Seagate 2TB ST32000542AS CC35 Firmware upgrade

We have a Synology DS1010+ diskstation that has been having trouble maintaining a iSCSI link to a server here at work.  While Synology issued us a patch that seems to have resolved the issue they highlighted that our disks, Seagate 2TB model ST32000542AS firmware CC34, were not running the latest version.

We initially chose these particular Seagate disks as they are on Synology’s approved disk list plus offer low power, low heat output suitable, so we thought, for nearline storage.  This turns out to be incorrect.  Seagate do not recommend these drives in anything other than “Desktop RAID”, meaning RAID 1 or 0 between two disks only.  It is unfortunate then that we are running a five disk RAID 5 array.  Seagate instead recommend their Constellation ES hard disk for higher RAID levels.

There seems to be a lot of confusion out there on the Internet about the firmware upgrade procedure.  The new firmware is advised for all customers with drives which have the following model numbers ST3500412AS, ST31000520AS, ST31500541AS and ST32000542AS, see here.  However, all drive serial numbers within the family product range are not detected as requiring the firmware upgrade by the tool.  Seagate suggest that customers can use the “Force” method to upgrade their disks.

Upgrade procedure

First download the ISO upgrade image here

You need to connect the disk to a native SATA controller; I used an older desktop machine, removed the main hard disk and plugged in our ST32000542AS drive.

You may also need to change the BIOS settings to ATA mode if it is set to RAID or AHCI

First you may attempt to upgrade the disk automatically, simply follow the onscreen instructions.  If not successful you will have to “Force” it.

To “Force” an upgrade

1.Boot from ISO CD.
2.Read disclaimer, press ESC once read.
3.On the option screen (where you can try an auto upgrade) press [Ctrl] + [C] to break to the command line.
4.Press [Y] on the keyboard to confirm
5.Type the following, then press enter:

FDL486A -m Hepburn -f HECC358H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20

6.The firmware flash process will begin.  Once successful you will see the prompt.
7.Power down the machine
8.repeat steps 1 to 7 for each additional disk.

For a full rundown of how I discerned that a) the firmware update wasn’t data destructive and b) that you should indeed “force” the firmware see this very full and informative post between another  ST32000542AS user and Seagate.

Note: In my experience this process is not data or RAID destructive, but may be in your situation.  If your data is valuable to you please back it up first.  Only attempt this firmware upgrade if you feel competent, I will not be held responsible for your actions are a result of this post.

127 thoughts on “Seagate 2TB ST32000542AS CC35 Firmware upgrade

  1. Hi Niall,
    does the CC35 update solved the clicking problem??
    Have your drives stopped clicking every 20 secs?
    Have you tried disabling APM?

    1. Hi Tommaso, not all our drives suffered the ‘click’ but we were advised to upgrade them all as a precaution, however it does seem to have cured the problem. We had no need to disable APM settings when running the drives in the Synology DS1010+

  2. Thanks Niall!
    I’ve read it’s related to the vibration occurred in a multi drives setup like raid…
    Maybe the CC35 firmware changes the heads re-calibration process…

  3. Hi,

    thanks for the Blog post and to Google which lists it pretty much on top when you search for the model and firmware numbers. I hope my troubles are gone now – I can understand that Seagate did not recommend to use the disks in a raid array, and I doubt that the ‘vibrations’ are the reason for that: Raids simply fail when a disk does this clicking dance with their heads. Otherwise they were always working fine, until I’ve used smart and the funny clicking noise started, ending up with a completely messed up raid array after two drives failed.

    Fingers crossed that it will work now…



    1. Hi,

      Thanks for commenting. I’m glad after all the worrying I did about the data and fighting with the format procedure I’ve been able to help other people out.

      Fingers crossed for all of us with these drives.


  4. Hi, Niall! Thanks for tutorial, but i have an one of Barracuda LP ST31500541AS drive. And I have a trouble with update firmware to CC35 (firmware mismatch). What do I need to type in command line?

    1. Hi Juruy

      While I haven’t applied the firmware to the 1.5TB drive you have Seagate claim the firmware is the same for all drives. You get the firmware mismatch error using the standard upgrade procedure.

      If you follow the steps 1-8 above using the ISO image (here) you can “Force” the CC35 firmware on your drive.

      Please be careful, make sure you have a backup of your data before attempting this, if your unsure ask a friend who knows about computers to double check you understand what your doing.

      Thanks for commenting, good luck.

  5. Hi,

    i also have 3 ST32000542AS drives. Two of the drives have firmware CC34 and the other one (bought last week) has firmware CC37.

    At least one of the drives has the “clicking” problem, i’m not sure which one. I can not find the CC37 firmware anywhere on the Seagate site. I wonder if it will become available in the future.

    For now i’ll start by updating the firmware of the 2 CC34 drives to CC35….

    1. Hello Davide

      I agree with you that its best to upgrade the two drives you have from CC34 to CC35, in my case that fixed the issue for me.
      I’ve not seen the CC37 firmware either, it may be that CC37 is a slight improvement on CC35 but not critical enough to rush onto the website. It may be available in due course depending on how Seagate feel about he newer firmware.

      I hope that the CC35 firmware resolves your problems, good luck.


