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

#51
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
It always amuses me when people nit pick companies on one or two bad hard drives. WD and Seagate set the industry standard for all tech companies for RMA percent to revenue. Both carry a 1.38-1.42% rate to revenue. I'm sorry you didn't have a backup of your platter drive, but that is honestly poor planning on your part. Running a no backup system is probably the dumbest thing you can do with any critical data on it. Drives are cheap, buy two, run raid1 and move on. Drive fails chuck it and toss another in then rebuild the array. No down time, no lost data.

From a technicians perspective all drives fail. I run recoveries on more greens/blue 3.5" WD's than anything else, then WD 2.5" drives (most of those are ship out for a clean room) and that followed by the seagate 500GB slim 2.5" drives.
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#52
Ubersonic
cdawall, post: 3587457, member: 28601"
I'm sorry you didn't have a backup of your platter drive, but that is honestly poor planning on your part.
Slightly OT but IMO SSD's aren't exactly more reliable than HDDs, in the last decade I have had 1 HDD failure and 3 SSD failures.

And I was actually able to recover the data off that drive by banging it during power cycle to free the jammed mechanicals, can't do that with a bricked SSD.
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#53
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
Ubersonic, post: 3587463, member: 153458"
Slightly OT but IMO SSD's aren't exactly more reliable than HDDs, in the last decade I have had 1 HDD failure and 3 SSD failures.

And I was actually able to recover the data off that drive by banging it during power cycle to free the jammed mechanicals, can't do that with a bricked SSD.
Never said SSD's were more reliable. I said and you quoted

cdawall, post: 3587457, member: 28601"
I'm sorry you didn't have a backup of your platter drive, but that is honestly poor planning on your part.
I stand by that statement, but I guess I should add BACKUP ALL YOUR SHIT.
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#54
ShurikN
Ubersonic, post: 3587463, member: 153458"
Slightly OT but IMO SSD's aren't exactly more reliable than HDDs, in the last decade I have had 1 HDD failure and 3 SSD failures.
You have to take into account that flash SSDs are maybe 20 years old, with mainstream SSDs only being 10 years old.
HDDs are around 50-60y old. They've had more than enough time to perfect the technology and manufacturing process.
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#55
newtekie1
Semi-Retired Folder
cdawall, post: 3587464, member: 28601"
I stand by that statement, but I guess I should add BACKUP ALL YOUR SHIT.
This. Nothing important should be in one location.

ShurikN, post: 3587472, member: 140585"
You have to take into account that flash SSDs are maybe 20 years old, with mainstream SSDs only being 10 years old.
HDDs are around 50-60y old. They've had more than enough time to perfect the technology and manufacturing process.
The technology isn't exactly unchanged over the past 50-60 years. There have been advances in the HDD technology.
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#56
Kenneth Waycaster
Ubersonic, post: 3587325, member: 153458"
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 >.>
It's a ruse to keep prices high, it will become a supply versus demand issue. SSD's are becoming cheap while rotational drives are expensive and this will increase the price. Corporations, Data Centers and most everybody still needs regular drives for mass storage.
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#57
cornemuse
I've had hdd's die on me, but, mostly after 8-10-+ years. Just had a toshiba 30g ide drive from my old A-16 laptop die on me, was 16+ yrs old. A few hitachi's died on me, Mostly I get WD's, some of these have died in 5-6 yrs, but on computers that get/got a lot of use.

Just bought 2 WD 3½" blue 500's & 2 blue 1 T's for $38 & $44 (each) respectively. (<-from Frys promo codes) Screw the price hikes!!
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#58
RejZoR
cdawall, post: 3587457, member: 28601"
It always amuses me when people nit pick companies on one or two bad hard drives. WD and Seagate set the industry standard for all tech companies for RMA percent to revenue. Both carry a 1.38-1.42% rate to revenue. I'm sorry you didn't have a backup of your platter drive, but that is honestly poor planning on your part. Running a no backup system is probably the dumbest thing you can do with any critical data on it. Drives are cheap, buy two, run raid1 and move on. Drive fails chuck it and toss another in then rebuild the array. No down time, no lost data.

From a technicians perspective all drives fail. I run recoveries on more greens/blue 3.5" WD's than anything else, then WD 2.5" drives (most of those are ship out for a clean room) and that followed by the seagate 500GB slim 2.5" drives.
Believe whatever you want, but for HDD's, I swear by WD drives. I literally never had one fail on me. Did see plenty of misbehaving Seagates, Samsungs and Toshiba/Hitachi. Seagate and Samsung also died on me.
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#59
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
RejZoR, post: 3587487, member: 1515"
Believe whatever you want, but for HDD's, I swear by WD drives. I literally never had one fail on me. Did see plenty of misbehaving Seagates, Samsungs and Toshiba/Hitachi. Seagate and Samsung also died on me.
In a one month span I see 100-150 bad hard drives.
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#60
RejZoR
Enterprise use or end users? Also, I've seen how casuals treat HDD's in PC's and laptops. They throw them around during operation like freaking oranges.
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#61
geon2k2
Dj-ElectriC, post: 3587165, member: 87186"
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
That's sort of capitalism. Its a race to the lowest price and highest profit.
I guess to get rock solid reliability drives will have to cost at least twice as much, and by this I mean actually adding real technology to the drives.

However nowadays manufacturers just create the sensation of premium with high warranty at double the price but in fact from that extra price they just cover the higher RMA rates due to extended warranty, and deliver mostly the same shitty drives.

It could also be that we as humans don't control yet the technology so well ... and everything we do has a high rate of failure to begin with, but that is a story for another day.
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#62
Naito
Treat HDDs as consumables. They aren't going to last forever. HDD companies will want to keep you buying. Nothing is built to last these days as there is no money in it otherwise.
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#63
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
RejZoR, post: 3587539, member: 1515"
Enterprise use or end users? Also, I've seen how casuals treat HDD's in PC's and laptops. They throw them around during operation like freaking oranges.
End users/small businesses mostly. Hence why I mentioned green and blues. They are crap.
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#64
TheMailMan78
Big Member
newtekie1, post: 3587473, member: 20670"
This. Nothing important should be in one location.
Except your nuts. They should always be in one location.
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#65
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
TheMailMan78, post: 3587975, member: 39776"
Except your nuts. They should always be in one location.
Even those are stored in raid 1...
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