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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.

Seagate Appoints Gary Gentry to Lead Solid State Drive Business

Seagate Technology plc (NASDAQ: STX) today announced that Gary Gentry has rejoined Seagate to lead its solid state drive (SSD) business as senior vice president, SSD. Mr. Gentry will have responsibility for driving Seagate leadership in the SSD space, with time-to-market, competitive product offerings. He will be located in Longmont, Colorado and will report directly to Rocky Pimentel, chief sales and marketing officer.

Mr. Gentry has over 25 years of experience in the storage industry, including most recently as the general manager of the Enterprise SSD Division of Micron Corporation. Prior to rejoining Seagate, he held leadership positions focusing on solid-state technologies at Spansion Corporation and Storage Genetics. He also served as chief marketing officer for Maxtor, and provided strategic consulting to Hitachi Global Storage Systems. While at Seagate he held various management positions including vice president, strategic marketing and planning.

Seagate Offers Firmware Fix for All Problematic Barracuda 7200.11 Hard Drives

Seagate has issued an official statement today, acknowledging all recent problems with some Barracuda 7200.11 drives. Based on the information posted in the company's forums here, select Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 1TB 3.5-inch hard drives made in Thailand, suffer from a firmware issue that bricks the HDDs after a short period of time. After three to five months of normal operation these defective hard drives will suddenly lock-up as a protective measure and prevent the system from recognizing the drive from then onwards. In most cases the information won't be lost, but the drive will be completely useless, changing the drive's electronics won't help much either. This problem occurs not only to the 1TB Barracuda models, but to Seagate 1.5TB, 640GB, 500GB, 320GB and 160GB Barracuda 7200.11 drives, along with some Maxtor and ES.2 models. That's pretty disturbing, but now Seagate will provide its customers with an updated firmware if their drive is problematic.

Seagate Lowers Warranty Period from 5 to 3 Years on Some Desktop Hard Drives

Seagate, the biggest hard drive manufacturer, has announced today that effective January 3, 2009, the company will be making some important changes to its limited warranty terms for selected drives. The warranty period for consumer electronics (Seagate Barracuda 7200 included), notebook (Momentus 7200 and Momentus 5400 included) and personal storage bare drives sold to Seagate Authorized Distributors will be changed from 5 years to 3 years. Seagate believes that the new warranty period and terms better reflect current industry standards. Seagate enterprise class drives and Seagate and Maxtor external retail products that have 5-year warranty periods will not be affected by this change. Please take a look at the Seagate Warranty Matrix for more information.

Seagate Uncovers the New Central Axis Business Edition Network Storage Server

Seagate, the world leader in storage solutions, today introduced the Maxtor Central Axis Business Edition dual-drive network storage server, a storage solution designed to satisfy the long-term business continuity needs and growing storage requirements of small businesses. The Central Axis Business Edition network storage server takes the guesswork out of network storage management by providing simple, automatic backup with solid data protection and secure remote access to business critical information from any web browser. Available in early November, this small-business network storage solution will help companies keep their competitive edge by delivering access to, and protection for their business critical information while in the office or on the road.

Seagate's New Central Axis Makes Back Up and Access to Files Easier Than Ever

In an effort to make data accessible anywhere in our home Seagate today presented Maxtor Central Axis, a network storage drive that can be used by the whole family. The hard drive inside Maxtor Central Axis is a 7200 rpm model with 32MB cache and has 1TB of storage that every computer in the home can back up to or stream at any time. Users connect to the drive via a single gigabit ethernet port, but there are also two USB ports for adding extra peripherals that can be shared across the network along with the NAS storage device. Also because the Central Axis drive is connected to a router and not formatted for an individual computer, files can be accessed and stored from both Mac OS X and Windows operated PCs. Besides that, you can easily log into a remote access service from an Internet browser and securely access or share the files you have stored on the device. There are no applications to download or plug-ins required. Central Axis establishes a secure connection to the service without the need to disable firewalls. All that is needed to access the drive from any Web browser is a username and password. The Maxtor Central Axis 1TB capacity drive is expected to be available in the US in July from major retailers, distributors and online stores, as well as at Maxstore, for a suggested retail price of $329.99. Availability in Europe and Asia will come later this year.

Sentry Group Partners With Maxtor on FIRE-SAFE Waterproof HDDs

Sentry Group, leader in residential and small office security-storage containers, has partnered with Maxtor Storage Solutions to develop what is the first hard drive in the world that keeps your data protected from fire and water disasters at an affordable price. The FIRE-SAFE/Waterproof Hard Drives feature the Maxtor OneTouch 4 Mini hard drive inside a Sentry Safe enclosure that protects data from fire and water. It is ETL verified for fire protection for 30 minutes up to 1550 degrees F and ETL verified waterproof - meaning it is fully submersible for up to 24 hours. The FIRE-SAFE/Waterproof Hard Drives also contain a full suite of software protection tools, including data encryption and Maxtor's SafetyDrill software, a new bare metal system restore feature. These new hard drives will come in 80GB and 160GB solutions, retailing for $259.99 and $319.99 respectively.

Some Maxtor Personal Storage 3200s Shipped With Virus

Seagate is advising those who have purchased a Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 hard drive since August 2007 to check them, if they haven't already, for viruses. Some 3200 drives may have came preloaded with a Virus.Win32.AutoRun.ah virus right out of the box. The malicious code is searching for passwords to online games (World of Warcraft included) and sends them back to a server located in China. It can also disable virus detection software. In order to determine whether your drive is preloaded with this virus, feel free to phone Seagate with the serial number in hand, or update your anti-virus software with the latest definitions.
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