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Hard Drive Makers Slash Warranties

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the they-don't-make-them-like-they-used-to dept.

Data Storage 445

Lucas123 writes "Both Seagate and Western Digital have reduced their hard drive warranties, in some cases from five years to one year. While Western Digital wouldn't explain why, it did say it has nothing to do with the flooding of its manufacturing plants in Thailand, which has dramatically impacted its ability to turn out drives. For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

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445 comments

LOL (4, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424060)

"For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

Yeah, the Maxtor buyout wasn't such a good idea after all, eh?

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424246)

"For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

Right, because differentiating yourself as a premium provider with a better than industry norm warranty wouldn't work. They would rather be "the same" as everyone else. Funny how I always hear car manufacturers claiming their "drive train" warranty is longer than the other guy. I guess that won't work in the drive market though. Not being sarcastic here - I'm sure these folks understand their market better than a random AC, so it must make sense.

Re:LOL (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424510)

"For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

Right, because differentiating yourself as a premium provider with a better than industry norm warranty wouldn't work. They would rather be "the same" as everyone else. Funny how I always hear car manufacturers claiming their "drive train" warranty is longer than the other guy. I guess that won't work in the drive market though. Not being sarcastic here - I'm sure these folks understand their market better than a random AC, so it must make sense.

This smells like the sort of move a company makes when it is run by bean-counters, rather than a leader with vision, seizing the high ground and pointing a finger back at spineless competition, while laughing out loud - "See, they are rubbish and we are the best!"

Next: Enter the marketing wizards to put some sort of bombasitic and completely unfathomable positive spin on this - "Really, it's good for the market! Honest!"

Re:LOL (0, Flamebait)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424260)

Great. NOW which manufacturer am I going to trust? :P

At least if Seagate's turned to crap, they were still "covered for 3-5 years crap."

And it'll be a cold day in hell before I trust anything more important to my fetish porn collection to a WD drive...

Re:LOL (4, Informative)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424364)

And it'll be a cold day in hell before I trust anything more important to my fetish porn collection to a WD drive...

Why is that? Of all the drive problems I've ever had, from failures to DOAs to Linux incompatibility issues, the one manufacturer that has stood out as being the most reliable is in fact Western Digital. Why do you distrust WD?

Re:LOL (4, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424692)

because people are too shortsighted to realize that a: you're buying a consumer grade drive and b: people think that if they get the "bad one" that fails early, that all drives of that brand are bad.

Re:LOL (1)

michrech (468134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424846)

Why is that? Of all the drive problems I've ever had, from failures to DOAs to Linux incompatibility issues, the one manufacturer that has stood out as being the most reliable is in fact Western Digital. Why do you distrust WD?

Probably the same reason I distrust WD drives -- they fail far too often. I have a dead WD800 sitting at home, and a pile of various WD's sitting in my office (WD16000AAJS, WD400, multiple 250GB SATA WD Blue labels, etc). That's just what I have in my office, and doesn't count what we were able to send in under the 4 year warranty we have on our Optiplex systems. Most of the blue labeled drives came out of Optiplex 755's. Most of the replacements we received from Dell were Samsungs (all of which are still going strong, to my knowledge). Of all these dead drives, I have three dead Seagates. Two are the ill-fated 1.5TB drives, and one is an 80GB SATA that is more than 5 years old.

This isn't a recent trend, either. I've distrusted WD drives since the days of sub-500MB IDE drives...

Re:LOL (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424442)

trust wd caviar blacks.

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424284)

Oh god... fuck Maxtor.
But yes, when our local utilities raise rates, it's to be more "competitive" and "in line" with other regions.
So instead of keeping the best warranty in the industry, Seagate is content to fall in line. Whatever, I don't truck with them anymore.

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

tixxit (1107127) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424356)

Well, you can read it as Seagate being content to fall in line. It could also be that consumers are not willing to pay the extra few bucks for a 5 year warrantied drive. If they were, then Seagate wouldn't have reason to cut it.

