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Western Digital cutting down warranties for some of their drives

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 18 Dec 2011 17:20 User comments (21)

Western Digital cutting down warranties for some of their drives Western Digital has said today that they will be cutting down the warranty period for their Caviar Blue, Scorpio Blue and Caviar Green hard drives.
The drives will have 2-year warranties for now on, down from 3. Caviar Black and Scorpio Black drives will continue with five-year warranties.

WD's AV drives and all of its external drives have unchanged warranty periods, as well.

Reads the letter from SelectWD:

This new warranty policy will be effective for drives shipped from January 2nd, 2012. It is important that you take a moment to update your website(s) and collateral to reflect this change for effected drives shipped after January 1st, 2012.

All drives shipped to distributors prior to Jan. 2nd 2012 will retain the current warranty terms. Because of existing inventory in the distribution channel there will be a short period of time when some drives with a 3-year warranty will be sold at the same time as drives with a 2-year warranty.

If you have any doubt about the warranty of a drive you purchased, you can go to support.wdc.com, select Warranty and RMA Services and proceed to the Warranty Check page.


Western Digital will also begin offering extended warranties soon.

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21 user comments

118.12.2011 18:31

Yeah why's that too many warranty returns huh!,no matter hitachi & sammy's are the only ones i buy now


218.12.2011 19:40

Hmm... Interesting. I've always been for Seagate, but for price range, I got a 3TB external from WD for cheaper and seems to work pretty well. I'm not one to rely on warranties for anything since most of the times, by the time you need to use it, it already expired.

318.12.2011 21:17

Originally posted by GryphB:
Hmm... Interesting. I've always been for Seagate, but for price range, I got a 3TB external from WD for cheaper and seems to work pretty well. I'm not one to rely on warranties for anything since most of the times, by the time you need to use it, it already expired.
I agree with the warranty has expired by the time you need it, but I'm thinking this is the entire reason they shorten the warranty period. I can see if the drive has a 5 year warranty, that would be reasonable, but the next period will be 1 year, and i wouldn't put it past some companies to put in a timer to start failing after a given date. Bottom line shorter warranties only work for the company, while I'm with you that WD are cheap drives and not something i would tend use, Seagate too has shortened the warranty period too, interesting over a period of 20 years i never had a Seegate go bad until the latest round of warranty period cuts...

419.12.2011 2:22

From what Ive learnt and experienced , i will never again purchase a WD product . They are just poorly built and die quicker than other top brands . The life with Seagate is triple that of WD . Ive owned 3 WD HDD's and they all died within 6months , And now its been another 6months and my Seagate HDD is still running like new.

519.12.2011 2:56

I'm with scorpNZ: Hitachi and Samsung. Actually, Hitachi is the only brand that still didn't fail on me (even the IBM deathstars didn't fail).

619.12.2011 4:57

I have used a lot of WD hard drives and have never had one fail on me. I have a 640gb one I still use and bought it at least 3-4 years ago and it is in use pretty much 24/7. I have had Seagate hard drives and while I had none fail on me they ran very hot. Now this was years ago and I have since used a newer Seagate drive and have not had heat issues with it.

719.12.2011 11:45

Reducing the warranty period tells me that they have less faith in the durability of their products...something I will take into consideration when buying a new hard drive.

819.12.2011 12:37

Originally posted by IguanaC64:
Reducing the warranty period tells me that they have less faith in the durability of their products...something I will take into consideration when buying a new hard drive.
Absolutely agree, even the first time you posted... Don't worry we've all done a re-post, especially when one has not had enough caffeine yet :)

919.12.2011 13:16

Originally posted by patrick_:
I'm with scorpNZ: Hitachi and Samsung. Actually, Hitachi is the only brand that still didn't fail on me (even the IBM deathstars didn't fail).
Yep I still have two 80gb drives from Hitachi from way back and the both still work

1023.12.2011 10:38

Wow, a lot of WD haters in this thread. In 10 years I have never purchased anything other than WD. I really think a HD is a HD is a HD (excluding SSD). I have 10 WD's for my movie server and prob purchased another 10 before that. Never had a problem with one of them (knock, knock).

1123.12.2011 12:20

Originally posted by scorpNZ:
Yeah why's that too many warranty returns huh!,no matter hitachi & sammy's are the only ones i buy now
Hitachi and Samsung got bought off by WD and Seagate I just don't remember which one went to WD and which one went to Seagate but each one owns one of the 2 ok WD bought hitachi for $4.3 billion just searched it to make sure which one they bought. So WD owns Hitachi and as of 12-20-2011 Samsung HDD division is now Seagate's.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Dec 2011 @ 12:21

L.A.LAKERS#1

1223.12.2011 12:33

Originally posted by 8686:
Wow, a lot of WD haters in this thread. In 10 years I have never purchased anything other than WD. I really think a HD is a HD is a HD (excluding SSD). I have 10 WD's for my movie server and prob purchased another 10 before that. Never had a problem with one of them (knock, knock).
I agree.

Besides the general audience here doesn't know that solid state drives will be replacing hard drive in two years.

1324.12.2011 0:02

Originally posted by robertmro:
Originally posted by 8686:
Wow, a lot of WD haters in this thread. In 10 years I have never purchased anything other than WD. I really think a HD is a HD is a HD (excluding SSD). I have 10 WD's for my movie server and prob purchased another 10 before that. Never had a problem with one of them (knock, knock).
I agree.

