Apple Notifies iMac Owners of Expanded Seagate Hard Drive Recall

safford1977

macrumors newbie
Oct 20, 2012
4
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self repair

About a year ago I noticed my 1TB Seagate HDD had failed S.M.A.R.T. It was operating with the usual noise and no hang ups but I decided to replace it myself anyway. I use software to control the fan speeds and now have a 256GB SSD.

So when I got the e-mail I was immediately concerned that I would not be eligible for the replacement drive, not too big a deal, but still I think I deserve a replacement for something deemed defective.

After two phone calls to customer support, one to my local store, and asking for a physical address which I could send a written complaint I was given the option to seek reimbursement. The apple care rep entered the request for me so I hope I will be approved. I realize I could have submitted this myself but does anyone know how the reimbursement process works? What is required to prove you replaced the drive? I bought the replacement on-line so I have the receipts for the fan software and drive but as this isn't a direct replacement how is the amount determined?

BTW, a HDD replacement on a 27" iMac is about an hour job for someone who has never done it before. Assuming an apple genius has a fully burdened hourly salary of about $25 an hour this whole job is worth little more then $100 retail. I think it's hardly worth the time of disconnecting everything, making an appointment, driving to the store, then returning to the store, reconnecting everything and restoring from backup! What a pain in the _you know what_!
 
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pnoyblazed

macrumors 6502a
Mar 1, 2008
917
272
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so what if you check your iMac serial number, and it is deemed necessary to replace the HD, but you personally haven't experienced any problems with it? Do you still need to get it replaced?
 

Mystic386

macrumors regular
Nov 18, 2011
163
38
0
Wow, this is interesting. My hard drive was on a go slow and got replaced last week. They provided another Seagate. Their website records me as in line for a new drive.

Also got a new 27 LCD screen and fan. I'll need to have discussions with them about the new screen colouring being inconsistent across the screen.

And now I need to add some questions about the new drive.
 

aliensporebomb

macrumors 68000
So question.....

My computer had a drive problem this past May I believe.

They swapped the drive out then.

Now I get this from that website: "The iMac serial number you entered is eligible for this program. Please follow the instructions below to have your hard drive replaced."

So, do I contact them to get it replaced AGAIN (it's under Applecare until June)?

I also notice my Superdrive is very inconsistent and sometimes won't read commercially available DVDs or CDs so I might as well make arrangements.
 

drmikenyc

macrumors newbie
Jun 23, 2012
2
0
0
Oct 2012 - widening of Seagate drive replacement

I paid $289 to have my drive replaced a few months back after it crashed. Anyone know if they will reimburse this cost? Could it be that for once I walk into the Apple store and leave with extra cash in my pocket?
I just happen to have left the "iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program" page on the Apple site. (Super long url via my support page or I'd post it, but it's easily found.)

Dated 10-12-2012, it specifically states (with a link), "If you believe you have paid for a repair or replacement due to this issue, contact Apple regarding a refund". Implication is, if you paid to replace a faulty drive, you're eligible (assuming they deem the repair cost for whatever you had done, to be "covered"). Looking to see others' experience with turnaround time, ease of reinstalling with Time Capsule/Machine, etc.

Good luck! Not looking forward to lugging the iMac in, or losing the hard drive I've spent the last year filling & configuring - but just received the recall notice.

I too would love to know, if anyone knows (I've seen the question but not any answer) - what will the Seagate be replaced with? And if it must be a Seagate (very cozy & logistically beneficial for Apple), are we to feel confident that the new drive will last more than a year or two? (Apple site says 3 years warantee, or AppleCare time remaining, whichever is longest, no further details.)

Yuk, I really thought my hard-drive swapping/recovery days were memories...
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
0
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Do you have a Western Digital HDD? I have one except it's a WD drive instead of Seagate.
The WD's are rock solid, at least mine has been. It's the Seagates that are at fault. It's not just Apple either. I had a re-call on my Promise Pegasus R4. I asked them to just ship me 4 new drives but they insisted on a full replacement. It originally had 4X Segate 1TB drives in it..They replaced all four with Hitachi's and the unit too. One of the Segates was starting to throw bad sectors after only 2 months use. I'm guessing that a bad production run is probably the culprit here.
 

Ice Dragon

macrumors 6502a
Jun 16, 2009
984
20
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Thanks to you for the update.