Re:LOL (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424294)

Translation.. "We'll copy everyone else so when the bad press starts we can say we weren't first".

The real reason for the warranty reduction is that instead of sticking with Thailand they'll be sourcing lower quality components elsewhere to construct drives.

Suspicious timing (5, Insightful)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424074)

Maybe it's that with the overhaul the plants needed, the new production isn't fully debugged yet, so the expected failure rate has increased?

Re:Suspicious timing (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424122)

Maybe it's that with the overhaul the plants needed, the new production isn't fully debugged yet, so the expected failure rate has increased?

To me it means that servicing/replacing drives under warranty is being reduced due to the wall street pressure to maximize profitability, or the technology to offer more capacity per drive is not as reliable as older, less dense technologies and they are hedging against that.

But I like your theory too.

Re:Suspicious timing (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424184)

Have you really just blamed manufacturing plant floods on wall street ? really ?

Re:Suspicious timing (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424234)

Have you really just blamed manufacturing plant floods on wall street ? really ?

Sounded like he's saying that the hard drive manufacturers are blaming the floods for an excuse to boost their profit.

Re:Suspicious timing (4, Insightful)

Captain Hook (923766) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424262)

Have you really just blamed manufacturing plant floods on wall street ? really ?

Umm, no, he hasn't just blamed manufacturing plant floods on wall street. Where did you even get that from?

He's saying the drive to maintain/increase short term profitability is to blame.

That would have happened with or without floods.

Re:Suspicious timing (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424708)

Or, alternatively, people are so desperate to get hard drive supplies at this time that they are willing to pay for both A) higher prices (I'm seeing double or more prices around here for popular ones), and B) shorter warranties. The latter will come in handy later even when prices are back to normal.

"Cut warranty now, while customers are desperate and happy to get anything."

Well this is disturbing. (5, Interesting)

gellenburg (61212) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424082)

I rarely have ever run into a hard drive go bad within a year (24" iMac though was a very expensive and notable exception).

I HAVE however run into my fair share of HDDs go bad within 3 years and definitely 5 years.

So -

Does anybody know which manufacturers offer the BEST warranties? Here I was just getting ready to order some 3TB SATA 7200RPM drives for my Drobos.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (5, Informative)

cruff (171569) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424104)

Apparently you will just need to buy the higher-end drive models that continue to offer longer warranties. From the article:

"Standard PC warranties are one year. Even so, WD will continue to maintain five-year warranties on its premium desktop/notebook products, including the WD Caviar Black, WD Scorpio Black and WD VelociRaptor products," a spokesperson wrote in an email reply.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (1)

Pope (17780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424140)

Yep, stick to the better quality drives, get better warranties.

Reminds me of cell providers all charging out the wazoo for text messages, because one did it first so the rest have to follow immediately because they can now get away with it.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (3, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424226)

The blacks and velociraptors may or may not be better quality drives (I highly doubt that they are), but you will notice that they are vastly higher PRICED drives - grossly overpriced in fact.. I wouldn't want them even if they were priced the same as the 5400 rpm drives. They run hotter, waste more power, and give a very slight real world benefit to desktops or personal servers.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424494)

Why would anyone rely on warranties for data? That's just a roulette wheel with a big house advantage. Backup. Backup. Unless you're running some huge drive farm, in which case you should have a backup / RAID / replacement strategy in place, just pull the drives out after three years and replace them. Use the old ones for cold backup or whatever.

I just replaced three 750 GB drives in my MacPro with a 60 GB SSD (for a swap drive) and a pair of 2 TB WD's. Fortunately I bought them before the flood. Fortunately I bought 4 so when one was DOA I could finish the project and send the dead one back. I just don't expect hard drives to last longer than three years. Given the perfectly reasonable price per gigabyte these days, even with the flood, it's a pretty easy decision.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424580)

Why would anyone rely on warranties for data? That's just a roulette wheel with a big house advantage. Backup. Backup.

