Where did all the spinning hard drive (HDD) brands go?

harddrive brands gone

If you happened to build your own PC or use a PC builder on a website you will quickly realized that 3.5″ spinning hard drive (HDD) brands options are limited. Most of the time you will be presented with the colorful options of WD (Western Digital) drives ranging from blue to green to red to purple and even to black.

But there was a time not long ago when we were not limited to one vendor’s color scheme but to multiple vendors. But similar to other industries consolidation happens and mergers occur regularly.

After the year 2000 many of big brand names started to disappear. Over the years I used most of those hard drives either in one of my own PCs or for workstations of my then-clients. The biggest brand names that disappread over the past 15 year are:

Quantum – acquired by Maxtor in 2001

Maxtor – acquired 2006 by Seagate
Lots of good memories of Maxtor hard drives. They ran tirelessly and had a decent price.

IBM – merged in 2002 with Hitachi into HGST
Very reliable drives that were louder than the average.

Hitachi – merged in 2002 with IBM into HGST

HGST – acquired in 2012 by Western Digital, parts of the of the 3.5″ manufacturing acquired by Toshiba
I have still one in my gaming machine. Runs without problems for nearly 6 years now.

Samsung – HDD acquired by Seagate in 2011
Very fond memories because they were almost silent.

Fujitsu – acquired by Toshiba in 2009


Now you know why your choices today are limited to only 3 vendors:
Seagate (40% market share), Toshiba (16% market share) and Western Digital / WD (44% market share).


Source market share: kitguru.net
Source defunct hard drive manufaturerers: wikipedia.org

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20 years of coding and working as software engineer but I am still eager to learn more. I am very passionate when it comes to open source, Linux and Java. But I made my peace with Windows long ago to fully enjoy my PC gaming hobby. I have a soft spot for 90s electronic music and Babylon 5. In the evenings you will find me roaming the endless space in Warframe (IGN k05h).