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458 comments

Hard Drive Voodoo? (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308224)

You know, I noticed that between me and my friends the most painful experience when dealing with computers is losing a hard drive.

Yes, I know it's a nerd thing to say but it's almost as bad as losing a pet.

Now, because of the brands of said failed drives, I have developed a quality ranking apart from my friends. And it's the pain of that lost data that backs me up.

I had a death star (IBM deskstar [trilithium.com]) tear itself apart on me and even though it was one of those old Ukrainian IBM/Hitachi ones, I still shy away from Western Digital who now makes them also. I've also had a Seagate fail [wikipedia.org] me but (to be fair) I had bought it thoroughly used.

Now, when ever I go out and buy a drive, I'm leaning towards Maxtor simply because I have a lot of them and one hasn't failed me with crucial data on it. I'm a lot better prepared to deal with that now as I'm older and wiser so maybe I won't ever feel that level of pain again.

Many of my friends swear by Seagate and also claim they're the quietest thing out there.

These new drives made by the merged company should be quite good, perhaps they're able to combine technologies, patents, manufacturing methods and resources to form a very reliable and quiet drive.

What I'd like to ask slashdot readers is for a good way to measure drive quality other than throwing down chicken bones and looking at them or reading tea leaves?

I guess the only thing I've found so far is reviews on-line (sometimes Neweggs have the best sampling), any other suggestions? Is there some kind of hard-drive-consumer-report thingy out there?

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308278)

Anecdotal evidence won't get you far in the hard drive world. You haven't mentioned WD, whose Caviar line is in most of my machines. But I digress.

A good measure of the hard drive reliability is the warranty that the manufacturer is attaching to it. While there _will_ be failures before the warrarnty expires, it gives an indication as to how much you can trust the drive.

Seagate warranty (1)

$exyNerdie (683214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308496)

I have bought Seagate drives simply because they had 5 year warranty compared to tiny warranties on Maxtor and Western Digital...I had western digital fail on me in the third year.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (4, Informative)

Daemonik (171801) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308507)

A good measure of the hard drive reliability is the warranty that the manufacturer is attaching to it.

Then Seagate wins, their drives have a 5 year warranty, everybody else only offers 3 years max, some as little as 1 year.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (4, Insightful)

raddan (519638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308525)

And Seagate has a 5-year warranty on its Barracuda drives. Samsung has 3 year warranties on some of its drives as well. As far as I am aware, most other manufacturers have 1 year warranties. I think this speaks volumes about these drives, particularly WD drives, every one of which I've ever owned has failed before the warranty was up.

At work, we only buy Seagate SCSI and ATA drives. We've returned RAID arrays to Dell because they failed to provide us with the proper drives (they just love to slip WDs in there). This is another bit of anecdotal evidence, but I've never seen a Seagate fail here. The few that have failed have been some Fujitsus and the few WDs that come in laptops. We're talking around 300 machines here.

I don't have much experience with Maxtors except the one in my firewall that is still going strong after 7 years.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (5, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308526)

Mod parent up. It sounds like the grandparent is basing his judgement off of a handfull of hard drives he has personally owned. Statistics off of such a low sample number are very bad. Talk to someone who works at a large corp in is charge of hundreds or thousands of drives. I think you will quickly revise your attitude towards Seagate. There is a reson they have a 5 year warrenty and Maxtor only has a 1 year.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (2, Informative)

carlos_benj (140796) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308309)

Yep. I've not had one Maxtor fail catastrophically, ever. I've got some that are well past their prime. I cannot say the same about Seagate or Western Digital. I've had several bad Western Digitals, with one failing after a few months. Its replacement also failed within six months. Seagate seems to fall somewhere between the two in terms of reliability. Of course, my observations are for a few hundred drives only.

I think I'd feel better if Maxtor was buying Seagate. Far too often I've seen bigger companies buy out better companies and turn really good stuff into more mediocre stuff that fits well with their existing product line. That they might see the need to change a drive to make it a better fit for their line of drives seems silly.....

I hope the change is a good one.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (2)

Loconut1389 (455297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308378)

ive got some ancient SCSI disks still running (Seagate Hawk and Seagate Barracuda 2gb'ers from when 2gb was the latest and greatest, cost over $700/each at the time). I also have quite a few IBM 9gb SCSI drives from SGI systems still running as well.

I had a couple WD drives bite the dust on me, so I switched to seagate and haven't had a failure since. I've also had 6 of the IBM 75GXP Deskstars that are currently under class action lawsuits.. I had 5/6 of those fail with crucial data and couldn't afford a backup solution for anything but the most critical stuff.