  6. Hello Niall,
    Thanks for helping us out, i have 4 of those drives and dit not noticed the clicking so far.
    But liked to upgrade, 2 of them without any problem but 2 of them i had to force, with your procedure. It worked fine, without data loss.
    All the drives are running in a Qnap TS 459. Hopefully don’t have problems with this combination.
    Thanks and greetings Christian.

    1. Hi Christian,

      I’m glad you got it all working. I know it seems strange why some disks need the firmware to be ‘Forced’ on and others just work.
      I’ve heard good things about the Qnap TS 459 so hope you’ll have reliable disks from now on


  7. Thats stupid, why waste a disk? i just updated my firmware right though windows 7 works perfect,no need to burn anything !!!!so simple a monkey can do it !

    1. I’m glad you were able to update the firmware of your disk using the Windows tool, its by far the easiest way to do it.

      But, some people myself included had disks that we’re eligible for the updated firmware and required it but for whatever reason the Windows flash tool refused to accept the disk. In these cases you need to boot into a disk flashing environment outside of Windows to force the firmware onto the disk, the simplest way of doing this is to burn the Seagate .iso image to a cheap CD-R.

      If you wanted I’m sure you could boot to the iso image from a USB drive if you didn’t have a CD-R.

  8. Hello,
    I think there are more disks incompatibel wit a NAS than you think.
    Feb. 2010 I bought a QNAP TS210 with 2 x WD Caviar Green 1.5 TB. Disks were clicking, so I changed them for 2 x Seagate ST31500541AS. After a week the clickin’ noise started so I forced CC35 on the disks…clicking was gone and my big smile was back 🙂
    Since a week the clicks are back!!! And no CC36 or 37 on the Seagate-site. Disks are half-full now, clicking disks are not reliable so guess I bouht me a lemon.
    Maybe there is a bug in the QNAP TS210-firmware? Or maybe “broken bitje” in that TS210?
    Kind regards, Sjaak

    1. Hi Sjaak, thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear that the firmware update has not successfully cured the click. We’ve had no more issues thankfully since I flash our disks here so as you said perhaps you got the worst of a bad batch.

      It’s interesting what you say about incompatible disks and modern Linux powered NAS devices, I think you are right. I don’t have any hard evidence yet but reading around it seems that quite a few people are having problems. I’m planning a new RAID5 NAS and I’ll be looking at all the major disk manufactures to see if these new green power, smart hard disks are actually suitable for these NAS devices.


    1. Hi Steve, it took about 3-4 minutes per disk when I did all four of mine.

      Did it ever finish? I suspect even if it fails you’ll be able to try again, let us know if you got it sorted.

  9. Hi Niall,
    Thanks for the reply. I let it run for 2 hours and then I stopped it because I was using a friends PC (I couldn’t get my esata port to work on my laptop). I won’t be able to try until next week but I’ll let you know how it goes.

  10. Hi Niall,
    Even though the flash never returned to the prompt the flash to CC35 worked a treat. I didn’t think it had finished because the led on the external enclosure was flashing very quickly and you could hear the hard drive working away. Cheers!

    1. Hi Steve, Glad it all worked out and you got the drive flashed OK in the end

      Thanks for letting us know how you got on.


  11. Hello Niall,

    The 2 tb drive just bought, put into an usb box and plugged to my wd tv live. Works fine, but I read about the new firmware and I confess I was afraid of future troubles… to cut it short, I had to use the “brutal” system you described here, and it did work. Thanks!

    Massimo (Milano, ITALY)

    1. Hello Massimo,

      I’m glad the upgrade worked for you, I’m surprised disks with the CC34 firmware are still turning up in retail! Your right about the process of patching the firmware, “brutal” really is the right term for what we have to do. The WD tv live is an awesome unit isn’t it 🙂

  12. Hi Niall,

    Yep, I do confirm wd tv live(*) is really outstanding, with a great value (available for about 110/130 euro street price in Italy) . What I really needed was a COOL and HUGE and CHEAP and RELIABLE hdd for all my mkvs 720p & 1080p to be seen with my full-hd plasma screen… I confess I can’t stand fans noise, so the low temperature was a must. Well, I have to say I’m really satisfied with it: I put into an aluminum usb box (fanless!), it does its job and in 2 weeks it never got more than a little warmer. I am going to but one more soon… you know, mkvs are so huge 🙂

    (*) firmware updated some days ago, it’s better than ever…

    1. Hi Sergei, I’ve not experienced that error message before, all I can suggest is trying the procedure again and following all the steps exactly.

      Perhaps try searching on-line for the exact error message to see if somebody on a forum has solved the issue, good luck.

  13. Hey mates, i FINALLY found a sorta PERMANENT FIX for the clicking noise coming out of the seagate 2tb drives. i have RMA’d it twice and no to avail. its related to an idle thing, doesnt happen when your accessing it,. well im SURE you all didnt buy a 2tb drive just for games,im sure you download TORRENTS…so what you got to do is the follow :
    1) Download any torrent client and install it
    2) Set the SAVE path of your torrent files to the 2TB drive
    3) SILENCE! 😀
    This is because the downloads use the disk and thus it never goes idle, its only a 5900rpm and will not affect it with heat or heavy power draw.
    well the CC35 is no help here,looks like a technical manufacturing fault

    If you dont download anything, just download a very small program and let it seed, so even the upload counts as disk activity and you will have no more noise.
    [email protected]
    contact me if you need any further clarifications.

    bon chance~ !

