back to article WD and HGST: We tried to merge our two drive makers, MOFCOM said NO, NO, NO

Although WD’s acquisition of HGST was approved over two years ago, Chinese regulatory authority MOFCOM is still preventing the full integration of their respective drive-making ops. The Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China (MOFCOM) has always maintained it was not keen to see WD and its HGST subsidiary move …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They need to get a sense of proportion

    If there are $100millions being lost due to the delays, and they could have been resolved for a few $100k, then what the hell are these execs hanging around for? Make the pointless changes, build the Party social club or whatever "sweetener" the pointless bureaucrats are looking for, eat as much humble pie as is available, and send the CEO in to kiss as much MOFCOM ass as necessary. Yes it's silly, yes the pen-pushers are on a power trip, yes they're probably looking for a backhander or some cosy retirement post, yes it hurts to grovel, but for heaven's sake suck it up!

    1. Martin Maloney

      Re: They need to get a sense of proportion

      Isn't "heaven's sake" Japanese?

  2. fnj

    Please keep them separate forever

    I'm just a lowly user. I don't want to see WD swallowing HGST because WD is a shitty company that produces shit and will turn HGST products into shit.

    As it stands now, HGST and Toshiba are the only drives I would willingly touch. WD and Seagate are both garbage.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please keep them separate forever

      That's not my experience here. Whether enterprise or consumer, WD has been solid while Toshiba and Seagate are crap. It's HGST that I'm currently unfamiliar with although they were good a few years back.

    2. Unicornpiss

      Re: Please keep them separate forever

      Well, I can say from experience that WD laptop drives and HGST and Seagate "Momentus Thin" drives have a horrid failure rate at our company. This isn't how it used to be. 5 years ago I'd have put a WD or Seagate drive up against anything out there. WD blue and black label laptop drives have had such a failure rate that I can usually guess when a machine has one based on its symptoms. Fortunately, we are mostly done with that nonsense, having gone with SSDs for all replacements and new machines. We've stopped even bothering to warranty the mechanical drives, as we don't want them, much less a "refurbished" replacement. Toshiba mechanical drives have been reasonably good, and I miss Samsung before Seagate swallowed them--they used to make a good drive.

    3. Gordan

      Re: Please keep them separate forever

      @fnj: I'm in the same boat. HGST and Toshiba drives are the only ones I consider. I am dreadding the day when WD is allowed to swallow HGST.

      HGST: Excellent reliability, honest SMART, no firmware based crippling

      Toshiba: Very good reliability, honest SMART, no firmware based crippling

      Samsung: Livable with reliability, lying SMART, no TLER

      WD: Livable with reliability, lying SMART, TLER removed from non-NAS drives' firmware

      Seagate: Attrocious reliability, honest-ish SMART (well, more honest than WD and Samsung), TLER removed from non-NAS drives' firmware, most drives do have Write-Read-Verify feature, though.

      And if anyone is in doubt about the reliability, read the Backblaze study on this subject.

  3. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Over the long term (like 20 years), these companies have kind of taken turns... sometimes a company had a production problem, bad batches and so on; sometimes they try to push the bit density a bit too high before the next generation technology comes out.

    Oh, and occasional firmware failures... I had a drive back in the day, 420MB WD AC2420, that I got replaced under warranty 3 times (after the 1st replacement failed I used the replacement as a spare...) So, after a few weeks or a month it'd get a bad sector or two; not uncommon at the time (they'd gone from the printed factory defect list to remapping them at the factory, but no SMART yet, so you'd use DOS or Linux's bad block handling to map out any other bad sectors.) Once it got 1 or 2 bad sectors, you had about a week... the bad sectors didn't grow, but (even if you mapped them out!) it'd start repeatedly whacking the heads against the side of the case, and you'd get a 25% drive failure as 1 of the 4 heads could take no more. Unfortunately each replacement I got had older firmware than the last, because apparently this drive is known online for it's longevity.

    Nevertheless, there's an awful lot of consolidation in the drive market and I'm not too chuffed with the idea of WD taking over HGST either.

  4. Alan Brown Silver badge

    MOFCOM aren't stupid

    The "synergies" touted would be a result of selling WD drives with HGST labels.

    The real result would be a mass exodus to SSDs and WD + Seagate both going down the financial shitter - but right now there isn't enough SSD capacity to cope with the demand.

    MOFCOM don't really care about the former, but they're very aware of the latter, and of the commercial chaos which would result from a storage shortage.

    The enforced delays on consolidation are precisely to keep the mechanical hard drive sector alive long enough for solid state manufacturing to catch up.

    $orkplace is only buying mechanical drives in 3+TB sizes now. Anything smaller gets SSD - and we also don't bother with warranty claims on sub 1TB mechanical drives. SSDs get used instead.

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