Anyway, i'm a seagate fan for now, im too afraid of WD drives and IBM drives, and had a friend or two lose a maxtor. Ultimately it happens to everyone, and you need a backup solution, but seagate has always had great (3-10 year) warranties on their high end disks. If you back up your data, you can't beat the warranty.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

BitchKapoor (732880) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308346)

I had a death star (IBM deskstar) tear itself apart on me and even though it was one of those old Ukrainian IBM/Hitachi ones, I still shy away from Western Digital who now makes them also.

Western Digital makes DeskStars? Since when?

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308364)

I measure drive quality by digging through my box of old computer parts and seeing which harddrive is the oldest. I do believe that is a Maxtor.

TBH its not really fair since harddrive companies have been so good at replacing failed drives. I don't remember which failed and which did not. How stupid are they to stop the 3 year warranties? Typically folks upgrade their drive before 3 years anyway. Perhaps they think their drives are too big to be upgraded within 3 years now?

I never bought a seagate, but I prefer Western Digital and Maxtor. I never like to see a small company buying a biger one. The bigger company better get on top of its game. If not, the managers from the smaller company will fire them all and take over their jobs. Of course neither company is failing so that wont happen to the greatest degree. I saw this happen with the company that made the voodoo graphics cards, and also Diamond Multimedia.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

aslate (675607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308370)

I've had two Maxtors die on me, but my other drives have been perfect. One that died was the replacement drive for my already dead one.

When trying to get a replacement i wondered if their returns system was well designed out of good customer service or frequency of use.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (2, Interesting)

Cmdr_earthsnake (939669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308379)

I gotta agree, I had an IBM Death star two, in fact I've had the bad luck of ownning TWO IBM's which both had major bad blocks.

Fortunately, one of them is now simply storage , the other one however, died, it just stopped working entirely.

In my experience seagate drives aren't too shabby, I think a move like this one will further integrate the good hard disk technologies the companies own.

The NCQ (native command queing) and possibly the serial ATA standard (now on 2.0, at 3Ghz) could very well benifit from having the integration of two major players in the hard disk industry.

Ah a good way of measuring a hard disk eh? Well there are several things to consider: price per gigabyte spindle speed (5400 RPM, 7200 RPM etc.. the new 10,000 RPM speed seems the best at the moment) throughput/bus types (ATA, Scsi, serial ATA etc... serial ata 2 is currently the best, at a throughput of 3 gigabytes) disk technologies such as NCQ, SMART(self monitoring and repoting technology) routines and analysis, error correction etc... compatibility with your computer/reliance on the manafactuer

I personally take all these things into consideration when purchasing a new hard disk.

Dude, get over it (5, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308391)

All hard drives die. Do you think there's one magic brand that never breaks? They all do.

There might be varying levels of quality among specific brands and models, but data loss is inevitable if your only line of defense is faith in your bullet proof manufacturer who has never failed on you before. Everyone has one, and every one's is different. Some people have an incredible string of luck with Seagate, others with WD, etc. They all die. If you don't have a robust backup plan that you test regularly, you're going to get fucked at some point. If you've worked with computers long enough, you learn this and understand it.

I look at a hard drive like most people look at a roll of toilet paper. I use it, it serves its purpose, it gets discarded. The data on it, however, is nearly sacred, and I take every precaution I can afford to protect mine. If I lose data, then I feel like I lost a pet. But I don't have any special attachment to my hard drives whatsoever.

Having faith in a hard drive vendor is like a quaint superstition from the time when people were so poor that they might only have a single hard drive containing all the data they've ever generated in their entire lifetime.

Re:Dude, get over it (5, Funny)

Zebadias (861722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308456)

"I look at a hard drive like most people look at a roll of toilet paper. I use it, it serves its purpose, it gets discarded. The data on it, however, is nearly sacred, and I take every precaution I can afford to protect mine."

You sir, value crap far too much!

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308394)

Now, when ever I go out and buy a drive, I'm leaning towards Maxtor simply because I have a lot of them and one hasn't failed me with crucial data on it.

I've had exactly the opposite experience. My Seagate, Hitachi, and WD drives are rock solid but my Maxtor drives tend to die an early death. I've got around 8 200GB Maxtor drives and so far I've had 4 failures within 18 months of purchasing them, 2 of those were within 6 months. Now, thankfully the ones that failed were all covered under warranty (one SATA drive had a 3 year warranty, 2 of the 200GB drives died within 6 months and had a 1 year warranty, and the last 200GB drive had a 3 year warranty). Since then I've made a decision to stick with companies that offer 5 year warranties on their drives since I have thousands of dollars invested in hard drives and can't afford to be replacing them every year when the goal is to grow my archive, not simply keep it in check.

