back to article WD slashes warranty periods on Blue and Green drives

Western Digital is cutting the distribution warranty period for Caviar Blue, Caviar Green and Scorpio Blue drives from three to two years. Channel partners have been sent a letter from SelectWD explaining this, which says Caviar Black and Scorpio Black drives will continue to enjoy a five-year warranty. We understand WD's AV …


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  1. TonyHoyle

    Nice of them to let us know

    Mostly when companies drop their build quality we have to find out the hard way. WD have given us advance notice. That's nice of them.

    1. linear a

      not advance notice of crap quality

      i've had trouble with their crap green drives for 2 years now - 40% failure rate so far.

    2. Mark 65

      Indeed. I found out the hard way that the Green part of the Green drives is prone to failure. Specifically the bit that decides when to power down the drive. Took me 2 days to get the data off due to the resultant stop/start spinup.

  2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Nothing to see here, move along

    Warranties are regularly tweaked based on how stuff performs in the field. What this means is that the Green and Blue in-field failure rates have been anything but stellar.

    As I have already had to return one - I am not surprised.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Personal experience...

      I've got four WDC Green drives - 2x500GB, 1xTB and 1x1.5TB, they all run all the time in a low power ESXi4.1 server. The 1.5TB drive is at least a year and a half old, the others are up to two and a half years old. They have been on, pretty much all of the time I've owned them and I've not had a single failure.

      I've pretty much always used WDC drives and found them to be really very good.

    2. Ammaross Danan

      Works better than Seagate

      That is all

  3. GrumpyJoe

    So if they don't have confidence in their products

    why should I?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      'Cause confidence doesn't make a good product.

      I got one of the IBM Deathstar drives in an OEM built machine back in '99. It came with a three year warranty but the drive didn't seem to care. Every six months the drive died and needed to be replaced. Lots of products have short warranties but keep working well after the fact.

      And really, there's something refreshing about a company that's honest enough to say, "We just took a big hit with the flooding, so we need to cut costs somewhere. We can either raise prices, layoff workers, or limit some of our warranties."

      1. Keith T

        It is not at all refreshing

        There is nothing refreshing if what they are doing what you claim, making defective drives on purpose in order to keep costs down.

        Sure they are telling industry insiders, but the regular folks, my customers and yours, are going to get hammered by this.

        For the sake of cutting $10 off the build costs our customers are going to be hit with $500, $1,000 costs in recovering data, reset up, and lost worker productivity.

        Any vendor putting these drives in his product has got to expect to take a hit to his reputation and long term business success.

        But in today's environment where shareholders only care about the next quarter, and to heck with employees and their silly career plans, I suppose it really doesn't matter.

  4. GettinSadda



    At least that's what I read in the article - it is the message I will be taking away with me and using in any future purchasing decisions. The only logical reason for reducing the warranty period is that you have too many failures within the existing period.

  5. Petey

    Quantity, not quality!

    So now the worker in Thailand have to churn them out so fast that the drives can't be guaranteed to have the same resilience?

    No doubt they'll appear in Aldi soon.

  6. b166er

    I don't suppose, that they've been busy stuffing Black guts into Blue and Green cases because of the flooding?

    And now they know they've shipped too many Black's (dressed up as Blue's and Green's) that they won't earn the forecasted replacement revenue, so they've dropped the warranty.

    Cynical, moi?

    (I always buy 5 years anyway)

  7. CraigRoberts
    Thumb Down

    Having had issues with several WD drives recently - "Click of Death" just as they've come out of warranty I was already looking elsewhere... This just reaffirms my decision...

  8. Leona A

    So WD are not so confident about their products any more, wonder why they have changed, had too many failures, costing them too much.

    If you [WD] are not confident enough to warranty your drive, I'm not confident enough to buy it!

  9. TrevorH
    Thumb Down

    I bought 4 of their crappy 'Green Power' drives and have RMA'ed all 4 plus one of the replacements so far. The reduction in their warranty presumably reflects the fact that they're disposable rubbish.

  10. tempemeaty

    The messa WD is sending the end user...poor quality drive...

    Basically it makes it look like you are buying a disposable drive with an option for a payment plan for replacement WHEN it fails not if it should. Of course when the end user spends thousands of dollars on file data and programs being stored on a poor quality drive no one is offering to replace that.

