Monday, January 16th 2017

Seagate is Shutting Down One of Its Largest HDD Assembly Plants

The woes for the trusty old HDD continue, as Seagate, one of the world's biggest players on the HDD manufacturing field, has confirmed they are closing up one of their largest plants. The factory, located in Suzhou, China, is one of the company's largest HDD production epicenters, and its closure will significantly reduce the company's HDD output - a step in the company's purported "optimizations" towards reducing their HDD production capabilities from 55-60 million HDDs per quarter to around 35-40 million. Production and demand's age-old feud are once again taking their toll, as demand for spindle-drive technology subsides on the wake of SSDs increased performance and consecutive price declines, with most laptops now shipping with either SSD-based storage or cheaper, yet less power-hungry, eMMC solutions.

As a result, Seagate intends to lay off ~2200 employees, which go on to join the ~8,000 employees already laid-off in 2016 from different locations. It is still unclear what the company intends to do with the facility, which it obtained as part of Maxtor's assets, when it acquired the company in 2006, though a full-scale conversion to SSD manufacturing is unlikely any time soon, considering the amount of machinery that would have to be replaced on such a large factory.
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65 Comments on Seagate is Shutting Down One of Its Largest HDD Assembly Plants

#26
natr0n
This is good news. They have zero quality control,yet boast about being a top manufacturer.
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#27
thesmokingman
R-T-B said:
They are really just the successors to the HGST Deskstar line, which they aquired.
Oh, remember the deathstars when they were with IBM?
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#28
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
remixedcat said:
Didn't Seagate start making SSDs yet?
They've been making enterprise SSDs for a while. They ventured into the consumer SSD market for a while, but then stopped. I'd guess they will start back up again in the near future just like WD has.

Dj-ElectriC said:
There's a good reason Seagate owns LSI, time to put it to use already
It would seem they are putting that LSI IP to use finally. They are supposedly working on a controller that can access a lot more NAND chips than current controllers and working on a large capacity SSD that will be in the 3.5" form factor.
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#29
R-T-B
thesmokingman said:
Oh, remember the deathstars when they were with IBM?
Yep. They've come a long way since then though lol.

When HGST owned them, they were effectively Ultrastar drives that failed the enterprise tests in some way. I have no idea what Toshiba is doing though.
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#30
djisas
Bansaku said:
Ya know, in my 35 years of using computers I have never had a hard disk drive fail on me, EVER! From SCSI to IDE, Seagate nor WD. I have HDs that are older than most of you here in this thread that are still 100% functional to this day. Then again, who wants a 2MB HD?! :rockout:

***knocks on wood***

:toast:
How many plates that HDD?
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#31
Hood
Dj-ElectriC said:
Is this gonna be WD vs Seagate type of thread?
Because screw em, screw em both. Both have horrible RMA rates, both are equally unreliable for home use (not server use), both a slow and horrible for a modern day use in 2017, or 2016, or 2015... or 2014.

Thank goodness for the reduction in HDD production
Yes, hard drives in their current form have been commercially available since 1956 - you'd think after 60 years, someone would figure out how to make them cheap and reliable, not just cheap! I'd say that 30 years ago, they were more reliable (but expensive), and all the "advancements" since then were ways to decrease manufacturing costs. Similar to the history of SSDs - they're now much cheaper, but less reliable (SLC's a thing of the past, MLC is headed that way, now it's mostly TLC with low endurance).
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#32
TheOne
Lost faith in Seagate when I bought an ST3000, which I just found out had a class action filed against it last year, about 6 months after I got it I saw a FW update with no description, asked tech support what the update was for, they had no idea, and if I remember correctly they told me to just ignore it if I wasn't having problems. A year and a half later I bought Skyrim and was playing through it my first time and all of a sudden I hear a strange beeping noise and the game froze, used task manager to close the game and that was it, drive never worked again.

Of course I've had issues with WD too, a while back bought a WD Green drive back when they came with 5 year warranties, within the first year started having issues, did a disk repair seemed to fix it, eventually I did have to RMA, got a refurbished drive which worked fine, of course after the first drive started failing I discovered that the drives apparently had an issue with head parking.

Long story short HDD don't last anywhere near as long as they use to, and HDD prices may go up because of this.

R-T-B said:
They are really just the successors to the HGST Deskstar line, which they aquired.
WD?
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#33
R-T-B
TheOne said:

WD?
No, Toshiba. Initially WD did aquire HGST wholly, but regulators forced them to allow Toshiba to aquire the Deskstar line of 3.5" drives.

WD kept the server Ultrastar 3.5" line, and the Travelstar 2.5" line.
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#35
xorbe
Bansaku said:
Ya know, in my 35 years of using computers I have never had a hard disk drive fail on me, EVER! From SCSI to IDE, Seagate nor WD. I have HDs that are older than most of you here in this thread that are still 100% functional to this day. Then again, who wants a 2MB HD?! :rockout:

***knocks on wood***

:toast:
You are lucky! I've lost so many hdds to bad sectors, and then there is the mountain of laptops and PCs that my friends and family have brought for hdd replacements. It's staggering imo how many failed hdds have passed through my hands. Knock on wood, no ssd failures yet ...
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#36
Prima.Vera
The WORST are the portable USB drives, which are failing like flies. No bad nobody mentioned that. And tbh, this is a common issues with almost ALL manufacturers. I have a small Samsung USB 2.0 drive which still goes strong though...
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#37
Ubersonic
DAMNNIT.

