Seagate still looking into Momentus XT drive problems

Seagate has played down technical problems experienced in recent weeks by users of the company's Momentus XT hybrid hard drive despite ongoing queries to its support forum.

In a statement, the company agreed that a tiny number of users of Apple's MacBook Pro that installed the drive as an upgrade were experiencing unexpected performance hiccups, beeps, and a refusal to spin down in power-saving mode.

The company recently released a new firmware update, SD24, to address the issue which is available from the company's support site. This should also have resolved a less severe issue experienced when using the XT on some Windows PCs, Seagate said.

However, Seagate's technical staff still appear to be troubleshooting blue screen of death (BSOD) and performance issues when using the XT on Windows and problems with Macs even after the SD24 update installed.

Despite the company's assertion that only a small number of users are affected, the support forum has a lively group of threads covering problems experienced by users.

"We have encouraged all users to ensure they have SD24 loaded on their drive while Seagate engineers continue to work to isolate the MacBook Pro symptoms and provide a fix in another firmware revision," read a Seagate statement.

The XT concept was first tried out by Seagate three years ago as a way of combining fast but expensive flash memory with a slower but cheaper spinning hard disk. The launch was not a success, partly because the small amount of flash and the lack of support for operating systems beyond Windows Vista.

Last May, Seagate came back with a new version of the drive, the XT, featuring 4GB of onboard flash and sales started to climb off the floor. The point of the drive is to improve boot times and overall application performance compared to a conventional disk-only drive.

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