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Samsung HD Unit Bought By Seagate 153

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the slow-news-day dept.
nanoflower followed up on a recent story about the unpredictable future of data storage. That story talked about Western Digital buying Hitachi, leaving just 4 players. Now: "Yet another hard drive company is going by the wayside, as Seagate is buying the Samsung HDD unit. Seagate is buying the unit for $1.375 billion (half in stock, half in cash)."
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Samsung HD Unit Bought By Seagate

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  • When will Seagate and WD merge now?
    buying out toshiba's HDD division would not be too difficult for them

    • Re:Merge (Score:4, Insightful)

      by CokoBWare (584686) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:47AM (#35867306)

      God please no.

    • They probably will about the same time an acceptable alternative technology becomes available from competitors. They will rebrand as "Seagate Digital Old Timey Mechanical Spinning Storage". Motto: "You can actually hear the platters go 'round and 'round."
    • Re:Merge (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hero Zzyzzx (525153) <dan@g[ ]uprising.com ['eek' in gap]> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:57AM (#35867422) Homepage

      Oh god, please no. I have had nothing but horrible experiences with Seagate drives recently under linux:

      • this [linuxjournal.com] bug hit me,
      • I had at least 4 RMAs on the same drive due to a similar "click of death",
      • I had a "click of death" on an iomega external HDD that was actually - you guessed it - seagate inside.

      I don't get it. Seagate used to be great - WHY did they engineer drives to not work properly under linux? The idea of an HDD that doesn't work under linux is just wrong - like you have to actually try to make something that crappy.

      I ended up just replacing the still under warranty Seagate drives with Western Digitals. Problems since then? Zero. LEAVE WESTERN DIGITAL ALONE!

      PS: I must be dumb. Slashdot is not styling my bulletted list properly.

      • Mac OS X too! (Score:4, Informative)

        by david.emery (127135) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @10:18AM (#35867662)

        Not just Linux! I've had 50% failure rate (3 of 6 over the last 18 months) on Seagate 3.5" 1tb drives in a RAID enclosure connected to my Mac. I'll also note the continuing problems with the Momentus XT 2.5" hybrid drives; apparently the drive is optimized for Windows and works poorly at best (or fails more frequently) under Linux or Mac OS X. And Seagate's firmware update is basically a Windows solution that requires lots of extra effort to work on any other OS.

        • by glebovitz (202712)

          I have had a 100% with my Samsung drives with WIndows. They don't seem to withstand fists pounding on the laptop keyboard when trying to use the Microsoft Developer Tools.

          • by Cwix (1671282)

            Thats funny, I had a similar issue with a hard drive failing due to fist pounding lol. I was just trying to get damn drivers working properly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Remember when Seagate bought Maxtor in 2006? You are really having trouble with Maxtor drives that are now branded Seagate. I'm going to guess you bought the less expensive ones. Before Maxtor and Seagate merged, I had about 12 drives in machines in my house. 5 of them were Maxtor and all of those failed within 18 months. Some of the others are still going. (Original Seagate and WD drives). Unfortunately it is hard to know if you are going to get the "good" or the "bad" Seagate drives now.
        • by Dogtanian (588974)

          Remember when Seagate bought Maxtor in 2006? You are really having trouble with Maxtor drives that are now branded Seagate.

          Oh, SNAP!

          I was about to suggest the same thing, because I remember prior to the takeover Seagate seemed to be going through a phase of being pretty reliable- even their cheaper drives- and I was quite happy to buy them. Whereas Maxtor's reputation was... not so good.

