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Seagate denies Taiwan hard drive recall claims

Hitachi too

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Update Seagate today damned as "inaccurate" a report that the company has begun taking dodgy 40GB and 80GB hard drives off Taiwanese distributors' shelves - a move alleged to be taking place by local channel sources.

The report, published by DigiTimes yesterday, alleges that 12,000-15,000 defective drives, produced in mainland China, have been shipped to Taiwan with an unknown number shipping to other locations around the world.

However, a Seagate spokesman said there was no substance to the claims. The manufacturer isn't recalling 40GB and 80GB hard drives - or any other for that matter.

"It's ridiculous to claim that all the four major hard drive vendors have been hit by the same problem," he said.

In fact, only three of the four - Seagate, Maxtor and Hitachi Global Storage - were alleged to have been hit. The fourth, Western Digital, was said to be unaffected by the problem since it doesn't manufacture drives on mainland China - its manufacturing facilities are located in Malaysia and Thailand.

Actually, we're not sure Maxtor does either. The company is in the process of building a hard drive plant in Suzhou, but it's not expected to begin production until the second half of 2004. The company currently manufactures hard drives in Singapore.

Hitachi told us it doesn't manufacture 80GB disk drives on the Chinese mainland. It does make 40GB drives there, but neither format is being recalled, the company said. And its resellers have not experienced soaring failure rates, it added.

According to DigiTimes local distributors claim that hard drive return rates have soared since the end of April. "Most of the returned drives reportedly suffered from bad sectors or problems being formatted, and were found to have come from the same sources in China," said the report.

Maxtor was unavailable for comment at press time. ®

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