Seagate and Western Digital have reduced their warranties to one to three years
Hard drive prices were at an astounding level, with weekly deals for 2TB SATA drives being sold for sub-$100 prices. Then prices shot up – in some cases..doubled – after Thailand got hit with major flooding. While the situation in Thailand is still having major affects on the world hard drive supply, a new development has happened over the last month: warranty cuts.
The top two hard drive manufacturers, Seagate and Western Digital, have separately announced that they will be cutting their warranties on their mechanical hard drives. Most desktop and laptop drives will include a 1-year warranty, which used to be a pretty standard 3-year warranty period. The higher-end drives which used to have 5-year warranties, went to 3-year warranties.
Both companies deny that these cutbacks don’t have anything to do with the Thailand floods we covered in last month’s issue of Computer Link Magazine. Seagate’s official statement to distributors was: “At Seagate, we are standardizing warranty terms to be more consistent with those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries. By aligning to current industry standards, Seagate can continue to focus its investments on technology innovation and unique product features that drive value for our customers rather than holding long-term reserves for warranty returns.”
Western Digital sent out a similar letter, stating: “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.” The spokesman also denied that the warranty cuts were related to the Thailand floods, which has severely affected the company’s ability to manufacture hard drives.
Keep in mind that no matter what the warranty period is for your hard drive, you absolutely, positively should back up your important files to secondary media, such as CD, DVD, flash drive, and now… into the cloud using a number of cloud services available for storing your files. It’s the worst thing to have your hard drive crash and to lose all your family digital photos, documents, and music collection. Be safe and backup regularly.