Warranties aren't for data (they don't even try to reclaim data on broken drives) but for the drives themselves. The problem with shorter warranties is it removes the manufacturer's financial incentive to make a product that won't fall apart after 1 year.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (4, Insightful)

Reverand Dave (1959652) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424656)

This. Drive reliability doesn't save data, backing up data saves data, nothing more and nothing less.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424748)

This. Drive reliability doesn't save data, backing up data saves data, nothing more and nothing less.

Except that for most home users who use large harddrives, disk drives are their only way to affordably back up their data. Therefore, it makes sense to purchase more reliable drives for safer backups.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (5, Insightful)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424400)

It would be cheaper and safer to buy 2 Low Cost Hard Drives and Raid them, than buying an expensive Hard Drive wth extended warrantees!

Re:Well this is disturbing. (3, Interesting)

VEGETA_GT (255721) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424138)

honestly the 5 year warranty of some drives greatly affects which drive I buy. I am usually segate fan but if a Samsung has better warranty I will buy that instead. I remember when I found one time the drives form Segate I wanted where only 3 year so I bought WD and Samsung at the time. So if WD and Segate drop there warranty period and other makers keep higher warranty then my cash goes to the bigger warranty. If you don't stand buy your product then I have no reason to either.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424542)

honestly the 5 year warranty of some drives greatly affects which drive I buy. I am usually Seagate fan but if a Samsung has better warranty I will buy that instead. I remember when I found one time the drives form Segate I wanted were only 3 year so I bought WD and Samsung at the time. So if WD and Seagate drop their warranty period and other makers keep higher warranty then my cash goes to the bigger warranty. If you don't stand by your product then I have no reason to either.

Jeebus. I think I could actually forgive the misspelling of Seagate (at least you were consistent), but your grammar/homophone abuse kills me: where/were, there/their, buy/by.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424564)

I usually bought Samsung drives because they were the cheapest, and I was short on money.
Not anymore. I found them to be very lacking in terms of reliability. I've got unrecoverable sectors in all of them in 6-18 months. (Over a course of a couple of years, with two servers having RAIDs.)

But I doubt any others will be better, until I see it.
I stopped trusting hard disks in gerenal, a few years ago.
RAID-Z + snapshot backups + snapshot "Time Machine", or fuck that shit!

Re:Well this is disturbing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424576)

if a Samsung has better warranty I will buy that instead

Seagate bought Samsung hdd...

http://drive.seagate.com/content/samsung-en-us

Spinrite, for crying our loud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424168)

First you should run Spinrite on the "broken" drives. (i dont care how you get it, pay or pirate)
  It's the software that all harddrive makers DONT want you to use. Because it repairs most broken drives.
And keeps drives healthier for longer life-spans.

Re:Spinrite, for crying our loud (4, Informative)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424250)

Bullshit. Spinrite doesn't do shit for present drive technology. In the ancient era of MFM and RLL it actually did contribute a benefit.

Re:Spinrite, for crying our loud (1)

lindi (634828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424312)

How does it actually repair the drive? I googled around but found no clear explanation.

Calls the controller's attention to each sector (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424406)

Based on how I understand the Wikipedia article, I believe SpinRite is just a stronger version of the CHKDSK "surface scan". It reads each sector a few times (or a lot of times if the sector starts to return uncorrectable errors) and writes it back. This way, the drive's controller gets a fresh look at each sector of the hard drive to determine which sectors are in need of remapping soon.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424240)

You're screwed anyway. Warranty replacement drives are all refurbs, meaning they tend to die themselves within like six months. When the manufacturers don't ship new drives as replacements, the warranty is useless.

lots of experience with hdds (4, Interesting)

v1 (525388) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424290)

I've bought several dozen hard drives personally over the years, starting with scsi, and I work in a computer repair shop where I've replaced hundreds of failing and dead drives over my time, so I've got a pretty good sample size to work with.

