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Gateway: Hang onto your hard drive

New service plan lets customers keep old drives after replacement to protect data.

Gateway has launched a new service to help customers keep sensitive personal and business data from falling into wrong hands. A new service plan launched Tuesday lets customers keep hard drives replaced under warranty. The plan costs $30 per drive for three years. Under the normal warranty, customers either lose their old drives on upgrade or must purchase them back at significant cost.

There have been several instances of companies selling their old PCs forgetting to wipe the hard drives, letting data slip out the door. With storage capacities multiplying each year, disk replacements are bound to increase. According to Dataquest, as many as 150 million drives were withdrawn from their primary service in 2002 alone.