Besides the general audience here doesn't know that solid state drives will be replacing hard drive in two years.
yeah...right keep dreaming.

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1425.12.2011 19:35

SSD's make good performance drives, but the cost/size ratio is still far too high to make them practical for large scale use. Given that standard drives are getting cheaper per size, and content getting larger, I see no reason for this to change in the forseeable future.

1525.12.2011 20:28

Originally posted by CarpeSol:
SSD's make good performance drives, but the cost/size ratio is still far too high to make them practical for large scale use. Given that standard drives are getting cheaper per size, and content getting larger, I see no reason for this to change in the forseeable future.
Go back 20 or 30 years ago, the same argument was made for storing programs on punch cards and data files on tape, then tape to hard drives. I might think in the speed of which computers will go completely to SSD drive systems might be at least 5 or 10 years away or possibly another storage medium comes out. I remember my first "LARGE" hard drive was 300MB, cost $1,500.00 and a USB flash drive purchased last year for $15.00 which had 300 times more storage as compared to the hard drive, I could easily have gotten a USB drive with 10x or more than the USB drive I did.

I thought Moore's Law was computer power or price will half every 18 months, so 5 years from not it isn't too hard to image cheap SSD drives that are much larger will be out and available.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 26 Dec 2011 @ 19:10

1626.12.2011 1:19

ive never had a problem with a WD drive.using a wd elements external 2tb drive now for storage.there drives seem to last for ever with 0 problems.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

1726.12.2011 16:21

I've noticed that the failure rate of Green drives seems high. I've got 3 WD20EARS drives, and 2 3Tb drives from western digital. I've also owned multiple black drives. Never had a problem with storage drives. I've however had problems with every Raptor drive I've owned, except my current Velociraptor, which has only seen an hour of running time. Given the reviews of green drives, I was certainly nervous buying my first. When it/they survived the long format, I loosened up quite a bit. Their performance is quite similar to the 1Tb blacks I've owned. My case is quite cool, so I'm not too concerned. My computer runs 99% of the time too. So each drive has LOTS of hours logged :)

The warranty change is certainly unnerving though. And given current pricing of replacement drives, I'm quite nervous about my current drives lasting long enough, to make redundant copies. The only seagate I ever bought began failing inside 2 weeks. Since my troubles with WD have been minor, I don't see the point in switching. I'd sure like to trust SSD, but for storage purposes, they're far too expensive at present. I'll likely be buying one in february though :D




To delete, or not to delete. THAT is the question!

1830.12.2011 11:41

Originally posted by DXR88:
Originally posted by robertmro:
Originally posted by 8686:
Wow, a lot of WD haters in this thread. In 10 years I have never purchased anything other than WD. I really think a HD is a HD is a HD (excluding SSD). I have 10 WD's for my movie server and prob purchased another 10 before that. Never had a problem with one of them (knock, knock).
I agree.

Besides the general audience here doesn't know that solid state drives will be replacing hard drive in two years.
yeah...right keep dreaming.
Gotta go with with you here. SSDs are a LONG ways from replacing HDDs. SSDs are not reliable at the cheaper price point. Nice for lots of reads, terrible for lots of writes, and Windows can easily idly write 2+TB of data to a drive a day. Not good when you can't expect a full petabyte out of the drive.

My worst experience has been with Maxtors, but I've had my share of WD issues. This just tells me that WD is loosening their quality control and expecting more failures. Combine this with WD DRM crippling their drives, and my so far 100% failure rate of external enclosures, and there is nothing that can ever make me purchase a WD drive again.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 30 Dec 2011 @ 13:50

198.1.2012 23:59

You have to wonder if the floods in Thailand, which flooded the WD plant there, have anything to do with it. All that water pouring into the clean rooms used for production must have brought with it enormous amounts of micron-sized debris which could lodge anywhere. Add to that any metal touched by the water will rust and you have a major contamination problem.

No doubt they will be doing major scrubbing to clean out the debris, but unless they strip everything to the walls and start over you will always have places where debris can lodge and rust form which later can be dislodged and contaminate a drive being produced.

In such a situation, it's likely more drives than usual will fail over time. Which would you rather have, a drive produced in their refurbished Thailand plant, or one produced at one of their other plants?

209.1.2012 0:09

Their quality control must be at least somewhat agreeable. Out of all the drives I've purchased(a lot), only 3 have failed. One of the failures wasn't a very cool PC case though. And the other two were velociraptors. I seem to have bad luck with those. Hopefully my current will be much better. Seems to be better than the other two ever were!

I'll buy WD before the other guys. Until I've seen a huge problem with WD, I just don't see the reason to switch.

Honestly, I think i'd want one from their "refurbished" plant. Because no doubt they are, and will be meticulous :)




To delete, or not to delete. THAT is the question!

219.1.2012 0:26

Originally posted by omegaman7:
Honestly, I think i'd want one from their "refurbished" plant. Because no doubt they are, and will be meticulous :)
I have been pretty happy with WD drives myself. But I will note that Seagate also reduced their warranties at the same time and they were also affected by the Thailand floods.

I don't know that any drive company has ever recovered a clean room plant from a flood such as this. I'm sure they're being meticulous, but short of rebuilding the plant from scratch, it's anybody's guess whether or not it will work. I think WD and Seagate are just being cautious.

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