Long ago I used to buy quantum and seagate because I didn't have the money for backups and so I needed to rely on quality and warranty. Quantum was one of the best quality going, and seagate ruled the roost with its 5 year warranties.

But as the years passed, lots of HDD manufacturers got bought out. Quantum went with IBM and quality absolutely flushed down the toilet about the time of the "IBM Deskstar/Deathstar debacle. Seagate also got bought out, and their quality went south as expected, but their warranties remained at 5 yr for most models.

I continued to buy seagates, until I got so sick of dealing with failing drives and RMA hassles. I bought my last seagate about 2 years ago. (a pair of them) Two weeks after purchase, one of them suffered one of the loudest catastrophic head crashes I have ever heard - the drive sounded like an operating circular handsaw. (best buy was even surprised by the sound when I returned it) They offered me an immediate new replacement, and I instead got my money and bought a different brand. Now I see they're finally dropping their warranties, probably after an extended period of losing their shirts due to a never-ending flood of RMAs.

So at this point I'm down to looking for quality, and only expecting a 1 or 2 yr warranty. Western Digital used to be crap, but while other brands went down in quality, WD seems to have come up. I'm still seeing a lot of samsung drives failing but they've improved. Haven't seen enough toshibas to really have an opinion on them, but I generally haven't had good experiences, especially with their externals. Right now I'm buying WD greens, they're cheap and fairly reliable. I try to avoid buying drives already in enclosures, because it's been my experience that they put the cheapest thing they can find in them, especially the USB-only enclosures, those are generally junk and slow to boot.

May as well throw in my 2c on enclosures also. You get what you pay for when buying a single drive enclosure. A cheap usb-only case is going to be slow and I would be very surprised if the AC adapter lasts more than 2 yrs. My personal favorite at this time is made by OWC, their Mercury Elite Pro [macsales.com] , it's got esata, dual fw800, fw400, and usb. USB speed can get up near 38mb/sec, fw400 and 800 top at theoretical maxes of 39 and 79, and esata I have yet to discover the speed limit on, it maxes the drives I have attached. $80 seems like a lot for an empty case, but it's worth it. Two at home and two at work, here I use them for data recovery because they're also tolerant of failing drives.

If you need more storage, go with a Drobo. One at home and one here at work, I know a dozen people that have them and nobody has any complaints, they work as advertised, are easy for even a newbie to maintain, and so far have proven very safe. Stuff a drobo full of WD greens for cheap, reliable, large storage.

Re:lots of experience with hdds (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424444)

esata I have yet to discover the speed limit on, it maxes the drives I have attached.

I believe eSATA is up in the 150 MB/s range. To max that, you may need an enclosure that's a RAID in itself.

Re:lots of experience with hdds (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424724)

WD Green drives are crap for any hardware RAID array. AFAIK, they aren't approved/tested on any HW RAID manufacturer's disk list, and when I've tried them with a few vendors, they keep falling out of the array, probably due to some low-power spin-down energy-saving crap. Fine for stand-alone drives, but that's about it.

Re:Well this is disturbing. (2)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424398)

I rarely have ever run into a hard drive go bad within a year (24" iMac though was a very expensive and notable exception).

We've got around a 1/10 failure rate with iMac drives within the first year. Their heat management sucks.

Who uses warranties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424102)

Warranty Fixing: "For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers.""

But seriously I have never returned a drive for warranty as once it fails securely erasing the data can be an issue if ti doesn't spin up, now that prices have jumped I might consider it but previously drives were so cheap why bother.

Side Note: Slashdot seems almost unusable without noscript, what is going on?

Re:Who uses warranties? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424178)

Slashdot seems almost unusable without noscript, what is going on?

Right now, slashdot is unusable with noscript, there's some sort of 503 server error over and over again.

Re:Who uses warranties? (4, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424524)

Slashdot seems almost unusable without noscript, what is going on?