There'll Be Anecdotes Flying Everywhere (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308401)

It's funny to me how so many, supposedly logical and intelligent people, latch on to their limited and anecdotal experiences when it comes to hard drives. People are quick to state their favorites based on a single failure or a single lack of failure. Even in the parent post he dismisses an entire brand (Western Digital) simply because they now make a drive under the name of one that failed, for him, years ago when it was manufactured by a different company. That's completely illogical!

You can't really make a judgment on a particular drive until you have tried (stress tested) hundreds of them. To dismiss a brand based on a single drive failure is ridiculous and it's moronic to dismiss a brand that you haven't even tried! Yet, starting with the first post, look at all those that follow this twisted logic in forming their opinions.

Combining patents.. (1)

Myself (57572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308403)

Combining patents is a very good point. Personally I've had the opposite experience, Maxtor failures and Seagate quality, but that just shows you the wonders of insignificant sample sizes.

Let's hope the merged company can produce even better products, not by laying people off, but by overcoming intellectual property barriers that previously existed between the two companies.

Anecdotes mean nothing (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308445)

I have had an IBM "DeathStar" for the past 5 years (yes, it is a 75GXP, the bad ones). Never had a problem with it.

On the other hand, I have had one of your beloved Maxtors totally crap out on me after only having it for 6 months?

What does this mean? Nothing. Hard drives are no different from elevisions or laptops any other piece of complicated equipment when it comes to reliability - on large scale average all the big brands have simmilar failure rates plus or minus a percentage point.

If you are worried about your data theres just a few you can do.

  1. BACKUP OFTEN
  2. Spend the extra $$$ on a server-class SCSI drive. If reliability is your aim it is well worth it. Regardless of the brand a server-class SCSI drive is much more reliable cause they are designed with heavy abuse in mind. The downside is they are noisy.
  3. BACKUP OFTEN
  4. Use a redundant RAID configuration
  5. BACKUP OFTEN

That's about it - loyalty to a given brand will get you nowhere, in the end they are all the same - for the most part good, but a bad batch once in a while.

Personally, I just buy the cheapest drives I can find and run them in my RAID array. If one fails, no big deal. And it saves a ton of cash.

Anecdotical evidence... (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308451)

I never had bad Maxtors until this year. Earlier this year, I bought two Maxtor 160Gig PATA drives and the first one failed within 3 months, and the second one failed after 10 months but hadn't been used much so it might have failed in 3 months with normal usage.

The first one has been replaced under warranty and purrs nicely in the machine I'm typing on. The second one has been away for a month or two and I still didn't get a replacement.

The disk that has the longest active life in my "collection" is a IBM 18Gig SCSI harddisk that is in the server of my parents. It has been working for over 4 years 24/7. Before that it lived in our (heavily used) family desktop for at least 4 years (IIRC). 8 years and still having an active and useful life. Not bad for a harddisk.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (4, Informative)

afidel (530433) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308476)

I guess this is a good time to bring up the storagereview reliability database [storagereview.com]. It's the only third party tracking of HDD reliability that I am aware of. Whenever I buy a new HDD or have one die or taken out of service I go to storagereview and update my profile. Other people may not be so reliable, and people with problems are probably more likely to report then happy customers, but it WILL give you a good idea model vs model of the reliability of a drive.

The learning path to backups (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308540)

Every new computer should buy the crapiest HDD they can find, so it will fail on them early in life (when they have less important data to lose) and teach them the valuable lesson to backup important data.

Seems that every single experienced computer user has gone through such an ordeal in life, be it with HDD's, floppy disks or even tape and only _after_ they lost important stuff will they backup.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

gummih (932818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308566)

>Many of my friends swear by Seagate and also claim they're the quietest thing out there. I have two 160GB smack full Samsung drives and one 200GB Seagate filling up and I must say the Samsung drives are still quieter than the Seagate. What is the status of Samsung HD's anyway, have they dropped the ball?

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

cbreaker (561297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308573)

Quantum was always good for me, so was Seagate. Unfortunately, every Maxtor drive I ever owned went to shit within the year. I've had WD drives die on me, but not as much as Maxtor. I must admit that they did improve once they purchased Quantum, however.

Re:Hard Drive Voodoo? (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308580)

Maxtor SATA 250GB failed on me within 3 months (luckily in a RIAD system), seagate SCSI (~80GB) failed after 9 months (Also in RAID), WD the famous ones failed several, but they replaced all of them for free, Quantum fireball 8GB failed after 8 years of running almost non-stop, the drive will take 10 attempts before it spins up succesful, but will than work, anyone interested in this good second hand drive?
I also steared clear of WD for a while, but nowadays they seem to have their act together again, and produce reliable drives.
IBM death star: Heard of them, but my 100GB IBM is running like a charm.
The lesson learned is: Make regular BACKUPS!
The less nice part about this take-over is, is that maxtor seems to be cheaper than seagate for the same quality of drives. I think this might drive the prices of the maxtor up to seagate level.