.
Ah come on, I am allowed to make a comment on a joke right? : P

If I was affected by this problem, I would be disappointed just as many are here. This shouldn't be a future problem as flash memory is more and more becoming standard. Hopefully, Samsung, Hynix, and Toshiba (who I think is who Apple mainly uses although they probably will be using Samsung less) won't ship defective components. Then again perhaps Apple didn't look into the drives first as they were being shipped.
 

ChristianVirtual

macrumors 601
May 10, 2010
4,090
263
0
日本
oh; I would hate to take the big 27" iMac to the nearest Apple Store for the disk replacement. Lucky: I have a WD in my iMac. :)

Unlucky: I have two Seagate in my Linux system. Funny enough as Backup disks; might be not a smart idea. :(
 

Dufus Del Dia

macrumors newbie
Jun 20, 2010
13
1
0
Mine already died...

Mine died last month. The iMac got real sluggish, with lots of disk activity, and eventually hung. I booted from Firewire, and ran Disk Utility, intending to Verify my disk, but I got this message, instead, when I selected it:

"S.M.A.R.T. Failure - Replace Drive."

I could still read and write files from it in Finder, tho, so I used Disk Utility to erase it, and scrubbed the entire thing with Zeroes. (That took a couple of hours.)

I took it into my closest Apple Authorized Service Center, and they replaced the disk drive for FREE. They never even mentioned the Seagate Recall; I thought it was FREE because I bought the AppleCare extended warranty, and still had 3 months left on it.

They kept the old disk. I'm SO glad I erased it first...

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My hard-drive, which failed just 3 months ago, has already been replaced, yet I still received the email notice and my serial number comes up as eligible. It's unclear if my replacement (ST31000528AS rev. AP2E) is affected in the recall.* I've now called Apple Support twice and have gotten two different answers.** On the first call, the technician said if the your serial number comes up as eligible - and it's a SeaGate drive, you should take it in and replace it.* The second technician said if it's been replaced, it should be fine and even sent me an email assuring me its fine. * Does anyone know if the prior replacement drives are faulty. And what brand is the replacement drive?
Mine failed, and was replaced with another Seagate... :-(
It's working fine, but it's only been a month.
The faulty one took 2 years to fail...
 

Col127

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2003
273
1
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Visit site
So for those that are eligible for this, what Seagate drive do you have installed in your machine?

I've got a 27" iMac 2.7 i5 which I purchased when it first came out.... And when I punch in my serial #, it says I'm not eligible.. But I have a seagate drive :( Concerned this is going to fail out on me. Not sure if Apple will do anything since it says "no action is required" for my iMac.

Model # of the seagate drive in my computer is: ST31000528AS
 

hexor

macrumors 6502
Nov 26, 2002
263
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Minnesota
Visit site
So for those that are eligible for this, what Seagate drive do you have installed in your machine?

I've got a 27" iMac 2.7 i5 which I purchased when it first came out.... And when I punch in my serial #, it says I'm not eligible.. But I have a seagate drive :( Concerned this is going to fail out on me. Not sure if Apple will do anything since it says "no action is required" for my iMac.

Model # of the seagate drive in my computer is: ST31000528AS
I have that Model# as well and from the description it says "some" Seagate drives, not ALL. So it could be there was only a certain lot/production line of Seagate drives that needed replaced. Mine is a late 2009 version and have not had any issues with the HD. I have had issues with one of the iMac fans making a loud noise about once every 6 months that last for a couple days.
 

sk8mash

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2007
937
12
0
England
So for those that are eligible for this, what Seagate drive do you have installed in your machine?

I've got a 27" iMac 2.7 i5 which I purchased when it first came out.... And when I punch in my serial #, it says I'm not eligible.. But I have a seagate drive :( Concerned this is going to fail out on me. Not sure if Apple will do anything since it says "no action is required" for my iMac.

Model # of the seagate drive in my computer is: ST31000528AS
I have the same model number and mine is eligible.
 

aliensporebomb

macrumors 68000
And......

So for those that are eligible for this, what Seagate drive do you have installed in your machine?

I've got a 27" iMac 2.7 i5 which I purchased when it first came out.... And when I punch in my serial #, it says I'm not eligible.. But I have a seagate drive :( Concerned this is going to fail out on me. Not sure if Apple will do anything since it says "no action is required" for my iMac.