Right now, slashdot is unusable with noscript, there's some sort of 503 server error over and over again.

It's those damned hard drives again. Can't get good ones anymore. Back in my day when Slashdot was run off of 10 megabyte MFM drives, we didn't have this problem.

Re:Who uses warranties? (5, Informative)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424212)

once it fails securely erasing the data can be an issue

That's one of many good reasons for whole-disk encryption.

Re:Who uses warranties? (4, Insightful)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424310)

An excellent point with which I agree, but there is still a problem. If you only warranty a drive for one year, you will see to it that absolutely no engineering or quality control effort is expending to make them LAST for more than one year. This is fully in line with fiduciary responsibility, as well as being common sense.

I have always seen the warranty period as a measure of the confidence the manufacturer has in their quality, which is the ceiling for the confidence *I* have in the manufacturer's quality.

Re:Who uses warranties? (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424416)

But seriously I have never returned a drive for warranty as once it fails securely erasing the data can be an issue if ti doesn't spin up, now that prices have jumped I might consider it but previously drives were so cheap why bother.

Depends. I got into a vicious cycle with Maxtor, they'd replace a drive under warranty, then THAT drive would fail within warranty, and eventually I had to stop the madness.
For a Lacie external drive, I sent it in to replace the controller card, came back with all data intact. That was a $400 unit so "so cheap" is relative.

Simple fact is, these are supposed to be professionals, and I'm sure they see data much more valuable than mine. But yes I also mark which drives I should destroy myself.

Re:Who uses warranties? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424464)

But seriously I have never returned a drive for warranty as once it fails securely erasing the data can be an issue if ti doesn't spin up, now that prices have jumped I might consider it but previously drives were so cheap why bother.

You can have drives that are in an "almost failed" state where you can nuke most of the data. Those are the ones I send back. If we have a lot of desktop drives die, and the people in question can confirm there was no important data on them (because they never work with such), we store up the drives and wait until we change the desktop admin passwords again before doing a warranty replacement en masse.

um, er, what? (3, Informative)

jshark (623406) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424112)

If I recall correctly (and I may not), wasn't Seagate one of the first (if not *the* first) to up their warranty to 5 years in an attempt to stand out from other HD manufacturers a few years back?

Re:um, er, what? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424160)

Therefore, what they're saying essentially amounts to: "We will no longer be able/willing to sell you a product which is superior to our competitors'."

Re:um, er, what? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424366)

Or maybe they are saying, "we offered a feature that led to higher costs for us but did not see a large increase in sales, and have no confidence that this apparently little-valued feature will convince people to buy our product when our competitors lower their prices due to less warranty overhead."

Re:um, er, what? (1)

cheier (790875) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424288)

It's the reason I moved from Maxtor to Seagate (aside from the fact the failure rate I was getting on Maxtor drives was nearing 100% within 3 years). Now I'm playing around more with WD, Hitachi and others since I got a 1.5TB Seagate drive that kept having lockup issues due to bad firmware. I questioned their quality control since then and have actively avoided Seagate since without regret.

In other words.... (3, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424124)

Hard drive quality sucks, and almost all of them fail by 5 years so we are cutting back to avoid having to honor the warranty.

Re:In other words.... (0)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424314)

Yeah, I notice that while they did deny one possible reason:

While Western Digital wouldn't explain why, it did say it has nothing to do with the flooding of its manufacturing plants in Thailand

...they didn't deny the more obvious one, "our hard drives fail early and often".

Re:In other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424410)

Yep. Just like why I asked on a recent poll if anyone else had problems with their more recent HDDs.

For me, WD are the worst. Especially those "Green" lines.
I've been using them just for archiving, but it's worrying when you take them back out of (proper and anti static) storage to put more data on them, and they fail.
What really pisses me off is that I still have drives from 8 - 10 years ago which are working fine. Pity their capacities aren't as high as I need them.

