Seagate to cut bare drive warranties to three years

Well, that was good while it lasted. After four and a half years of offering five-year warranties as standard for its "bare" consumer hard drives, Seagate has backpedaled and decided to cut coverage back to three years.

According to the company’s new product warranty matrix, the change will take place on January 3, 2009, and it will affect Barracuda 7200 desktop drives and Momentus mobile drives. Barracuda and Momentus drives sold in boxed retail kits will continue to have five-year coverage, although those packages typically cost more than bare, so-called "OEM" drives.

Naturally, the change won’t impact Seagate’s enterprise drives, which will also continue to carry five-year warranties. Seagate says it’s making these modifications so its warranty terms are "in line with industry standard warranty offerings" and better aligned to "the requirements of . . . partners and customers." The company stresses that it still wants to offer "the most reliable storage solutions available anywhere," but it claims 95% of returns take place within the first three years after a drive purchase, anyway. (Thanks to TechPowerUp! for the tip.)

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    • Ashbringer
    • 11 years ago

    r[

    • henfactor
    • 11 years ago

    100 😉

    • tesla120
    • 11 years ago

    here is the brake down of what drives will have what warranty… not too much is going to keep the 5 year….

    §[< http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/warranty_&_returns_assistance/product_warranty_matrix/<]§

    • Convert
    • 11 years ago

    Seagate has been going down the tubes for a while now and has given me plenty of time to start the transition to WD.

    I haven’t had any reliability issues from either camp (within reason) but seagate has been falling behind in pretty much all categories. The only thing they seem to keep on top of is capacities, though I hear the 1.5TB wasn’t kind to early adopters.

    • adisor19
    • 11 years ago

    This is a sad SAD day. At this point, F***K Seagate !

    After the 1.5TB fiasco, and now this sad news, Seagate is no longer special. In fact, they pretty much lost the only thing they still had going for them.

    I will still hunt for 5 year warranties and so far it looks like WD black line is what fits my needs.

    Adi

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      You seem to get really emotionally invested in large, impersonal corporations.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        The kid’s got an artist’s temperament. Perhaps someday he’ll make some art to go along with it.

      • green
      • 11 years ago

      wth?… the last time i remember seagates drives being ‘special’ was back during the ‘cuda iv’s
      and this was due to them being deadly silent. legendary drives that series.
      since the iv’s though it’s been going slowly downhill in all aspects

      for me the 5 year warranty was the tipping point
      after the whole ibm death-star thing it was nice to have a 5 year warranty
      especially when my death-stars died just inside their warranty periods (i’m talking days here)
      having said that i haven’t had a drive die on me since then
      but when i’m recommending drives at least it’s something
      now that it’s the same i can’t think of a good reason to go seagate

        • MadManOriginal
        • 11 years ago

        There once was a drive from Nantucket…

        😀

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    I never understood the appeal of HDD lengthy warranties. HDDs will be obsolete long before they fail, unless you got a dud or treat them like crap. Furthermore, the odds are that by the time you get near the five year mark. The vendor in question will no longer have any stock of your HDD model.

    If you want to at least protect your HDD data from hardware failure. Look no further than setting up a RAID 1 and surge protector.

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Let me put it this way : 8 days before you 5 year warranty is up, you notice your old 1TB drive is “broken”. You go on Seagate’s website and request an RMA. You send the drive to Seagate and since they don’t have anymore 1TB drives in stock, they send you a brand spanking new/refurbished 3TB drive !

      I hope you get my drift 😉 Trust ME, 5 year warranties -[

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        Refurb. I just RMA’d a batch of Seagate drives a few months ago, and not only did every single one come back with a refurb label, they were all the same size as well.

        Dollars to doughnuts that over half of those refurbs are other RMAs from people who lacked the skill to properly troubleshoot a different problem, and Seagate found nothing wrong with the drive under standard testing; and then the remainder probably had dead controller boards for some reason or another.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Many people keep HDD’s longer than you think. In fact a HDD is far more likely to be used long after its retired in a primary system. Not to mention, Seagate came up with this 5-year policy, this just screams of “we didn’t think this through completely.”

