Seagate users have been protesting that the company's 1.5TB Barracuda 7200.11 hard drive has been freezing during data transfers.

The complaints involve drives running Linux, Mac OS X and Windows Vista . The company has confirmed that there was  a problem has caused some drives to fail and it had isolated the issue to a firmware bug affecting not only the 7200.11 but several other models manufactured through December 2008. Those include the DiamondMax 22, the Barracuda ES.2 SATA and the SV35.

Seagate is offering a free firmware upgrade that is says will fix the issue.

"In some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on," the statement said. "If you have one of the affected products ... we recommend that you update the firmware on the disk drive."

According to users, the drives freeze for about 30 seconds during I/O transfers of streaming video or when reading or writing files at low speeds. One law firm, Kabatek, Brown and Kellner , even states on its website that it is considering a class-action lawsuit against Seagate because of the number of complaints about the Barracuda 7200.11.

Seagate did not offer a link to the firmware upgrade, saying only that "customers can expedite assistance by sending an email to Seagate . The email should include the disk drive model number, serial number and current firmware revision.
"We will respond, promptly, to your e-mail 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," the company said. "Seagate will work with you to expedite a remedy to minimize any disruption to you or your business."

Seagate released the four-platter drive , Barracuda, its largest drive ever, in July. Seagate attributes the drive's extraordinary density to perpendicular magnetic recording technology, which stands bits upright instead of laying them flat on the surface of a platter, thereby taking up less space per bit.