Seagate Technology Inc

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Not built to last... but built to extort...
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WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA -- No more than two months ago I bought a Maxtor "OneTouch 4 Plus" 750 GB external hard drive to store digital photographs I was taking on-location for my business. Yesterday, the drive failed to power-up - even though the power supply is passing the correct voltage to the drive connector.

While that's bad enough, the real problem is that while completely covered under warranty, I'm going to be charged by Seagates's Data Recovery subsidiary to recover the files and data I stored on the drive.

The failure of the drive is not a problem that stems from MY files being stored on the drive - it is a problem that stems from THEIR faulty hardware. Why, after only two months, should I have to pay another 'extra' cost on this drive?

People will say, "Back up your files" and they'd be right only...how can you back up files when you can't turn the drive on to access them?????

Calling Seagate's "Customer Service" for "help" puts you in-touch with someone in an Asia-Pacific area who can barely speak English. They don't know the first thing about the product they are representing and they read from a prepared script, unable to answer unique and direct questions, or think outside the box to offer any real solutions. This Seagate and Conner Peripherals defines as, "Customer Service." What about the personal and professional inconvenience I must now experience having to box up and ship this drive back to Seagate? Once out of my hands will there be any guarantee that my data will actually be removed? All I'll have to go on is the word of someone...from the Asia-Pacific area. That's real comforting don't you think?

Seagate and Conner Peripherals is making a TON of money - especially employing workers outside this country - you'd think they'd care a bit more about their customers who buy their products instead of the bonuses and retirement packages and salaries they give each other for the profits they make on our backs.

If I could have read the warranty information sealed inside the hard drive box when I purchased the drive, and could have seen that the 5-year warranty (which is used to market the drive) DIDN'T cover data recovery due to faulty hardware or workmanship, I'd never have made the purchase.

Now I'm on a mission to dissuade EVERYONE from buying a Maxtor or Seagate product because it's obvious the company isn't farsighted enough to provide a fair policy of action for these cases - in short, they just don't care about the consumer.

Business practices like these are what's made this country of ours so "respected" and successful in the world.
     
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madconsumer on 02/25/2008:
while I understand your issue, the warranty does not cover recovering loast data. read it closely.

if the files are of that up-most-importance, then multuple back-up paths should be followed. saving to a single back-up can lead to other issues as you have found.

seagate is all I use, and have for a few years now.
Hugh_Jorgen on 02/25/2008:
You can buy whichever brand of drive you like - none of them will cover your lost data. You should back up your data on a regular schedule starting with day one - I've seen many a brand new drive from many different companies fail within the first few hours of life.
abobo on 02/25/2008:
Remember the LOCKSS principal; lots of copies keeps stuff safe. No drive is safe from malfunction, theft, being dropped etc. You should be storing important files either on a RAID 1 or 5 array, which can tolerate the loss of one disk, or use an online storage solution such ibackup or evault for maximum safety. Even just periodically copying your critical data from one backup drive to another can save hours and hours of headaches.

Sorry to say that this is your own fault and it will not be covered. I hope you will take some time to explore backup options for your critical data.
Anonymous on 02/25/2008:
All hard drives will fail eventually and usually after they've lulled you into a false sense of security sans any recent backups.
Anonymous on 02/25/2008:
All hard drive manufacturers make just two types of hard drives.

1. Those that have failed.
2. Those that will fail.

Hard drive manufactures would go out of business if they had to pay to recover data off failed hard drives. They warrant the hardware, not the data. It has always been that way and always will be that way.

We have done a bit of data recovery and find it's cheaper and faster to let an outside third party do the recovery than letting the manufacturer do it. Most of the time they just send it out anyway and markup the cost. Hollywood Data Recovery has done decent work for us in the past. About $75 to look it over, then it could run as high as a couple thousand dollars for the recovery. Let Seagate know your doing data recovery on the drive so they will swap out the drive when it comes back cracked open. Otherwise they will say you voided the warranty. They have a whole process for that.

Another solution is to pay more and get a new flash type of drive. No moving parts to break in them. They run faster and cooler also. But they are a bit pricy still.
decasa on 02/25/2008:
Thanks to everyone who posted up their thoughts on this issue.

Yes, yes, yes...back-up all information....all mechanical things will eventually break/malfunction, etc. I have no issue with those certainties.

My issues are these - a company as big and as wealthy as Seagate/Maxtor should be able to provide a level of customer support to customers in a language they can understand... Dial 1 for Arabic, 2 for Spanish, 3 for Asia-Pacific, 4 for ENGLISH, etc.

The problem with my hard drive is that the circuit board that's attached to the drive got fried with a shot of static electricity. All that was needed was for the board to be removed and the drive plugged into another power source/connector. Gee...it works again! No need to box the drive up and ship it to a place where it'll be tossed into a junk pile (imagine the environmental waste there) and no expensive and UNNECESSARY clean-room data recovery.

