Saturday, December 17th 2011

Seagate Take A Leaf Out Of WD's Book, Offer Crummy ONE YEAR Warranties On Some HDD's

Two days ago, we reported on Western Digital's unwelcome warranty cuts. In that article, we said: "It would be surprising if Seagate didn't follow WD's lead on warranties." Well, as sure as water flows downhill and not up, Seagate has now followed suit – and then some. They will now offer miserly one year warranties on most Barracuda and Momentus hard disk drives. Seagate wrote the following letter on 6th December to its authorised distributors explaining this:
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.
So that's just a fifth of the time on some drives – a shockingly massive drop! Doesn't sound like a company that cares about its customers much then, does it? The new warranty periods will apply from shipments dated 31st December and the details of the new warranty periods are 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
Well, at least mission-critical and retail products are not affected by this change. Yet. Seagate also said that it's standardizing warranties
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.
Now isn't that reassuring? Translated, it appears to say that they want to save their pennies to spend more on research and development of shiny new products, rather than actually support their customers, who keep them in business in the first place. It seems likely that the missing time can be purchased as a "warranty upgrade", much like WD have done. We will update you as details come in.

One does wonder though, if this negative trend is also a sign that mechanical hard disk drives are slowly becoming obsolete and that their overall reliability is dropping? Currently, they only seem to have a few advantages over Flash-based SSD's, such as capacity, low cost and long term reliability as Flash has a finite lifetime of write cycles. These plus points are very significant, but as they are eroded, there will be less and less reason to buy mechanical hard disk drives, so it seems plausible that the two main storage companies would want to reduce warranties and risk a backlash.

Now, we just have to see what Hitachi will do, given that they are still very much in the game and have recently released 4 TB HDD's, ahead of the other two bigger players. What are the odds on them not reducing their warranties?Source: The Register
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70 Comments on Seagate Take A Leaf Out Of WD's Book, Offer Crummy ONE YEAR Warranties On Some HDD's

#1
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
Thanks to Static~Charge for the new tip. :toast:
Posted on Reply
#3
RejZoR
So, they have nearly zero trust in their products. Instead of increasing the warranty, they are decreasing it. Heh...
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#4
bulldozer
well with seagate now following WD with this news instead of thinking they are treating customers badly you have to wonder if the real motivation is because of the flooding in Thailand. They might be thinking that they aren't going to have the resources for a lot of replacement drives being sent out. i guess we will find out once the shortage is over. if not maybe it is time to start buying ssd's and screwing the hdd companies over for not having good business practices.
Posted on Reply
#5
HossHuge
by: RejZoR
So, they have nearly zero trust in their products. Instead of increasing the warranty, they are decreasing it. Heh...
I don't think that's it. They are just trying to save money.
Posted on Reply
#6
radrok
by: bulldozer
if not maybe it is time to start buying ssd's and screwing the hdd companies over for not having good business practices.
I agree, but to an extent. You can't use SSD as a storage device because having 2TB SSD would cost you as much as two extreme edition Intel CPUs.