For those who'd suggest going with tape, The idea was quicker data dump, widest connection possible (SATA), and price.

Re:In other words.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424514)

From my experience, I have 15 2TB WD Green drives running in three separate RAID 5 configurations, maybe five or six more WD drives throughout the office, and the failures I have is one of them in the RAID every six months or so.
They have an interesting warranty service though... last time I sent in a 2TB drive I got a 3TB back...

Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (5, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424150)

Since the warranties dont cover lost data, I've never really cared. When a drive fails, its the data that was on it I care about, not the 100$ worth of metal and electronics.

Re:Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424330)

This is the most insightful post on this subject.

Re:Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424500)

That's what RAIDs are for? I stick like 6 of their cheap drives together and have an average of 1 fail a year, but can simply swap it out either with a stand by drive and then when the new warnited drive shows up it becomes my new standby drive...

Re:Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424552)

Raid and real time differential backups. The point being, when I've had a drive fail I dont want to wait around for a warranty replacement. I just go buy a new one and restore my data.

Re:Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424506)

I was wondering about that, myself - but then I saw some guy up above wanting to fill his RAIDed NAS with 6 times 3TB 7200RPM drives. Now, EU prices are going to be higher than U.S. prices, but at E213 per such a drive, I can see why wanting 5 years of warranty is better than 2 year or even 1 year - especially since the data most likely IS going to be safe within the RAID setup.

It would even make the RMA hassle and haggling over whether or not the drive got too hot (the little indicators inside that will change color over time even if temperature wasn't exceeded) almost worth it.

Re:Drives are cheap, data is expensive. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424540)

Yup $50 for a 1 TB drive. Data - priceless. Excellent point.

SSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424162)

And the push begins - get the ball rolling in earnest towards removing spindles. Kinetic energy is a removal priority from digital devices - especially mobile ones.

There's a Fish in me hard drive! (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424164)

Sorry, the moment you took delivery the warranty expired. All due to flooding in Thailand factory.

How we doing on warranties and longevity of SSD?

Re:There's a Fish in me hard drive! (5, Informative)

edmudama (155475) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424620)

Intel has a 5 year warranty on their 320 SSDs, longevity/reliability seem pretty good if you believe the data being published by various 3rd parties.

Slashdot Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424166)

The reason for the low post count since the last few stories is that we can't post comments on Safari and Chrome. Clicking Post/Reply doesn't display the comment form.

I'm using Opera to post this, no idea if Firefox or Internet Explorer work.

Re:Slashdot Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424222)

Test comment from Chrome

Re:Slashdot Monkeys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424446)

Firefox has been screwy too. Some posts just cut off partway through, others are missing reply/parent, or if they have them, clicking parent expands the parent tab but it's empty. I'm surprised I could write this reply, just hope the preview button works!

Re:Slashdot Monkeys (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424742)

I'm posting this with Chrome, seems to work.
Worked yesterday, and the day before, and the day before, and the day before. (that's back to thursday)
I randomly used replied before that, never saw any issues.

Re:Slashdot Monkeys (1)

Megane (129182) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424840)

Maybe someday the Slashdot guys will realize... oh, I dunno... maybe they should actually TEST their site coding changes on multiple browsers before pushing them to the main site? (Hint: use a test server that connects to the same database back-end) At least they finally got that stupid "working" thingy to go away with Mozilla-based browsers.

All kinds of reasons (2)

poity (465672) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424194)

If I were suspicious I'd think they're calling up their old stock and selling them as new (3yr warranty in 2009, 1yr in 2011).
If I were cynical I'd think they're calling up their refurb stock and selling them as new.
If I were reasonable I'd think they probably already don't have enough to sell, much less replace for free.

Re:All kinds of reasons (1)

na1led (1030470) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424352)

Probably salvaging some of the Hard Drives that were flooded, and YEA, they can't afford to replace BAD Hard Drives with limited stock. Today's Hard Drives fail at such a high rate, you almost have to setup Raid Redundancy in your PC!

