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At the Edge of the World, Seagate Drives Perform Flawlessly for Mountaineers


SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif.—05 July 2006— Dusty, bone-rattling mountain roads, freezing weather and cloud-skimming altitudes couldn’t stop Seagate hard drives, which took on everything nature had to throw at them during a recent attempt to scale Cho Oyu, the world’s sixth-highest peak at 26,900 feet.

A team from Friendship Beyond Borders, an organization that works to build awareness of the achievements of amputees, tackled the Tibetan mountain in April, equipped with several Seagate-donated storage products to assist in their efforts.

Most Seagate drives are certified to operate at 10,000 feet. Seagate donated two 40GB 2.5-inch EE25 Series hard drives, which are designed for systems that need to function in extreme environmental conditions, including automobiles and rugged notebooks favored by the military. EE25 Series drives are specified for operation up to 14,500 feet above sea level.

In addition, Seagate contributed a 5GB Pocket Hard Drive and an 8GB CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive. The palm-sized Pocket Hard Drive is convenient and portable and can safely store hundreds of large business files, music, photos, videos and more. Its sleek, round shell absorbs shock, protecting the data inside. Designed for a wide range of digital cameras, the CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive quickly stores thousands of high-resolution photos in all sorts of environments so there’s no need to swap out smaller capacity cards while on the go. It also features a rugged design to protect it from accidental drops.

Although unusually bad weather prevented a summit attempt, the team brought the Seagate hard drives as high as 18,600 feet, surpassing the 17,500-foot mark achieved last year by a Seagate-supported expedition that tried to scale Mt. Everest. The Cho Oyu team included Nepalese climber and amputee Nawang Sherpa, who had reached the summit of Mt. Everest in 2004 with fellow team member Tom McMillan, who founded Friendship Beyond Borders with his wife Linda.

“We were very impressed that Seagate’s hard drives worked perfectly at all altitudes and weather conditions,” said Linda McMillan. “We’d heard that other expeditions had trouble with hard drive failures, and some people had to rely on PDAs using chips instead of computers with hard drives.”

McMillan added that the team’s notebook computer, which featured an EE25 Series hard drive, endured hundreds of miles of jostling on torturous dirt roads from the ancient Tibetan city of Lhasa to the base of Cho Oyu. From there, the notebook traveled in a duffle bag strapped to a yak. The team used the Seagate-enabled computer to check and send e-mail, search the Internet for vital weather forecasts and to update its Web site and expedition blog.

“The vibrations, jolts and dust really put the notebook to a wicked test of endurance,” McMillan said.

Temperatures fell to as low as minus 20 degrees F at night. Climber George Patterson was especially worried about how the hard drives would fare in those conditions.

“Those drives are very small, with the heads barely above the media, but they worked beautifully,” said Patterson, a former engineer with Hewlett-Packard.

Seagate’s EE25 Series hard drives are specified for operation in just such conditions, from minus 30 degrees to 85 degrees Celsius.

Capturing an irreplaceable digital diary of the expedition, Patterson used the Seagate CompactFlash Photo Hard Drive in his Nikon digital camera to safely store all of the trip’s photos, and used the Pocket Hard Drive to store his shots and much of the content created on the team’s notebook computer.

“Seagate has the most rugged storage solutions on the market. I read the specs for the drives and was impressed about their reliability,” he said. “But to see them actually work under some very harsh conditions was a real ’wow’ factor for me. It shows people at Seagate have thought a lot about reliability and ruggedness, and designed that into their products.”

"For Seagate, the field data obtained from the Cho Oyu expedition, like that from last year’s Everest team, will help the company further increase the high quality and reliability of its products, said Rob Pait, the company’s director of global consumer-electronics marketing.

Customers are bringing our hard drives into new environments. We’re very interested in testing the limits of our products in these ’real-world’ environments because we want automobile manufacturers and others to see how tough Seagate drives can be. When it comes to new applications in extreme conditions, our design teams are basically saying, ’bring it on!’"

About Friendships Beyond Borders
Friendship Beyond Borders is a coalition of mountaineers and medical professionals with the goal of helping amputees change their world. The organization, centered in Marin County north of San Francisco, works to create a world platform for amputees from developing countries to demonstrate their potential for outstanding achievements and highly productive lives. They believe that strong businesses and communities result when all people are able contribute to overall economic, environmental, and social success and create positive change in their part of the world. For more information, please visit:

About Seagate
Seagate is the worldwide leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of hard disc drives, providing products for a wide-range of applications, including Enterprise, Desktop, Mobile Computing, Consumer Electronics and Branded Solutions. Seagate’s business model leverages technology leadership and world-class manufacturing to deliver industry-leading innovation and quality to its global customers, and to be the low cost producer in all markets in which it participates. The company is committed to providing award-winning products, customer support and reliability to meet the world’s growing demand for information storage. Seagate can be found around the globe and at

Seagate, Seagate Technology and the Wave logo are registered trademarks of Seagate Technology LLC. EE 25 Series is either a trademark or registered trademark of Seagate Technology LLC. All other trademarks or registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners. One gigabyte, or GB, equals one billion bytes when referring to hard drive capacity. Accessible capacity may vary depending on operating environment and formatting.


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