Good or bad? (0, Flamebait)

AviN456 (863971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308231)

Does this mean that Maxtor drives will stop sucking, or that Seagate drives will start to?

Re:Good or bad? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308288)

This means that a company that is willing to stand behind its product with a 5-year warranty is rewarded by the market and thus able to buy its rival that short-changed the consumer on the warranty. This is a good thing, so long as that nice, long warranty continues. I think it will.

Now if we could just get an inkjet printer manufacturer to actually stand behind its product. That would be a miracle.

Re:Good or bad? (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308440)

I imagine Seagate will either shut down Maxtor (very bad for employees), or use their stuff as a "value line" rebranded.

Re:Good or bad? (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308442)

I think you have that sideways...

Seagate drives have always sucked. I've hurled more dead seagate drives down the concrete path than any other brand of hard drive.

Crap (5, Insightful)

Toby The Economist (811138) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308234)

There aren't many big players in the hard disk market.

I'm not that enthusisatic about loosing one of them.

Re:Crap (1)

BigCheese (47608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308369)

No, it's probably not a good thing. It's just part of the death of western capitalism.
Soon the new eastern capitalists (i.e. China) will come here to fill the void.

Re:Crap (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308430)

losing....

Re:Crap (1)

Zog The Undeniable (632031) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308569)

Agreed. I used to buy Quantum until Maxtor ate them. Now it's happened again. Supposedly there is no profit in hard drives (unless you're EMC^2, sticking hundreds of them together in a frame and selling it for 100x the price per GB).

I'll just keep buying Samsung drives (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308246)

Cheap, silent, low power consumption, long warranty, no failures yet.

This is unfair (1)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308248)

This is just unfair.
I always liked Maxtor hard drives, they were rock stable, fast and silent.
I remember problems with some Seagate drives in Linux few years ago (related to DMA, some strange messages in kernel logs).
So I always tried to buy Fujitsu or Maxtor, and always tried to avoid Seagate.
Fujitsu stopped making hard drives and Maxtor has just been eaten.
What brand of hard drive should I choose in future? IBM?

Re:This is unfair (2, Informative)

bensafrickingenius (828123) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308296)

I agree with you. Maxtor has been rock solid for me. Seagate has been a dismal failure. Although my experience with Seagate has been alomst totally on the SCSI side in servers. Very high failure rate. IBM doesn't make drives anymore. Hitachi bought that division out.

Re:This is unfair (2, Informative)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308302)

What brand of hard drive should I choose in future? IBM?

IBM stopped making hard drives after the death star mess, I would reccomend Western Digital if you want to avoid seagate - although I have a seagate in my MythTV box and it works with no problems.

Re:This is unfair (1)

Jacek Poplawski (223457) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308328)

Oh shit, IBM too? WD is just a crap IIRC. No alternative to Seagate then?
Prices of hard drives don't drop like CPU or video cards, should we expect even higher prices now?

Re:This is unfair (1)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308517)

No alternative really, but at there are good points to Seagate, mainly the five year warranty on all new drives.

Re:This is unfair (1)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308388)

Seagate drives still have problems with the sata_sil kernel module. Some models just stop working after a week or two of use, requiring a reboot. Kernel bug #5047

I know it's a lot to ask to have support for such obscure hardware as Silicon Image SATA controllers and Seagate drives.

All your bits are belong to us (3, Interesting)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308253)

So this will mean cheaper HDD prices? Or are we to expect more expensive or stagnant pricing due to the elimination of competition?

Re:All your bits are belong to us (3, Insightful)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308284)

I wouldn't expect any further consolidation in the hard drive business to result in more price competition. There are only a very small number of manufacturers as it is. I suspect that hard drive prices have more or less bottomed out now in the "bargain" segment of the industry and that with current limits on areal density of data on the platters that any differentiation in prices will be based on performance rather than capacity.

One can only hope that someone comes up with some paradigm shift in storage (either in price or capacity) that puts real pressure on the hard disk manufacturers to innovate and remain competitive.

Slowly but surely... (1)

HeWhoRoams (895809) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308266)

All your drives are belong to us.
I wonder if Seagate will continue to manufacture Maxtor drives, or simply consolidate the entire company? Nothing quite as lucrative as owning your competition

Uh oh! (2, Funny)

mister_llah (891540) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308267)

Evil empires everywhere, the market share clumps, competition lessens!

Darth Seagate.... riiiise!

