[2 days left] What’s wrong with your cloud strategy? Learn why multicloud solutions matter with Nimble Storage.Register Now


How do we decipher Seagate's "Date Code"?

Posted on 2006-11-16
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
  Simple question, but not obvious on their website, or in any of the various manuals I DL from there.  I have two Seagate drives on my desk, that the owner believes are less than two years old.  Seagate's online warranty page says the warranty has expired for both, which I can accept, but I'd like to know (and report back to the owner) exactly how old the drives are.
   The two codes, as printed on the drive labels, are "04142" and "04234".  I expect that this is as simple as "two digit year and three digit day", but I can't find anything to use as a reference and I'm not going to just assume that.  Besides, I thought that their drives came with a 3-year warranty.

   I have been able to establish that one of the two, labeled "OEM", was sold with a very limited Seagate warranty, so that one probably won't get replaced, but the other one was bought over the counter, so it should be new enough....
Question by:TPFLSandy
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 3

Expert Comment

ID: 17957934
Julian date.    the first 2 digits are the year, the last 3 are the numerical value assigned to the actual day in the year.  Picture a calendar except that instead of 30 days there are 365 or 366.  Heres a link with more info than you need on Julian calendars.



Author Comment

ID: 17958740
from talkinsmak:
> Julian date.

Thank you.

Yes, I described a "Julian Date"; I know what that is but I didn't consider it a common term so I simply described that encoding scheme.  I may not have been clear on my request, so I'll try again.

   I understood from your post that you are agreeing with me that this five-digit string appears to be two digits of year and three digits of date.  However, is it really Julian Date (number of days since December 31 of previous year), or number of days their factory was open, or number of 8-hour shifts, or something different that _looks_ like a Julian Date?
   Does anyone _know_ (rather than agreeing with me on what it looks like) what Seagate means by "Date Code" on their Hard Drive labels?  Is it, in fact, simply a Julian Date?  Is that actually written anywhere, on their website, in a HD owner's manual, or in some of their diagnostic software?
   I'm looking for an answer, that I can refer to, in the form of "Seagate's website says it is (FITB).  Here is the URL." or "I used to work for them.  It's something completely different, and they don't want it talked about" or even "It's Julian, but it's not written down anywhere."

Expert Comment

ID: 17959250
I used to be an authorized reseller for seagate.  I would look up a drive to check warranty status.  When i did this it would give me a date that the warranty expired.  If you look at the date code (04142 for example), you will notice that it coincides with the date that the drive was manufactured or warranty expires, i cant remember which.  

Now if you take that 1 step further and look at a julian calendar for year 2004 you will see that your drive was manufactured on 5/21/2004 and your warranty expiration will probably be 1, 2, 3 or 5 years from that date depending on the drive you purchased.

Check your warranty here:


View your julian calendar for 2004 here.


Get it????????????????????????????????????

>>>>>"Does anyone _know_ (rather than agreeing with me on what it looks like) what Seagate means by "Date Code" on their Hard Drive labels?"

I didnt agree with you.  I have working knowledge of this.  Consider yourself schooled!

Way too much work for 50 points.


Concerto's Cloud Advisory Services

Want to avoid the missteps to gaining all the benefits of the cloud? Learn more about the different assessment options from our Cloud Advisory team.


Accepted Solution

talkinsmak earned 600 total points
ID: 17959378
Apparently I am mistaken.  The way I described is the way it was when I was working with SG drives.  Apparently things are different now.  Please read below and excuse my attitude above.


Author Comment

ID: 17960497
Thanks for that link (which is an archived email which includes a quote from an apparent email from Seagate).

It says (as well as giving us a second link, which says the same thing)...

Date Code Shape: YYWD or YYWWD
  YY: fiscal year, beginning on the 1st Saturday of July YY-1
  W[1-9] or WW[10-52]: fiscal weeks from 1st Saturday of July YY-1
  D: days from the beginning of week WW (weeks run from Saturday to Friday)

...which can be used to laboriously construct a usable date, if it's really needed, but it's not very easy.  Ya know, some manufacturers that use obscure codes put a decoder on their website, so that people can tell how old their kit is.  Some even put human-readable dates on their kit.  This, IMHO, is senseless bafflegab and can only turn people away from their product.  There's no good reason to do this.

   My client's two drives, OEM "04142" and retail "04234", were built on the 2nd day of the 14th week and the 4th day of the 23rd week respectively of "FY04", which for them started July 3rd, 2003, which the US Military would call Julian Date 03184.
   So, adding 13 weeks (you start at 0411, in Seagate's system) and 1 day you get 184 + (13*7) + 1 = Julian Date 03276, or October 3rd, 2003 for the OEM one with basically no warranty, and 184 + (22*7) + 3 = Julian Date 03341, or December 7th, 2003 for the retail drive which would still be under warranty if it had been the 3-year version.

   Thank you for digging until we got an answer!

Author Comment

ID: 17960626
Oh, yeah, for any lurkers or future viewers:

   Get yer US Government-style Julian Calendar here:  www.fs.fed.us/raws/book/julian.shtml

   It simply assigns a number to each day of the year, starting with January 1 as "1" and ending with December 31 as "365" (of course, every 4th year is different, so keep track of that!).

   If Seagate wants to start their "Fiscal Year" on the "First Saturday of July in the previous year", then you've gotta look at a real calendar to figure out what that date was, and look at a Julian Date converter (above link) for the Julian Date.  In 2003, that was July 3rd, which was the 184th day of the year.  Once you've got _that_, it's a simple matter of subtracting 1 from the "WW" code, since they start in week "1" instead of week "0", and multiplying by 7.  Add that number to the Julian Date that you got above, add the day of the week "D" code (subtracting 1 again since they start with 1), and take the resulting sum back to your Julian Calendar for conversion back to a human-readable date.  Note that if you get a number greater than 365 (or 366 in a leap year), it means sometime in the following calendar year.  Subtract 365 (or 366) and look up the remainder as the following year.
   I think I'll start buying from their competitors.  This is just stupid.

Author Comment

ID: 18013219
  To follow up on this, I just installed a new Seagate drive in that machine, with date code "07161" - clearly NOT a standard "Julian Date", as we are not yet in 2007 and certainly haven't yet reached the 161st day of that year.
   Following the above instructions, however, decodes this to October 12, 2006 as a manufacturing date.  Now, this is entirely reasonable for a drive made somewhere on the Pacific Rim, shipped to the US, and held by a wholesaler for a couple of weeks before being sold to a retailer (me) on November 22.  I think that we can safely conclude that we understand Seagate's idiotic coding system.

Featured Post

NEW Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows

Backup and recover physical and cloud-based servers and workstations, as well as endpoint devices that belong to remote users. Avoid downtime and data loss quickly and easily for Windows-based physical or public cloud-based workloads!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Finding original email is quite difficult due to their duplicates. From this article, you will come to know why multiple duplicates of same emails appear and how to delete duplicate emails from Outlook securely and instantly while vital emails remai…
Windows Server 2003 introduced persistent Volume Shadow Copies and made 2003 a must-do upgrade.  Since then, it's been a must-implement feature for all servers doing any kind of file sharing.
This video teaches viewers how to encrypt an external drive that requires a password to read and edit the drive. All tasks are done in Disk Utility. Plug in the external drive you wish to encrypt: Make sure all previous data on the drive has been …
This Micro Tutorial will teach you how to reformat your flash drive. Sometimes your flash drive may have issues carrying files so this will completely restore it to manufacturing settings. Make sure to backup all files before reformatting. This w…
Suggested Courses

649 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question