Coincidentally, this morning was Swapfest, a flea market for electronics and hardware. Since this is the last swapfest in 2010, I woke up at 0800 to beat the line. I got there at 0830 after making a stop at BofA to withdraw money. When buyers were allowed to enter at 0900, I made a trip around all the stands to sett what people had. There was EVERYTHING: from circular saws to i7s to oscilloscopes. I picked up a 400GB SATA disk for $30. It's not such a great deal (there was a 2TB disk for $120, but I only had $60 and didn't need such a huge disk), but it's on par with what I can get at Newegg. Plus, I could take it home in 15 minutes and use it!
So I take the drive home, plug it into my webserver, and format it. I was pretty spooked the first time when I saw that fdisk listed the drive as a 320GB unit. I looked at the drive again and the label on it was rather intact like the drive label on any (properly-marked) drive. There were no scuffs or hints that the drive had been re-labeled or whatnot. After installing ArchLinux, I plugged my old disk into the computer and went into the BIOS to change boot settings. I was horrified to see that the drive had a different model number (and of course a different capacity) than what was written on the label.
The next day, I wrote the following message and submitted it to Seagate's support site.
The drive that I bought yesterday at the MIT Swapfest was clearly labeled as a ST3400832AS, a 400GB unit. Upon close inspection, the sticker appears to be genuine; there is no evidence of it being placed sloppily. However, when I plugged it into my computer, the BIOS showed it as a ST3320620AS, a 320GB unit. Doing fdisk -l in Linux also says that the drive is a 320GB unit. I have included two images in the attached zip file: one is the original image my my digital camera and the other is an annotated version of the image showing the BIOS readout and disk drive sticker discrepancy. This is purely unacceptable and abysmal quality control on Seagate's part and I kindly ask for the drive to be replaced with the properly-marked (or better) unit. Thank you and have a nice day.
Because Seagate isn't Apple, I don't really expect them to respond with anything I want (never mind a better drive). The most I expect is a curt message along the lines of ``Life sucks, have a nice day!'' In any case, stay tuned!