Re:Uh oh! (1)

Intetsu (656653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308584)

I would be really surprised if this merger gets regulatory approval from the FTC or DOJ. If the first and third largest harddrive manufacturers merge, then the amount anti-competitive power that they will be able to wield is untenable. How many harddrive manufacturers are out there? 6? 8? Surely no more than 10-12 even assuming a number of brands that I am unfamiliar with. Also, there are no real substitutes available for harddrives on the market today. Nothing else is a viable alternative for mass storage so the product market is really narrow and both companies are global players which compete in the same marketplaces. Conclusion - Fails regulatory approval.

This isn't a bad thing (2, Interesting)

a_nonamiss (743253) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308272)

I don't think this is a bad thing at all. Ever since I started using the new line of "fault resistant" Seagate drives (I believe they are called the NL35 series) I have been a big fan of Seagate. So far, I have purchased 66 hard drives, and not a single failure. (Knock on wood.) Of course, I'm using them in a server environment (reliable, high-end, clean power supplies) which surely makes a difference.

I am curious, however, what Seagate intends to do with the WD brand. Whether you're a fan or not, they have built a reputation over the last 15 years or so. I don't think Seagate bought them just to kill off the competition.

Re:This isn't a bad thing (1)

alexhs (877055) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308334)

> I am curious, however, what Seagate intends to do with the WD brand.

Psst ! Seagate is about to buy Maxtor, not Western Digital...

Good but bad... (1)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308274)

When buying hard drives Seagate has always been my first choice, with Maxtor coming it second and Western Digital third. While this merger should mean the best of Seagate and Maxtor combined, it also means that there is a reduction in the number of brands that I consider acceptable, now only being Seagate and Western Digital. If Seagate was to start producing dodgy drives then that only leaves one real competitor, that I will use. I would then be forced into Western Digital, rather than now when I have a choice between two brands if one starts making less reliable drives.

I know that Hitachi, Samsung and others make hard drives, but I have had very bad experiences with both Hitachi and Samsung and so I refuse to use them. This merger just reduces the choice of companies that I trust - in other words, I have had a hard drive from and it has outlived its warranty, amoung other things.

Re:Good but bad... (1)

scovetta (632629) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308432)

Mod parent funny.

He said that he prefers Maxtor over Western Digital, which must be a joke (though I don't really get it).

I've had maybe a dozen or so hard drives. One Maxtor-- the drive head broke somehow, destroying the disk. The rest have been Western Digitals-- even my 200MB ones still work fine.

Oh, and I had a couple 42-meg Seagates, both of which crashed bad after maybe 2 years.

To summarize:
Western Digital => The Google of Hard Drives
Maxtor => Teh Suck
Seagate => Assimilating Teh Suck

Re:Good but bad... (1)

WTBF (893340) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308579)

Well my experience (at home) has been this:

Two Western Digital Drives (One a 20gb, one a 120gb) - the 20gb developed a lot of bad sectors about 2 years into its life, and the 120 is OK, for now - although I have only had it for a year.
Three Seagate drives, of various sizes - all still working, oldest is about 6 years old, youngest is 6 months old.
Three Maxtor drives, (one was a quantum fireball, which was taken over by maxtor about the time I got the drive) - all still working, including the 700mb fireball. I have found them to be faster and quieter than Western Digital Drives, and also more reliable and so that is why I prefere Maxtor drives over Western Digital Ones.
One IBM/Hitachi drive - died after about a month, replacement died about 6 months after that.
One Fujitsu drive - lasted a couple of years before complete failure.

Of course this is only a few drives but my experiences have shown Seagate and Maxtor to be better than Western Digital.

lol... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308280)

anyone else read that as Seagate buys Maxtor for $1.98 ???

Re:lol... (3, Funny)

unitron (5733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308390)

"anyone else read that as Seagate buys Maxtor for $1.98 ???"

Yeah, but that's after the rebate, if it ever arrives.

Re:lol... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308435)

No. Go back to sleep.

Less choice... (-1, Troll)

Golradir (807889) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308283)

In a few years time the only choices you will have is a Seagate harddisk or one manufactured by an obscure company, just like with Google.

I hate... (1)

NVP_Radical_Dreamer (925080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308287)

>>There aren't many big players in the hard disk market. >>I'm not that enthusisatic about loosing one of them. When I LOOSE things

"Seagate buys Maxtor for $1.98" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308465)

I also find the illiterate use of the word "loose" to be annoying, but in this case it is gramatically (sp? damn...) correct. We have allowed Maxtor to be lost, therefore we didn't lose it, we loosed it. Just like loosing your dog (not the same as losing your dog).

To lose it is accidental, to loose it is on purpose.

However, considering how fucking illiterate most of the internet is, it's hard to tell what the parent poster actually meant.

-mcgrew (mrc-"authors")

Re:I hate... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308519)

Maybe he is not that enthusiastic about loosing arrows at one of them?

I hate people who post and can't write (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308582)

What do you mean?

