Seagate Barracuda Ultra ATA IV firmware new revison.

Silencing hard drives, optical drives and other storage devices

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itworks
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:45 am

Seagate Barracuda Ultra ATA IV firmware new revison.

Post by itworks » Wed Jul 07, 2004 12:12 pm

There is a new firmware for these disks that are said to be the most silents hdd's.

These firmwares enable proper RAID - 0 usage. All the barracuda 4 shares the same firmwares, regardless of their capacity. It enables to go from 3.0x to 8.0x version.

But

BEWARE : IT SEEMS THERE IS NO WAY TO REVERT IT BACK TO ORIGINAL VERSION.

And the main point is that it may break the Advanced Accoustic Management Feature.

The firmware

Acccoustic tool from seagate

Hitachi Feature Tool where you can set A.A.M. and check your firmware version.

All these tools must be run from a floppy.
A.A.M is enabled from 128 to 192 and disabled from 193 to 256. This is a on/off setting, and not a progressive setting.

BUT ONCE AGAIN : DON'T FLASH IF YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING

I have 3.10 and it can be set on/off but there s no audible difference.
I was previously with a 3.05 and it was much more silent, especially on seeks.

Before trying it, if you own one of these drives can you tell if aam works and what firmware you have ?
Last edited by itworks on Wed Jul 07, 2004 2:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Deheinx
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Post by Deheinx » Wed Jul 07, 2004 1:40 pm

itworks,
you might need to rework your Hitachi link, as all it links to is a download button .GIF file instead of the real download. :roll:

al bundy
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Post by al bundy » Fri Jul 09, 2004 7:52 pm

Hi itworks,

Thank you very much for posting this! Welcome to the forums as well.

8)
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cmcquistion
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Post by cmcquistion » Sat Jul 10, 2004 5:52 pm

I tried it and it worked.

I had firmware 3.05 on my 20 GB Barracuda IV and AAM did work. I used Hitachi Feature Tool to go in and change it, with my ear next to the drive, to see if there would be a difference. The difference was audible.

I flashed to the new firmware (which upgraded me to 8.12) and AAM still works correctly. I used HFT, again, and verified it, again.


The interesting thing about that firmware update is that it is completely hands-free. It will not give you any warnings. It will not ask you if you want to flash. It will only look for a drive that can be flashed, flash it, and continue looking for drives that can be flashed, until is runs out of IDE channels. It will then tell you to power off and remove the diskette.
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itworks
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Post by itworks » Sat Jul 10, 2004 11:06 pm

Thx for feedback.

If you encounter any pb, you can msg for a 3.10 firmware, i reworked a setup disk with one bios i have found on this site.

http://acdev.org/sbiv_firmware/

But i'd recommend to use the IBM version instead because it is more automated.

For my disk A.A.M. does not show up differences. I would like to know is A.A.M only reduces seeks noise, or reduces idle noise either.


But i still can't go back to 3.05. I would be thankfull if anyone finds one.

Does anyone know if the sf.exe seagate flash utility can backup firmware ?

cmcquistion
Posts: 278
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Post by cmcquistion » Sun Jul 11, 2004 6:18 am

itworks wrote:For my disk A.A.M. does not show up differences. I would like to know is A.A.M only reduces seeks noise, or reduces idle noise either.
AAM only reduces seek noise. It doesn't affect idle noise.
[url=http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?p=82152]LX-6A19 mods and HD suspension rack.[/url]

[url=http://forums.silentpcreview.com/viewtopic.php?p=109317]My Fan-Voltage-Contoller-Strip[/url]

Storm
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Post by Storm » Sun Jul 11, 2004 3:04 pm

I used to own a baracuda IV and remember all the fuss about getting the first firmware update that removed the chatter of the read/write head used to check disk integrity.

I think I read about this on storagereview.com's forums about a firmware update that helps with RAID compatibility.
It was found that if u DONT have a RAID setup the 'raid firmware' actually lowered normal single disk performance.
I dunno I could be wrong about this newer update....


ps. if u havent read it yet check storagereview.com about the RAID 0 being useless for desktop use.
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silencio
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Post by silencio » Sun Jul 18, 2004 12:25 am

I had two Barracuda IV 80GB drives that I wanted to use in RAID 0 configuration. Seagate exchanged my firmware version 3.75 drives for "RAID-compatible" firmware version 3.51 drives.

Has anyone tried this flash upgrade on 3.51 drives?

itworks
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Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2004 11:45 am

Post by itworks » Wed Jul 21, 2004 1:50 pm

According to the readme the 3.51 would be flashed to 8.75.

There is a full hdd review today on x-bit labs
If you read this you'll see how good the 3.05 firmwares are on the new drives. I wonder if the 7200.7 has the same microcodes as the barracuda IV.

Anyway, i can't get anything from the seagate support, on their website.

Has anyone obtained a response from :

http://www.seagate.com/support/email/index.html

silencio
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Post by silencio » Mon Aug 02, 2004 7:57 pm

I couldn't find anything in the readme file about firmware version 3.51.

At any rate, I ran the firmware updater on my version 3.51 drive and it's now version 8.12.

MoJo-chan
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Post by MoJo-chan » Tue Aug 03, 2004 2:37 pm

Storm wrote:ps. if u havent read it yet check storagereview.com about the RAID 0 being useless for desktop use.
I read this one and I have to say I disagree with it in some respects.

Sure, for most stuff, you won't notice, I'll grant you that. Compared to a 7200 RPM drive with 8MB cache, the difference is minimal.

However, that's not to say that for all desktop stuff, it's useless. I can measure the difference in speed between using a single 7200 RPM Seagate Barracuda drive, two 40GB drives (Promise RAID0) and four 80GB drives (3ware RAID0) when using specific apps. All the same make, same speed and same cache. The apps in question are BNR2/3 (binary newsreader), Virtual Dub (video editing), sqllite (database engine) and WinRAR (archiver).

The reason is simple. These kinds of apps rely on fast seeking and bulk transfers. BNR uses a database, usually over 100MB. Opening groups take a few seconds at least. WinRAR does quite a bit of seaking when extracting recently downloaded files, because those files tend to be highly fragmented and extraction is often to a drive on the same RAID array. Sure, the difference isn't huge, but it's noticable.

One other area where I notice a difference - virtual memory. I clear my page file at shutdown, and of course Windows often pages out Firefox and then had to load it back in in 4k chunks. It's perceptably faster with the page file on a RAID0 array. YMMV, but for me it works.

QuaiBoy
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Post by QuaiBoy » Tue Aug 03, 2004 6:33 pm

I have a pair of 80Gb IVs in a RAID0 array in my second machine. Their performance (off of a Highpoint Rocket100) is far superior in large file copying and processing than the 160Gb 7200.7 in the same machine. I was unaware of this "RAID compatible" firmware mentioned above. I'll have to see what f/w my drives have next time I crack the box...

-Evan-

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