          When the news came through, my first thought was "uh, oh...", because I knew that exactly what you described was going to happen. Namely that drives from the former-Maxtor factories were going to be rebranded as Seagate, and it would be hard

          • by drinkypoo (153816)

            This whole thing puzzles me greatly because I've been using Seagate drives since the ST-225 and Maxtor drives since drives were measured in megabytes, not gigabytes, and I have had vastly more problems with Seagate drives than Maxtor ones. The only Maxtor drive I've ever had go out on me was a 6GB disk that didn't fail until drives were well over 60GB. In fact we used to call Seagate "Seizegate" because everyone who owned them was well-acquainted with the "whack it with a screwdriver handle" trick. Sometime

      • by Azarman (1730212) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @10:53AM (#35868038)
        I recently had a 1.5TB External Seagate drive. it worked for a few months then started clicking and within 2 weeks the thing failed. I did some google searching and really REALLY wish i had done more research before buying the drive because it is a very common problem. I even got a replacement and the same thing happened. I have read of someone having 5 replacements in 6 months. Seagate are aware there is a problem as they replace the drive instantly but no public recall.

        Google Link to LOTS of web pages details the issues http://www.google.co.uk/search?sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=Seagate+External+drive+clicking [google.co.uk]
        Seagate Forums
        http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Other-External-products/Seagate-Expansions-producing-loud-clicking-sound/td-p/30962/page/3 [seagate.com]
        http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Maxtor-OneTouch-Products/Maxtor-External-Hard-Drive-Clicking-Noise-Not-Working/td-p/16446 [seagate.com]
        http://forums.seagate.com/t5/Other-External-products/Solution-Seagate-Expansion-Desktop-External-Drive-clicking/td-p/49865 [seagate.com]

        I could supply more links, but from a personal view NEVER use seagate for anything but Throw away data. I was using it as a backup for my PC and in the end lost 500gb of data in the process.
        Do not by Seagate hard drives
        • by jedidiah (1196)

          Nothing beats vigilance.

          Run checks on the disks on a frequent and ongoing basis and dump them when they look like they are about to die.

          You will flee from some brand to another and one day be bit in the arse when that next brand has it's next "moment in the limelight".

          • by thoromyr (673646)

            Are you sure. Seagate is ahead of you. Four of my drives (no longer in use) were Seagate (or Maxtor brand, but post Seagate takeover and afflicted by the Seagate issues). They ranged from 500MB to 750MB. They have a firmware bug (that Seagate never admitted to) that if the internal drive logging, which is a circular buffer, happens to be full when the drive is powered on... tough luck, it will not work unless/until someone connects to the drive's serial port and clears it.

            Nothing wrong with the media, nothi

        • by Skal Tura (595728)

          We operate hundreds of Seagate drives and our annual failure rate is rather low. WD drives are giving grief tho dropping constantly out of RAID etc.

          Almost every seagate drive that fails is years old already, and been in 24/7 usage in a server.

          Hell, i even got some seagates getting quite an abuse on RAID, and still no failures despite they get occasionally kicked, are stacked on top of each other with only mounting being the cabling etc. Tho i am expecting them to fail at ANYTIME, they are getting that bad o

      • by psm321 (450181)

        And I say "oh God please no" for the opposite reason... horrible luck with WD drives. So I feel "LEAVE SEAGATE ALONE!" Let's just keep them separate and keep everyone happy :-D

        • Forget both... I'm really upset because samsung was the only drive brand I've had 100% reliability with. Not saying they haven't put out bad drives before but I see a ton of bad WD and Seagate drives and haven't had a single samsung fail on me. I switched to Samsung a few years back when seagate started going to crap and haven't looked back. My only hope is maybe seagate will learn something from samsung and start making good drives again. Between the two: use seagate in 2.5" and wd in 3.5" and stay away
      • So Seagate is like the Broadcom of hard drive manufacturers? Good to know.

        In the mid '90s I'd had a lot of WD drives die on me and was kind of turned off of them, but I've slowly been using more since the early 2000s and they've all been very reliable. Now I'm running all WD drives in all of my computers (that have hard drives) and they've been very reliable, I've only had one drive made since 2000 fail, and it was run hard and then left in a box for at least 7 years, and failed when I tried to dump the dat

      • by Dunbal (464142) *
        I head a 500GB seagate drive fail on a brand new laptop after 2 weeks of use. Fuck seagate. They were good 20 years ago.
      • I've had three Seagates crash on me (note to self: stop buying OEMs from NewEgg!) so I switched to WD only to have one crash within the year (thankfully still under warranty).
        Hard drive quality is seemingly worse - either 1 TB is just too damn big to be reliable or they've all given up trying as they see their SSD doom on the horizon.
      • Um...how is the click of death (a hardware problem) related to Linux?
        • Old, but I'll reply anyway. I am NOT a hardware engineer, forgive any garbled terminology.

