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I tend to think that the technical service at Seagate is very similar to the Marketing Department of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation : http://hitchhikers.wikia.com/wiki/Sirius_Cybernetics_Corporation jaclaz Yes I see a resemblance. Although I suppose when you have put several million buggy hard drives on the market, you have to turn a blind eye in order for the company to keep the lights on. To their credit, the representative was very polite.... just completely unable to solve the problem.
I want to thank everyone who has contributed their technical skills to this topic, and report my success with the techniques shared here. I have a 500GB 7200.11, firmware SD36, with a 2008 manufacture date. It was in a LaCie external enclosure that my father used to back up his iMac and store some large files. No issues whatsoever until one day, quite spontaneously, the disk was no longer recognized by his mac. Nor was it recognized by my PC in computer management or any other place. Fortunately, there was no "mission critical" data on the disk, but there were still some files on there he did not want to lose. I started researching the issue and stumbled across this thread. The symptoms the disk exhibited were just like those discussed here, so I elected to give it a shot. For simplicity's sake, I purchased a 7200.11 unbricking "kit" off eBay for $20.00, which included a Torx 6 tool and a pre-wired Silicon Labs CP201X USB Virtual COM Port adapter. I also downloaded a copy of PuTTy terminal software since I am on Win7 which does not have Hyperterminal. Then I read, and RE-READ, the guides posted here as to how to do this procedure with the drive. I also spent some time tinkering with PuTTy as it is slightly different than Hyperterminal. Anyhow, after getting the drive hooked up to the power supply and COM port adapter (and, taking Carter in Canada's advice and taping everything in place so as to avoid accidental movement of the components), I fired up PuTTy and then the drive. I held my breath, hit control-z, and SLOWLY worked through the spin down/spin up commands, the "card pull," the screwing down of the powered board (yikes), and then the final repartitiion commands. All went completely smoothly on the first try. The repartition, surprisingly, took only about a half-second even though others have reported it takes up to a couple minutes. I then powered everything down, hooked up the drive via a USB to SATA converter and... IT WAS IMMEDIATELY RECOGNIZED by my machine. Of course, being formatted in HFS+ for the Mac, I still did not know whether the data was intact. I rushed over to my dad's place, plugged in the drive via the same converter and ALL DATA WAS INTACT. I did a quick transfer off the disk. Data was saved, and mission successful. The 7200.11 now has a date with a sledgehammer and the garbage can. For me, this experience was intellectually stimulating and without a great deal of pressure because the files on the disk were not that big of a deal. So if the project would have failed, it would not have been disastrous. But it has reaffirmed to me that one backup, even two backups, is not enough. I have gone out and picked up a few new backup drives for my own data (and my dad's) and will make sure that a single drive failure never again causes this level of inconvenience. Again, thank you all who contributed, and particularly those who shared this technique in the first place. Seagate's technical service department (whom I called first) assured me that my disk's SD36 firmware was not affected by the BSY bug. They could do nothing for me, except recommend a data recovery service. Well, it appears pretty clearly to me that the BSY bug was the exact problem, and now, thanks to the folks on this board, it was sufficiently resolved to allow me access to the data.