Model # of the seagate drive in my computer is: ST31000528AS
My drive that comes up as being eligible is a:
ST31000528ASQ
 

iChrist

macrumors 65816
Ah come on, I am allowed to make a comment on a joke right? : P

If I was affected by this problem, I would be disappointed just as many are here. This shouldn't be a future problem as flash memory is more and more becoming standard. Hopefully, Samsung, Hynix, and Toshiba (who I think is who Apple mainly uses although they probably will be using Samsung less) won't ship defective components. Then again perhaps Apple didn't look into the drives first as they were being shipped.

Yes, it was a major disappointment in their component choices. But they have gotten better.
 

12dylan34

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2009
877
3
0
so what if you check your iMac serial number, and it is deemed necessary to replace the HD, but you personally haven't experienced any problems with it? Do you still need to get it replaced?
I guess you don't need to, but you get a brand new drive with no use for free, and therefore are now at a lower risk of your drive failing. If it's convenient, I would recommend just doing it.
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
2,263
4
0
Beds, UK
I put the serial number for my iMac purchased June 2011 in on the webpage for the replacement program, and it came back saying that I didn't have a Seagate HD (as previously noted by the8thark). I went into the System Information (Click the Apple at top left > About This Mac > More Information > System Report > Hardware > Serial-ATA) and found that I have a model number ST31000528AS in my iMac, which is in fact a Seagate 1TB HD (again, noted by the8thark, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148433). Given the discrepancy, I call Apple to discuss the matter.

I talk to an Advisor and Sr. Advisor that both said the records show I have a Western Digital drive in my iMac. I insisted that it was a Seagate, and sent them a screenshot of my System Information window. Long story short, they are replacing my HD.

If you are in the same situation, call Apple and reference case number 361827989 as to why they should replace yours too!
Actually, the checker is very intelligent in regards to the type of drive installed. The model number is the same for all Seagate 1TB drives, however, there are many revisions. Affected revisions are AP24 and AP25. If you do not have this, your drive does not need to be replaced.
 

jvmxtra

macrumors 65816
Sep 21, 2010
1,245
3
0
There's a no way for me to hand in my iMac for several days for someone to replace hdd.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,610
801
0
Los Angeles, CA
I own a 2011 iMac. But I didn't receive such an email. Maybe my iMac is not affected by this. I hope so.
You might not have a Seagate drive. Or perhaps yours was from a later batch.

I find it worth applause that Apple does this. All hard drives fail at some point. It's a fact of life. But Apple is willing to step up when more than they like has failed. They did it with a possible 'bad' batch of graphics cards, they did this over cosmetic issues on the Macbooks at one point.

Compare this to say Microsoft who had a run of Xbox consoles with a 60-70% fail rate in the first year. They didn't bother to fix the issue but replaced failing units with another one that typically also failed.

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I put the serial number for my iMac purchased June 2011 in on the webpage for the replacement program, and it came back saying that I didn't have a Seagate HD
But the issue isn't about you having a Seagate, it's about a certain batch. Yours could be fine. They are just replacing it to shut you up because you were a nag, not because they screwed up and didn't put in your serial number when it should have been. They won't tell you that that is the reason because they don't want you emailing Tim Cook etc and saying they insulted you or some other mess. But that is the more likely reason for the 'exception'

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Does anyone know what happens to your old drives? I'm concerned about giving them a drive with all my private data.
They destroy them. But if you are that worried about it, erase it before you take it in. They aren't going to transfer your information anyway. It's your job to make a backup and install it when you get home. So it won't matter to them if you give them a machine with a reformatted drive.

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I just asked the same question on the official Apple community forums and was basically told "offtopic will report you". So very rude.
so what. they report you, they ban you even. It's not like you just voided your warranty on all your products. Unless your user 'points' are that important to you. Otherwise, let them kick you off. Takes 5 minutes to set up a new id.

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I paid $289 to have my drive replaced a few months back after it crashed. Anyone know if they will reimburse this cost? Could it be that for once I walk into the Apple store and leave with extra cash in my pocket?
IF they refund the money it will be via a check, not in the stores.

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In any case, when you're dealing with the Genius, ask them to give you the old HD back to you once they've yanked it and replaced it, and they will.
I would NOT count on that. They are not required to give you back a drive at any time since your data is your responsibility and it's not their issue if you haven't been keeping up to date backups.

And since this is a quality program they might have to keep all drives to send to Seagate as proof of the replacements so Seagate will pay the costs (as they would be required to since the program is due to them failing to uphold QC requirements)
 

AdamN

macrumors newbie
Jan 22, 2009
27
0
0
Replace even if fine?