          Apparently there is something about how Seagate implemented power saving (in some desktop drives) that makes it so that it only works properly under windows. The drive will spin down at odd times while linux thinks it can still write to it, and that'll create a bad sector with a high amount of frequency. Apparently the best fix is to disable the power saving altogether, but that pretty much sucks.

          So seagate took a pre

    • by v1 (525388)

      oh don't say that. this rolling wreck of a hard drive brand will tank samsung like every other brand in their wake, and all we're going to be left with is toshiba and WD.

      It's really all a shame. I remember when seagate was a good brand, and so was quantum. WD and toshiba were both crap. Amazing how things revolve. Back then I had a very tight budget and would buy seagates for their warranty and quality because I couldn't afford backup drives. Now the only thing seagate has going for them is their long

  • Well crap (Score:5, Interesting)

    by FrozenFOXX (1048276) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:42AM (#35867238)
    I've actually been a fan of my Samsung hard drives. So far they've outlasted every other drive manufacturer I've tried. Now I know that technically they all usually have roughly similar failure rates, but at least from personal experience right about every Samsung product of any kind I've bought I've always gotten great service on and great reliability from, something important for me with hard drives.

    Seagate? Not so much. Well, guess it doesn't matter now as like it or not that's who we're getting. Still, I can't imagine a shrinking consumer drive market is very good for the consumer.
    • by lsllll (830002)
      I remember when Seagate used to be the king of the HD market with such super drives as the ST-225 and ST-4096. Nowadays I avoid Seagate like the plague. They've put Maxtor to shame.
      • Re:Well crap (Score:5, Insightful)

        by afidel (530433) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @10:18AM (#35867672)
        Perhaps their low end line is bad *because* they bought Maxtor. Their enterprise line is still just fine, been cruising at ~1.5% AFR here for the last 5 years with ~90% Seagate disks.
        • Never thought of it that way. I hope you're right.

          From experience my Samsung drives run slightly quieter than my WD and Seagate drives, and a lot cooler than both. In my HTPC (which has excellent cooling) the Samsung is at 27 C, and the Seagate at 35 C. In South Africa in summer.

          • by TheLink (130905)
            The Samsung drives I bought run at 5400RPM.

            These run cooler and quieter than 7200 rpm drives, but have slower random seek times.
    • by PitaBred (632671)

      Me too. I bought 4 Samsung drives 3 or 4 years ago for an array, and all of them are still working fine in the various machines I've moved them to. I upgraded the array with 4 1TB WD drives, and one of them has already died after about 9 months. It was replaced with a Samsung.

      • I'm sending a WD Green for an RMA today - it's from the first generation, which had locked the APM to park every 8 seconds on inactivity. It only started manifesting itself about 2 months ago, that's after about 3500 hours uptime. (Ironically, my other 1TB drive is Hitachi, now owned by WD...)

        On the other hand, WD's customer support is stellar, and I've been using WD drives for my business all the time without a single complaint from customers. I'm not sorry to see Samsung go, although they were good.

    • by Spykk (823586)
      The really great thing about Samsung is that they don't artificially make their entry level disks useless for RAID by disabling TLER [wikipedia.org]. I have an array of spinpoints in my personal server and they do a great job for cheap.
    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      I've generally been a fan too. Never had a Samsung drive permanently fail on me. Closest I cam was a 2TB drive that would stop responding until a reboot. Reboot, it'd come back for a while. I copied all my data off of it thinking it was failing. Then after looking at the SMART report I noticed that the max temperature of the drive was clocked in at 115 degrees Celcius. Turns out the front intake fan on the case had died and all my drives were getting warm. Replaced that and the issue went away comp

    • Ditto.

