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Seagate Technology has notified its partners that following reduction of hard disk drives warranties by Western Digital, it would also reduce periods of certain warranties considerably. The company decided to slash hard drive warranties nearly across all product lines, including mission critical and consumer families.

"Effective December 31, 2011, Seagate will be changing its warranty policy from a 5 year to a 3 year warranty period for Nearline drives, 5 years to 1 year for certain Desktop and Notebook Bare Drives, 5 years to 3 years on Barracuda XT and Momentus XT, and from as much as 5 years to 2 years on Consumer Electronics," a notification by Seagate to partners published by The Register web-site reads.

Exact warranty periods will be as follows:

  • Constellation 2 and ES.2 drives: 3 years
  • Barracuda and Barracuda Green 3.5-inch drives: 1 year
  • Barracuda XT: 3 years
  • Momentus 2.5-inch (5400 and 7200rpm): 1 year
  • Momentus XT: 3 years
  • SV35 Series - Video Surveillance: 2 years
  • Pipeline HD Mini, Pipeline HD: 2 years

Seagate did not explain exact reasons for reducing warranty periods onto its hard disk drives. However, the firm implied that it wanted to streamline product development and reduce long-term reserves for warranty returns. Given that production volumes of HDDs are constrained currently due to flooding in Thailand, it is not surprising that the company is not interested in keeping hard drives in stock and is more inclined to sell them.

"To be more consistent with those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries. By aligning to current industry standards Seagate can continue to focus its investments on technology innovation and unique product features that drive value for our customers rather than holding long-term reserves for warranty returns," the statement by the storage giant reads.

Tags: Seagate, HDD, barracuda, Momentus, constellation

Discussion

Comments currently: 9
Discussion started: 12/20/11 05:15:33 AM
Latest comment: 12/21/11 12:06:49 AM
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1. 
I think we are starting to see the results from the HDD market duopoly...
2 0 [Posted by: kokara4a  | Date: 12/20/11 05:15:33 AM]
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2. 
If a company cuts the warranty on its mainstream consumer parts from 5 years to just 1 year, it rather suggests that they have no confidence in the reliability of the device.

As I find hard drive failures and data loss rather tedious, warranty period is a key factor when buying a new drive.
2 0 [Posted by: qd50  | Date: 12/20/11 05:16:19 AM]
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Warranty for hard drives is not a key factor when I buy hard drives. The brand that I favor more is. If any electronics can get past a month and then a year, it will last a long time.

I have an automatic soap dispenser and it is lasting longer than its warranty which was two years. Also I had a CRT monitor that lasted a lot longer than its warranty. The warranty of the CRT was 4 years, but it lasted about 9 years when used about +16 hours a day.

Going through any RMA service is too much troublesome. Also RMA for hard drives that gets sent directly to the manufacture does not do any data recovery and if the period of the warranty is longer than the life of the series, the manufacture will try to find a similar model that may not be equal. For hard drives, if they go dead, I will just buy a new hard drive because it is simpler and usually better. However, if any product that I got from a store has been damaged or the quality of workmanship is not to the brand's standards, I would get an RMA from the store, but it is rare for me to go through an RMA service.

Reducing warranty of product like hard drives does not mean brands do not have any confidence in their products. It just mean what the article means, brands does not have enough to keep a surplus for RMA service and supply the demand. At this time hard drive manufactures are shorthand in supply. Look at this way, if a company does not have any confidence in its own products, why in the hell are they still in business.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 12/20/11 04:50:02 PM]
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I have a 14-year old 4GB Seagate SCSI drive that is still operational. And frankly, apart from the hard disk of my first Xbox, I've never had a hard disk failure (over 10 disks purchased separately or as a part of some device).

However, every once in while a failure is bound to happen. And the trouble with hard disks is that they store your data. It's not a soap dispenser that you can simply replace with a new one. You loose your data - the very purpose for which you bought the disk. Of course, you can argue that data should be backed up. But how do you back a 2TB disk? On another disk.

The warranty period at least roughly reflects the confidence the manufacturer has in the drive. Supposedly, drives with longer warranty are held to higher standards WRT design and manufacturing. That is not necessarily true. But I think my next drive will be Caviar Black. I usually buy WD anyhow.
1 0 [Posted by: kokara4a  | Date: 12/21/11 12:06:48 AM]
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3. 
show the post
0 3 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 12/20/11 10:43:05 AM]
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They are overly exaggerated, trust me. Had Seagate, WDD, Samsung and Hitachi drives for more than 10 years now - ALL work with no problems. Even an old 60GB one...
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 12/20/11 02:47:31 PM]
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Wow are you obvious to hardware. HDD are very reliable. I have hard drives (plural or two or more) that is lasting more than 10 years. That is reliable if you want a realistic definition of reliability.

A change in warranty to 1 year for hard drives is not bad. It is has been done before and that time was during when hard drive manufactures had a surplus of hard drives in stock.

My preference for hard drive manufactures are Western Digital and IBM/Hitachi. Since Hitachi got bought by Western Digital, it is only Western Digital. Western Digital reliability has been consistent over 20 years, so your statement is not true. If your statement was only for Seagate, then yes. Seagate's reliability varies and their drives reliability gets worst with a bad power supply.
0 0 [Posted by: tecknurd  | Date: 12/20/11 03:51:59 PM]
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4. 
"However, the firm implied that it wanted to streamline product development and reduce long-term reserves for warranty returns. Given that production volumes of HDDs are constrained currently due to flooding in Thailand, it is not surprising that the company is not interested in keeping hard drives in stock and is more inclined to sell them."

uhm last time I checked most warrenty replacement drives are refurbs, unless I am missing something. so they would not be keeping any in stock for warrenty purposes anyway..and most people don't buy a refurb'd hard drive on purpose.
0 0 [Posted by: carigis  | Date: 12/20/11 04:26:44 PM]
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5. 
It turns out that Seagate and perhaps WD actually stockpile a certain quantity of HDs for warranty purposes even after a HD model is discontinued. It may not be worth the cost to refurbish a HD when they cost so little to produce these days.
0 2 [Posted by: beenthere  | Date: 12/20/11 10:34:10 PM]
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