    1. Hi Andrew,
      Its certainly a novel idea to cause constant disk activity, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

      For people out there choosing a new 2TB disk who are bothered about disk noise the best option is to get something else or invest in case soundproofing.

      Still, thanks for letting us know your own solution 🙂


  14. Hi there!

    Thank’s for your post. It helped me to upgrade FW to CC35. I had 4 drives in a ReadyNas NV+ with some clicking. All of them with CC34 version. I upgraded to CC35 by force mode (automaticly doesn’t upgrade any of them). No problem with RAID volume or data losing, everything is OK. But they still clicking, even very much often than before 🙁

    I think that maybe automatic upgrade failure isn’t really a bug. Maybe the Seatools software knows that it’s really not recommended to upgrade these drives…

    I hope this issue isn’t going to mean that drives will fail in the future.

    Greetings Niall.

    1. Hi Tofol,

      I’m glad you managed to get the firmware upgraded. I know the CC35 firmware does not fix the click issue, something many people are upset with but looking at the SMART statistics over the last four months my five disks (RAID5 running 24×7) have settled down and I expect them to last a good few years. Of course you can never expect a disk to be 100% reliable.

      If things continue in computing as they have I reckon we will see 4TB disks in 2012 and I’ll be upgrading at that point anyway, hopefully before any of mine fail

      Thanks for the comments


  15. I had 4 of these drives. Neither of them i was able to update the normal way. 3 of them i was able to update using this force method. But there’s 1 disk that just won’t do anything. It’s the right model, SN is in same range as the others. Current firmware is CC34. Yet if I enter the commands above, it immediatly goes back to the prompt screen ((Seagate boot) C:\>).

    Any other things i could try?

    1. Hi Stijn,

      I’m sorry to hear you’ve had trouble with the one disk, all I can suggest is that you give it another go, perhaps on a different machine if possible?

      I had a nervous 20 minutes when I flashed all five of my disks making sure I typed everything correctly and double checking before executing the commands.

      Good luck


  16. Ok, i’ll try on another machines. Tried and retried many times using different SATA ports on the same machine, without success. But 20 minutes? The flashing of the other ones took only a few seconds for me. And when looking with the windows tool, it correctly says CC35 now so i guess it worked. My disks were completely empty though. Might be the reason it went so fast.

    1. Hi there,

      When I flashed mine it took seconds, even with about 1TB of data on each disk as its only writing to the flash firmware of the disk.

      I know a couple of others had individual disks that took more than a couple of minutes to flash but I think everyone has made it to CC35 in the end.

      I’m glad you’ve got it to CC35 firmware now too.


  17. Hi Niall,

    I currently own 14 of the Seagate 2TB 5900 RPM drives and 24 of their 1TB 7200 RPM drives. I have struggled “a bit” with the clicking on all of my 2TB drives. The clicking appears to be caused by more than one source.

    Problem 1
    One of my computers has a pair of 2TB drives stacked on top of one other in a removable aluminum tray. The drives are mounted flat in the tray and the tray has an adjustable speed cooling fan bolted to one end. If I crank the fan speed up past about 3500 RPM *BOTH* of the drives chatter and click incessantly. I returned the original drives for replacements TWICE with no change. I flipped the drives end for end in the tray thinking there might be some sort of electrical interference with no improvement. I finally realized it was the VIBRATION from the fan being transferred through the aluminum frame (into the drive frame) causing the problem. Excessive vibration causes a “dithering effect” on the head arm. The actuator on the drive head arm assy simply can’t overcome the effects of strong vibration, which causes head alignment to be off enough to cause the drive to re-seek in an attempt to regain proper alignment.

    Problem 2:
    ALL of my 12 drives plus several others I returned for exchange (because of clicking and slow data xfer while clicking) have a hard time operating properly if they are mounted on their edge, or mounted vertically on one end. HOWEVER the moment they are laid down FLAT they settle down, become quite and xfer data at 90mb/sec or better (while clicking they often transfer data as slowly as 20mb/sec). I own an Antec Fusion Black media center case that has a spot up front for mounting two SATA drives up on edge side by side. I found that if I lay my new drives down flat and perform a full LONG format prior to mounting them up on edge they will function properly mounted up on edge for about 2 months of continuous use. Then they each (within minutes of one another) will begin to click and chatter. The clicking continues until I open the case, remove the drives, lay them flat and access each sector once while it is laying flat. They will then work quietly for another 2 months or so. Each time this has happened (3 times so far) the clicking stops IMMEDIATELY after they are laid flat.

    I finally purchased a pair of WD 2TB drives to use in my Antec case (they seem to be quite happy mounted on their edge).

    Conclusion: 😉
    These drives are squeezing 500GB of data on each 3 ½ platter surface! Most folk have no comprehension of the incredible tolerances these drives must be capable of maintaining; in spite of changing temperature, vibration, and drift due to repeated erase/write operations, etc. Fact is, these little drives are very “intelligent” with more smarts than any of the original micro computers of a couple decades ago.
    They monitor a number of factors and automatically recalibrate themselves to remain reliable over time. I suspect that “nasty Mister Gravity” (in the case of edge mounting) or “nasty Mister Momentum” (in the case of vibration) is causing 90% of these clicking problems we are seeing. Fact is these are very sensitive precision devices.