Re:All kinds of reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424528)

What do you mean, almost?

collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424258)

I wonder if there will be any anti-trust allegations. This seems, to me, akin to price fixing.

They tried this already (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424266)

Didn't they just try this a few years ago? There was a short period where pretty much all consumer drives were down to a 1 year warranty. It didn't seem like it lasted long though, as they started coming out with 'premium' drives (list WD Black) that had the 5 year warranty again...

Single Hard Drives Are Unsafe At Any Cost (5, Interesting)

ausoleil (322752) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424292)

The failure rate for hard drives has been quite well known for some time now: it is precisely 100% +/- 0.0%.

Truly, it is not a matter of IF a given hard drive will fail, it is a matter of WHEN.

That means that having a mirrored pair as a minimum -- even on a home machine -- is not an optional frill, it is a necessity. Even better, offsite cloud storage offer replication globally of vital data that are irreplaceable.

If warranties are dropping, so is reliability, and that means it is more vital than ever to CYA and have solid redundancies all the way from the data center to the family laptop.

Re:Single Hard Drives Are Unsafe At Any Cost (2, Insightful)

am 2k (217885) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424634)

The failure rate for hard drives has been quite well known for some time now: it is precisely 100% +/- 0.0%.

Truly, it is not a matter of IF a given hard drive will fail, it is a matter of WHEN.

That means that having a mirrored pair as a minimum -- even on a home machine -- is not an optional frill, it is a necessity.

Uh, RAID is a very bad idea, unless you need 100% uptime (like on a server with hot swap). Broken drives can introduce data errors into the stream, which are eventually duplicated onto the other drive(s) as well. When the file system breaks due to this or some software bug, the file system on all disks is broken. For home use, the much better option is to use the second drive for frequent backups, ideally automated (so you can't forget to do it). The plus side is that the backup drive can be an external drive connected via USB/FireWire/eSATA/Thunderbolt, further decreasing the chance of blowing up both disks at once.

Re:Single Hard Drives Are Unsafe At Any Cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424858)

Oh hi, I see you've never used a decent RAID controller (or even a modern file system).

NOOOOOOOOO!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424300)

There was nothing like turning in an 4 1/2 year old (drop tested :) ) hard drive and getting one back that was twice (+) the size for replacement.

In 5 years many of the drives manufactured today will be obsolete and impossible to find (new).

Re:NOOOOOOOOO!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424640)

You are the part of the reason everything is so expensive.

This happened before... (2)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424308)

...and they ended up relenting and increasing the warranty periods again because people stopped buying as many drives, etc. Apparently they didn't learn their lesson, or so it would seem to me.

Re:This happened before... (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424782)

No, they've learned fine, they're just playing the fatigue angle.

If too many people scream this time, they'll raise them back up again. Next year they'll cut them again and see how many scream. If they repeat it enough, eventually they'll get the screaming down to acceptable losses and the cut will stand.

More racing to the bottom I see (3, Insightful)

erroneus (253617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424326)

"For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

Yeah, because standing out as a "quality and support leader" would be a bad thing! If the competition lowers its quality and standards, it's always best to follow them down.

This continued mentality sickens me.

Re:More racing to the bottom I see (1)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424824)

Kind of reminds me of a couple of times as I'm being hired on, being asked by the H.R. personnel "So, how much did you make at your last position? We need to know so your pay can stay aligned, and remain comfortable with your payscale.". Honest words, I'm not making this up.
I never answered that question with a number, I've always answered with the usual, "how much is the position being allocated? We can discuss from there."

The New Marketing model. (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424376)

"...For its part, Seagate is saying it cut back its warranties to be more closely aligned with other drive manufacturers."

Way to go there Seagate. Thanks for offering the exact same shitty warranty that your competitors offer to differentiate yourself. Nothing like lowering the bar in order to remain "competitive".

