Hard Drive Makers Slash Warranties

In a bid to save money or redirect funds to product development, Seagate and Western Digital are cutting hard drive warranties -- in some cases from five years to one.

Seagate's warranties on certain drives were shortened as of Dec. 31, and Western Digital followed suit on Jan. 2. All drives shipped prior to those dates will continue to carry the warranty term in effect at the shipping time.

First reported by The Register, a London-based technology website, the reductions mean some of the vendors' most popular PC drives will no longer carry three- or five-year warranties.

Seagate said it is reducing warranty periods as a way to redirect cash flow to product development. The vendor said there is no change in the warranties of "mission-critical" enterprise drives including the Cheetah line. But warranty periods for the Momentus XT hybrid drive and nearline products including the Constellation 2 series are being cut from five years to three.

Warranties for some of Seagate's desktop and notebook drives, including the Barracuda, are being cut from five years to one.

Western Digital announced that it's cutting warranties for Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three years to two, but it didn't offer an explanation for the changes.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

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