      RAID1 is not *any means of* guarantee of data integrity. Besides the obvious software issues, RAID1 on most consumer level hardware MB’s is sh*t. It breaks, it can’t recover data, it dies, or the controller itself dies. Enterprise RAID ties specific HDD firmware with specific controller revisions and is heavily tested, I seriously doubt that Intel or Nvisia test their RAID1 redundancy with the thousands of different types of consumer level HDD’s.

      At least with software raid1 you can restore the data to different hardware, and I highly recommend it over hardware RAID when looking at this classg{<.<}g

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        Even still its a better backup than what most people have.

        I won’t argue that it isn’t technically a true backup… but compared to what most people do it’s better than nothing… which is exactly what most people do.

        • Krogoth
        • 11 years ago

        Did you happened to missed the line “protecting your data against hardware-related failures?”

        Anyway, the controller is far less likely to die then the HDD. The only concern is electrical problems which is why I recommend getting at least a surge protector. UPS and line conditioner are better, but cost considerably more.

        RAID 1 is not that special either nor does it require an enterprise-class controller for optimal performance. It is just doing automatic copying not some crazy striping or algorithm strategy.

        If your controller so happens to die on you with RAID1. The data on the HDD pair is still intact and consistent until the very moment of failure. It is not quite the case with other RAID levels as they are entirely depended on your controller.

    • ub3r
    • 11 years ago

    i still got an operational seagate 480MB drive in the 486 mail stamp machine in my office. Its on 24hours a days, the only time its been off was during a blackout we had last year. The machine itself has no more operation fans, even the PSU fan failed (but the PSU still works fine, and doesnt get hot). its filled up with dust, and still works perfectly fine.

      • bthylafh
      • 11 years ago

      You should at least blow out the dust with some compressed air. The stuff is a pretty good insulator and the extra heat shortens the thing’s life.

    • albundy
    • 11 years ago

    the only thing they have to fear is SSD itself.

    • just brew it!
    • 11 years ago

    Meh. This will make little difference in my hard drive purchase decisions or recommendations. I’ve never really understood why people have been so enthusiastic about Seagate’s 5 year warranty; from the get-go it seemed to be more of a marketing gimmick to me. I care a lot more about how reliable the drive is than warranty length, and quite frankly I don’t think Seagate is any better than the competition in this regard.

    After 3 years, you can buy a drive with several times the capacity and better performance, for less than you paid for the original one. Or replace it with a spare drive retired from another system. Most of the value of a hard drive warranty is indeed in the first 3 years, since that covers the period of time where the drive itself is actually still /[

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      /[<"(And as an aside, IMO Hitachi makes the most reliable drives these days... they've been top of my short list for a few years now, even though their warranty is "only" three years.) "<]/ How could you possibly determine this, outside of anecdotal evidenceg{

        • just brew it!
        • 11 years ago

        Yeah, guilty as chaged. But I’ve dealt with a non-trivial number of drives from all the major brands (both at home and work) over the past few years. The /[

    • 5150
    • 11 years ago

    Because they know all they sold ya was a guaranteed piece of shiat. That’s all it is, isn’t it? Hey, if you want me to take a dump in a box and mark it guaranteed, I will. I got spare time. But for now, for your data’s sake, for your pr0n’s sake, ya might wanna think about buying a quality product from Western Digital.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      there’s certainly a market for that, somewhere.

    • The Swamp
    • 11 years ago

    I’ve switched to WD. There was a time when I would not consider anything but Seagate, but not now. I hope they get their game back.

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 11 years ago

    i have WDC 20GB hdds that are 2001 eara still running. The last WDC drive I had fail was a 13GB one where the casting was weak and flexed when it was installed in a case. currently using drives that range from 200GB up to 1TB…….

    with the recent issues regarding Seagates 1.5TB drives, I will stay away from them.

      • tesla120
      • 11 years ago

      thats why I just ordered a 1 and not a 1.5… but really its new technology that they pushed out the door… seagate has a pretty good track record and really if you are that early of an adopter you should expect hiccups.

