mike2h

wd to cut warranty on mainstream drives

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Interesting find and too bad really. I wonder though if it effectively matters much to buyers. Most of the failures will happen early or be under the OEM's warranty, but yeah, generally not a great sign.

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That just pushes you to pay for the Black edition instead of blue if you care about warranty at all and want a WD drive that comes in blue and black.

Comparing desktop drives (assuming Seagate doesn't lower theirs to match) we will have:

SG Barracuda XT 5 year

SG Barracuda 3 year

WD Caviar Black 5 year

WD Caviar Blue 2 year

WD Caviar Green 2 year

SG Momentus XT 5 year

SG Momentus 3 year

WD Scorpio Black 5 year

WD Scorpio Blue 2 year

Seagate will stop making green drives after Feb 2012 (so I didn't list those) and WD will keep making them but drop the warranty by a year.

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Disk based drives have been hit really hard recently and it couldn't be at a worse time. To me this shows a lack of faith by WD, because as mentioned drives are likely to fail early, and I really wonder how many people would even bother with the warranty after a few years.

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I thought Seagate had already cut theirs to match?

Maybe they announced it somewhere?

I checked the Seagate and WD web sites earlier for current warranty lengths. They obviously wouldn't make it obvious on the marketing pages if they were planning to reduce warranty in the future.

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Disk based drives have been hit really hard recently and it couldn't be at a worse time. To me this shows a lack of faith by WD, because as mentioned drives are likely to fail early, and I really wonder how many people would even bother with the warranty after a few years.

me. my raptor 150(got it when they first came out) took a dump a cpl of weeks back- & all my games with it- lucky for me it was still under warranty & they sent me a much newer vers of the drive. of all the drives i have ever purchased think ive only had one fail in the first year. since 5yr warranties came up they are the only drives i buy. basically caviar blacks & re series.

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Well if WD is the only who's going to make green drives then I guess 2 years is the market leader ;)

Hitachi will keep making green drives for a while at least too, so there's another option for now at least.

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lol, true.

as jc22 said "..worse time.." with disk prices up & ssd price coming down(and quality going up) kinda ugly for them. course the use scenarios for those kinda drives usually precludes ssd.

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Well if WD is the only who's going to make green drives then I guess 2 years is the market leader ;)

Hitachi will keep making green drives for a while at least too, so there's another option for now at least.

Unless you've seen news saying the deal didn't happen or won't happen Hitachi is part of WD so green drives are still only WD no matter which of the two names are on the label. Only Toshiba stands alone and they are a niche player.

Big 1 Seagate: 27.20% + Maxtor: 3.45% + Samsung 14.64% = ~45%

Big 2 Western Digital: 27.80% + Hitachi: 10.92% = ~39%

the little guy Toshiba: 4.36% + Fujitsu: 1.38% = ~6%

those market share numbers yanked from April 2011, didn't feel like pulling newer stats. If the consolidation continues it'd be easy to see WD absorb Toshiba/Fujitsu drives and make it a simple duopoly. Oh, and the other 10% is SSDs or other items that didn't easily fit in the consumer HD space.

Edited by dhanson865

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Hmm, the last drives I bought (about a year ago) and recommended to (2 months ago) were Seagate...

Looks like I should turn away from Western Digital in the future... a lower warranty is pretty much acknowledgement that their products aren't built to last - or at least that the company doesn't care about their customers...

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OK, you can rename this thread now.

http://www.techpowerup.com/156962/Seagate-Take-A-Leaf-Out-Of-WD-s-Book-Offer-Crummy-ONE-YEAR-Warranties-On-Some-HDD-s.html

Effective December 31, 2011, Seagate will be changing its warranty policy from a 5 year to a 3 year warranty period for Nearline drives, 5 years to 1 year for certain Desktop and Notebook Bare Drives, 5 years to 3 years on Barracuda XT and Momentus XT, and from as much as 5 years to 2 years on Consumer Electronics.

Constellation 2 and ES.2 drives: 3 years

Barracuda and Barracuda Green 3.5-inch drives: 1 year

Barracuda XT: 3 years

Momentus 2.5-inch (5400 and 7200rpm): 1 year

Momentus XT: 3 years

SV35 Series - Video Surveillance: 2 years

Pipeline HD Mini, Pipeline HD: 2 years

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And to update the list I made in an earlier post it looks like this early in 2012

SG Barracuda XT 3 year

SG Barracuda 1 year

WD Caviar Black 5 year

WD Caviar Blue 2 year

WD Caviar Green 2 year

SG Momentus XT 3 year

SG Momentus 1 year

WD Scorpio Black 5 year

WD Scorpio Blue 2 year

Is that really right? Is WD Black the only consumer grade drive left with a 5 year warranty? And only Seagate XT drives with 3 year warranty?

If that list is right I can see people moving to WD Black for storage drives just for the warranty.

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Does anyone know if this is simply a cost cutting measure on WD / Seagate's front, or if there is an actual manufacturing change too (which prompted the warranty cuts)?

Related to this, but I don't see myself buying another disk based drive again. I don't use a lot of storage, and with the price of SSD's only dropping, someone like me has very little reason to buy the old HDD's.

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Does anyone know if this is simply a cost cutting measure on WD / Seagate's front, or if there is an actual manufacturing change too (which prompted the warranty cuts)?

