chrispitude

Hitachi 7k250 "no-meow" Firmware Available Here

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I emailed Hitachi Global Storage about the availability of an updated "quiet" firmware for my PATA 7K250. Here is their response. I have just installed it on my 4-drive 3ware RAID5 Fedora Core 2 server, and all four drives are happy with the new firmware. I'll post later about what I hear (if anything) with this new firmware.

Unless you have the exact drives mentioned below, I'd suggest emailing them yourselves to see what they say. I accept no liability for any damage this causes to your system.

If you do try it, please posts your findings in this thread. If you get a SATA version of the firmware from Hitachi, please also post that to this thread.

- Chris

Chris,

The attached file is a firmware update for your Parallel ATA 7K250 drive

and is specifically designed to help reduce the noises generated when the

idle time sweep functions are triggered in the drive.  This update will not

run on any other drive than those for which the firmware is intended.  In

order to successfully execute this update, you need to meet the following

requirements:

1) A system with a floppy disk drive.

2) A Hitachi GST hard drive with one of the following model numbers:

  -HDS722540VLAT20

  -HDS722580VLAT20

  -HDS722512VLAT20

  -HDS722512VLAT80

  -HDS722516VLAT20

  -HDS722516VLAT80

3) A non-RAID ATA controller.

****Note: If your drive was originally sold to a system manufacturer for

integration into their systems, this update utility may not work.  This

update utility is designed to run only on drives sold in the distribution

and retail markets.  Updates for drives originally sold in pre-built

systems should be obtained from the system manufacturer.

Once you have met the above requirements, you will need to make a bootable

floppy that contains the Drive Fitness Test Firmware Upgrade Utility.  To

do this, please follow these instructions:

1) Detach the attachment from this email to a temporary directory on your

system (i.e. your Windows Desktop).

2) The file we have sent you is in ZIP format, as there are many firewall

and anti-virus programs that may not allow EXE files to be sent directly.

You will need to extract the EXE file using an extraction program such as

WinZip or WinRAR.

3) Double-click the extracted executable file (.exe) to launch the Install

Shield Wizard.

4) Follow the on-screen instructions, inserting a blank floppy disk when

prompted.

****Warning:  Before initiating the update process, be sure you back up

your data to a separate medium (CD, DVD, different Hard Drive, etc...) and

verify the backup was successful.  If the firmware update is not

successful, the data on the drive being updated will be lost.

Insert the disk into the floppy drive and boot the system.  If the drive

you wish to update is capable of being updated, you will get a message

asking if you want to update the firmware on the drive.  If you choose to

Update, the process will begin.  This may take several minutes to complete.

It is very important NOT to disturb this process until it has completed

successfully.  Should the process be prematurely terminated, the drive may

be rendered inoperable and the data unrecoverable.

Once the update has been completed, the system bus will be rescanned.  If

the update was successful and no other drives were detected that may need

the update, you will receive a message indicating so and you will be

prompted to exit.

If you encounter any problems during or immediately following the update,

please contact technical support at 888.426.5214.  We can be reached during

the hours of 8am to 8pm, Monday through Friday.  You can also email us at

support2_usa@hitachigst.com

Thank you for contacting Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

Regards,

Tony L

http://bbs.planetb.net/~chrispy/DFT32-OEM-...d-63A-4char.EXE

_______________________________

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

888.426.5214

support_usa@hitachigst.com

www.hitachigst.com

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honold,

I'm not sure if you are implying that the firmware I'm providing at that link is hacked or not, but it doesn't much matter.

As far as IBM reps 'pushing' it - well, it's now Hitachi, and they didn't push it - I emailed their support channel and asked them for it. This is evident from their email response, and I posted that fact in my original message.

The reputable 'site' is just a friend's linux box, where he gave me some space to host odd files every now and again for when I want to post links to forums. I guess that directory is only as reputable as I am.

As far as evidence, well there's not much you're going to get just sitting on your can and bringing other people's intentions into question. Call the phone number in Hitachi's email. Email them yourself, get your own copy of the firmware, and compare MD5 checksums.

A small dose of skepticism is healthy, but I don't appreciate you questioning my integrity or intentions. If you don't know anything about me, use the handy forum search function and go see if my other posts have been informative or not. I know it's more work than just replying to add your knee-jerk reaction, and I'm sorry about that.

Oh, and here are pictures of the folk music and pig roast festival (some of the best baked beans I've ever had):

http://www.chrispitude.net/view.php?dispsi...icindex=5&user=

If you can't tell, I haven't had my coffee yet today.

