Western Digital becomes world's largest hard drive maker

Western Digital is now the world's largest hard drive manufacturer in the world. This week, the company announced that its previously announced acquisition of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies has now become official. The deal was made with $3.9 billion in cash and 25 million shares of WDC common stock valued at approximately $0.9 billion, making the final acquisition $4.8 billion.

This move means that WD Technologies and HGST will now operate as subsidiaries of Western Digital. It also means that Western Digital now has about $15 billion in yearly revenue. That surpasses its biggest rival Seagate to make Western Digital the world's biggest hard drive maker.

This new merger also means that there are now only three major manufacturers of traditional PC hard drives in the world: Western Digital, Seagate and Toshiba. Seagate previously acquired Samsung's hard drive division in December for $1.4 billion.

Hard drive companies have been suffering for the past several months thanks to the massive flooding in Thailand. The flood caused a number of hard drive factories to shut down operations. It also caused prices of PC hard drives to increase. The effects of the flooding will still likely affect hard drive supplies for several more months.

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Man i get sick of the bigger companies monopolizing manufacturing of product, so consumers have to pay the price of the product listed because their is only a limited number of companies to choose from! Hitachi was the only hard drive manufacture i would trust, and have went through so many hard drives from WD, samsung, and Hitachi always sheds the light. I hope this doesn't mean prices are going to jump on newegg.com on bigger hard drives! If i can't buy those 70 to 80 dollar 1.5 TB hard drive that Hitachi use to make i will be very upset!

I've had Seagate, WD, Hitachi, Samsung, and Toshiba drives all fail. Given enough time and enough variety of drives ALL of them will eventually fail be they consumer or enterprise class drives. With that said however, Seagate (especially their 1.5TB drives) tend to fail more than WD in my experience. Hitachi has been the most reliable brand statistically for me even with their consumer drives.

Well one thing is for sure. Seagate or Western Digital isn't going to buy out the other. So it can't less than two. Still you don't want one company to get an Intel like monopoly on the market.

xpclient said,
Well one thing is for sure. Seagate or Western Digital isn't going to buy out the other. So it can't less than two. Still you don't want one company to get an Intel like monopoly on the market.

never say never. hard drive industries are famously notorious for drastic change.

Whether you love or WD, this move is BAD for consumers. Price fixing WILL occur, just like in Canada where price fixing runs out of control. Variety and competition are good for everyone. I like WD drives, but their support of their other products is hideously bad. They still won't let people disable that terrible SES driver on their portable drives which causes problems for many people.

I absolutely hate WD. Out of about twenty drives I have owned were IBM back in the day, Seagate, WD, and Maxtor. Maxtor was the worse crap. WD was the second. The drives died on me and I lost plenty of data. The Seagates are still in my siblings PC's now for 5+ years and still going strong. My IBM 40GB lasted me forever and finally died after hundreds of system re-installs. I still have every Hitachi I have bought.

From what I read the bad and good drives for every brand are in waves. Sometimes they will have a bunch of bad drives and sometimes are rock solid. But my experience does not lie to me and I love Hitachi drives. Plus for every drive that I have ever used the IBM and Hitachi drives have always felt the fastest. Once again that is based off of my personal experience and no benchmarks.

I will really miss Hitachi drives.

Hey i understand the comparison between nvidia and amd in this case, however imagine the market if there were more companies that made graphics cards, same for HDD market - less competition = worse for us But i really loved that warranty move seagate and wd did just before wb bought samsung That was damn too obvious ;0 Let's see what the future brings. I am however happy about Toshiba showing up there Oh and as far as failure rates - i have a seagate drive and a wd drive atm. And both failed at some point

RIP Quantum, Conner, IBM, Maxtor, Miniscribe, Fujitsu, Tandon, TEAC, Samsung, etc. It was nice when we had actual competition in the hard drive market. Now were really down to just two companies who get to collude with each other and screw us all.

Edited by Bonfire, Mar 10 2012, 10:47pm :

So why the complaning about 2 major companies ?
Its not any different than ati and nvidia..

i almost alway buy wd drives i have 2 of them right now and a maxtor (seagate now)
Unless someone has a superior manufacturing process i dont see how it makes
much difference it makes what brand you choose.. they all have their modern make it fast and dump it out and rake in the money routine.
I usualy buy wd drives cause their the cheapest and i havn't had tp rma one since around 2003 ish

I am Not PCyr said,
So why the complaning about 2 major companies ?
Its not any different than ati and nvidia..

