FYI on not getting scammed on HDD warrantys
Short: I bought a Seagate HDD 4 years ago that should be under warranty, its not.
I found out today that my "5 year warranty" Seagate is not under warranty. The counter jockey at PC Club told me it was a 5 year warranty. How can this be that Seagate wont warranty this? Well, what the Seagate rep told me is that retailers will bulk buy HDD from companies like Dell, HP or some other outlet, because they got a cheaper rate then buying direct from Seagate. What happens is these companies intend to put these HDD in their systems, and for what ever reason dont. Many times they (Dell and HP, ect) will flash the firmware thus breaking the warranty with Seagate and at that point the warranty is usually only one year through the retail store you brought it from. This is not supposed to be done and is against Seagate policy, but the rep told me this has happened enough that its somewhat common. The only way you can protect yourself is to call in your HDD serial number to verify the warranty. I suspect this issue is more common with HDDs that come in those little anti static bags. I was going to yell at PC Club but they went out of business last month. How nice. These guy in a three year period put every "little guy" out of business in my state by severely underpricing the market, now they are out of business because of their anorexic business model.
...So when you see a HDD in a static bag and are wondering why there is a $30 price difference from the boxed version, the difference may not be "just the packaging" as an employee once told me.
With regard to buying refurbished HDDs on the net, particularly on ebay, dont buy them. If your buying an HDD on ebay and it doesnt say new, used or refurbished, assume its "refurbished". There happened to be a ebay seller right in my town that specialized in HDDs. Assuming they sold new HDDs, I gave them a call to buy one over the phone and pick it up. Oddly, since I was going to pick it up in person, the sales rep was a lot more forthcoming then the ebay add. Their drives are "refurbished" HDD with a six month warranty. From what I found, on the net, there is no common technical specification for "refurbished" HDDs and many ebay resellers simply do an error check and wipe the drive with no retooling of the hardware components. Given the cost difference of $20, its simply better to get a HDD from a reputable seller that you know is new. Again, this is only in regard to ebay resellers, including ones claiming to be official manufacturer resellers. Segate, WD, Haitachi, Maxtor, may actually do a true refurbish, but Im not aware of it, nor did I bother looking.
Last edited by Lateforgym; September 23rd, 2008 at 05:34 PM.