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Seagate drives deeper into retail

The storage specialist is targeting the do-it-yourself crowd with a new line of PC hard drive upgrade kits and has taken steps to make the chore as painless as possible.

Seagate is targeting the do-it-yourself crowd with PC hard drive upgrade kits that will be sold at retail.

The Scotts Valley, Calif.-based company, which sells hard drives and hard drive kits, said Friday that the new upgrade packages include detailed instructions and software that helps install the drive and diagnose problems. All of this for buyers who aren't afraid to crack open the case on their PC.

For most consumer PC owners, upgrading the memory is the first step in updating an older PC. The process involves opening the case and inserting the memory module into a slot in the motherboard. Replacing a hard drive isn't much more complicated, and it is often the next step on the upgrade path, giving older PCs a boost in storage capacity.

Betting that consumers who want to upgrade their own PCs will choose the easiest hard drives to install, Seagate has added a new instruction booklet and has printed the installation instructions directly on the drives. Previous kits offered separate installation instructions.

The new line will initially include Seagate 7,200-rpm 40GB, 60GB and 80GB drives. They will be sold starting this weekend at selected Fry's Electronics retail locations and at Outpost.com. Fry's stores are primarily located in the West, and Seagate said the kits will be available at a larger number of retail stores later this year.

Seagate did not announce pricing for the kits, but its line of Barracuda 40GB, 60GB and 80GB upgrades range in price from $109 to $159.

Besides the hard drive, the kits will include a drive interface cable, disc utility CD, quick installation guide and mounting screws.