The situation with AMD and Nvidia is sad. When we had 3dfx, PowerVR, Matrox, Number Nine, etc. there was a lot more innovation going on and more competition means lower prices. When you get just two companies they can charge whatever they want.

Have had 5 WD passport drives fail in consecutive months. Each to their own I guess but will never buy a WD drive again.

JJ_ said,
Have had 5 WD passport drives fail in consecutive months. Each to their own I guess but will never buy a WD drive again.

Not all passport drives contain WD HDD's my mate duaghters had an Seagate HDD in it
???o_O???

Anti-competitive buyouts such as this one are ultimately in the customer's worst interest. I'm surprised they managed to get aways with it. So now it's basically Seagate vs. WD.

Breach said,
Anti-competitive buyouts such as this one are ultimately in the customer's worst interest. I'm surprised they managed to get aways with it. So now it's basically Seagate vs. WD.
I think because Samsung and Hitachi aren't based in the US there were no anti-trust violations or inquiries to worry about.

Western Digitals RMA procedure is bar none. On the other side of the table we have Seagate's RMA procedure which SUCKS BALLS!!!!. For that reason alone I would only buy Western Digital. Every single time i've tried to RMA a seagate drive from their website I ended up having to call them.

warwagon said,
Western Digitals RMA procedure is bar none. On the other side of the table we have Seagate's RMA procedure which SUCKS BALLS!!!!. For that reason alone I would only buy Western Digital. Every single time i've tried to RMA a seagate drive from their website I ended up having to call them.
Never had a problem RMA'ing a drive from Seagate and I've replaced a number of them without a problem. Few clicks then done. Actually I prefer the Seagate RMA procedure over WD because they will ship you out a drive with the box and label *without* a credit card number like WD requires. I prefer to keep my credit card info in the fewest hands possible.

I've had two barracudas fail on me and I decided from then on to go with WD. So far it's been good in WD land. Though the firmware hassle I had with my OCZ SSD ruined that WD enjoyment somewhat.

ManMountain said,
I've had two barracudas fail on me and I decided from then on to go with WD. So far it's been good in WD land. Though the firmware hassle I had with my OCZ SSD ruined that WD enjoyment somewhat.

OCZ SSD firmware hassle ;-) "Where the customer is part of the development process". (In the aftermath of the 6 month fiasco I'm a happy Vertex 3 customer btw).

While i like WD the person assigned to my case is a moron ive told them three times i no longer have the receipt so i can not return the unit and even if i did the unit does not match the receipt because WD already replaced it once with a different model with an american plug!

Infact i better ring on monday and find out if my 2month wait is over, i keep getting told "We have none in stock, your best getting a refund" did you read the notes??? "yes" :facepalm: So far 1 nas unit has cost me 2 units with having to buy another hd to back up the nas.

Great..there goes HDD prices a little higher due to lack of competition. The more makers the better and this is going in the wrong direction. They do this while also shrinking the years of warranty you can get for their drives along with others. The warranty of 5 years was perfect and IMO they should have included recovery of files if their drive fails in any warranty period with use of a clean room etc etc!!

sava700 said,
...IMO they should have included recovery of files if their drive fails in any warranty period with use of a clean room etc etc!!
The drive prices would be sky high if they had to offer data recovery and clean room services to every drive going out the door plus can you imagine the lawsuits coming at them for lost data??

sava700 said,
Great..there goes HDD prices a little higher due to lack of competition. The more makers the better and this is going in the wrong direction. They do this while also shrinking the years of warranty you can get for their drives along with others. The warranty of 5 years was perfect and IMO they should have included recovery of files if their drive fails in any warranty period with use of a clean room etc etc!!

they cant go below legal warrenties, EU is 3 years, our dutch one gives 5-8 years for a harddrive.

Experience wise, I've yet to have a WD drive fail on me. *KNOCK ON WOOD* Had to deal with a few Seagate drives failing, but at least their customer support was awesome.

Anyway, hopefully this won't change anything in terms of pricing. Floods aside, that is.