    1. BlueGreen

      the lesson never learnt

      > Of course when the end user spends thousands of dollars on file data and programs being stored on a poor quality drive ...

      then they shouldn't have bought the cheapest drive they could find and not backed up its expensive contents.

      > WHEN it fails not if

      All drives fail (surprise!), and the newer and higher density the drive, the closer it is manufactured to the bleeding edge, nudging ever harder against the point of failure. Which is why I don't buy any drive bigger than 500G, something I find works well for me.

      The lesson? Buy cheap, pay twice.

      1. Keith T

        Verbatium gives 7 year warranties

        It is banal to observe that all drives eventually fail.

        The point is some models fail during the expected life of the computer they are installed in, which is unacceptable.

        Daily backups in companies do reduce recovery costs, but they that still leaves a couple of thousand dollars in lost productivity and additional overhead.

        An intelligent executive would sack any IT manager he found buying hard drives with anything less than 5 year warranties. Thankfully there are not many intelligent executives around.

        Verbatium gives 7 year warranties on the external drives they market.

      2. Fatman

        RE: The lesson? Buy cheap, pay twice.

        Which is why I replace a drive when it exceeds 9,000 POH (power on hours), or has an excessive number of start-stop cycles. (24 x 365 = 8760)

        Drives are cheap enough (as long as you do not need the AV rated ones) where replacement is worth considering. Most drives sold at retail have the software to clone the existing drive, so you are not forced to become a 'command line junkie'.

        I do agree about one thing, as the drive density increases, so does the possibility for failure. I would not want to be the one to have to drag 2TB's worth of data from a single drive.

  11. Reginald Marshall

    Must be...

    ... all that gunk they couldn't quite clean up after the floods. WD recently boasted how they managed to restart production in Thailand sooner than expected -- well, it comes at a price.

  12. This Side Up

    Extended warranty?

    They haven't been taken over by Dixon's have they?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One the other side of the coin

    I've had (and am using) 20+ of the green drives and not had a single failure / problem with them.

    If you want guaranteed 5 year life, buy the WD black drives or exterprise drives. The market is demanding mass storage at £25-30 a TB, and that buys you a certain level of reliability from all vendors.

    Makes me think of the performance/reliability/cost triad. Which two do you want?

  14. John F***ing Stepp

    Ocean Gate.

    Really good quality manufacturer bought out by (I forget, and don't want to be sued) piece of crap people that have had a slight tendency to break often.

    I kind of saw that coming.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Extended Warranty...

    On that warranty, Sir?

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disposable PC hardware

    This has been coming for a long time. Five or more years ago HP dropped all of their warranties to 1 year and some to just 90 days. Considering how poorly made the crap is that HP has been trying to sell their warranties and Biz problems are no surprise at all. Now WD is doing a similar deal. Quick fixes are usually bad for Biz as WD is likely to learn real quick.

    1. Keith T
      IT Angle

      HP? Weren't they once in the computer business?

      Maybe WD will go the way of HP and pretty much leave the computer industry.

      IT? because I hope in a few years "What's the IT angle?" will be an appropriate question regarding Reg article on WD.

  17. earl grey

    nice of them to let me know

    to NOT buy more of their shite green or blue drives. every one i've ever had has died a horrible death and a crap warranty doesn't bring me to their product line (when backed up with crap drives)

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now that I have replaced all my Seagates . . .

    Great way to start a new revenue stream.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    EU law requires a minimum of two years warranty

    EU consumer law (ie not for IT departments) requires sellers (not manufacturers) to provide a minimum of two years warranty. UK readers may not be aware of this, but we are still in the EU and this does apply in the UK, whatever the retailers may claim.

    Chapter and verse in comments on the article coveraging Seagate's decision to immediately mirror the WD warranty changes (it's important to have two copies of everything important, right?).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I doubt I'll be the first

      to point out that you're incorrect.

    2. Ian Watkinson

      Which is fine but why would we want the EU 2 years, when the sale of goods act gives us up to 6 years?

      do-nut not 6 years.

      Very expensive TV = 6 years.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        re: up to 6 years

        that's six years within which you can make a claim for faulty goods. It doesn't say that anything has to actually last for six years, not even your expensive TV.

  20. TonyHoyle

    6 years is theoretically the law

    Except it contains wooly wording because it has to be limited by the expected lifetime of the goods.. an ice cream would not generally be expected to last 6 years. A TV, certainly.

    A hard drive? Seems to be settling on 2 years..

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