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.
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 …
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.
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."
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.
WD ADMIT THAT THEY HAVE RELIABILITY PROBLEMS THAT THEY CANNOT FIX!
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.
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.
(I always buy 5 years anyway)
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.
> 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?).
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