I've had a couple of my many WD drives fail and their RMA procedure is pretty nice. I raise the RMA, give them my credit card number, and then they send me out a replacement HD first. Then I have 30 days to return them the duff drive and that's that. If the return of the duff drive is something like over 45 days late then and only then they charge my CC. Good system, and means I don't have to sort the packaging out as I just reuse the stuff they sent me my new HD in.

Of the two WD HD's that I've had fail, one replacement was a refurb and one was brand new.

Edited by Cryton, Mar 10 2012, 6:27pm :

What the f*ck is this? Now there is only Seagate and Western Digital to buy? All hail the new price fixers.

SSD's better get better soon and destroy these ****ers because I will not pay a premium for a hard drive like right now!

Tech Star said,
What the f*ck is this? Now there is only Seagate and Western Digital to buy? All hail the new price fixers.

SSD's better get better soon and destroy these ****ers because I will not pay a premium for a hard drive like right now!

It's not like they just jumped the prices up on purpose, have you been paying attention to world news in the last 6-8 months and what happened in Taiwan?

xendrome said,

It's not like they just jumped the prices up on purpose, have you been paying attention to world news in the last 6-8 months and what happened in Taiwan?


Yes, but the question is, will they bring the prices back down to where they were over a year ago in time?

xendrome said,

It's not like they just jumped the prices up on purpose, have you been paying attention to world news in the last 6-8 months and what happened in Taiwan?

Only Western Digital's facilities got affected. Seagates didn't and they still upped the price. I know its Econ 101, but I don't like it and we can expect to see more of this with only a 2 major HD company race.

Tech Star said,
Now there is only Seagate and Western Digital to buy?

Don't forget Toshiba. They will be making DeskStar HDDs now.

xendrome said,

It's not like they just jumped the prices up on purpose, have you been paying attention to world news in the last 6-8 months and what happened in Taiwan?


I heard about what happened in Thailand about a year ago, what happened in Taiwan?

Same as Symantec being on top with Norton? I don't think being the biggest makes you the best.

I've never has a Sammy drive die on me (taking 100's of GB's with it each time :'( ). Can't say the same for WD.

Obviously I don't have a big enough pool to draw fair comparison from, but that is my personal experience.

DARKFiB3R said,
Same as Symantec being on top with Norton? I don't think being the biggest makes you the best.

I've never has a Sammy drive die on me (taking 100's of GB's with it each time :'( ). Can't say the same for WD.

Obviously I don't have a big enough pool to draw fair comparison from, but that is my personal experience.

Hard drives are hard drives, there is no difference just because of the name on the front. They're very delicate devices and they can all fail, and do. The company that makes them is irrelevant.

TRC said,

Hard drives are hard drives, there is no difference just because of the name on the front. They're very delicate devices and they can all fail, and do. The company that makes them is irrelevant.

Wrong. Nope. No way. The company that makes the drives is incredibly relevant. I personally have gone through well over 150 drives in the past 10 years. Right now I have 28 SCSI & SATA drives plus a handful of SSD's in my workstations and servers in my basement and I can tell you with 100% confidence that the manufacturer matters a great deal. Seagate used to be a favorite of mine until they start selling junk a few years ago. My NAS unit had all four 2TB drives fail within a 2 week window and they were all Seagate. They were all purchased brand new and installed at the same time. My current favs are Samsung and Hitachi. Samsung drive have been solid which I would've never used except for the fact that some of the Areca RAID controllers I use have very limited HCL's which include even fewer 2TB drives. It was because of this list that I started buying Samsung and Hitachi drives and they've both been great drives. I've had 1 Hitachi fail over the last 2 years which is nothing like the 8 Seagate drives I've replaced in the same 2 year period. I don't have that much experience with WD simply because most of their drives can't be used with hardware based RAID controllers due to their data recovery algorithms (which screw up the RAID controller's ECC leading to possible data loss). The only eligible WD drives I could use are their enterprise drives which are pricey so I don't purchase them but I have several clients with multiple QNap TS-859U+ units each with 8 WD Enterprise drives in them and they've all been solid for more than a year and a half with no failures. Needless to say, the manufacturer matters. Reliability, warranty, and compatibility with high end controllers will vary. I'm sad that Samsung and Hitachi have both been bought out.

