associated with this issue, and the data still resides on the drive.But if you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services. Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business.For a list of international telephone numbers to Seagate Support and alternative methods of contact, please go here."