      I'm a huge, HUGE fan of the Samsung F3 drives - they are extremely quiet, and pretty fast given the (lack of) noise. Nobody else offers anything like it; the second quietest drives are WD Greens, and those aren't very speedy.

      I'm honestly contemplating buying a couple more F3's before Seagate craps them out :(

  • by O('_')O_Bush (1162487) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:43AM (#35867240)
    "In addition, the agreement will expand the strategic relationship between the two companies, as Samsung will be providing Seagate with a NAND flash memory for its solid state drives, solid state hybrid drives and other products.

    Meanwhile, Seagate will supply disk drives to Samsung for PCs, notebooks and consumer electronics. "

    That seems more interesting to me. With more exclusive partnerships and more efficient organization, maybe we'll see costs come down on some of their notebooks/ssd's.
    • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:48AM (#35867316)

      With more exclusive partnerships and more efficient organization, maybe we'll see costs come down on some of their notebooks/ssd's.

      "Exclusive partnerships" always send up a monopoly warning flag for me. That usually means higher profits for producers, and higher costs for the end user.

      • I don't see how... they aren't the only tech companies offering those products to the market. Look at AMD/ATI buyout/partnership. Nvidia and Intel are still in the game...

        So is Hitachi and a bunch more electronics manufacturers.

        I would only be worried if Seagate now has exclusive partnerships with almost *all* PC/notebook manufacturers like Intel did for a while.
  • Aha! (Score:4, Funny)

    by dimethylxanthine (946092) <mr.fruit@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:45AM (#35867272) Homepage
    Nobody expects a Seagate acquisition!
    • by game kid (805301)
      Yes of course, the Holy Hard Drive of Antioch! It's one of the sacred relics Steven Ballmer carries with him!
    • LMAO, mod parent Funny. That was truly unexpected XD

  • by calagan800xl (1001055) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @09:48AM (#35867312)
    Back in 2008, Seagate was already fitting its FreeAgent Go 500GB USB HDD with Samsung hard drives: http://forum.notebookreview.com/hardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades/301553-seagate-freeagent-go-500gb-disassembly-samsung-hd-upgrade-laptop.html [notebookreview.com]
  • Darn! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shic (309152) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @10:00AM (#35867480)

    Seagate and Samsung are my favourite two drive manufacturers at the moment... I'd have preferred they remain separate.

    If I'm thinking about my data, I want - above all - for it to be reliably stored. With the best will in the world, eventually every drive fails... So... I tend to buy different makes of drives in pairs - from different suppliers... the logic is that it is far less likely that both drives will fail simultaneously - leaving my raid-1 data intact.

    If Seagate and Samsung share manufacturing/storage/distribution, then the independence of Seagate and Samsung drives vanishes... forcing me to go to another less-preferred vendor.

    I wonder when these consolidations will stop being a good idea? I definitely hope that it will be possible to buy independently manufactured drives in future.

    • I wonder when these consolidations will stop being a good idea?

      Good idea for who? For you, me and every other buyer they never were a good idea. For high level execs and investors of the buyee who get golden handshakes and massive buyouts, and for the would-be-monopolists of the buyer then they'll never stop being a good idea.

    • Re:Darn! (Score:4, Insightful)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @11:18AM (#35868394)

      I wonder when these consolidations will stop being a good idea?

      Long before this. There definitely needs to be more than 3 HDD manufacturers in the world. I wouldn't even consider 7 an especially healthy number.

      Unlike the car market, computer component makers aren't especially under pressure from the used market. Almost any used car the last 40+ years goes highway speeds. Other things are a bonus most of the time. Can't say the same with computers - a drive from 5 years ago is beyond suspect in terms of reliability and often just doesn't cut it in terms of speed and capacity. Other than reliability, the same goes with all other components except maybe monitors and cases/psu.