Related to this, but I don't see myself buying another disk based drive again. I don't use a lot of storage, and with the price of SSD's only dropping, someone like me has very little reason to buy the old HDD's.

I can only speculate, but I believe that higher platter density drives tend to overall fail more often compared to their lower density siblings.

Similar to the notion that 22nm MLC SSDs have a reduced lifespan over 34nm MLC SSDs.

I think it is about 3-4000 write cycles vs. 10000 for SSDs.

(Just on this note, a bit off-topic, but my G2 Intel has nearly reached 10TB of writes and is still working as well as ever (9,98TB))

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I can only speculate, but I believe that higher platter density drives tend to overall fail more often compared to their lower density siblings.
Not that we've noticed...
Similar to the notion that 22nm MLC SSDs have a reduced lifespan over 34nm MLC SSDs.

I think it is about 3-4000 write cycles vs. 10000 for SSDs.

In theory it's 3k vs. 5k for 25nm vs. 34nm, but in reality... well take a gander at this Xtremesystems forum SSD lifetime thread.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?271063-SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm

I honestly wouldn't worry about wearing out a modern SSD on a typical enthusiast desktop use scenario unless some truly extraordinary things were done.

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Not that we've noticed...

In theory it's 3k vs. 5k for 25nm vs. 34nm, but in reality... well take a gander at this Xtremesystems forum SSD lifetime thread.

http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?271063-SSD-Write-Endurance-25nm-Vs-34nm

I honestly wouldn't worry about wearing out a modern SSD on a typical enthusiast desktop use scenario unless some truly extraordinary things were done.

Interesting thread :)

And actually, with the 22nm SSDs, I would worry.

Smaller random writes are more wear than large sequential writes. If anybody makes professional use of Photoshop, CAD, programming or other simulations (e.g. Fluent), it shouldn't be difficult to write TBs of data to a drive in a short amount of time. SLC SSDs are just too expensive. Also, do you really want to regularly replace your SSD when your older HDDs would last "forever" (or until it was thrown about too much or the motor fails).

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Interesting thread :)

And actually, with the 22nm SSDs, I would worry.

Smaller random writes are more wear than large sequential writes. If anybody makes professional use of Photoshop, CAD, programming or other simulations (e.g. Fluent), it shouldn't be difficult to write TBs of data to a drive in a short amount of time. SLC SSDs are just too expensive. Also, do you really want to regularly replace your SSD when your older HDDs would last "forever" (or until it was thrown about too much or the motor fails).

good points and something that is playing into my choice as to what ssd to buy as a system drive. though i am not sure your examples apply to the 'typical enthusiast' users he was referring to.

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good points and something that is playing into my choice as to what ssd to buy as a system drive. though i am not sure your examples apply to the 'typical enthusiast' users he was referring to.

Well, at least with respect to Photoshop, an artist can be an enthusiast user ;)

Installing an OS also causes loads of writes - setting up my Intel SSD originally created close to 600GB of writes... the second install (I broke the OS with Revo) created fewer GB of writes, but still many.

-> Also, installing & uninstalling can create loads of writes, depending on how well/bad the software is written. (I noticed open source software typically consists of thousands of tiny files... tiny files (especially is < 4KB) the greater the wear)

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an OS also causes loads of writes - setting up my Intel SSD originally created close to 600GB of writes.
Which OS was this? That sounds decidedly non-standard compared to what I know of!

And for perspective, yes, this includes large OEM/ODM work as well as more typical destined-for-the-office-desktop builds...

tiny files (especially is < 4KB) the greater the wear)
If it's even remotely compressible, Sandforce controllers should do a very good job reducing write amplification....

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Which OS was this? That sounds decidedly non-standard compared to what I know of!

And for perspective, yes, this includes large OEM/ODM work as well as more typical destined-for-the-office-desktop builds...

If it's even remotely compressible, Sandforce controllers should do a very good job reducing write amplification....

Windows Vista with a Sony recovery disc on a laptop - but also adding things like Visual Studio and a full Adobe Suite plus a significant amount of updates.

When I checked after having set up everything I was up into the 100s of GBs of writes - around 600 if I remember correctly...

In terms of writing:

Actually, no :)

If you write less than 4K, then a 4K block of flash is written to - no matter how tiny the data. Compressing it doesn't help.

That's the issue with small files.

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I don't find this to be that big of a deal for a few reasons,

  1. Most drives tend to have an infant mortality rate, meaning that if its going to die, its going really close to the manufactures date.
    • The last drive that died (and am in the process of returning) died well within the 3yr warranty period, i still have 700 or so days left

[*]Chances are by the time a drive did die, the replacement would be a fraction of the cost anyway.

[*]I think this is also being blown out of proportion because the the shortage of the drives currently.

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I don't find this to be that big of a deal for a few reasons,

  1. Most drives tend to have an infant mortality rate, meaning that if its going to die, its going really close to the manufactures date.
    • The last drive that died (and am in the process of returning) died well within the 3yr warranty period, i still have 700 or so days left

[*]Chances are by the time a drive did die, the replacement would be a fraction of the cost anyway.

[*]I think this is also being blown out of proportion because the the shortage of the drives currently.

Now why would point 2 make that any better?

The fact that something can be replaced at a low cost doesn't automatically make it a disposable item. Plus, most drives have a minimum cost of around 40-50€ going up right now, for the smallest model.

Not something I want to be forced to spend on a replacement.

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