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Seagate Technology, the world’s largest maker of hard disk drives (HDDs), on Tuesday extended warranty on retail hard disk drives sold under Maxtor brand-name to three years from one. According to Seagate, this should emphasize the company’s commitment to the retail market and also showcase the company’s confidence in its products.

While nearly all hard disk drives by Seagate Technology have featured five-years limited warranty for over two years now, some of Maxtor’s products still featured only one-year warranty, which may lower the competitive advantages of Maxtor-branded products compared to other manufacturers.

The new three-year limited warranty applies retroactively to all Maxtor branded Internal Hard Drive Kits in retail channel inventory, or purchased by consumers on or after October 1, 2006.

Virtually all makers of hard disk drives shrank the warranty on HDDs intended for personal computers from three years to one back in 2002 – 2003. Manufacturers of storage devices cited the absence of necessity for three year warranties back in 2002 and 2003, claiming that potentially faulty hard disk drives would become malfunction throughout the first year of use. At the same time they said that shortened warranties are likely to reduce the support cost, which may have an effect on HDD pricing. Nevertheless, starting from 2004 the makers of HDDs started to extend their warranties to three or even five years. Still, some products retained “minimal” one-year warranty.

“Our Maxtor branded retail kits include an industry leading drive manufactured by Seagate, giving consumers the quality assurance and reliability the industry has come to expect from Seagate. The positive response we have received from our retail partners is a testament to their confidence in our ability to deliver products that blend value, innovative storage technology and reliability,” said Jim Druckrey, senior vice president and general manager for Seagate Branded Solutions.

Maxtor internal hard drive retail kits come in capacities up to 500GB and include components users need to install the new hard drive – mounting screws, a Parallel ATA or Serial ATA cable and step-by-step instructions, making it easy to upgrade their PC or Mac. Maxtor hard drive retail kits are available at retailers worldwide. Suggested retail price ranges from $79.95 for 80GB to $239.95 for 500GB.

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