LImits to data recovery service
Sent to me:-
You reported on the 18th that Seagate was offering free data recovery services for their dead drives. Apparently that's no longer the case. When they issued that firmware update that bricked all their 500GB 7200.11 drives (apparently they don't believe in testing) they also amended their firmware update page: http://seagate.custkb.com/seagate/crm/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=207951.
"As Seagate does not warrant the data on your drive, In addition to regular back-ups, if possible, your data should be backed up before upgrading the drive firmware."
This is echoed in this forum post: http://forums.seagate.com/stx/board/message?board.id=ata_drives&thread.id=4457.
"This is a good place to reiterate part of Seagate's warranty policy: -- What Does Our Warranty Not Cover? Our warranties do not cover any problem that is caused by (a) commercial use; accident; abuse; neglect; shock; electrostatic discharge; heat or humidity beyond product specifications; improper installation; operation; maintenance or modification; or (b) any misuse contrary to the instructions in the user manual; or (c) loss passwords; or (d) malfunctions caused by other equipment. Our limited warranties are void if a product is returned with removed, damaged or tampered labels or any alterations (including removal of any component or external cover). Our warranties do not cover data loss – back up the contents of your drive to a separate storage medium on a regular basis. Also, consequential damages; incidental damages; and costs related to data recovery, removal and installation are not recoverable under our warranties. -- This is not unique to Seagate. We know of no storage company that includes data recovery as part of their product warranty.
Again, please make sure that you always have a backup of all important data. A backup is defined as a copy of data in a second, separate storage media of whatever kind. More information on backups found here.
Feel free to discuss do-it-yourself fixes. Please be aware that some, many, or all may void the drive's warranty, so if you have any questions about the method you see here, your best bet is to contact Customer Service directly whether by phone, email, or chat."
Looks like they're not offering it after all. Which I suppose is logical from a business standpoint. Providing data recovery for all those bricked drives wouldn't be cheap.