And the Corporations shall inherit the earth.... (1)

sulphurlad (772436) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308292)

One large step for Meglocorp, one small death for mankind...

Not to be overdramatic, but I find it disheartning all this merging and acquision going on all the time. It makes my bones hurt. Pretty soon we will need a Corporate bible with Genisis start out like , Quantium begets Maxtor begets Seagate Blah Blah Blah.

The pursiut of power through money is astonishing. Hell Even I chase it. As a good Catholic once said, "God is dead".

Re:And the Corporations shall inherit the earth... (2, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308534)

Combines don't always combine to become more powerful, in fact companies usually combine to save their asses.

This merger isn't about making more profits -- it is about cutting the bleeding that has occured now that hard drive space is a commodity. How many hard drive companies did we have 10 years ago versus today? Do you recall all the companies that are gone now?

How can you look at the prices of hard drives versus the number of companies and see a problem? You're pushing me to think you want regulations added to prevent these merges, but I'm happily buying 300GB hard drives for under $100 and I'm very happy.

2005, yet another sting in the tail. (2, Insightful)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308301)

Adobe & Macromedia
Google & AOL (well 5% of)
Seagate & Maxtor


2005 has been a year of spending money for big players, it seems. Can anyone predict any more big moves before Dec. 1st?

Re:2005, yet another sting in the tail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308322)

Microsoft and Apple?

Re:2005, yet another sting in the tail. (1)

stunt_penguin (906223) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308350)

Don't even say that.

*Shudders*

Actually, Apple to Intel is a similar type of shock. I knew I forgot one, d'oh.

Re:2005, yet another sting in the tail. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308414)

If you can predict more before Dec 1st you're pretty good.

To sum up.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308316)

Every drive will eventually fail. Every company has drives that fail. We've all had brand X last for Y years running 24/7 with no problems and we have all had brand Y fail after only a few months. Some of us have sent batches of bad drives back for repair and some have bought batches and had no problems. Warrenties are either 1,3, or 5 years, 1 being the most common for non SCSI drives. SCSI drives seem to be statistically better in quality and fail less often but costs more. Heat kills HD's. Drive models and even the manufactering date of certain drives change often so Brand Y 200GB may be completely different then then Brand Y 250GB model. You can not directly compare the two.

Did I miss any ;)

Live in the past (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308324)

I continue to buy new old stock Quantum SCSIs. Not needing stupid big storage, I'll still pay extra for lifespan from product built when that mattered more than capacity. Also using gmirror on FreeBSD, which works as advertised. Your needs may vary, but I'm not comfortable with this acquisition; just where do you go for real choice in fat IDE disks?

Maxtor == CRAP iff Seagate 'abandons' them... (2, Insightful)

iamcf13 (736250) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308345)

Now that Seagate 'owns' Maxtor, will they make Maxtor drives better or just kill the product line off and just use Maxtor's facilities to churn out Seagate HDs? I had two Maxtors HDs crap out on me years ago and I washed my hands of them due to that. If you must buy/use a Maxtor HD, use it as a giant 'scratch pad' and don't save anything permanent on it!

As for Western Digital, other than their HDs running hot, I've had no data loss from them and would recommend them to anyone who can't get/afford Seagate.

Nice logic... (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308472)

Now that Seagate 'owns' Maxtor, will they make Maxtor drives better or just kill the product line off and just use Maxtor's facilities to churn out Seagate HDs?

And pray tell, why the hell do you think that a Seagate drive produced at the same facility with the same equipment would be different than a Maxtor drive? Loyal to the sticker perhaps?

I bet you're one of those people who have a "Piss on Ford" bumper sticker too eh?

What happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (3, Insightful)

Yartrebo (690383) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308353)

Considering that the hard drive industry is already quite concentrated and that the largest company in the market is doing the buying, how can the justice department possibly approve this merger.

Then again, they approved of other such travesties as Exxon + Mobil, Viacom + CBS, Disney + Capital Cities, News Corp + Direct TV, and countless other clearly anti-competitive mergers throughout the last decade or two.

Allowing this merger will do nothing but slow down innovation and increase prices.

Has the Sherman Anti-Trust Act been repealed, or am I missing something here?

Re:What happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (3, Interesting)

10Ghz (453478) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308405)

Well, we currently have Seagate/Maxtor, Western Digital, Hitachi and Samsung. Toshiba makes notebook HD's, while Fujitsu makes SCSI and other hi-end HD's. I think there's still plenty of competition going on

Re:What happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308419)

Yea, I have to agree -- doesn't this raise anti-trust issues? #1 buying #3 is a big deal. This certainly is going to require some review by the department of commerce and courts. But the past few years have been very permissive of trust abuse, all in the name of 'international competitiveness'. Bah!