Following the article: not that I'd ever think to purchase a single Seagate product, sorry but I've always had bad experiences.
I'll stick with WD RE4, even if they cost more :)
Posted on Reply
#7
wiak
well, atleast we in norway get 2 years, as its mandatory after internet shopping law for everything electronics
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#8
radrok
by: wiak
well, atleast we in norway get 2 years, as its mandatory after internet shopping law for everything electronics
It's like this in the majority of the European Union ;)
Posted on Reply
#9
djisas
No surprise here, after having to replace 2 drives of mine in the 11th generation...
Long warranties = expense
Posted on Reply
#10
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: radrok
I'll stick with WD RE4, even if they cost more :)
I think these are enterprise quality drives giving better reliability aren't they? A good choice if you can afford it.
Posted on Reply
#11
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
So nothing is really changing, because they've never offered 5 year warranties on most of the drives, they have been 3 year warranties for quite a while now...
Posted on Reply
#12
djisas
The solution here is to buy hdd in pair, to always have a backup and replace drives before warranty expires selling the old ones...
Posted on Reply
#13
radrok
by: qubit
I think these are enterprise quality drives giving better reliability aren't they? A good choice if you can afford it.
Yes, they are tested to run 24/7 and specifically aimed at vigilance/recording tasks, renowned for the write and head endurance (and price), I have a several years old RE2 1TB 7200 RPM that has been through a lot of cycles and still goes through max write and read speed.
They are also deadly silent (bear in mind my system is noisy) and bring the same warranty as Velociraptors (5 years I think).
It's needless to say that if you use them in home environment they'll last even more, if luck permits :)
Posted on Reply
#14
TheGuruStud
Seagates don't last more than a year anyway. They've been betting on people not returning them and having short memory spans lol
Posted on Reply
#15
v12dock
I don't trust Seagate's anyways
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#16
Drone
Seagate and WD are both getting less and less reliable. They both play on quantity not quality which is really disappointing. Once ultrabooks arrive (most likely with Intel SSD) S and WD would get really pissed.
Posted on Reply
#17
radrok
by: Drone
Seagate and WD are both getting less and less reliable. They both play on quantity not quality which is really disappointing. Once ultrabooks arrive (most likely with Intel SSD) S and WD would get really pissed.
My fear is that they will shrink the NAND lithography even more to cut costs and that means much less write endurance, look at what happened from 34 to 25 nm
Posted on Reply
#18
Drone
by: radrok
My fear is that they will shrink the NAND lithography even more to cut costs and that means much less write endurance, look at what happened from 34 to 25 nm
It won't surprise me. "Shrink" will reduce overall power usage so they could brag about long battery life and so on. I said it before they should play on quality.
Posted on Reply
#19
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: radrok
My fear is that they will shrink the NAND lithography even more to cut costs and that means much less write endurance, look at what happened from 34 to 25 nm
We need an altogether different and much better technology to replace flash. Did you know that it's been around since the 80's? Yeah, it's that old! It's had all the same problems since then. Besides the limited write life on flash, writing to it is a pain the ass and so slooow. This is because while sectors can be read singly, to write one you can only do so by erasing a block of sectors first. So that's a double whammy: the erase cycle and the multiblocks. Hard discs? You just write over the sector you want. One pass and the damned thing doesn't wear out.

Perhaps IBM's Racetrack tech that we reported on a while back will be the solution?
Posted on Reply
#20
FordGT90Concept
"I go fast!1!11!1!"
ES drives aren't 5 year anymore? Seagate just lost my business.
Posted on Reply
#21
radrok
by: Drone
It won't surprise me. "Shrink" will reduce overall power usage so they could brag about long battery life and so on. I said it before they should play on quality.
I didn't mean to shade your post, was just thinking along with it, sorry if it seemed so ;)

by: qubit
We need an altogether different and much better technology to replace flash. Did you know that it's been around since the 80's? Yeah, it's that old! It's had all the same problems since then. Besides the limited write life on flash, writing to it is a pain the ass and so slooow. This is because while sectors can be read singly, to write one you can only do so by erasing a block of sectors first. So that's a double whammy: the erase cycle and the multiblocks. Hard discs? You just write over the sector you want. One pass and the damned thing doesn't wear out.

Perhaps IBM's Racetrack tech that we reported on a while back will be the solution?
I'd love to see something done with memristors
Posted on Reply
#22
KieranD
This is shite because they bought out Samsung's hard drive division.
Posted on Reply
#23
qubit
Overclocked quantum bit
by: KieranD
This is shite because they bought out Samsung's hard drive division.
Dude, I just love your McDonald's Christmas tree chips. Damned awesome. :rockout:
Posted on Reply
#24
OneCool
WD and Seagate are covering there ass as the big PC makers need stock.So we the consumer get F*&%#$ in the ass. Total bullshit

Can I have Maxter back please :rolleyes:
Posted on Reply
#25
Lazzer408
by: RejZoR
So, they have nearly zero trust in their products. Instead of increasing the warranty, they are decreasing it. Heh...
by: HossHuge
I don't think that's it. They are just trying to save money.
That's like a contradiction in itself.

Of course that's why they would reduce the warranty. Why else? To many of their products fail shortly after 1yr and they know it. It's costing them a mint. Now they can keep building the same garbage and not be accountable for it. Money in hand. A large company knows EXACTLY what's going on. They have statistical data pouring in and know to the penny what it's costing them.

Maybe they wan't to start selling water damaged drives. :twitch:
Posted on Reply
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