Collusion? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424412)

Hmm, collusion?

Poor Quality (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424414)

That's because their equipment is poor quality. I work in a repair depot and a majority of hard drives die around 1 year. Even my home tower hard drive, within 5 years I've had to replace it 3 times. These companies should learn to make better quality products.

Who knew it was this easy? (4, Insightful)

danpbrowning (149453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424420)

HDD manufacturers never realized that they had everyone over a barrel. When the Thailand flooding happened, they figured it was a nice opportunity to try some price collusion (triple prices after a 25% drop in production). They never thought it would go so well, and now they're scrambling to roll out similar changes everywhere else, such as dropping the warranty five-fold. Next they will discontinue all the low-end and low-capacity models to "be more consistent with the consumer electronics and technology industries". After that will be to demand a seat on the security council with veto power. Finally, the world. :D I, for one, welcome our hard drive manufacturing overlords. /tinfoil hat.

So how do they expect me to for over $100 for a (1)

Cutting_Crew (708624) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424606)

drive thats gonna crap out in a year? you should have a reasonable expectation that things are going to work. hard drives crashing/getting locked up/stalling/blowing up should be the rare exception and the reason for warranties. if they built good quality hard drives then they could make warranties be a lifetime with a reasonable expectation that they would be replacing a very small percentage of them within a lifetime. Maybe this problem will correct itself as Solid State drives start to become more mainstream.

Tinfoil: They're killing the spinning Disk dvision (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424626)

So that when the government analyses your HD it doesn't make a noise. A good way to check your computer for malware/spyware/viruses is to leave it alone and put your ear near the HD. If it makes a sound something you didn't tell it to do is going on.

HD reliability is now crap so of course they did. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424706)

I have bought 6 Seagate 1.5 gb disks over the last 2.5 years.

One was DOA (new model), and replaced by NewEgg under the 30 day warranty.

3 of the original 4 (first 1.5gb model) failed at about 23-24k hours of usage (under 3 years since new--all were in warranty and replaced by Seagate).

Since they are producing such a crappy product no wonder they have to cut the warranty, so far they have replaced 4 of my 6, and at least one of the replacements (3 days old) already has reallocated sectors. From the platter quality I believe we are going to have to go back to the old days of the raid and/or fs being able to deal with badblocks on disk, if we don't want to be buying new disks all the time to replace out of warranty devices. All of the replaced disks were platter issue (ie badblocks) they ran out of reallocations, and finally no longer able to successfully write data to some sectors, all were flagged by smart as failed.

Hey, I use RAID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424714)

If they would offer two drives for the price of one they could keep their warranties.

If you care more about the warranty than the data you don't need a hard drive.. just delete everything.

english definition (2)

DECula (6113) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424734)

"In the study of economics and market competition, collusion takes place within an industry when rival companies cooperate for their mutual benefit."

Anyone else... (5, Interesting)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424740)

Remember back oh 12-13 years ago when drive manufactures did this? All drive warranties dropped from 5 years to 1 year. This went on for about a year, then got hit with a massive collusion suit. It drove Fujitsu right out of the market. I get the suspicion that this is the same thing, I do not think this has anything to do with debugging the lines, or anything else.

I really expect the same thing to happen, it smells and feels exactly the same.

Western Digital slashed because of high fail rates (3, Insightful)

Fallen Kell (165468) | more than 2 years ago | (#38424746)

They have extremely high fail rates on their "Green" and "Blue" lines of drives. Most "Green" drives are lucky to last 2 years without failing. I personally own 4 of their 2tb "Green" drives, and have had 9 failures and counting (in other words, I have had failures of replacements for replacements...).

Collusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38424830)

It's simply collusion. With Samsung's HD division out of the way and no longer messing things up as a competitor, the HD manufacturers can do pretty much what they want. (Seagate owns Samsung HD now.) Fortunately SSD's are coming into their own, so hopefully this abuse won't last too much longer.

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