HDD Prices STILL haven't returned to normal after the 2011 floods and now this is only going to drive them higher, I'm almost tempted to think they are doing this deliberately to drive up prices >.>
Posted on Reply
#38
R-T-B
Ubersonic said:
DAMNNIT.

HDD Prices STILL haven't returned to normal after the 2011 floods and now this is only going to drive them higher, I'm almost tempted to think they are doing this deliberately to drive up prices >.>
They didn't return to normal? They were pretty much at an all time low per GB.
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#39
Ubersonic
R-T-B said:
They didn't return to normal?
The price per GB today is roughly the same as it was in 2011, but the thing is it is not normal for prices per GB to be the same as they were 6 years ago, they should be lower. Hence prices still being high due to the 2011 floods.
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#40
CounterZeus
So regular HDD prices up, SSD prices up..
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#41
Shengli
I had a western digital purple arrive with 60% bad sectors. After I scanned the id/sn and verified that it was genuine. Which wd's website tolde it was I rma'ed it. Waiting weeks for a reply. They told me to send it in for a check which I had to pay for. And after around 1 1/2 months of several failed attempt of contact they finally replied and told me they never got the drive. Even though postal service assured me they did since they had a signature from wd. When I told we the story they suddenly found the drive and told me it was fake and closed the case.
They refused to do anything more. Which is why I never buy wd products anymore.
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#42
Readlight
I still use 10 years old wd drive, for now i store gameson it, but now it has i thing bad bearings and mybe some head problems and i always unplug power when i dont use it and it dos not like temperetures close to 0 and one newer one segate from notebook it has some noise when head moves,
i use it for instaling games.
And i loking for replacement 2tb drive there is cheaper Toshiba and then the new ones Segate Barracuda
Posted on Reply
#43
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Bansaku said:
Ya know, in my 35 years of using computers I have never had a hard disk drive fail on me, EVER!
Count yourself lucky then. It's probably the one part in a PC that has the least longevity. I start making funeral arrangements as soon as I buy an HDD, so don't understand this hate for one company or another.

Luckily, most of mine keep on truckin long after SMART says they shouldn't.
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#44
Melvis
No good for all the workers there, but yes there drives are terrible and I just dont see anyone buying or using them around here anymore. Id even buy a WD Blue over a seagate drive. Yes I have a few old Segate drives still working but no where near as many WD drives still working. Heck even my mate that HATED WD and only bought Seagates now buys WD drives lol, proof is in the pudding.
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#45
ShurikN
Had a lot of different drives over the years, and the ones to die the most on me are WD drives. On two of them, electronics died rather than the platters itself. On the other hand, one of the oldest drives I have is a first gen Raptor 36GB, funny enough that one is still going strong. Noisy as hell, but without a single issue, dad is using it in his pc at this very moment as main boot. Had a couple of Maxtors, one died (first gen SATA drive, enormous amount of bad sectors after 1 year), and a couple of low capacity Seagates (160-320GB) which still live in dad's pc or were alive while I had them.
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#46
Ubersonic
Aside from specific models of drives with specific firmware, I don't think there is really any reliability difference between major manufacturers. I have had loads of drives over the years from Maxtor, WD, Seagate, Toshiba, IVM, Quantum, Connor, Fujitsu, Hitachi, etc and never seen any brand to be more/less reliable than others.
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#47
Dbiggs9
I had 4 seagate 320GB HDD's in raid, One caught on fire. Sent in for RMA. Had a second one also burn up in the same spot as #1 killing my 775 680 board. never used a seagate again after that.
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#48
xaira
this is a good move on seagates part, the industry is moving toward a place where consumers wont be buying hdd, but rather only business and enterprise for server use, any hard drive under 2tb right now might as well be an ssd. concentrate resources on higher capacity drives for data center use.
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#49
yogurt_21
newtekie1 said:
Oh hell no it didn't work. The cover was contacting the platters...

WD sends used drives for RMA replacements just like Seagate.
just like everyone. If you have a refurb sitting on the shelf are you going to pass it up and send the new? For what purpose are you refurbing then?
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#50
SaltyFish
natr0n said:
This is good news. They have zero quality control,yet boast about being a top manufacturer.
High barrier to entry + Market convergence = Oligopoly

Like CPU and GPU manufacturers, there are very few HDD manufacturers nowadays. As long as you can have what appears to be a decent market share (at least 25-30%), you can claim to be amongst the top... even if there are only two other competitors and they both have more market share than you. It's like the spin doctors are trying to make people think it's still 1990 when everyone and their mothers were still making x86 CPUs.

Although in Seagate's case, it helps that Western Digital's reputation isn't that far off among some and that Toshiba barely exists as a third choice. Ah, the joys of oligopoly....
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