    BTW in spite of all these “anomalies” I remain an AVID Seagate fan and still continue to purchase (and plan to continue to purchase) their products (2TB drives included). These Seagate drives never fail to xfer data (when they are mounted and “treated properly”) in excess of 85mb/sec. Some even peak above 110mb/sec on the inner tracks. The fastest I have ever seen a WD drive xfer is somewhere in the 65mb/sec range. The Seagates ARE reliable over time and have a 5 year warranty to boot. Their biggest shortcoming has been in NOT educating their customer base about some of these issues. Super high density storage DOES come with a few caveats it seems…


    1. Hi Sig
      Thanks for your comments on this issue, I almost did a whole blog update on your post it was so detailed.

      I think you are spot on; these disks are precision instruments of data storage and need to be treated well to work. As you said perhaps some manufactures drives can take more abuse and still work but not at the same levels of performance.

      I’ve never really had an issue with the ‘click’ problem a lot of users report, all our disks are located in an air conditioned server room so I can’t hear them anyway.

      We use them primarily for backups and have reasonable performance from the RAID 5 array, somewhere around 120MB/s with the drives mounted in the Synology DS1010+ vertically. So far we’ve had them running 24/7 for 8 months without hiccup since the CC35 firmware patch.

      I think a lot of people who are still coming across these drives with the old CC34 firmware would do well to read your comments to get the best from these drives.


  18. I have 4 ST32000542AS 2TB seagate drives in a ReadyNAS NV+ RAID. They have been running without any problems for 4-5 months now using the CC34 firmware, but I figured I should upgrade them at some point. Finally got around to it today. No real difference so far. I didn’t notice clicking before, probably won’t notice it after.

    1. Hi bob,

      I’m happy that your not having any issues with your Seagate disks. I know I haven’t personally had any issues with the ‘click’ but its best to have the disks running on the latest firmware CC35. I’m also really impressed with the Netgear ReadyNAS devices, I picked one up recently too.

      Thanks for reporting how you’ve got on.


  19. After successfully updating 2 drives to CC35 I know have a drive with firmware CC34 that i can’t get updated.

    After following the exact procedure as described here i get the following message:

    Model ST32000542AS SN 5XW27WLH FW CC34 on Intel ICH5 Bus 0 Device 0
    Invalid data…
    Download procedure failed

    Press ‘c’ to go back to Windows/Linux OS.

    Bugger :s

    1. Hi Davide,

      A few others have commented before that one disk out of a set would refuse to patch correctly, I can imagine it’s very irritating.

      Can you try the firmware update procedure in a different PC perhaps?

      Good luck getting the last disk patched.

  20. Hi Niall

    thanks for your post. Big help!
    I have four of those 2TB drives in my Diskstation 408 running as RAID5. From beginning I had strange SMART values on all four drives. There was no problem with read/write on the raid, just those suspicious SMART values.
    Then I decided to build the RAID again from scratch and write every disk full of zeros to make it easier for the RAID software to sort out bad sectors. In the middle of doing so I found your post here and I did the firmware update first. Had to use the force method but it seem to be working properly.
    I just wonder about your RAID experience with those drives in a diskstation before I setup the raid again. Do your drives work fine in RAID5 now? No troubles or strange SMART values?
    I’m just scared a little to build the raid again and having same strange values as before again.

    Thanks again for your post and cheers

    tobi (Switzerland)

    1. Hi tobi,

      Glad I could be of help to you. Our drives are currently at 180 days uptime in the Synology DS1010+ and its been running smooth for that time, no problem with data transfer. I can’t tell how noisy the disks might be as its in a air conditioned server room but yes, some of the SMART values are unusual and very large.

      I’m pretty sure that most of the damage was done when running in RAID5 with the CC34 firmware as we had so much instability in the early days and I remember the values increasing quickly with all the testing we did with the Synology support staff to see what the trouble was.

      Either way we have a offline backup of the array but the unit has been solid for the last 180 days, lets hope I’m not tempting fate by writing this! I think I’ll do a follow up blog post on the Synology and the disks at their 1 year anniversary.

  21. I get the same error.

    Model ST3500412AS SN 6VV38XVK FW CC32 on Intel ICH7 Bus 0 Device 1
    Invalid data..1:00
    Download procedure failed

    Please press ‘c’ to go back to Windows/Linux OS.

    Is there any solution???

    1. Hi Daniel, Perhaps its motherboard related, I notice both you and Davide who commented earlier have an Intel southbridge controller for the SATA connections.

      It would be great if you could try this patch procedure on a different motherboard and see if that works, let us know if it does and good luck.


  22. I have used this procedure on three 2TB drives. All of them needed to be forced from CC34 to CC35. So far these drives are working flawlessly in a WHS. I have two more drives to flash today. Thanks so much for your tutorial, it makes this procedure effortless!

  23. I have 3 of those drives, they been dong the clicking thing once in a while. Today feb 25-2011 i flashed my 3 drives with the ‘forced” method. All worked fine. So far no issues i had these drives for over a year but regardless how they perform i have data backed up on my Hitachi 2tb drive that is just sitting unplugged with my data backed up.

    1. I’m glad to see that this information is still useful to people. Nice to see somebody with a real backup too


  24. I have Synology DS411j with 2x 2TB ST32000542AS diska CS34.. #5xxxx all. Had to Force them with command above and workd like a charm. No data loss or anything and I HOPE that the click-of-death is now gone… Thank you!!