        • shaq_mobile
        • 11 years ago

        agreed, this applies to every new wave of technology, buy it when its just coming out the doors and you can’t expect impressive reliability… unfortunate still, i think two of those 1.5 drives would look good in my computer, i want 5 tb of storage :D. i managed to fill my 1tb in a month… thankfully its easier to find high def content to fill my drive with. so glad they got patton in bluray. that whole movie is worth the flag speech alone.

        though they did use m48s and m60s, i guess they had a tough time finding the proper tanks for the era. oh well, they look cool!

          • indeego
          • 11 years ago

          Seagate’s reaction to the 1.5 TB issue is what concerns me. They were accusatory towards their user-base and it took them a while to investigate the issue fullyg{<.<}g Not exactly what I'm looking for in a HDD manufacturer.

            • eitje
            • 11 years ago

            YOUR GREEN PERIOD IS IN THE WRONG PLACE!

    • wmonroy
    • 11 years ago

    Seagate’s leadership in product quality and reliability has given it an edge in offering customers better value when they need it. Seagate’s current 5-year limited warranty will remain in place for consumer retail products as well as for enterprise-class hard drives, and we will now provide our distributor customers with a 3-year limited warranty for all other hard drives. Based on our data, we know that 95% of all returns take place during the first three years, so by offering a 3-year warranty (which Seagate believes is more in line with the rest of the industry), we can make other aspects of our customer support and warranty programs more attractive with negligible impact to customer product return needs. The 3-year limited warranty on notebook, desktop and consumer electronics bare drives offers new advantages and enhancements to the business proposition for our channel customers while improving cost efficiencies for Seagate. We expect little, if any change for consumers – since hard drives used in computer systems other devices are covered by the individual manufacturer’s warranty.

    • Leefer
    • 11 years ago

    Precisely why I switched all my (mostly WD) drives to Seagate, Now, it’s back to WD. Way to go, Seagate bean counter, you just gave WD the best Xmas present.

    BTW, their claim most drives fail in first three years is crap, if it were true, why bother to change the 5 yr policy?

    Maybe WD will switch to 5 yr warranty and capitalize on the Seagate blunder. 🙂

      • sdack
      • 11 years ago

      The claim was not the explanation for the change. The explanation was that their partners and [OEM] customers wanted this change to meet industry standards.

      When they provide a 5-year warranty then an OEM cannot just cut it down to 3 years, so I believe. I do not think it would be legal and an end-customer could possibly sue the middleman for not passing the warranty on.

        • ludi
        • 11 years ago

        That explanation would make the most sense, given that OEMs buy bulk (bare) drives.

          • clone
          • 11 years ago

          offering 5 year warranty support requires warehouse space and additional inventory to be retained for 5 years after the last one is sold in order for coverage.

          dropping the warranty to 3 years free’s up some of that space and inventory.

          I’ve no info to support it but could it be that towards the end of the warranty period/product cycle company’s may start drawing reducing the warranty levels and selling off the product?

          if this were the case then possibly the drives may retain some value towards the end and be sellable as the coverage inventory is gradually reduced…. just a guess though on this last speculation.

          that said still sucks to be losing the 5 year warranty even though I’ve not had a Seagate hdd failure in 10 years, it’s funny actually because atm Seagate has been having some issues with it’s hdd’s and I was considering going WD anyway, this really opens up the door for it now although dealing with WD’s warranty process if anything like the last time is a notable pain in the ass and I have seen several dead WD drives as well as some of my own fail on me until the time I decided to go Seagate.

      • GTVic
      • 11 years ago

      You, The Swamp and adisor19 should all get together and have a cry. Warranties are largely marketing tools, not indicators of drive quality. Times are tough and they are trying to save some money down the road. You three trying to influence policy by pretending to jump ship is laughable.

    • Ragnar Dan
    • 11 years ago

    So, they’ll now escape the liabilities of one in twenty of their returns from this change.

    Thank you, Seagate, for deciding that accounting is how to make a profit. Watch fondly as I and doubtless signifant numbers of others change all drive purchases over to Western Digital, now. Especially considering that the quality and performance of your drives has declined, recently.