- Chris

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I'm not sure if you are implying that the firmware I'm providing at that link is hacked or not, but it doesn't much matter.

i was implying that if seagate were to email me about firmware, i would expect to find it in an email attachment or in a link to seagate.com - not members.tripod.com/~storaged00d.

you quoted the link as being a part of the actual email from hgst. get a grip.

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Oops. In the original email, that was the attachment line (which pointed to D:\My Documents\...). I changed that to the URL, without realizing that it looked like part of Hitachi's original message.

I've had four cups of coffee now. Grip obtained.

- Chris

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Honold, I can understand why you where skeptical your right , he put the link in letter and worse he did it between the contents and the signature. But if you read the Letter it mentions the attached file impling an email attachment. him showing us this letter without providing access to the file would be kind of futile.

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Well, in any case, the good news is that the updated firmware has made my drives silent. There are four of them in my linux server (3ware RAID5), so things got pretty noise sometimes when I was working in my office. I haven't heard a peep (or a mew?) out of the machine at all since the update.

- Chris

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Hey people,

i just bought 2 new hitachi 250GB S-ATA (initally for SATA raid, but now all you evil people made me change my mind ;) )

the drives have never meowed so i think thi firmware might be now in all shipping drives. my drives are *peers into pc* marked march 2004

regs

Kurt

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A friend ordered a 160G 8MB 7K250 PATA drive the other day from www.scan.co.uk - the drive he received was manufactured in June 2004, and it _doesnt_ miaow.

I should point out that the DVD writer delivered at the same time was damaged, probably due to scans shabby packaging methods - 3 layers of bubble wrap in a jiffy bag!

Almost a disappointment really as we were curious to find out how intrusive the noise would really be, and he had the IBM support firmware waiting for it :)

Some ppl have reported miaowing drives with a March 2004 manufacturing date, so this tends to concur with a statement in the original envy news thread to the effect that drives produced from April onwards have the new firmware - cant really be certain until more new owners post their findings.

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Guest Eugene

Ah yes, this is how it's spelled, no?

I thought M-E-W was bad... but the arrival of M-A-I-O-(U or W) has been too much for the SR board...

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I can confirm that IBM/HGST has officially pushed the firmware. Well, I've had quite an amusement convincing the Asia Pacific technician to give it to me but he insisted that it didn't exist. I emailed the American center and they gave it to me immediately.

Apologies for the extremely long post but follow it from the top and read downwards (its in chronological order). Get my irony? <_<

===============================================

EMAIL #1: TO HGST AP

Dear Sir/Madam,

I recently received a 7K250 as a replacement for my RMAed drive a few months ago. But the drive has been wrecking my nerves with the "meow" it makes every 10 minutes and the complete head load/unload every 24 hours and was planning to stay away

from future Hitachi drives. I've been looking for a LOT of solutions and recently came across a tip from a

friend; he told me that Hitachi has released a new firmware which silences the annoying "meow" which occurs every

ten minutes. I was wondering if you could send me a copy so I can end this chaos and return my confidence with

Hitachi drives.

===============================================

REPLY #1: FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com [mailto:kenny.lim@hitachigst.com] On Behalf Of support_ap@hitachigst.com

Dear Sir,

We are sorry. We have checked with our engineers and we do not have the firmware available to silence the noise. As this is a design feature of the drive to increase the reliability, it is therefore neccessary for this design to be there.

Regards, Support

===============================================

EMAIL #2: TO HGST AP

To: <support_ap@hitachigst.com>

Dear Mr. Lim,

I heard from a friend who purchased a drive with the same model a few weeks ago that his contains a new version of the firmware. According to a technician at the local computer store, he says that all drives made after April 2004 are equipped with a new firmware which creates a less audible diagnostic scan every 10 minutes.

===============================================

REPLY #2: FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com [mailto:kenny.lim@hitachigst.com] On Behalf Of support_ap@hitachigst.com

Dear Sir,

Only the latest batch are design with the lower acoustics feature. We are sorry that we cannot help you here. Unless another replacement is made but the newer batch replacement might not be available for the time being.

Regards, Support

===========================================

EMAIL #3: TO HGST NORTH AMERICA

*** IN BETWEEN I COPY EMAIL #1 TO HGST NORTH AMERICA ***

===========================================

REPLY #3: FROM HGST NORTH AMERICA

The attached file is a firmware update for your Parallel ATA 7K250 drive and is specifically designed to help reduce the noises generated when the idle time sweep functions are triggered in the drive. This update will not run on any other drive than those for which the firmware is intended. In order to successfully execute this update, you need to meet the following

requirements:

1) A system with a floppy disk drive.