      Continually chiseling down manufacturers is not a good thing. Only thing worse is the CPU market but thankfully arm CPUs became viable for more than dumb phones within the last decade. Small comfort if Intel were to kill AMD but at least an alternate route.

      • by Kjella (173770)

        a drive from 5 years ago is beyond suspect in terms of reliability and often just doesn't cut it in terms of speed and capacity

        It's been well over 4 years since the first 1TB drive came and we're currently at 3TB with no significant improvements in sight. They're still at 7200 RPM with only minor performance differences due to higher density - in terms of IOPS they're almost the same. I would say the capacity and speed is just fine, only the reliability is questionable. But then nobody really cares as long as the solution is to buy a new, much bigger and much cheaper HDD. But if new disks stop being significantly better, then we'll

      • by Kittenman (971447)

        Unlike the car market, computer component makers aren't especially under pressure from the used market.

        Good work on the car analogy.

  • Almost every HD manufacturer has had their ups and downs with their product with regards to relibility but Samsung have always seemed to me to be one of the better ones; even if their performance doesn't quite match their competitors. Seagate went to shit after they acquired Maxtor so I'm hoping that Samsung will rub off on Seagate and not the other way 'round.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      WD enterprise line (5-year support) with sandforce/intel SSD's for booting.
      Then add more ssd's as price drops or speed needs go way up.
    • Almost every HD manufacturer has had their ups and downs with their product with regards to relibility but Samsung have always seemed to me to be one of the better ones; even if their performance doesn't quite match their competitors. Seagate went to shit after they acquired Maxtor so I'm hoping that Samsung will rub off on Seagate and not the other way 'round.

      Agreed, hard drive manufacturers have been very cyclical over the years. I've also noticed that there really is not good way to tell if a drive will be good from a specific manufacturer. This seems to be more dependent on the luck of the individual. Personally I've owned drives from every manufacturer currently in existence, and many that no longer are.

      In my case I've had every WD drive fail earlier than expected with the exception of one. In several cases I've had the same model fail so many times under wa

    • by hedwards (940851)

      My next HDD was probably going to be a Samsung, but mainly because only them and Seagate have had the stones lately to offer a 5 year warranty on their drives. That was a bit ago, but Seagate had that bad batch of 1tb drives so I'm not sure how much faith I have in them.

  • This goes to show that Samsung could quite possibly have just reached milestones in their flash memory production, which is why they are willing to let go of their HD unit.
  • Well that blows. Samsung drives were great for reliability while still running cool and quiet. Somehow I doubt Seagate will up their quality with the Samsung tech.

    On a side note, I remember when Seagate drives were top notch. What happened to them? With Samsung out of the picture and the alternatives being WD and Hitachi, I guess they are at the top again...

  • Seagate and Samsung HDD merge = Crap gets bigger
    WD and Hitachi GST merge = Cream gets better.

    I will tell you where this goes:
    Seagate goes broke within 18 months

    • by Rolgar (556636)

      I like Samsung hardware. When I built my machine 5 years ago, I went with 2 160GB low noise Samsung drives (SATA 1.0 when it was rather rare), and I love them. It's a shame that this is happening. I really think we as customers would be better off if mergers and acquisitions by a competitor or conglomerate were prohibited.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        Mergers haven't been about the consumer in a very long time. Chances are that if you're hearing about a merger and aren't deeply embedded in a regulatory agency or on Wall Street that it's not something that's going to be good for the consumers.

        Mergers are like sending jobs offshore, it's got nothing to do with providing a better product or one that's cheaper, it's all about lining the pockets of the executives that did it.

      • by mauriceh (3721)

        Mergers are inevitable.
        Some companies/divisions win, some lose.

        Samsung could not make money with HDDs, probably economy of scale.
        Plus they tried ( and failed) to crack the enterprise space.

  • Whatever happened to Quantum? Reason I ask is I recently did a data recovery off an old Quantum 40 Gb drive. Drive came from a Gateway desktop that had an Intel CPU and RAMBUS RAM.
  • Could someone comment on hard drive manufacturing?