  25. I have Synology DS411j with 2x 2TB ST32000542AS disks @CS34.. #5xxxx all. Had to Force them with command above and workd like a charm. No data loss or anything and I HOPE that the click-of-death is now gone… Thank you!!

  26. Thanks a lot Niall, your page helped me a lot to update my ST32000542AS from CC34 to CC35.

    I used the BOOT-CD-Update + FDL486A ……; it was necessary to change the BIOS from AHCI to IDE.

    I don’t understand the guys from Seagate …

    They publish a new firmware but DON’T give any information on how to install it on the harddisc. Unbelievable! They have stolen more than 2 hours of my time …

    Once again thanks to you Niall 😉

    Kind regards

    1. Glad you got your drive updated Josef.

      It astounds me too, Seagate make the disks, you think they would want to help customers with something as extreme as flashing the firmware on their hard disks!

      I’m happy I could help.


  27. Thanks Niall for this page – had been searching around for a while and it was a great feeling when I discovered what looks to be the answer to the ticking issue 🙂

    Just want to check, with 2 x 2TB drives in the ReadyNas Duo do I power down and remove both, update firmware and replace together before powering back on? Or is there a particular order that things should happen in?

    Also I assume to try updating automatically first before ‘forcing’, that’s by using the Seagate Firmware update utility?

    Apologies for the basic questions.


    1. Hi Sam,

      To update the disks in your ReadyNAS Duo I would make a full backup of your data then you can power down and do both disks at once. There is no particular order, just do whatever is easiest for you, but make sure the disks go back into the Duo in the same place or it might try and rebuild / verify the array.

      Yes you are correct, some disks will update automatically. Others despite being the correct make and model must be forced. Even though its a non destructive update please double check everything.

      If you follow the steps in the blog it shows the process if you need to force the update to any disks that require it.

      Any problems please post again so others can find the information in the future.

      Thanks, Niall


  28. Thanks Niall,
    followed the instructions above and all worked perfectly.

    Removed the hard disk from my desktop machine and plugged in each of the NAS hard disks in turn. Booted from ISO cd and although the drives didn’t update automatically, the process was simple to follow in order to force the update.

    Drives are back in the NAS, with data unaffected, and no annoying clicking noises so far.

    Thank you very much!

    1. Hi Sam, Great to know it worked for you.

      Thanks for letting people know the process is OK if you follow the steps.


  29. Hi Niall,

    Thanks for sorting this out. Backed up 8 TB of data and flashed 6 x 2TB disks to CC35 without a flaw. All data still available so no destructive impact. Had to force the update as wel as all the others.

    Rgrds, Egbert

    1. Even though the process appears non destructive its pleasing to hear you managed to back up 8TB Egbert.

      Better safe than sorry. Glad you got the update applied OK


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  31. Almost a year after your first post still helpful! Another set of ST32000542AS’s upgraded… Any room left Niall, for another thank you?

    1. Hi Steve,

      I’m just pleased I have been able to help so many people with this tricky problem.

      Thanks for posting


  32. Hello, i’ve tried to upgrade the firmware but i couldn’t i did exactly what you guys said, but it gives me an error, here is a picture.
    what can i do ?

    1.Boot from ISO CD.
    2.Read disclaimer, press ESC once read.
    3.On the option screen (where you can try an auto upgrade) press [Ctrl] + [C] to break to the command line.
    4.Press [Y] on the keyboard to confirm
    5.Type the following, then press enter:
    FDL486A -m Hepburn -f HECC352H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20

    1. Hi John

      Daniel had the same problem see here:

      He interestingly found the solution here:

      See this follow-up post by him:

      Looking at your screenshot it looks like because your drive is a slightly different variation you need a different loader file. Using the HE-CC35.txt file we can work out from your drives model number that you need to use this loader file: HECC358H.LOD

      Please double check, but I think this is the command to try

      FDL486A -m Hepburn -f HECC358H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20


  33. I just purchased 4 of these 2tb drives and it appears that they are all running CC32 – do you think there is any reason to update? I haven’t had too much time to do stress-testing yet. The server I put together is completely quiet and no clicking.

    The server doesn’t have a CD rom drive and I don’t have an external handy. Hopefully I will be able to create a bootable USB…

    Perhaps it was a problem with just the CC34 firmware.

    Anyway, thanks again for putting this tutorial together!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. Hi,
      Manufactures will always suggest that you update to the latest firmware, but I know that interfering with kit that is working well is usually a disaster!

      I’d keep an eye on the S.M.A.R.T statistics to see what the readings are and update if you see anything worrying. Personally my drives have been OK since CC35 as have a lot of others who have posted comments here.


  34. I want to verify with you that you are still running these in RAID 5 without issue, or have you changed to the desktop RAID you mentioned in your first post? I’m looking at purchasing 3 of these to run in RAID5 in an Intel NAS.


    1. Hi Nick,

      Yes I can confirm we are still running RAID 5, we did loose one disk due to failure but swapped it out, new disk in and it rebuilt the array overnight.

      Overall I’ve had much less issues and the S.M.A.R.T stats look a lot better than people who are using the WD Green 2TB disks


  35. I have Seagate Barracuda LP 2TB st32000542AS… I’ve tried to upgrade the firmware with “FDL486A -m Hepburn -f HECC352H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20”,… upgrading stopped on 0:40… now shows ST__M13FQBL, instead of ST32000542AS. Help me to fix this problem.

