Seagate is to provide a free firmware upgrade for customers whose 1TB Barracuda drives have failed.

The storage company said it has isolated a "potential firmware issue" that is believed to be responsible for a high rate of drive failure globally.

A free data recover serviceis also to be offered to those affected.

Seagate said in a statement that the firmware problem affects "some" Barracuda 7200.11 hard drives and "related drive families based on this product platform".

It notes that "in some circumstances, the data on the hard drives may become inaccessible to the user when the host system is powered on".

Consumers are being advised to contact Seagate’s support site, its call center or to send an email.

While the company insists the firmware problem should not cause data loss it is offering to help in the event that it has been.

"There is no data loss associated with this issue, and the data still resides on the drive," said the statement.

"But if you are unable to access your data due to this issue, Seagate will provide free data recovery services."

Last week Seagate announced that it was laying off 10 per cent of its worldwide staff and that long-serving chief executive, Bill Watkins, had resigned.

Company chairman, Stephen Luczo, is to replace Watkins as CEO.

Seagate is to report its results on 21 January.

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