We certainly have become the disposable population haven't we? Build an expensive piece of cutting-edge electronics....that might last two months....take it back and junk it without any real diagnostics or direct repair...and send out another drive ""new" drive that may or may not last a minute, a day, a week, a month....

I STILL have an electric frying pan that's as old as I am (48) and it still works like new!

The manufacturer of that electric frying pan cared about their product and about the consumer who bought it and they didn't need to hide behind 4-point font height warranty info that when boiled down says, "Use this product at your own risk cause it might not start-up two times in a row."

I find it interesting that Seagate owns the subsidiary company that they make you go to for data recovery. The logic seems - buy our drive...it'll die within our awesome FIVE-YEAR warranty period and to get your warranty coverage which you paid for you'll have to go to OUR data recovery company to be charged 500-2000 dollars for data recovery and you'll get another one of our drives, which proved to be unreliable.

It's too bad Seagate didn't make a diagnostic service available for this expensive drive. They offer a five year warranty - for what? If it's sooooo expensive why not offer levels of warranty coverage for a cost - give the power to the consumer and let them decide. I'd pay for five years of coverage if it covers data recovery. If it never craps out the company just made a bunch of money. If it does crap out then I've already paid. Put the money I pay for that coverage and put it in an interest bearing account...it'll make the company even more money! Please don't try to say it's soooo expensive for a company to handle these problems case-by-case. If I chose to pass up coverage it becomes my problem.

Unfortunately - I'm just singing in the wind here. It's a good thing we have so much hard earned money coming in that we can accept the disposable nature of our products. It's what's keeping our great American economy going strong while making our corporate CEO's richer!

Got to go back-up everything.....oops! I've got to turn the power on FIRST! Yikes....I hope everything fires up...............
decasa on 02/25/2008:
By the way....do a Google search on "MAXTOR SUCKS" and you'll see I'm not the only disgruntled Seagate/Maxtor customer with issues.
MRM on 02/25/2008:
JayD, is by no means, disrespecting you. He just tells it like it is, as with his other comments.
Anonymous on 02/25/2008:
So much for JayD (again):

Comment(s) removed: Please be respectful of other members
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FreeAgent 250 gig USB drive
Posted by on
WEST LAFAYETTE, INDIANA -- At just under 90 bucks, this is a great addition for your home office. Extremely simple to install. It does what it's supposed to do. You should be up and going within 30 seconds!

Requires a free USB port, preferably high speed, and AC power for a wall wart.

Good for backing up your system, storing music and photos. Also handy for moving large amounts of data between machines.

These also come in larger capacity units. Who can ever have too much disk storage available?
     
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Anonymous on 02/19/2008:
UncleJim, excellent review, thanks. We also like the Western Digital USB drives. Have never thought about trying the Seagates but will give them a try based on your review.
MRM on 02/19/2008:
UncleJim, this is your 2nd "tech guide review" and we hope that you have more reviews on tech stuff.
Principissa on 02/19/2008:
Super we have a Western Digital.
madconsumer on 02/19/2008:
I love seagate. all I will use.

great review! (vh)
old fart on 02/19/2008:
I have the Free agent and I'm still trying to figure out what I can fill it with.. More storage than I'll ever use the rest of my life...
Principissa on 02/19/2008:
Hubby wants to get a new drive for his desktop, I'll have him take a look at this one.
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Hard Drive Failure
Posted by on
LAKEBAY, WISCONSIN -- I had a Seagate external (portable) hard drive as my data backup. This Seagate drive only lasted 1 year. My Dell PC hard drive is still working after 3 years. The Seagate technical support was no help and said that hard drives just fail sometimes.

I just bought a Hitachi portable HD as a replacement, since I won't buy Seagate or Maxtor drives anymore.

Buyers beware !!!!
     
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msnanny on 01/03/2008:
I would be disappointed too. I own a Seagate external drive and just bought one as a gift for my aunt. I hope that I have better luck than you did :(
madconsumer on 01/03/2008:
seagate is the way to go if you are a computer geek. they out perform all other drives.

unfortunately, drives do just fail for no apparent reason. this is one reason it is recommended to back up the backup drive from time to time. or backup to removable media and save spererately. many backup programs work before windows, so it is possible to replace a drive with little issues.
Anonymous on 01/03/2008:
I agree with madconsumer about drives failing for no apparent reason. All brands are susceptible to this, not just Seagate. Prefer Western Digital, myself.

lechateau on 04/09/2008:
I bought this Seagate 3.5-Inch Pushbutton Backup drive in November 2006 to used to backup for my computer. I chose Seagate because of their great reputation as one of the most tried and true drive manufacturers. I felt like my data would be safe with them. However, this drive failed after less than about 500 hours of use (most drives are supposed to last 100,000 hours, or at minimum 5 - 11 years). A 1.5 year life on a piece of equipment that is supposed to safeguard your data is unacceptable. Obviously Seagate has let their standards slide, and their 1-year warranty makes me think they do not really stand behind their product. I've never seen a modern hard drive fail before, and I've used plenty of them. Buy from a different manufacturer.
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