    1. Hi Vlada, it looks like you had the same problem as some others with the different versions of the disks.

      This file here shows the different loader commands needed for the variations of disk out there:

      From the information you posted about the st32000542AS version and the details in the HE-CC35.txt file we can work out from your drives model number that you need to use this loader file: HECC358H.LOD

      Please double check, but I think this is the command to try

      FDL486A -m Hepburn -f HECC358H.LOD -s -x -b -v -a 20


  36. Why would the disks care what RAID level you’re using? It would seem to me that Seagate is presuming someone running something like level 5 is in an environment where very high reliability is a requirement and thus recommending tougher drives. I can’t find any reason why these particular Seagate drives are a problem with level 5 in general.

    1. Hi Dan,

      While the disks themselves don’t mind what RAID configuration they run in Seagate do not recommend them for RAID environments other than basic desktop RAID levels (RAID 0 or RAID 1). Synology however DO approve the disks for use in their systems. Who is right? Its all down to cost vs risk at the end of the day.

      As you say if you are bothered and NEED near 100% uptime then go for the enterprise approved Constellation ES disks. Our ‘regular’ disks have been running fine near 24/7 ever since the firmware update but are now out of warranty as we bought OEM disks.

      The Seagate disks, in my opinion, are way more preferable than the Western Digital ‘Green’ disks due to all their know issues and workarounds with the LCC counts and head start/stop issues.

  37. Thanks so much for this post!!!!

    Fixed a 2TB ST32000542AS today after having to force it with the command in your post. Did not suffer any data loss. Without the clear instruction here I would have been at a loss.

    Will see how it goes, I do think the click is still there but way less frequent and definitely WAY quieter than before!!! It’s passing all tests in seatools ATM….

    Ive got a full backup of the drive on a new one and plenty of time left on warranty so I will be punishing this drive for a while.

    Many thanks again.

  38. Thanks for assembling this very helpful information. I’d been using a ST32000542AS with firmware CC32 in a D-Link NAS box (no RAID set). After about 6 mo I heard the dreaded clicks of death. The drive continued to operate but I replaced it with a WD just in case. I plan to update the FW to CC35 as soon as I can find a donor machine to access the SATA ports. I find it really annoying that Seagate hasn’t updated their FW upgrader to support USB-SATA enclosures. I have another Seagate 1TB that actually did go bad (lost data and failed SeaTools diag test) after less than a year. I took a chance on Seagate due to past reliability but they’ve really gone downhill the past couple years.

    1. Hi Ajmal

      I doubt very much doubt that attempting to ‘force’ the firmware upgrade onto a disk the computer cannot see in the BIOS will work.

      The ‘force’ option exists only to allow you to apply the firmware to a disk that the auto update function has failed to work with, perhaps if your disk has a serial number the auto update tool does not know about. (quite likely since its now 2 years old!)

      If you’re having trouble getting the disk to be recognised in the computers BIOS try plugging the disk in directly to the main SATA port on the motherboard, bypass any RAID or expansion controllers and check if you need to alter any jumpers on the disk if it needs to work in single disk mode.

      Good luck.


  39. I am having issues with my system and believe my ST3320820AS is the root of the problem. however Checkdisk shows all is well. Even after re-install problem still exist. what bothers me here is that I don’t see my drive listed. Does that mean that I am unable to use this option?

    1. Hi, Unfortunatly I don’t think the information here is right for your disk model number.

      If you suspect a problem with your drive I would recommend running Seagates own disk diagnostic test, Seatools, here

      The link has all the information you need to check the health of your disk.

      Now, searching online, it seems that there has not been an offical firmware update for your disk. There is information on Wikipedia about an un-official firmware for a specific issue here

      Additionally there is some older, but hopefully relavent information from a user who has the same model of disk as you and is suffering problems on the Seagate user forums.

      Good luck


  40. Hi! Your fantastic post was very helpful for me. Now i’m issue with ST2000DL003-9VT166 model. Rumors say about a firmware release CC45 but latest available on seagates web site is cc32. I’m running cc3c firmware.
    Can you provide some information if any available??
    thank you very much!

    1. Hi Loris,

      While I’m happy to help if I can I’d like to keep this specific post about the ST32000542AS CC35 firmware upgrades.

      For any other Seagate firware help my best reccomendation is their official forums.

      Saying that, it does look like ST2000DL003 disks manafactured after Feb 2011 seem to have the ‘newer’ CC45 firmware. It doesn’t look like the CC45 firmware is available. (It might never be if Seagate don’t think its a necessary upgrade, it may be there is a technical modification in the newer disks which required a change in the firmware and hence the new revision code)

      While it is a good idea to run the latest firmware, if your disk is working OK its up to you. If yo want it looks like there is a Windows based firmware update tool for your disk here

      Sorry I can’t be of more help, I don’t own any of these disks.


  41. Niall!

    Thanks SO much for taking the time to share and manage your process. It clearly works where Drive Detect and even the bootable iso sometimes cannot clearly see through a particular chipset. Seagate support has been good to me over the last 20 years with SCSI and SAS, but not so much on SATA or IDE. That makes info like yours here golden. Searching Seagate still points to CC35 as ‘the’ update, but newer posts on their forums have st32000542as drives with CC95 firmware with similar issues to CC34. Curious and troubling.