2) A Hitachi GST hard drive with one of the following model numbers:

-HDS722540VLAT20

-HDS722580VLAT20

-HDS722512VLAT20

-HDS722512VLAT80

-HDS722516VLAT20

-HDS722516VLAT80

3) A non-RAID ATA controller.

****Note: If your drive was originally sold to a system manufacturer for integration into their systems, this update utility may not work. This update utility is designed to run only on drives sold in the distribution and retail markets. Updates for drives originally sold in pre-built systems should be obtained from the system manufacturer.

Once you have met the above requirements, you will need to make a bootable floppy that contains the Drive Fitness Test Firmware Upgrade Utility. To do this, please follow these instructions:

1) Detach the attachment from this email to a temporary directory on your system (i.e. your Windows Desktop).

2) The file we have sent you is in ZIP format, as there are many firewall and anti-virus programs that may not allow EXE files to be sent directly.

You will need to extract the EXE file using an extraction program such as WinZip or WinRAR.

3) Double-click the extracted executable file (.exe) to launch the Install Shield Wizard.

4) Follow the on-screen instructions, inserting a blank floppy disk when prompted.

****Warning: Before initiating the update process, be sure you back up your data to a separate medium (CD, DVD, different Hard Drive, etc...) and verify the backup was successful. If the firmware update is not successful, the data on the drive being updated will be lost.

Insert the disk into the floppy drive and boot the system. If the drive you wish to update is capable of being updated, you will get a message asking if you want to update the firmware on the drive. If you choose to Update, the process will begin. This may take several minutes to complete.

It is very important NOT to disturb this process until it has completed successfully. Should the process be prematurely terminated, the drive may be rendered inoperable and the data unrecoverable.

Once the update has been completed, the system bus will be rescanned. If the update was successful and no other drives were detected that may need the update, you will receive a message indicating so and you will be prompted to exit.

If you encounter any problems during or immediately following the update, please contact technical support at 888.426.5214. We can be reached during the hours of 8am to 8pm, Monday through Friday. You can also email us at support2_usa@hitachigst.com

Thank you for contacting Hitachi Global Storage Technologies.

(See attached file: DFT32-OEM-G-HDS7225-PATA-non6Hd-63A-4char.zip)

_______________________________

Hitachi Global Storage Technologies

888.426.5214

support_usa@hitachigst.com

www.hitachigst.com

===========================================

*** OUTRAGED BY THE FACT THAT I COULD NOT GET THE FIRMWARE FROM THE AP DIVISION, I FORWARD REPLY #3 FROM NORTH AMERICA TO THE ASIA PACIFIC ADDRESS ***

===========================================

EMAIL #4: TO HGST AP

To: <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Dear Mr. Lim,

I would advise you to inquire into more detail with your technicians when a customer requests information/data from your division. The irony is, I receive much more favorable responses when I e-mail your company's USA division. Their employees are much more up to date, knowledgable and hold a friendly attitude in meeting the customer's requests.

Forwarded is the updated firmware which I received from your company's USA regional headquarters.

===========================================

REPLY #4: FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com

Dear Sir,

We apologise for the trouble which you have went through. We are glad that

the firmware was released to you by the US side. However, we do have our concern and have also checked with the engineer prior to your previous request before. The firmware is not for distribution in the AP helpdesk and therefore we are unable to provide the neccessary information to you then.

Thank you.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

EMAIL #5 TO HGST AP

To: <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Dear Kenny,

Are you suggesting that the drives manufactured for USA consumers are different in such a way that a firmware update cannot be applied universally? Or is it just because your division is unknowledgable and unfriendly in that sense they are unwilling to help a customer in need? From what you said, you told me in previous correspondence that a firmware did not exist AT ALL and that it would take a few months for the drives with the new firmware to appear on the market and that the firmware is only available to new drives.

===========================================

REPLY #5 FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com

The firmware is not available and it is true at our side. We hope you can understand from our point of view. If we are supposed to distributed the firmware to you, we will do so. It is true that the firmware will only be available in the new drives which will have the updated firmware but the current drives will not have this firmware version.

We also thank you for letting us know that the US side actually supplied the firmware to you as your case can be a good case example for us to work with our US counterpart for future disclosure of firmware which are classified under non-disclosure to customer.

