Updated from 8:31 a.m. EDT

Investors knocked 8% off the value of Seagate ( STX) Wednesday after the disk-drive maker warned that March quarter earnings would fall well below expectations. But analysts said the problems appear to be specific to Seagate and don't reflect weakening demand in the broader tech sector.

Seagate shares were recently down $1.23 to $14.36.

The trouble at Seagate is mostly due to a slight inventory build-up at major customer Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ), which ordered too many notebook PCs late last year.

H-P is still working through the inventory, though it's likely to be mostly cleared up by the end of its April quarter, said Goldman Sachs' Laura Conigliaro. In the meantime, Seagate could continue to be affected through its June quarter, the company cautioned Tuesday.

Granted, Seagate isn't the only big tech player to be stymied by an inventory build-up. In March, Intel ( INTC) shares took a hit after the chipmaker reduced the midpoint of its quarterly sales guidance, flagging a slight inventory build overseas. Though the chipmaker said the overhang had been worked through by early March, the news was enough to prompt a slew of downward earnings revisions.

But despite the painful admissions from Seagate (and to a much lesser extent, Intel), the March quarter appears to be mostly on track for tech companies. Though Nokia's ( NOK) warning earlier this week rattled some investors, the tech business is actually looking much more solid this quarter than last year. According to Thomson First Call, technology companies have so far issued 168 negative preannouncements and 133 positive announcements (out of a pool of over 1000 companies), leading to a ratio of 1.3 to 1 of negative to positive comments.

By comparison, the average ratio in all of 2003 stood at 1.7 to 1. And last year at this time, when technology purchases dropped off sharply before the war in Iraq, the ratio was 2.4.