      • Forge
      • 11 years ago

      Yep, I’ll just echo that post in entirety. I used to buy WD for everything, then I went Seagate after the 120GB mark, all for the 5 year warranty.

      Now I go buy WD again, because they have the best performance and noise, and if I have to buy retail to get a 5 year warranty, they have that too.

    • travbrad
    • 11 years ago

    While Western Digital may have a shorter warranty, I have found their drives to be extremely reliable. In fact, I have never had one fail, even after 5+ years of use. I haven’t bought a non-WD drive in about 6-7 years because of this. I’m actually still running a PATA WD caviar 80GB from 5-6 years ago (in addition to a 3-4 year old 250GB WD caviar)

    I had some really bad experiences with Maxtors and IBMs in the late 90s/early 2000s, with drives actually failing in less than a year in some cases. That being said, I’ve never owned a single seagate drive so I can’t comment on their reliability. As they say “If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”

    and no..I don’t work for WD :p

      • talktojld
      • 11 years ago

      I’ve had many die at work, and at home, I’ve only had a WD die on me.

      That being said, I still like WD the most…

      • Contingency
      • 11 years ago

      I recently had a WD 400GB SATA drive die within a week of the 3-year warranty; they shipped a 500GB drive as the replacement.

      WD is alright in my book, even if they had to ship a larger drive out of necessity.

    • krisia2006
    • 11 years ago

    Thanks Seagate for making up the decision for me to stick with WD black series with a five year warranty.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    Oh well. At least before the warranty could be counted in Seagate’s favor in a tradeoff with speed/noise/power draw/whatever, now they need to compete without that and that’s not good for Seagate :p I also suspect it was part of the reason WD gave the Caviar Black a 5 year warranty aside from it being ostensibly an ‘enterprise’ line.

    I wonder though if they even make more on retail box HDs or is it just more markup in the distribution chain?

    • tesla120
    • 11 years ago

    soo, the only reasons I really bought seagate over western digital is because of the 5 year warranty, and that they have two facilities here in MN so kind of a local pride thing goin.

    with out the warranty I dont think I would really have a problem with buying a hard drive from any one else…

    im not really a fanboy, i would never say that one companies hard drives are better and that you should always buy from them, but until now i had real reasons to stick with seagate.

    • tesla120
    • 11 years ago

    let me just pull out my card here and hop on over to newegg…..

    • herothezero
    • 11 years ago

    Does anyone here actually keep a drive more than a couple years anyway?

      • UberGerbil
      • 11 years ago

      Both of my main boxes have drives that are several years old. Granted, they’re backups at this point (I periodically buy a new larger/faster/cheaper drive and image across, then keep the old one around as backup and scratch/pagefile space). But my fileserver has a drive in it that is almost 10 years old (it’s a leftover too, but it keeps plugging right along).

        • DrDillyBar
        • 11 years ago

        I still have working 30, 80, 120, 300, & 320GB drives

          • moose17145
          • 11 years ago

          Assuming my power supply didn’t blow them out when it blew itself out… i still have a 20, 120, 160, and 320 that i intend on keeping for my new build. The 20, 120 and 160 are all IDE, and the 320 is a Seagate 7200.10 series that is still working quite nicely. The 20 gig is a Samsung I think, the 120 is a WD, and the 160 is a maxtor… so i get em from all the vendors 🙂

          Edit: Oh yea… i also have an old External 60GB that runs at 5400 rpm. bought that back when 40GB was still common. And it’s still working like a charm. Can’t remember who makes the actual 3.5″ hard drive inside the enclosure atm… if am not mistaken i think it is a samsung drive…

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Have a pair of 250 SATAs in my main machine that are about that old. Have a Pentium 4 system running a Maxtor 320 that’s at the 3.5 mark, still used semi-regularly. Have a Tualatin 1.13 machine with an 80GB somewhere over the four-year mark, although that one was pulled from service earlier this year and is now in storage.