Do people have a sense of whether this is a problem that always manifests itself in the first year or two or is it something that can happen at any time? My hard drive is fine but I'm eligible for the recall. I'm not sure if it's worth the hassle though.
 

charlituna

macrumors G3
Jun 11, 2008
9,610
801
0
Los Angeles, CA
Does anyone know how long this harddrive replacement will take once you drop it off for service at an Apple Store? Is it same day service? Or will take a few days
You should expect that it could be 3-5 days and be glad if it is anything shorter.

at the least it will likely be overnight since very few stores do repairs of such nature during the day and certainly not 'while you wait'.

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IMO by all rights Apple should clone your HDD to the new one, do the switch then erase the original HDD when you get back to the store to pick it up. This way you can see you HDD being erased and check then all your files/programs are where they should be. I would still have a backup solution at home, just in case.
Your opinion is unfortunately not what they do (and no law requires them to do it your way). Per their terms you are responsible for backing up your data and restoring it to the same or a new drive. Period. They are only required to give you a drive that is in the same state as the one you bought, when you bought it. Which means having the OS on it. If you want to ensure that your data is erased, you need to do it before you take the machine in.

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About a year ago I noticed my 1TB Seagate HDD had failed S.M.A.R.T. It was operating with the usual noise and no hang ups but I decided to replace it myself anyway.
Unless you're an Apple certified tech you may have voided all warranties for any service the moment you cracked the case and did that replacement. For years, the only 'user serviceable' part in an iMac was the RAM and it could still be that way.

I won't be shocked at all if Apple says they won't replace the drive or refund the money (since the replacement didn't come from them so you are asking them for a refund of money you never gave them)

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Do people have a sense of whether this is a problem that always manifests itself in the first year or two or is it something that can happen at any time?
Hard Drive failures can happen at any time. I've had drives fail in six months, I've had some that never failed even when the machine was 6 years old. And they were all used a lot. I'm talking at least 8 hours a day, sometimes more, processing all kinds of photos and video files
 

maxmiles

macrumors member
Jan 5, 2009
52
0
0
@tarheels
@jquebedeaux

Same thing here. I had to replace it about a month ago, now the drive is sitting on my desk and although Apple's website indicated I didn't have a problem drive, looking at the model number it is. I bought two replacement drives from a local Apple RAM outlet. Installed them myself, both a replacement HDD and put a SSD into the extra space after removing the optical drive. So I think I can at least request cost of the replaced HDD, although it was a 2TB.


@tarheels

Thanks for posting that. I have the same model seagate in my iMac 21.5" mid-2011 which JUST failed this week. According to the Apple site my SN isn't eligible for the program. I bought it in July 2011 and the seagate model matches. So i will be giving them a call and see why mine isn't part of the program, perhaps they think it's not a seagate.

I would have just replaced it with a WD drive that was larger, but i'm figuring out there are ALL kinds of issues with that.
 

Brian Y

macrumors 68040
Oct 21, 2012
3,487
582
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@tarheels
@jquebedeaux

Same thing here. I had to replace it about a month ago, now the drive is sitting on my desk and although Apple's website indicated I didn't have a problem drive, looking at the model number it is. I bought two replacement drives from a local Apple RAM outlet. Installed them myself, both a replacement HDD and put a SSD into the extra space after removing the optical drive. So I think I can at least request cost of the replaced HDD, although it was a 2TB.
No - if you paid apple to replace the drive for you, you're entitled to get the amount back. If you chose to *upgrade* your drive, then you aren't entitled to anything.
 

thekev

macrumors 604
Aug 5, 2010
6,667
1,728
0
I paid $289 to have my drive replaced a few months back after it crashed. Anyone know if they will reimburse this cost? Could it be that for once I walk into the Apple store and leave with extra cash in my pocket?
This is something I've always disliked about imacs. I prefer being able to pop in another drive without hassle. Even under warranty, I'd prefer to just do it myself as opposed to accepting downtime.
 

mattg3

macrumors 6502
Dec 8, 2010
392
3
0
ma.
Actually, the checker is very intelligent in regards to the type of drive installed. The model number is the same for all Seagate 1TB drives, however, there are many revisions. Affected revisions are AP24 and AP25. If you do not have this, your drive does not need to be replaced.
My drive is a 500 G St 3500418AS with an AP25 revision yet in checking on mac page with my serial number they said my drive is fine.Does this sound right?I cant tell from my drive number if its a Seagate model.Is it only the 1TB drives that are affected?