    1. Thank you for your kind words gerry, I’m still quite surprised that this post has been so helpful for people and continues to help people but I’m glad to have helped.

      It is a worrying trend with Seagate and details around firmware for disks, thankfully the ST32000542AS disks in our Synology are still going strong after nearly 2 years of 24/7 running.


  42. Just wanted to pass you a massive thank-you. Could not get this firmware to update on my 5XW starting model and was tearing my hair out, suffering random freezes that’d I’d finally figured out was related to the ticking noise from this hard drive. Force update, and its all good.

    Seagate can take a leap off a bridge, 2 years later and they never released a revised firmware that included all serial numbers?

  43. Three and a half years(!) after the date of initial posting of this article, I -too- have followed your advice and flashed my two ST32000542AS , saving myself the grief of trying to figure out something -usually- simple that Seagate has -alas- chosen to make a pain in the …you know where! Thank you, you are succinct and to the point. I had failed using the .exe and rebooting method so then I tried the .iso version but -again- failed with the ridiculous explanation that “the hard drive’s model is a match but the f/w is not compatible”. WTF? I mean who ever project-managed this CC35 upgrade at Seagate must be very st*pid. At least they did think to include the -f switch (yeah they got that right!) so we could force-flash our HDs from the command line. Again, thumbs down to Seagate for screwing this up and a gigantic THANK YOU to you Niall, you are indeed the Best!

  44. Want a good laugh? Just got a Seagate “Certified Repair” for a warranty replacement and it came with the old CC34 firmware and according to the firmware update webpage no updated firmware is available.

    1. Oh dear, that’s pretty bad.

      Thankfully only one of mine has failed and I replaced with a Western Digital Red rather than warranty replacement.


  45. Steve H,

    Same thing happened to me, I returned a failed ST32000542AS with firmware CC95 back in December 2013, I received a ST32000542AS (serial 5XW…) with CC34 as “certified repaired” replacement from Seagate. I did NOT force upgrade the firmware, and guess what, just 2 months later, the drive is failing. So I did an advance replacement with Seagate, they sent me yet another CC34 “certified repaired” (serial 5XW…). But this time, I will force the upgrade for sure and cross my fingers that it will not die in 2 months.

    1. That is terrible that Seagate are still not sending out drives with the latest firmware. As you found CC35 is essential for the drives life expectancy.
      I guess Seagate are hoping that over time the warranty returns will just drop off .

  46. Couple years I use ST32000542AS with CC34 firmware version, sometimes heard scary HDD heads sound. But yesterday that sound appears too frequent (about every 20 minutes). I move all data to other HDD, and start firmware upgrade. Burn BarracudaLP-ALL-CC35.iso to CD, boot from it with ST32000542AS connected only, and got “the hard drive’s model is a match but the f/w is not compatible” message. Well than, I use forced method, press enter after the magic string, watch firmware upgrade process, and power down the machine when command line appers again. However when I turn on this machine, BIOS was unable to found my ST32000542AS. Slight HDD vibration tells me that it’s definitely power on and spinning, but that’s all it can do. Finaly I assume that my ST32000542AS is dead now, although all my firmware upgrade steps looks correct.
    Seems to be those “who ever project-managed this CC35 upgrade at Seagate” must be not so st*pid. People, please don’t do this force firmware upgrade if you have not strong reason for it. I saved my precious data but lost my 2TB HDD. It still a little sad.

  47. @niall! Just wanted to thank you, your writeup worked a treat. I first tried the runnable .exe posted on seagates support page but to no avail. So I ended up here which enabled me to update a ST32000542AS with CC34 to CC35 via your link to the bootable iso image. The automatic option didnt do it but your ‘forced update’ procedure did. I really cant thank you enough – you saved me hours of mocking about. The updated drive will now live (happily i assume) in a synology DS213j .
    I also would like to add that, to my surprise, i did Not lose data or partitions after the firmware update (all NTFS). Thanks mate, I owe you a beer.

    1. Hey Stian, I’m really pleased to hear that things worked out for you in the end and that my post was helpful.

      4 of the 5 disks I upgraded to CC35 via the method described are still running (in a Synology DS1010+!) many years later and are still OK.

      Thanks for your comment, beer greatly appreciated 🙂

  48. Hello Niall,

    Stumbled across this by accident, just looking for your opinion if possible. I have one of these drives contained inside an external caddy case and used to backup a good chunk of data about one month ago. I went to recheck it last week and the drive wouldn’t show up. I get a clicking noise when its turned on, then stops after about 10 seconds. It hasn’t been dropped or anything. Seems odd that its no longer visible or available at all even if I use any drive utilities I can’t find any trace of it. Do you think this could be connected to the firmware upgrade?

    Any advice is much appreciated.


    1. Hey Bullvine

      It doesn’t sound good by your explanation. If you haven’t updated the firmware yet and the drive is compatible I would plug it directly into a PC and run the update as described.

      If you haven’t applied the updated firmware then the drive could be dead, they are quite old disks now and without the firmware update they do tend to burn themselves out over time.

      Good luck getting it sorted, if you are using it the disk to store backups you might have better peace of mind purchasing a new disk to use, just to be sure, its your backups after all!