We do appreciate if you can provides further correspondences from the US division to you as we do not wish to be judged by you for not being able to assist you in providing the firmware. Our AP support center definitely will want to assist you in the best way we can and will also let you know if there are things which is not within our means to provide you. We thank you for the email to inform us on this case as it is valuable for our future disclosure of firmware to customer.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

*** OUTRAGED BY PARTS OF REPLY #5 ***

===========================================

EMAIL #6 TO HGST AP

To: <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Once again I request you to reconcile your message before insulting a customer openly about me and my right to criticize customers. I believe you owe me an apology for criticizing my ability to judge your service.

If I do not receive a satisfactory response from your AP division I shall publicize this infuriation from your company's AP division.

===========================================

REPLY #6 FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com

Dear Sir,

I have also told our engineers in the AP region that this particular firmware can be given to customer which have been given by our US counterpart. We are so sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. Thank you once again for pointing this out to us.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

EMAIL #7 TO HGST AP

To: <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Thank you for your apology. Let's hope the next time I write to your company's AP division, things go more smoothly.

===========================================

*** I EXPECTED NO MORE REPLIES, BUT THIS CAME ALONG. LOOKS LIKE OLD KENNY BACKED DOWN ***

===========================================

REPLY #7 FROM HGST AP

Dear Sir,

We thank you for your understanding. We are also hoping for a better support to you in future and i have also told our engineers off for not able to provide you with the information which you requires. Thank you once again.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

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I just received 160GB ATA 8MB one dated MAR-2004.

Found no stiker with firmare version, so I canot report the one (how could I see one?)

I will report about absence/presence of cat effect later :)

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Seems an IBM that doesnt miaow and is reliable was too much to ask for :(

IBM DFT: "Failure code: 0x72 - Defective device. S.M.A.R.T. Failure. "

3 days after delivery and write speeds started to drop like a stone (eg windows reporting 2hrs or so to copy 2G of data from a different drive), reading is still ok from what i hear but it looks like this one will have to be returned.

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REPLY #5 FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com

The firmware is not available and it is true at our side. We hope you can understand from our point of view. If we are supposed to distributed the firmware to you, we will do so.  It is true that the firmware will only be available in the new drives which will have the updated firmware but the current drives will not have this firmware version.

We also thank you for letting us know that the US side actually supplied the firmware to you as your case can be a good case example for us to work with our US counterpart for future disclosure of firmware which are classified under non-disclosure to customer.

We do appreciate if you can provides further correspondences from the US division to you as we do not wish to be judged by you for not being able to assist you in providing the firmware. Our AP support center definitely will want to assist you in the best way we can and will also let you know if there are things which is not within our means to provide you. We thank you for the email to inform us on this case as it is valuable for our future disclosure of firmware to customer.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

*** OUTRAGED BY PARTS OF REPLY #5 ***

===========================================

EMAIL #6 TO HGST AP

To: <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Once again I request you to reconcile your message before insulting a customer openly about me and my right to criticize customers. I believe you owe me an apology for criticizing my ability to judge your service.

If I do not receive a satisfactory response from your AP division I shall publicize this infuriation from your company's AP division.

===========================================

REPLY #6 FROM HGST AP

From: kenny.lim@hitachigst.com

Dear Sir,

I have also told our engineers in the AP region that this particular firmware can be given to customer which have been given by our US counterpart. We are so sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. Thank you once again for pointing this out to us.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

EMAIL #7 TO HGST AP

To:      <kenny.lim@hitachigst.com>

Thank you for your apology. Let's hope the next time I write to your company's AP division, things go more smoothly.

===========================================

*** I EXPECTED NO MORE REPLIES, BUT THIS CAME ALONG. LOOKS LIKE OLD KENNY BACKED DOWN ***

===========================================

REPLY #7 FROM HGST AP

Dear Sir,

We thank you for your understanding. We are also hoping for a better support to you in future and i have also told our engineers off for not able to provide you with the information which you requires. Thank you once again.

Regards

Kenny Lim

===========================================

opg, in poor Kenny's defense, he probably didn't know that a special firmware was very recently created and was being released to a select few customers who (1) knew about it beforehand and (2) specifically asked for it by name on the other side of the world.

HGST AP support is a separate and distinct entity from HGST US support. HGST AP (1) didn't know such a firmware existed, and (2) even if they did, they were not authorized to distribute it as it wasn't yet qualified on all possible lots of drives sold in the retail and OEM channels in Asia-Pacific. Also, it could have been likely that HGST wanted to test the new firmware on a limited basis with HGST US customers who e-mailed them directly as a sort of pilot program.