I always though that Maxtor and Matrox should merge, considering they are just anagrams of each other.

Re:What happened to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1, Insightful)

dada21 (163177) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308484)

I don't see any anti-trust here -- corporations are finding their bottom lines chopped up by excess banking and taxing regulations, excess overhead caused by mandated insurance regulations and excess pension costs caused by excess investment regulations. The more we regulate, the more we see the number of companies in a given market trend towards 1.

Don't neglect the realities of being a corporation in a world that tries to overcontrol many companies in order to subsidize the few. Hard drive companies have one of the biggest problems in balancing cost versus quality.

We've lost MANY hard drive companies over the years. So what? Hard drives are CHEAPER than ever, and we will likely see hard drives get even cheaper than that as companies combine and become more efficient.

If only 2 companies remain and they start to gouge consumers, give it about 2 weeks before investors who see an opportunity come in and bring competition back to prior levels. I don't believe that monopolies are more than temporary unless they are given the power of monopoly through government licensing and regulations.

casualty (3, Interesting)

Lxy (80823) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308355)

I remeber seeing a /. article a year or so ago that hard drive manufacturers are running VERY thin profit margins because of the competition. Looks like Maxtor couldn't keep up and became a casualty.

While I'm generally a fan of Seagate, all drives suck these days. I buy Seagate because they're the only drive with a 5 yr warranty. I now buy hard drives in pairs so I have a spare when one is being RMA'd.
2 160GB drives + RAID 0/1 controller is a pretty cheap backup solution with a guaranteed lifespan of at least 5 years.

Re:casualty (1)

un1xl0ser (575642) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308437)

Mirroring is not backup. I am probably not the first person to tell you that. :-)

It is a redundancy solution, if anything. I have the same setup on my g/f's computer. 2 Barracudas is all that I need.

Do you want a harddrive? (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308357)


What kind?

Dude, do you want a harddrive or what?

There seems to be a trend in computers where there are 2 to 3 big alternatives. OSes -- Apple vs Mac vs *NIX/Linux. CPUs -- AMD vs Intel vs IBM. Disks -- Seagate vs Western Digital. Laptops -- Mac vs PC. Desktops -- Apple vs Dell.

I can't say that this is a good thing or not, but it seems to be a trend.

Re:Do you want a harddrive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308468)

The Laissez Faire conclusion would be only one left standing, but price fixing between 2-3 "comptetitors" is easy to do yet difficult to prove. So profiteering can be maximized in that configuration.

Re:Do you want a harddrive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308530)

at home:

OSs: Windows - 94%, Mac - 1%, Unix+Linux - 5%
CPUs: Intel - 80%, AMD - 20% HDDs: Seagate - 80%, WD - 20% Laptops: PC - 98%, Mac - 2% Desktops: PC - 99%, Apple - 1%

And all the underdogs are for people who know what they are buying/using. I'd say that it is going to be interesting to see if Seagate's standard goes down now when they have one more competitor to worry about.. and also whether WD will be able to keep up, or like AMD, take the technological lead...

For those keeping score... (4, Interesting)

Stavr0 (35032) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308360)

2000 - Maxtor buys Quantum's hard drive division
2002 - Hitachi buys IBM HD division
2006?- Seagate buys Quantum

So we're down to Seagate, Hitachi, Western Digital and Samsung. Any other HD brands you see are OEM'd by them.

Re:For those keeping score... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308452)

You forgot about Excelstor and Fujitsu O_O

Re:For those keeping score... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308565)

Hitachi was a bit player, if that, in the HDD business before buying IBM's line. So while it deserves to be in your list, I wouldn't call it consolidation so much as replacement: Hitachi moving into the business, IBM moving out.

And as I recall - I quite possibly could be wrong - Quantum was about six inches from bankruptcy when they were bought out.

Maxtor shareholders are upset (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308382)

They thought they were getting $2,040,109,465.6 dollars, not $1,900,000,000.

Seagate? (1)

dlhm (739554) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308387)

WTF Seagate's have allways been CRAP.. I compare Seagae quality to that of old Cyrix Proccesors, Everyone I have EVER had has burnt out/quit working. Maxtor is the only Drive I Use because I have never had a failure. I use desktop drives at home that run 24-7, and I've never seen anthing better. I use Seagate SCSI sever Drives at work and replace them, on a regular basis.. The only way I woudl use seagate at home is if I were uploading Digital content to the internet and wanted them crash as soon as the feds lifted my pc. But thats just my opinion...

Intellectual Property (4, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308395)

Seagate may have a lot of reasons for wanting to absorb Maxtor. Certainly Seagate will ultimately profit from it, since Maxtor was a decently profitable company (recent slumps in its stockprice nothwithstanding). Eliminating a brand name it has to compete against in the increasingly difficult hard drive market is another.

