Update: The good people over at Seagate have stepped forward to say that nothing of the sort happened, and the 5-year warranty period will remain as status quo. Sorry for the false alarm, guys!
It seems that your favorite hard drive manufacturer has just lost favor with many computer users after announcing that they will reduce the warranty length for some of its hard drives that are sold as part of a pre-built system, or bought in bulk (unbranded packaging), to just 2 years. We assume that this concerns only new sales and is not retro-active.
Seagate’s most popular drives, the Barracuda 7200.12 and Momentus Green product series, are affected by this announcement, with the former coming in a 3.5″ form factor, while the latter is 2.5″ in size and will target notebook action or as a slim external hard drive. If you want to get Seagate’s 5-year warranty, you can still purchase the same drives, but in a Seagate-branded box.The reason is that Seagate’s clients can negotiate various terms (probably in return for a discount) when they buy in bulk, and some of them may opt to resell the drives in another form or place, which is beyond Seagate’s control.
Enterprise solutions such as the XT series are safe from this cost reduction exercise, retaining its five-year warranty. If the warranty is important to you, double-check it when you buy.