Seagate, please help!

See update at the end

Dear Seagate,

I am one of the unfortunate users of an ST31000340AS (Barracuda 7200.11) who has been hit with the firmware (SD81) bug that has locked up the drive (the infamous BSY error, where the drive is not even recognised by the BIOS).

The 1 TB drive contains precious data which I am unable to retrieve, and your India representatives are of no help, sending me to expensive and exploitative Data Recovery firms who can’t help me.

Your notice states that Seagate would help its customers recover from this firmware bug. However your India representatives have only offered to replace my defective drive, not rescue the data trapped on it, which (according to you) is safe.

The drive was part of a Maxtor Basics external USB drive kit, and I had no way of knowing that the drive inside was a ST31000340AS until the drive locked up and your India representatives permitted us (in writing) to open the plastic housing to get data recovery done. They did not inform us about the firmware update (which can be found here).

Your website refuses to help me, saying that this drive was sold to an OEM manufacturer, and that I should contact that vendor. The OEM manufacturer, Maxtor, is a brand owned by Seagate, having been acquired by Seagate a long time before I purchased this drive (in November 2008).

The dealer I bought the drive from has tried his best to help me, but has now given up hope, since your India representatives, Accel Frontline, has not offered any solution.

I trusted your brand and your warranty, and I know that under normal circumstances, you are not obliged to help people recover data from a crashed drive. But in this case, the fault is clearly yours, and you acknowledged this, and have offered to help affected customers. So why am I not getting the help I need?

Please contact me and help me – some of the photographs, videos and documents that this drive was purchased to back up are irreplacable, going abck almost 20 years.

Please help, Seagate!

Anyone reading this – if you can get Seagate’s attention and help me, I would be extremely grateful

UPDATE: Since posting this entry, I have come across this page that describes how to manually resurrect the drive: I don’t have the necessary tools or skills to do this, and I am really worried that I try this (or someone does for me) and the drive gets fried, at which point even if Seagate is willing to help, they would now not be able to do so.