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Report: Seagate Cutting Warranty Lifespan to Cut Costs

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August 5, 2011 1:14:05 AM

Guess who will buy Western Digital instead of Seagate.
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August 5, 2011 1:14:39 AM

Ohhhhh... SSD cutting into the competition a little. Excellent.
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August 5, 2011 1:17:10 AM

Stopped buying Seagate drives long... time ago, after they cut the warranty to 3 years.
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August 5, 2011 1:19:57 AM

Why not make it 3 months (90 days)or even 30 days like my monitor?
I might never use that 5-year warranty, but it's a nice safety blanket
to have if it ever fails or my next hard drive purchase from the same company like Western Digital. With this, you'll just alienate a lot of consumers and push them over to WD or Intel.
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August 5, 2011 1:23:52 AM

Buy an Intel drive if reliability is a factor for you. They last a very long time.
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August 5, 2011 1:24:49 AM

Folks this is a "trial balloon". They probably planted this story around the web to see if they could get away with it.
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August 5, 2011 1:28:08 AM

je je anyways all of my hard drives are Western Digital since always !! XD, I don't trust Seagate that simple O wait ! my laptop's hard drive is a seagate momentus xt dam! I Fail !
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August 5, 2011 1:33:00 AM

This just in from the WD offices:

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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 1:41:53 AM

Who cares! Their warranty policy and HDD sucks any way. Paid them for an advance replacement of a few months old defective drive, received a refurbished one instead that also develops the same problem. Called their tech support and was told that nothing wrong with their HDD stuttering and that it was normal!
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August 5, 2011 1:49:59 AM

Why don't they just cut wages for the lowest paid workers? I mean seriously, tax those filthy, poor rats.


TAX CUTS FOR DA RICH - CAN I GET AN AMEN?!!
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August 5, 2011 1:52:30 AM

Western Digital user, had a bad experience with Seagate.
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August 5, 2011 2:12:44 AM

Other than OEM systems, I can't think of anyone in their right mind would use a Seagate.
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August 5, 2011 2:16:37 AM

legacy7955Folks this is a "trial balloon". They probably planted this story around the web to see if they could get away with it.


Well, no they can't. I have a Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 and I am disappoint T.T
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August 5, 2011 2:22:39 AM

brickmanOther than OEM systems, I can't think of anyone in their right mind would use a Seagate.

People who download child porn will MOST definitely want to go the Seagate route - that way, they can count on the drive breaking, destroying the evidence, and ultimately freeing them from any prison time.
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August 5, 2011 2:25:23 AM

After years of problems with off-brands like Maxtor (bought by Seagate), Western Digital, and Quantum, I only have bought Seagates for the last 10 years, and have never had a failure. Before that, I had way too many.

It's anecdotal, but I've had good success with them, and wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Western Digital, Samsung, Hitachi or any other knock-off would have to come up with a pretty interesting product to make me try them.
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August 5, 2011 2:36:52 AM

TA152H Western Digital, Samsung, Hitachi or any other knock-off would have to come up with a pretty interesting product to make me try them.



Would you give them a try if the hard-drive agreed to sleep with you?
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August 5, 2011 3:14:35 AM

They probably cant afford warranties because of the sucky reliability of the drives.
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August 5, 2011 3:17:55 AM

TA152HAfter years of problems with off-brands like Maxtor (bought by Seagate), Western Digital, and Quantum, I only have bought Seagates for the last 10 years, and have never had a failure. Before that, I had way too many. It's anecdotal, but I've had good success with them, and wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Western Digital, Samsung, Hitachi or any other knock-off would have to come up with a pretty interesting product to make me try them.


That simply means you don't know "$hit"

I had access to over couple THOUSAND hdds and Seagate is like the worst of the worst.

So I mean really, this news will never hurt me one bit.
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August 5, 2011 3:20:24 AM

I'm a happy Western Digital customer for about 20 years now.

I have had some Maxtor drives too but mostly WD, in all this years I only remember using the warranty twice everything else outlive their warranty period.

