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Seagate® Hard Disk Drive Quality Issue

Seagate Technology has reported that a small percentage of certain hard disk drives (HDD) are experiencing performance issues. Some of these affected drives have been installed in certain VAIO® desktop computers and VAIO Home Servers.

VAIO notebook computers are not affected by the Seagate hard disk drive issue.
Specific Details of Affected Units

The following VAIO models may have one of the affected drives installed:

  • VGC-JS210J/B
  • VGC-JS230J/B, VGC-JS230J/S, VGC-JS230J/T
  • VGC-JS250J/B
  • VGC-JS290J/Q, VGC-JS290J/S
  • VGC-LV150DJ, VGC-LV150J
  • VGC-LV180J, VGC-LV180ME
  • VGC-LV190Y
  • VGF-HS1U

Only a small percentage of the units in these model categories have the identified Seagate hard disk drives installed. Not every unit in the model category is affected.

The following symptoms may be seen in an affected computer:

  • The VAIO desktop will not start the operating system.
  • The data on the HDD cannot be accessed.
  • There may be abnormal noise when the HDD is in operation.

What to Do Next

If you have one of the VAIO models listed above, please follow these steps to determine if your unit has one of the affected drives installed:

  • Step 1 - Select Your Model

  • Step 2 - Enter Your Serial Number

    Please enter your Serial Number:

  • Step 3 - Check Your Unit

    To determine if your unit has one of the affected drives installed, click the "Check Now" button.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What caused the issue with the Seagate® Hard Disk Drives (HDD)?

A: In mid-January 2009, Seagate Technology identified a small percentage of certain HDDs that have defective firmware. (Firmware is the essential software program that operates the device.) Seagate has also identified an issue in their manufacturing process that contributes to this HDD issue.

Q: Is this a VAIO® computer defect?

A: No, this issue only exists with certain Seagate HDDs. Your VAIO computer is not defective. No other VAIO models have this issue, as the Seagate HDD is not installed. Only a small percentage of the units in the model categories are affected.

Q: Am I in danger of losing my data?

A: Sony shares your concern. Seagate has reported that the data is still on the HDD, however, Sony does not guarantee that your data can be retrieved in whole or in part. If you have confirmed that you have an affected unit that has not experienced HDD failure, backup your data immediately to an external hard disk drive or media.

Q: Can I continue to use an affected VAIO desktop computer, if I have not experienced this HDD failure?

A: Seagate believes that the affected drives can be used as is, based on the low risk as determined by their analysis of actual field return data. However, as part of our commitment to customer satisfaction, Sony is offering a free firmware upgrade. Sony always recommends that you back up your data to an external hard disk drive or to media and continue to do so on a regular basis.

Q: Can I install the solution posted on the Seagate Web site to fix this issue?

A: The solution offered on the Seagate Web site has not been fully evaluated to work for VAIO desktop computers. Sony cannot guarantee the Seagate solution is the best answer to this issue. If you have already applied the Seagate solution, you may want to continue checking the VAIO Web site for updated information.

Q: If my HDD failed before I knew about the Seagate HDD issue, can I get it fixed?

A: Sony can investigate the cause of any HDD failure that occurs under warranty or is caused by the Seagate HDD issue. If it is determined that failure is due to a VAIO defect or the Seagate issue, the original HDD can be repaired at no charge.