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Unread 12-05-2012, 06:51 PM   #5
Terry Kennedy
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Join Date: Apr 2005
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Default Re: Seagate, warranty period, unknown.

Originally Posted by Phoenix32 View Post
You mention Western Digital, kind of hinting they are better with that particular policy.
I don't think it was a hint. I spent about 15 minutes searching the Seagate site looking for any sort of statement about their retail warranty and couldn't find anything other than the link I posted.

For myself, I have never had a problem determining if a particular drive (using the serial number) is in or out of warranty with Seagate.
Sure, if you already have the drive (or see a picture of one on eBay or something), you can find out how much warranty (if any) is remaining. As a potential customer looking to purchase a new retail drive, being told "it varies" isn't particularly useful. I suppose if you were to actually walk into a Best Buy or whatever and look at the drive package, you might be able to find this out (if the serial number is visible and you have a smartphone to access the manufacturer's web site).

It may be that the model the original poster was asking about is one which Seagate simply doesn't supply to the retail channel. If all of that model are sold to OEMs, the correct answer is "It varies, and the warranty isn't between you and Seagate, it's between the OEM and Seagate".

WD on the other hand, has been nothing but a pain in the arse the last 5 years or so getting a drive replaced. I had a drive that showed as "in warranty" and they refused to replace it saying it was out of warranty. I also had a drive that was "in warranty" and they pro-rated it, requiring me to pay a portion of the cost of the replacement. They have been slow in turnarounds and in general, very inconsistant with honoring or replacing drives in warranty. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won't, etc....
WD thinks I'm 2 people - one that buys a lot of disks for a company, and one that is a consumer with a couple drives. I've never had any RMA problems, using either personality. The corporate one does get a bunch of perks like advance replacement and new replacement drives, not refurbs. But I've never had a problem as an end user.

Obviously, individual results may vary.

I actually switched from Seagate because of the change in their warranty from 5 to 3 years, followed by the firmware fiasco where an "important - apply soon" firmware update bricked drives and then there were RMA issues with those drives.

Lets also not forget that WD PURPOSELY make the firmware in their less expensive drives not work well (if at all) in RAID arrays, just so they can sell you a more expensive drive. I am NOT a Seagate fan, trust me. But, given a choice between WD and Seagate, I will take Seagate every time.
In another thread here (I think it was about WD's "Red" drives), you can see that I'm not entirely happy with WD's product strategy.

However, we both know that people like us, who buy small quantities of drives, are not the people the drive manufacturers care about. It's customers like Dell, Pace Micro (DVR's), EMC, etc. If there happens to be a model in the manufacturer's lineup that can be sold at retail, that's a very minor side benefit to the manufacturer.

And, franky, the average customer who buys a retail drive is putting it in a Windows box and they don't know (or care) about TLER, etc. We're a smaller subset of a small subset of their customers.

Honestly, I think "we the consumers" are screwed anymore. As near as I can tell,there are now only 3 drive manufacturers. Seagate, WD, and Toshiba. Toshiba concentrates on specialty drives, and the other two have bought out everyone else. Neither of which have been great reliable drives the last ew years.
They're all building drives to a price point where they can sell them (with whatever OEM warranty) and have the warranty end before the drive fails. You can see this with lots of things - for example, recent Blu-ray players have faster CPUs and far more functionality than the ones from even 2 years ago - but they have a design / build quality that's little better than junk.

The days where you buy a drive, run it for 10 years, then look at it and notice that there's a label that says the filter should be cleaned every few months, but you never did and it's still working fine are long gone. [Fujitsu Eagle, if anyone cares.] Of course, at the same time there was the DEC RA81, where some beancounter decided to save a few pennies per drive and made a change that caused every single drive to fail.
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