So ... if having a 5 year warranty on a product that rarely ever fails, then how is 2 years going to be of ANY "expense" to them if they don't have to fix/replace nothing anyway. (most of the time)

Unless of course this would lead to inferior manufacturing in the near future.
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August 5, 2011 4:06:52 AM

whysobluepandabearPeople who download child porn will MOST definitely want to go the Seagate route - that way, they can count on the drive breaking, destroying the evidence, and ultimately freeing them from any prison time.
Any drive manufacturer can have a bad batch of drives. Regardless, most drive failures don't eliminate the data, only the ability to access it. Data recovery companies can recover most of it, and some even if overwritten. If you want permanent erasure you need to use thermite.
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August 5, 2011 4:12:54 AM

I have 3 7200.10 drives, none have failed on me. I have 2 dead AAKS drives at home. Drives die, even from the companies you guys swear by.
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August 5, 2011 4:29:41 AM

jhansonxiAny drive manufacturer can have a bad batch of drives. Regardless, most drive failures don't eliminate the data, only the ability to access it. Data recovery companies can recover most of it, and some even if overwritten. If you want permanent erasure you need to use thermite.


Seriously? Was my joke not obvious enough?


I know everything you said, and more. It was meant to be a "Haha, Seagate sucks - but while we're at it, let's make a funny joke out of it".
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August 5, 2011 4:32:49 AM

I have swapped to Samsungs in the past three years due to price and performance. Before that I have had good reliability with Seagate drives all lasting well beyond their warranty, while at the same time having WD drives start failing within the third year when they only offered 2 year warranties and a number of them failing within a year with a bunch of Dells. I guess I stopped using Seagate at a good time with all the complaints about them.
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August 5, 2011 5:28:08 AM

You can bet your butt that if Seagate is offering a two year warranty and Western Digital or Samsung is still offering a three warranty my shop will stop selling Seagate drives, at least the models with only two year warranties. Hitachi drives are just as good as Seagate drive but only ship with a one year warranty. That is why their drives are typically so much cheaper. Still our shop NEVER sells Hitachi nor do I purchase Hitachi for myself b/c I'd much rather not be caught out without a warranty three years down the road.
I doubt Seagate will do this, they'd lose too much business.
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August 5, 2011 5:51:02 AM

The warranty on the drive itself is quite worthless as long as it does not include recovery of the data, which is the most "expensive" thing about the drive when it fails.
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 5:51:38 AM

I've also used Seagates (predominantly) in the last 10 years. I still have about a dozen of them: ranging from a 7200.7 drive to a bunch 7200.10 drives. The oldest is currently 8 (!) years old and about a year ago it had over 6 years uptime. None of the drives ever had any issues. The only problem I ever had was with the drives produced from late 2008 on. Namely a few USB external drives (7200.11 and .12s). Those drives were plagued by a firmware problems I remember (and one of the drives was not working out of the box). In the same time a few 3.5 inch SATA drives I bought for my HTPC are working OK with about 1.5 years uptime now. To me it's since the .11 series that their mechanical reliability started to suck hard. I am not a fanboy but the fact is all my other drives (a few samsungs, a WD and Quantums) failed in the course of the years, while the only Seagate, besides the abovementioned, ever to fail was a 10GB drive bought back in 1999. It lasted about 2 years and was replaced under warranty.

Honestly, if they remove the 5 year warranty period I will surely switch to WDs. I already have a WD external drive + all my 3 laptops are with WDs and I am completely satisfied
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August 5, 2011 6:04:14 AM

I didn't need any more reasons to avoid Seagate, but it's nice to know they're trying harder to make me steer away.
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August 5, 2011 6:06:24 AM

The headline is another faulty one here at the site, Seagate haven't cut any warranty and might never do it. The headline still reads "Report: Seagate Cutting Warranty Lifespan to Cut Costs." like its a done deal. Maby its time the companies starts to sue the smudging the poor journalism creates for their brands.

It should have be something like:
Rumors: Seagate May Cut Warranty Lifespan to save Costs.

What have happened to the Toms Hardware's so called journalism? Seriously!

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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 6:13:39 AM

In Canada, a 500gb hard drive bought almost 5 years ago covered under warranty would cost about $20 to mail back for warranty replacement, only to get a refurbished replacement 3 weeks to a month later with a few months left of warranty. A new 500gb hard drive can be bought off the shelf for $50.
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August 5, 2011 7:23:55 AM

If they are prepared to lower the warranties, they should be prepared to lower their prices as well! I would not mind spending half the price and getting a lower warranty hard drive for every day use. That means if it broke down, I would spend a small amount of money to buy a brand new one after the 2 years. Otherwise I would stick with another manufacturer (and thank God there are plenty!)
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August 5, 2011 7:44:20 AM

Perhaps they are cutting the warranties because they can't actually MAKE a drive that lasts five years any more...
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 9:25:16 AM

I buy the western digital raptor drives because the warranty is second to none, its the same with apple products even though i dont particularly like apple

Pay for a premium product and get a premium service :) 
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August 5, 2011 11:49:21 AM

Back when ALL drives had 1~2 year warranties, Seagate was first to pump up back to 5 years...