      And I believe that working 486 on the shelf has a 420MB drive installed…

      • sdack
      • 11 years ago

      Three years fits my requirement. I still got a 160MB IDE drive around as an emergency disk, should anything bad happen.

      I am also considering to use it to build a computer out of several spare parts and to sell it through eBay. Sort of a “spring cleaning” and it is better than just throwing it away.

      • sircharles32
      • 11 years ago

      (herothezero) I currently own 19 hard drives, all in use. Most are over 4 years old.

      • KeillRandor
      • 11 years ago

      I have an 80MB drive in an old Amiga A1200 that still works 🙂

        • srg86
        • 11 years ago

        Darn, can’t beat that, my Amiga 1200 has a 4GB drive.

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          q[

        • sdack
        • 11 years ago

        … but I bet that the maker of your disk did not survive this long.

        • achaycock
        • 11 years ago

        I have at least 2 20Mb MFM drives still in service in an old Amstrad that’s about 23 years old and a 5Mb Shugart Associates 8″ drive from the mid – to late 70’s still functioning. On top of that I have numerous 40Mb – 1Gb drives that I still use in very old systems. So yes, I suppose people do use hard drives after 2 years. And I’m b*ggered if I ditch my Western Digital Raptors after just 2 years!

      • srg86
      • 11 years ago

      I have drives here ranging from 210MB to 500GB and all have been very reliable. Mainly bought second hand, I have had the odd drive go. I have to say that in my experience Seagates were always the least reliable, though I don’t know the drive’s past histories.

      • albundy
      • 11 years ago

      why would you throw them out?

        • Convert
        • 11 years ago

        Exactly. I see HDD’s as an investment that are taken advantage of system to system. It’s a trickle-down effect.

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    “After /[

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      STUPENDOUS.

      • jackaroon
      • 11 years ago

      “95% of returns take place within the first three years after a drive purchase”
      . . . and they intend to keep it that way!!

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        It was that 5% that was obviously eating at their bottom lineg{<.<}g

      • ssidbroadcast
      • 11 years ago

      Your funniest post yet.

    • Shinare
    • 11 years ago

    I found out this morning that if you pry up on a hard drive platter with a screwdriver that it explodes into shrapnel from very fine dust to large enough to pierce your skin and cause a little bleeding. heh

    I hope breathing in that stuff doesn’t kill me. 🙁

    • Flying Fox
    • 11 years ago

    Not again.

    • LoneWolf15
    • 11 years ago

    Well, the biggest reason to purchase Seagate over Western Digital will be gone for me. I’ll choose based on performance and noise levels instead.

    I was willing to pay an extra $10 for Seagate’s extra two years.

      • StuffMaster
      • 11 years ago

      Same here 🙁

    • bowman
    • 11 years ago

    Shock. It’s called ‘spinning rust’ for a reason..

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Well, yeah: way back in the olden days, iron oxide comprised the data strorage surface on the disk. If you pop a very old HDD, something on the order of 720MB or less, you might find brownish orange platters inside.

    • d2brothe
    • 11 years ago

    Well, it is in line with industry offerings, but that’s why we all liked the 5 year warranty, it was BETTER than industry offerings.

    • moose17145
    • 11 years ago

    BOOOOOO!!!! HISS!!! BOOOO!!!! **throws Styrofoam cup**

      • SomeOtherGeek
      • 11 years ago

      Did you drink the coffee first?? Or are you crying over the damages now?

        • moose17145
        • 11 years ago

        “Oh crap! My monitor and keyboard!”

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          good thing you have a warranty!

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            he has a new i7 rig coming next week, don’t feel bad

            • moose17145
            • 11 years ago

            Yes… i have a new i7 computer coming… not a new monitor and keyboard… although i do have plenty of keyboards laying around i suppose…. But what about my precious monitor?!? Unless they cover coffee related damages…. hmmm……

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            didnt you get the bestbuy warranty with it????

    • Voldenuit
    • 11 years ago

    So…it’s *not* because the drives don’t last 5 years? :p

      • BiffStroganoffsky
      • 11 years ago

      Five year old p0rn is bad. You should be swapping the drives just for that.

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