Seagate and Western Digital cut back on HDD warranties

The days of thinking that your hard drive will last at least five years is over with Seagate and Western Digital cutting back on hard drive warranties.

In some cases the warranties will drop from five years to just one.

Seagate’s warranties on some drives will be reduced as of 31 December, and WD will follow starting on 2 January. If you want to buy a drive with a longer warranty you will have to snap one up this week.

Seagate told ComputerWorld that it was reducing warranty periods as a way to standardise its terms “to be more consistent with those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries.”

Basically it was costing too much to do anything more and Seagate needs the cash for R&D.

One of the more interesting cuts to the warranty are happening on its hybrid Momentus XT, which combines NAND flash-based solid state storage with spinning disk.

The new warranties apply to internal hard drives designed for laptops, desktops and consumer electronics devices. Seagate said it will not change its warranties on “mission critical enterprise drives.” Those with Cheetah drives or Seagate external drives will be unaffected.

Seagate will also be changing its warranty policy from five years to one year for Barracuda and Barracuda Green 3.5-inch drives and the Momentus 2.5-inch (5400 and 7200rpm). Seagate’s nearline drives, the Constellation 2 and ES.2 drives, are moving from five- to three-year warranty.

Western Digital said it is cutting the warranties on its Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three years to two.

It told ComputerWorld that 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.

It looks like the outfit has a cunning plan to begin charging for extended warranties.

Meanwhile, Seagate has announced that it has finished the process to buy Samsung’s hard disk drive business.

Seagate has bought some nice bits of Samsung’s HDD business, including the M8 product line of high-capacity, 2.5-inch HDDs.