Warranties for a lot of tech is getting shorter. Remember when only the cheap monitors had the 1 year or 90 day warranties? Now, even Samsung monitors are 1 year. Luckily for us, many LCD monitors (not TVs) seem to last a good 5 years anyways. I have HDs that still work after 10 years (not constant use).

Logitech keyboards, even the $100 ones have a 1 year warranty. And I ask everyone to look at their keyboards, notice the letters and the outline? yep, they are using decals (stickers) for letters now. In the OLD days, they used 2 pieces of plastic or paint.

My keyboard was made in 1997, and I recently killed it with milk... after all these years. I look at computer stores and Newegg for a worthwhile replacement. Everywhere, people are reporting DOA, dying after 3~18 months. I see layouts I don't want... and black KEYS are very hard to see in the dark. People are now used to replacing keyboards every year now, they are only $6~25. My 1997 keyboard costs me $25. Best thing I found in box was a 1990 PS/2 class keyboard - loud mechanical. Luckily, I found a backup keyboard :) 

Theres a lot of stuff out there that seems to be designed to fail, even thou our tech is so advanced. Data on our drives is the most important thing... so plan on spending about $70 for a 2TB as a backup... it'll be worth it.
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August 5, 2011 12:50:38 PM

I'm pretty sure everyone I know stopped buying Maxtor when they dropped their warranty to 1 year while other brands still had 3 and 5 years. They should keep a 3 year warranty to be competitive, otherwise, bye bye Seagate.
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August 5, 2011 12:59:06 PM

I ran a datacenter for over 4 years. I had every brand of drive. They all failed on me. Seagate was in the middle for failure rate. Maxtor (sold during this period) was at the top. At the time WD had a firmware SNAFU on RE2 drives. A little later Seagate had their firmware SNAFU.

Shortening the consumer warranty sends all the wrong signals and lowers my desire to buy on the consumer side. On the Enterprise side, I count on drives dying, so I only look for the 5 year warranty for replacement disks and rely on NetBackup for my data assurance.
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August 5, 2011 1:19:38 PM

chick0nThat simply means you don't know "$hit"I had access to over couple THOUSAND hdds and Seagate is like the worst of the worst. So I mean really, this news will never hurt me one bit.


I had access to millions and millions, and Seagates are the best. It's so easy to say stuff like that, but the reality is you probably live in a basement, and get hand me downs from people because you can't afford to buy your own.

A lot of companies use Seagate, and they wouldn't if they were so bad. Stop being a blow hard and overstating your importance.
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August 5, 2011 1:33:48 PM

Is this retail they're talking about or OEM?
Western Digital offers 1 year on retail hard drives and upgrades for additional 1-2 years when you pay extra "upgrade" from their website.
Their OEM drives are 3 years for WD Green and WD Blue. WD Black, Raptors, and
Enterprise drives gets 5 years.
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August 5, 2011 1:34:44 PM

Anyone here old enough to remember the 'Conner Curse' (Conner Peripherals merged with Seagate in the 90's)?

If you opened you computer and found a Conner HDD, you were pretty much guaranteed to have configuration problems and data corruption... When they merged, Seagate got worse... Didn't get back on track until the mid-2000's. I seem to have heard that Seagate had another lull in quality the last couple years...
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August 5, 2011 1:46:44 PM

jacobdrjAnyone here old enough to remember the 'Conner Curse' (Conner Peripherals merged with Seagate in the 90's)?If you opened you computer and found a Conner HDD, you were pretty much guaranteed to have configuration problems and data corruption...


