Seagate Ups Drive Warranties To 5 YearsBy Mark Hachman | Print
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Seagate Technology has increased the warranty of almost all of its hard drives to five years, reversing a trend toward shorter-period warranties.Seagate Technology has increased the warranty of almost all of its hard drives to five years, reversing a trend toward shorter-period warranties.
The warranties will apply to all of Seagate's internal desktop, mobile, and enterprise hard drives that buyers purchase today, excluding external drives, Seagate executives said.
For the past year, the warranties on hard drives have actually declined, while at the same time the drives' larger capacities have held more and more data. Meanwhile, companies like IBM have received criticism for placing limitations on the usage of drives like the DeskStar 120GXP, which was only rated for eight consecutive hours of operation per day. Hitachi
The drive maker will also honor the five-year warranty on older models that may be sitting on store shelves, a Seagate representative said, although the warranty was designed to be applied to drives shipping to distributors after June 1.
Previously, Seagate's warranties covered periods of between one and three years, the industry standard. Rival Maxtor, for example, generally certifies its hard drives for a year of service, with a three-year warranty applied to its latest DiamondMax and MaxLine hard drives. However, Maxtor's Atlas SCSI drives also carry the five-year warranty.
Western Digital's warranty program is a bit more restrictive than Maxtor's, as the company applies a one-year warranties to the Protege, Caviar , and Caviar SE retail drives; Caviar SE drives sold as a "bare drive" receive a three-year warranty. WD's Raptor enterprise drives receive a five-year warranty. WD customers can also extend the warranty on drives bought at retail for an additional two years by paying a $14.95 fee.
For Seagate and other drive markers, the exception to the increased warranty status will be external drives, which are subject to the jars and jolts that drives protected by a PC chassis are not. Those drives will still have a warranty period of one year.
"That's more of a consumer appliance, where expectations are a little different," Cousins said.