    In some areas of mass production, there exists precisely one manufacturing plant in the world, located in mainland China. Then, worldwide, fifty (no exaggeration) importing and marketing companies order microscopically different batches of the same model, slap a localized sticker on it, and pretend it's theirs. An example I'm well aware of is the small metal lathe market specifically the 7x14 and its much bigger brothers. Its always comical to watch peopl

    • by herojig (1625143)
      All our Seagate Barracudas are made in Thailand. The failure rate for the >1tb has been below norm (none), and for 1tb, about average (occasional). Darn good iron, if that's your thing.
    • by PitaBred (632671)

      They're separate manufacturers. They all have similar technology, but they're most certainly not manufactured in the same plant and just shipped around.

  • after the mail in rebate ?
    • by Luyseyal (3154)

      They mailed in the receipt, the UPC from the box, and the required form and expect an 8 - 10 week turnaround on the $30 check. There is an optional Visa gift card option, but it reduces the total value to $22, so they opted for the check.

      -l

    • It was listed as $1.375 billion, but was actually only $0.975 billion after formatting.

    • by DarthVain (724186)

      Ya, what they failed to read in the small print, is that they would be require to fill out separately every single UPC for every hard drive currently in production and in stock to enable the mail in rebate.

      Hint: Even if they did, it is being handled by a 3rd party broker who will simply refuse to pay it out no matter what.

  • Back at Ya (Score:5, Funny)

    by BSalita (1000791) on Tuesday April 19, 2011 @10:33AM (#35867810)
    $1.375 billion or $990 million formatted.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Let's roll back the clock a bit
    Maxtor (which made terrible drives) bought Quantum (which made good drives)
    Seagate (which also makes terrible drives) bought Maxtor (which made better drives than pre-Quantum maxtor)
    Seagate then starts making less terrible drives, and buys Samsung (which makes passable drives)
    So the end result is we've had a consolidation of drive manufacturers which make low-end drives. Maybe that will squeeze some of the low-priced-low-reliability drives out of the market since they're no l

    • by Hatta (162192)

      You remember things differently than I do. First Quantum made shitty drives, which was bought by Maxtor which made decent drives. Maxtor became shitty, and was bought by Seagate which made decent drives. Then Seagate started making shitty drives, and got bought by Samsung. Following this trend I see no reason to believe Samsung won't become shitty as well.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        You remember things differently than I do. First Quantum made shitty drives, which was bought by Maxtor which made decent drives.

        Nope. First Quantum made good drives, then they slipped, and then they were bought by Maxtor. Remember all those doorstop macs? They all have Quantum drives. Most of them STILL work. Quantum was unable to make the MB->GB transition gracefully, though. That was about when I started using Seizegate again after being turned off by them in the ST-506 days, and they were good for a while. Now I use WD, some people have had issues with them but I never have. I suppose I will eventually.

        Anyone out there have fo

  • I've had both good and bad luck with BOTH Seagate and WD. I am currently using a Seagate Momentus in thinkpad and it works fine (except for the fact that the thinkpad bios checks for an IBM watermark and won't directly boot anything BUT a drive with IBM firmware, there is a work around for this that involves two keystrokes during powerup but that's another story). I had a WD go bad on me (it failed gradually enough to give me time to save my data) and I had a Seagate 3.5" model fail due to a firmware bug.

  • In general you need at least 7 players to have sufficient competition. The industries often claim they need to scale large to be efficient, but with a few exceptions, this is a bogus claim.

    On the flip side, sucky hard-drives will likely trigger advances in solid-state drives (which I hope also don't oligopolate on us too).
       

  • Losing two major players in a five firm industry is usually a bad thing with respect to competition / antitrust.

    However, in this case it's not that bad - the recent entrance of additional companies (such as Intel) making SSDs will, over time, mitigate the effects.

  • Noooooooooooooo! :-(
  • Buggywhips.

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