Hmm I lost another HDD this week, not a first since I've lost a fair few in the past 14 years or so, especially in recent years with the bigger drive technology. The difference is the drive was only 6 weeks old and smartmon tools (in win and linux) reported HDD as fine (I check regular). Thankfully my backup plan is good and I haven't lost much but time and OS (both of them ) but I'm under warranty and replacement on monday so it's no real loss. Now comes the warning part and not so good bit....
It seems there is a firmware issue on the seagate 7200.11 series drives (mine was a 500Gb st3500320AS) which results in the busy flag on the drive being altered and the drive is no longer detected in BIOS and no fix at present. Seagate are doing nothing to fix the issue, except deleting or severly censoring posts about it on the official forum hehehe. Some community members are working on home DIY job which involves disconnecting drive PCB and doing minor wiring job to connect drive to a seatool console and send commands to change BSY flag. It's getting there but far from fixed and even after BSY issue is fixed there is still work to make the drive read/write and function as normal. It's a risky process too.
The thing that worries me though is there is no known trigger nor similarity between cases, many people just going about regular operation of comp and at reboot low and behold the drive has gone. It's not predictable but can happen to any drive at any time it seems. It happened in my prebuild (HP) so i have mailed them about either coming up with fix or asking seagate to address it instead of denying or replace my HDDs with something reliable like WDblacks (my choice in self builds) at cost difference due to timebomb nature that is unavoidable from end user pov.
If anyone uses these drives for backup I strongly advise you take this into account in your backup strategy. Hardware wise they are good performance and design, that's the shame of it since a logical problem is much easier to fix than a hardware design flaw. I know all HDD, especially big ones like 0.5/1/1.5Tb HDD suffer from various issues like slow performance issues, poor MTBF or real world life and it's something you need to accept and choose HDD based on good design weighing in size/performance/reliability tradeoffs. However a firmware error is less forgivable since there is a simple solution to it, write fw that isn't bugged. I can forgive human error and happy enough if acknowledged and they say they are working on it, but I can't forgive and gloss over the ostrich syndrome or blame game "it wasn't me" childish attitude some corps have. I hope no-one here is affected and this info doesn't come too late like for me, oh well these things happen