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Hard Knock Hard Drives: Seagate and Western Digital Slash Warranties

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By , dealnews Copy Editor

While the floods in Thailand have begun to subside, hard drive shortages will reportedly continue until spring of 2012, which means we're in store for even more mediocre deals in the future. And now, adding to the ho-hum state of hard drives, is the fact that both Seagate and Western Digital have announced that they will be slashing warranties on their new lines of drives, according to ZDNet.

Seagate plans on reducing its warranties from five years to three, (and in some cases from three years to just one) and likewise, Western Digital is cutting its drives coverage from three years to only two. The drives affected have shipment dates of December 31 for Seagate, and January 2 for Western digital and include:

  • Seagate
  • Barracuda and Barracuda Green 3.5" drives, Barracuda XT
  • Momentus 2.5" drives, Momentus XT
  • SV35, Pipeline HD Mini and Pipeline HD
  • Constellation 2, ES.2 drives
  • Western Digital
  • Caviar Blue, Caviar Green, Caviar Black
  • Scorpio Blue, Scorpio Black

But this isn't the first time these manufacturers have cut their warranty lengths. Way back in 2002, Seagate, Western Digital, and Maxtor all instituted warranty reductions on a variety of their hard drives because the costs of maintaining a standard 3-year warranty program was immense.

Some technology experts however view Seagate's warranty reduction as a means to free up more funds for product research and development in the future. But despite such speculation, the company claims that its just standardizing its warranty terms "to be more consistent with those commonly applied throughout the consumer electronics and technology industries."

Considering the current state of hard drive production (and thus, hard drive deals), you might want to alternatively look to solid state drives if you're in the market for a storage upgrade. Previously prohibitively expensive, SSDs have gradually been dropping in price, thus becoming more affordable. Moreover, SSD production has not been affected by the Thai floods, which means you're more likely to find a highly discounted deal in the coming months.

To find the lowest price for either a hard drive or solid state drive, sign up for a dealnews email alert.

Front page photo credit: Daily Tech

Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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