Ever tried one of the Conner's chinoch tech drives.. (2 independant servo possitioned r/w heads with messed up firmware). Now that was a thrilldrive, one week corrupted data, the next a dead drive!
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August 5, 2011 2:12:47 PM

well since hitachi hdd acquired by wd , and samsung hdd acquired by seagate , and toshiba did not produce the 3.5" drive , i hv no choice to pick seagate drive from wd & seagate , because ...... wd sux ......
if seagate cut the warranty and drop the quality as sux as wd then i might just get a toshiba drive for the desktop build and wait until the ssd cut the price to today hdd level .
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August 5, 2011 2:21:02 PM

I, personally, would rather them cut warranties, in lieu of jobs. If a hard drive last 2 years and fails, there is a good chance there will be an extremely cost effective upgrade available (if your 4 year old 350GB dies, most people are just gonna grab a 60 dollar terabyte). Unless it dies within 6 months, I'm not going through the warranty hassle.
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August 5, 2011 2:54:28 PM

New Seagate lifetime Warranty, We will cover the drive until it breaks, then it's lifetime is over.
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August 5, 2011 3:15:09 PM

Seagate sucks.
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 3:15:42 PM

A couple of years ago, Seagate cut all warranties on its external consumer products from 5 years down to 3. The reason? To save money, and because people didn't care - because the drive was sold on price and price alone. It's unfortunate that the hard drive manufacturers have done this to themselves - by selling on price. How many times have there been price wars in this industry? Every price war knocks profit out of the equation. And profits are what is needed to continue to re-invest in research and product development. There is always the belief that the lost profits will be made up for by higher margins. Don't think that's ever truthfully happened.
To remedy this situation, consumers must demand better quality. And in the eyes of the HDD companies, that comes in the form of paying higher prices for higher quality. No one seems willing to do that, with the exception of the OEMs and Enterprise Storage companies.
Consumers are cheap - they will buy the least expensive product on the market. So Seagate, WD and others have no choice but to keep cutting costs so that they can satisfy the demands of the consumer marketplace.
As an aside - you can find just as many people who hate WD because of lousy product liability as you can find people who hate Seagate for that. Drives fail. They are very high technology products that still have moving parts inside them. Fast spinning disks... low flying heads... It all makes for a recipe for disaster. What this really means is that you should always have at least two copies of all your most important data/files.
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 3:39:25 PM

They're not testing the waters. I'm a buyer for our company and my distributors already sent me new part numbers for the 500GB 7200.12 2yr warranty versions once the 3yr model runs out of stock.
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August 5, 2011 4:13:19 PM

TA152HAfter years of problems with off-brands like Maxtor (bought by Seagate), Western Digital, and Quantum, I only have bought Seagates for the last 10 years, and have never had a failure. Before that, I had way too many. It's anecdotal, but I've had good success with them, and wouldn't hesitate to buy them again. Western Digital, Samsung, Hitachi or any other knock-off would have to come up with a pretty interesting product to make me try them.


Wow, that's funny dude, off-brand? knock-off? Check the dictionary next time you post something with hyphenated words. I've RMA'd many dozens of Seagates, very few WD, only a couple Hitachi or Samsung. And I've sold LOTS more of the last three. Seagate has the highest return/failure rate by a LARGE margin in my experience. Samsung and Hitachi never die. WD is pretty good, avoid the Greens though. Black or Raptors.
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 4:13:46 PM

Seems like the better approach would be to make the drives more robust so they wouldn't every break and need a warranty replacement. Drives that never failed would get you more sales and more profit!
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August 5, 2011 5:39:05 PM

rantocThe headline is another faulty one here at the site, Seagate haven't cut any warranty and might never do it. The headline still reads "Report: Seagate Cutting Warranty Lifespan to Cut Costs." like its a done deal. Maby its time the companies starts to sue the smudging the poor journalism creates for their brands.It should have be something like:Rumors: Seagate May Cut Warranty Lifespan to save Costs.What have happened to the Toms Hardware's so called journalism? Seriously!

ya we have all noticed it. it's just the one communist loving iCrapplefanboi trying to get himself sued by corporations and patent owners like the one that's suing spotfy and his copy & pasted article on that earlier this week that is seriously lacking the full research needed on the patent itself and just assuming whole worlds of defamation suits he based on the description of the patent itself.
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Anonymous
August 5, 2011 7:19:24 PM

Seagate drives are garbage, this just further reinforces it. They can't afford to maintain coverage, because the number of failures is so extreme. It has the dual effect of making it look like they don't believe or have faith in their own product. Cheap? Yes. But I don't think Seagates are worth it at any price.
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