Remember that this type of thermal management solution is designed to maximize the reliability and longevity of the drive and that downregulating it could reduce the reliability and longevity of the drive, causing HGST to incur greater warranty claims as a result. I can understand why HGST wanted to keep it quiet, in limited distribution, and run a pilot program of sorts in the US first.

In light of this, I would say Kenny's reply #5 to you was fairly appropriate and did not warrant outrage on your part. Frustration, yes, and he could have worded it better in some parts, I guess what I'm saying is "don't shoot the messenger".

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Actually it is evident in E-MAIL #2 from Kenny that he did know what was going on.

Another point I would like to raise is that all serial numbers can be linked to the geographical location. When I provided HGST USA/CA with my serial number they knew I was from Asia. If Kenny told me from the beginning the "truth" that HGST was only providing it to North American customers I wouldn't have been infuriated in the same way I was because he told me the firmware did not exist. He wouldn't have needed any defense because in that case I would have patiently waited.

The new firmware silences the noise by making it run slightly longer. If other manufacturers can do it without people noticing it, it's obvious it can be done.

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Whoops forgot to answer your statement:-

"didn't know such a firmware existed, and (2) even if they did, they were not authorized to distribute it as it wasn't yet qualified on all possible lots of drives sold in the retail and OEM channels in Asia-Pacific."

From Kenny's correspondence it sounded like the AP division had a bigger say than the North American counterpart. His wording really did make me wonder whether or not he was attempting to say that he had control over the entire HGST entity.

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After reading your website, it seems you misinterpreted what Kenny was saying and over-reacted a bit. I now see what you were upset at in reply #5:

As I read onto the second paragraph of his reply,
We do appreciate if you can provides further correspondences from the US division to you as we do not wish to be judged by you for not being able to assist you in providing the firmware. Our AP support center definitely will want to assist you in the best way we can and will also let you know if there are things which is not within our means to provide you. We thank you for the email to inform us on this case as it is valuable for our future disclosure of firmware to customer.

I was outraged by the fact that not only did he not seem apologetic for not being able to assist me, but criticized me back for criticizing his unhelpfulness (as highlighted in red)! I, of course was outraged by the fact that as a customer, I was challenged on my opinion of the company's service. Feeling deeply offended, I wrote back to Kenny demanding an apology, and warned him that I would publicize this incident if he continued to offend me in his replies.

I think you misinterpreted his comments. He just didn't want you to think badly of HGST AP when they were unable to help you due to lack of sharing with the US. Doesn't sound to me like he was criticizing you.

I expected the reply to be courteous because I would have thought that by now, Kenny would actually look into my questions and consider replying to them. However, what really ticked me off is that Kenny appeared in the e-mail that Kenny was taking charge over the American division of the company and acted like he was the 'command center' (which actually is a first, since in previous e-mails he implied that he was unable to assist me because of instructions given by the North American division.)

Again, I think you misinterpreted what Kenny was saying. I think he was just saying "please forward any information you get from the US because they are not sharing it with us and making us look bad (he was also probably thinking he could show his supervisors your e-mail as proof that the US is not sharing with AP)" You even thought about that yourself: "Anyhow, this led me to wonder whether or not there was a lack of communication between the divisions."

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Well, yes I reacted in the way simply because of the sentence in the section you quoted in bold. I believe that it would be expected for the line "we do not wish to be judged by you for not being able to assist you in providing the firmware" to be slightly insulting to me. He's basically saying that I don't have the right to say that their division was unable to assist me.

To answer your second point I would like to quote his 6th and 7th replies; it showed that he did in fact have more of a say than originally stated. I just found it strange how 1 second it was out of his scope of control / he didn't know about it and another second he had the power to tell engineers off etc,.

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Sorry, didn't see your two replies above before I sent my last post.

Well, opq, I don't know what to say... if you feel Kenny was overly deceptive, malevolent, and had a bad attitude, then I can understand on the basis of your interpretation... it is always difficult to determine someone's tone or attitude via e-mail, though. But if what you say about reply #2 is correct, do you think most customers would have wanted to hear that it is corporate policy that HGST is only providing it to US customers? They would say "why only US? That isn't fair." You can't win either way.

I personally think it is more a case of either (1) a lack of sharing or politics between divisions, or (2) that AP was not authorized to distribute that special firmware for the reasons I detailed above.

Anyways, I am glad that everything worked out for you in the end. It is not uncommon for support techs to be uninformed or have support policies that are fairly restrictive. I have experienced this so often that I expect support to be useless and am overjoyed when they are helpful, knowledgeable, and fast.

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