I actually think that one of the larger reasons has to do with intellectual property. After being around for a bunch of years, Maxtor has a store of worthwhile patents on hard drive technology that Seagate could have a good use for. Being a competitor, it might have been difficult (read: $$$) or impossible for Seagate to license a Maxtor technology with Maxtor as an independent entity. There is also the intellectual property stored up in Maxtors employees: good talent can be hard to find, and if Seagate is expanding and developing more new technologies, it may have been a lot easier to just buy Maxtor (and gain its employees) rather than try expand its workforce at the slow pace of engineering and management recruiting/hiring.

WD (1)

certel (849946) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308420)

With all the mention of Western Digital's failing, I haven't had one die on me yet. (Yes, I know, it will probably be ironic that one dies today). To the story, I think this is a big move for Seagate and I hope they can utilize some of the greatness in the Maxtor drives.

Re:WD (1)

bilbravo (763359) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308503)

2nd that... and of all my friends and myself, I've only heard of 2 drives failing--both Maxtors. I currently have an 80gb WD and a 120gb Seagate, as well as a 20gb Maxtor I use as a temp drive.

branding (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308450)

from the ancient 100MB seagates that i've still got knocking around to the brand new 160GB one i purchased just the other week, they've always been the most reliable brand in my experience, i hope we don't end up with cheap maxtor style seagate badged drives with similarly high error rates and poor stability.

The evil monster that has enslaved your mother.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308470)

I CALL HIM GAMBLOR!!

is it me? (4, Interesting)

utexaspunk (527541) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308493)

...or does it seem like almost every major national/international market end up in what is essentially a duopoly with a few other minor players? Usually they're red vs blue, too-

Target vs Wal-Mart
Home Depot vs Lowe's
Coke vs Pepsi
Republicans vs Democrats
CVS vs Walgreen's
Nike vs Reebok
Verizon vs Cingular
Firestone vs Goodyear
Marlboro vs Camel
...

There are a lot more that I can't think of right now. I guess since monopolies often get broken up, things tend to stabilize at duopolies...

feels like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14308518)

Feels like a good friend just got shot in the head [damnednice.com][Preferred Link].

Flash Drives? (1)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308521)

I was in the orthodontists office today and there was a Gamerz PC mag on the table with a sidebar about 16GB flash drives from Hitachi coming out next year. Now at $400 it's pretty damn pricey but the cost will obviously drop with time. Seems to me you could bundle a few of these together, put them in a small package and have a relatively sturdy non mechanical drive that could replace most platter drives.

who's left? (2, Interesting)

tomcres (925786) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308523)

You know, I used to like Seagate until they acquired Conner, which I had terrible experiences with. Then I used to use Maxtor until they acquired Quantum, which I used to see incredible failure rates on in my work as a PC repair tech. The problem is that if I buy a Seagate, how do I know I'm not really getting a Conner? Or if I buy Maxtor, how can I be sure that it's not just a rebranded Quantum drive?

Over the last few years, I've used Western Digital and IBM/Hitachi pretty much exclusively, primarily IBM/Hitachi. I've never had a problem ever with either brand. About a dozen or so drives over the past several years and they were only ever replaced for bigger/faster drives, never because of a defect or problem. I guess I'll really stay away from Seagate now. But I'm not sure why everyone seems to have horror stories about IBM/Hitachi. I've found them to be fast, quiet, and reliable. In fact, although I will pick up a WD if it's on sale, Hitachi is usually a few dollars cheaper and not as loud as a typical WD drive, in my experience.

Pretty good bargain (1)

bluestar (17362) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308555)

Did anyone else read the headline as Seagate buys Maxtor for $1.98 ? That's about what their drives are worth.

Still better than WD (1)

jrmcferren (935335) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308564)

I don't know much about the manufacture of hard drive other than they have to be clean and sealed from dirt. I had a WD drive fail yesterday, luckily I was only playing around with it. After I removed it, I removed a small round piece of metal tape from the side of the drive and it exposed the platters! I knew that WD drives were junk, I did not know that they were S***. To Stay on topic, I hope that Seagate will improve the Maxtor drives, as I only had one seagate drive fail on me (it was older than I was at the time) and it was a 20MB MFM drive. I only trust seagate drives, although my notebook has an IBM that has not failed yet knock on wood.

Friends don't let friends drive Maxtor (1)

Saberwind (50430) | more than 8 years ago | (#14308572)

This move will likely bring Seagate more exposure to the budget PC market. However, I've personally witnessed a disproportionately high number of Maxtor drives fail (while working in the PC support department of a five-campus technical college, and drives owned by friends), so I've long had a policy of never buying from them.
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