  49. Thanks for the advice, I tried the Firmware with not luck, I will try a few other options, best regards,

  50. Over the last month I have repeatedly experienced one of my Thecus raid boxes (4200ECO – 4 drives – 3 drives are ST32000542AS with CC34) report I/O error on a couple of the hard drives, one several times while the other only once – so far. I’ve had the drive with repeated errors out of the box and run tests on it – all of which came out negative… no problem found. In the last few days the box didn’t want to do anything with that drive at all…. just I/O error all the time.
    Then I stumbled across this site – one principle I stick to is that if I have a problem then others will most likely have had similar problems.
    I have just performed the forced firmware upgrade on one similar spare drive I had around and then on the troublesome drive from the box. After reinserting that drive in the box it was immediately recognized and the system is now rebuilding the raid. Once that has finished I’m gonna give the two remaining CC34 drives the same cure and hope it will give me some peace of mind.. :o))))

    Thank you very much for the solution…


  51. I am having the clicking on my 1.5 tb hard drive ST31500541AS and want to update the firmware. The warning says that you should not do this on RAID systems. I am not sure where to check if I am running RAID or ATA. Is this shown in BIOS?

  52. I have 16 of these drives in a server (well 12 of them now) as 4 of them have failed over the last 7 years that this server has been running. I guess I just need to keep phasing these out as they age because from the looks of it I am lucky that they have lasted this long.

    I noticed that you have an oil platform on your sites banner. I used to work offshore on those as a production operator in the gulf of mexico.. really caught my eye.

    1. That is good going! I’m trying to replace the last two here but questions over the Seagate Ironwolf and the shortage of Western Digital Red Pro disks isn’t making it easy.

      That platform is actually in the Mediterranean Sea, I’m thinking I should update it with some more recent travels.

  53. Thanks Niall for your help, after many year of trial I could finally install my 2TB seagate inside my desktop after it’s external enclosure failed and the manipulated firmware made impossible for my motherboard and my system to fully see my disk, after this firmware upgrade it’s working as it should.

  54. Hey Niall, Thanks for posting years ago!

    I got 4 of those Seagate ST32000542S preparing to work in a Synology DS412+ (because I don’t have money to buy new disks now).
    Had trouble with them in 2010 when used in a DS409+ (keep losing a raid 5 configuration) seems they al Run the CC34 Firmware, is it still smart to update the firmware to those drives before putting them in the synology? (there not really used)
    , what is the CC35 Firmware improving on the disks?

    I also discover synology had working on this “APM fix” issue.

    Hope you can help me out on this!

    1. Hi Delano

      It is always good practice to update to the latest firmware for a device.
      Personally if I was moving to a new NAS enclosure I would probably update to CC35 firmware as part of the move and rebuild a new array.

      CC35 offers improvement against the “click of death” behaviour that affected these disks in a NAS environment.


  55. Hi Niall.
    Thanks for your blog posting on this firmware update issue.
    I have a D-Link DNS 343 NAS with four of the Seagate 2TB ST32000542AS hard drives that have CC34 firmware.
    There had been a persistent problem that developed after a few years of service, with one of the drives failing to be detected in the NAS. I tried erasing the defective drive using the DOS fdisk in an old computer and then re-formatted it in the NAS, but the problem persisted. The drive would work normally in a computer but would fail to be detected after several reboots in the NAS.
    I fixed the problem by replacing the defective drive with another and left the other three in the NAS since they were functioning normally, but with noticeable clicking during service. These drives have been working without any problems for years.
    Recently I searched for similar problems with this drive and came across your blog posting. Following your procedure, I re-flashed the drive that was not detected in the NAS, from firmware CC34 to CC35, successfully.
    I’m happy to report that this has remedied the problem of the drive not being detected. I intend to re-flash the other three drives to firmware CC35. Thanks again for your very informative blog posting and comments by others.
    Regards Anthony.

  56. Hello Niall

    Thank you for you post about the force firmware update on the Seagate ST3200.

    I was creating a Unraid server using old parts and checking the health of these parts (No one want to put 2Tb of data in a server just to find out that this drive was dying) and the unraid kept nagging me to update the firmware.

    The first problem that I ran into was how to even boot the firmware update tool… The only desktop that I had was the server running unraid, The tool does not recognize the disk drive under a USB dock, Seagate does not offer a comprehensive way to update older drives under linux and it does not offer the LOD file to download (or even tell what is the LOD file to use it, if you have the means to extract from the ISO – IMA)

    And then there it has the optical drive / Optical media… in 2020 who even has a optical drive? and one that you can boot into FreeDOS… And RUFUS and Etcher didn’t recognize the ISO as a bootable ISO, so it didn’t worked either.

    I ended using RUFUS to create a FreeDOS bootable disk without any ISO, then copied all the contents of the ISO (and the contents of the IMA too, but I don’t think that it was necessary) to the pendrive, overwrited the and booted from this pendrive. It recognized the pendrive, the disk but the update failed (it said that the firmware wasn’t compatible). rebooted and made the forced update and it worked all right.

    Did a full disk read test on the Unraid and a SMART full test and it seem to be working 100%, didn’t lose any data and didn’t move anything that would impact the parity of the array.

    Thank you very much. Your post from 2010 kept helping people even in 2020.

    1. Thanks for letting me know that this helped, all these years later!

      I’m pleased to hear that some of these disks are still running and providing use to people

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