The Seagate Barracuda 11 family had a known firmware issue that caused some drives to “lose” data. While Seagate said data was never lost, it was merely not accessible and that once the firmware’s were upgraded the data was intact. It’s worth noting that Seagate also worked with customers to allow for data recovery in the event that data was lost.
I think it was all overblown, personally. I don’t have any Seagate drives, but it has nothing to do with reliability. I think my WD drives perform better.
Generally speaking all drives, regardless of the manufacturer, are reliable. Sure, there are occasional bad batches or design flaws, but those get weeded out quickly, especially in this day with competition being as fierce as it is. Any one person’s experience is statistically irrelevant, mine included.
Handled properly, your Seagate drive isn’t any more likely to fail then my WD drive. I still have a 6 year old 250GB Maxtor drive in service and they had a reputation for being the most unreliable manufacturer when they were acquired by Seagate.
Whenever I acquire a new drive, I always run Smart diagnostic tests using the utility provided by the manufacturer. If it passes those tests, I then zero fill the drive. At that point, I’m comfortable with writing data to the drive.
I would say if it passes that above test, the drive should be fine. Handled properly, there isn’t any reason it shouldn’t be.