Tim Dawg said,
Wrong. Nope. No way. The company that makes the drives is incredibly relevant. I personally have gone through well over 150 drives in the past 10 years. Right now I have 28 SCSI & SATA drives plus a handful of SSD's in my workstations and servers in my basement and I can tell you with 100% confidence that the manufacturer matters a great deal. Seagate used to be a favorite of mine until they start selling junk a few years ago. My NAS unit had all four 2TB drives fail within a 2 week window and they were all Seagate. They were all purchased brand new and installed at the same time. My current favs are Samsung and Hitachi. Samsung drive have been solid which I would've never used except for the fact that some of the Areca RAID controllers I use have very limited HCL's which include even fewer 2TB drives. It was because of this list that I started buying Samsung and Hitachi drives and they've both been great drives. I've had 1 Hitachi fail over the last 2 years which is nothing like the 8 Seagate drives I've replaced in the same 2 year period. I don't have that much experience with WD simply because most of their drives can't be used with hardware based RAID controllers due to their data recovery algorithms (which screw up the RAID controller's ECC leading to possible data loss). The only eligible WD drives I could use are their enterprise drives which are pricey so I don't purchase them but I have several clients with multiple QNap TS-859U+ units each with 8 WD Enterprise drives in them and they've all been solid for more than a year and a half with no failures. Needless to say, the manufacturer matters. Reliability, warranty, and compatibility with high end controllers will vary. I'm sad that Samsung and Hitachi have both been bought out.

WD drives (most of them at least) can change the RAID error timing, the only problem is that you need to run the script each time the system boots for them to survive a reboot. Their Enterprise products don't have this issue, but I do understand what you mean. Either way I'll stand by Western Digital.

Tony. said,

WD drives (most of them at least) can change the RAID error timing, the only problem is that you need to run the script each time the system boots for them to survive a reboot. Their Enterprise products don't have this issue, but I do understand what you mean. Either way I'll stand by Western Digital.

The older ones could and this wasn't supported by WD. WD have removed the ability to use enterprise tools on consumer hard drives about two generations ago. I lost 8TB of data thanks to this.

Yeah, definetely good for the consumers eh? Cutting warranties, buying competition - woohoo, good times So now what, we can choose between WD and Seagate? Except for SSD's which aren't going mainstream for a bit still? No doubt - hail to the king

citan said,
Yeah, definetely good for the consumers eh? Cutting warranties, buying competition - woohoo, good times So now what, we can choose between WD and Seagate? Except for SSD's which aren't going mainstream for a bit still? No doubt - hail to the king

seagate is terrible. their failure rate is so high its not even funny.

citan said,
Yeah, definetely good for the consumers eh? Cutting warranties, buying competition - woohoo, good times So now what, we can choose between WD and Seagate? Except for SSD's which aren't going mainstream for a bit still? No doubt - hail to the king

Warranty cuts were down to the problems with the Thailand floods as yields will be questionable until they are at 100% capacity.

Glassed Silver said,
WD is the best money can buy...

They earned this position, even though it was by acquiring a competitor.

GS:mac


After their policies on TLER and screwing small business and home NAS users, I feel WD are s***

Glassed Silver said,
WD is the best money can buy...

They earned this position, even though it was by acquiring a competitor.

GS:mac

I don't know, but I have WD, Toshiba, and Iomega Drives, all purchased online.

WD tends to have more bad sector or scandisk problems than Toshiba or Iomega -- I'm always on the move.

So now, I designated my WD Drive as a "resting external drive" for Boxee Box, because it's the carrying the drive around that makes WD have data errors.

Iomega and Toshiba is high quality, definitely!

Glassed Silver said,
WD is the best money can buy...

They earned this position, even though it was by acquiring a competitor.

GS:mac


To each their own I guess. I've had nothing but problems with WD drives. Same for family and friends...

Glassed Silver said,
WD is the best money can buy...

They earned this position, even though it was by acquiring a competitor.

GS:mac

Hitachi was the only reliable brand for me, but now that WD have their hands on it, I'm not so sure that will continue.

Enron said,

Hitachi was the only reliable brand for me, but now that WD have their hands on it, I'm not so sure that will continue.

This is exactly my sentiment. I guess only time will tell. . .