A couple days ago I had another internal hard drive crap out on me. I shut down my Mac and pulled it out of the case to find that it was another of my Seagate 3 TB drives. I knew immediately that there was no chance for it to be under warranty and that I would be purchasing a replacement; a very dissappointing trend that’s become way too predictable when it comes to my Seagate hard drives.
I have A LOT of drives and dependability is really important. I have a Mac Mini, a MacBook Pro, two Mac Pros and several external RAID enclosures that are all filled with drives. The two Mac Pros no longer have SuperDrives in the two upper bays as they are both used for additional hard drives, making it possible to run 6 internal hard drives on the old Mac Pros. In my latest model Mac Pro I am also running a 500 GB “Mercury Accelsior” PCIe SSD drive that I got from Other World Computing, making a total of 7 internal drives on that machine. In addition to the drives that are actively running on my Macs every day, I have a box with several more drives that I use for long term storage or redundant backups, making my collection of hard drives somewhere around 34; all of which would have been Seagate drives a few years ago but are all slowly being replaced by Western Digital.
For the longest time a Seagate hard drive was the only kind of drive I would install in any of my Macs. They were the most reliable and dependable drives on the market and when one would inevitably die on me, I could always depend on the warranty. I’m sorry to say that’s no longer true.
I’m not sure exactly when it began, but about 7 or 8 years ago my Seagate drives began to die at an alarming rate. At first I would replace them with newer Seagate drives but then around 2009 or 2010 I had a pair of 750 GB drives striped together in one of my RAID arrays that both shit the bed at the same time (in the same week, just a couple days apart). When I went to the Seagate site to check the warranty status I learned that they were both out of warranty. Since I purchased them at the same time it stands to reason that the warranty periods would be identical, but that’s not what bothered me. What really made me change my attitude towards Seagate was that they had both just missed the warranty window by about a month. I got on the Newegg.com site and purchased a couple Western Digital drives to replace them. They are both still running in my older Mac Pro.
Maybe it’s just my shitty luck that my Seagate drives all seem to be dying just beyond the warranty period, I don’t know, but the fact that they worked out that way makes me more than a little suspicious. The Western Digital drives that I’ve been replacing them with are still running, but WD isn’t perfect either. I’ve had a couple WD drives crap out in the past 5 years too, but those did so while still under warranty. Curious.
I understand that nothing lasts forever, especially hard drives and the abuse they endure while attached to my Macs, but when the warranty periods keep getting shorter and the drives keep crashing predictably just past the warranty window I can’t help thinking that they just assume we’ll keep coming back for replacements, no matter what. Unfortunately, I have no choice but to replace the bad drives, but my collection of drives that previously all had the Seagate label are now almost all Western Digital.
It’s not just Seagate, everyone is getting greedy. Prices are going up, quality is going down, and nothing is built to last anymore.