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Sending drive back to Western Digital.. should I be worried?

Last response: in Storage
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October 9, 2007 10:46:22 PM

Hi everyone

I have a western digital external MyBook harddrive, and it no longer works. I have all the signs of drive faliure, clicking at first, and now the computers wont recognize the drive. So I am sending it back under the warranty to Western Digital.

Here's the thing..

Will western digital snoop through the files on there? Just about all the data I have is on the drive. That includes everything from personal finance, unpublished articles to porn (which Im sure that many of these tech people are looking for).

Do you guys think that they will go through the porn or personal photos?

Please reply fast!

Thanks

Zach
October 9, 2007 11:10:36 PM

lol, pr0n
don't leave your pr0n on there man!!!!
definitely don't leave your personal finance documents on there.
October 9, 2007 11:17:06 PM

so yo uthink that the western digital people are going to go through it?

If they find warez, would they report it?

well i cant access the harddrive.. so I don't see how I can get rid of the data..

Zach
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October 9, 2007 11:29:39 PM

I am pretty sure they will, i mean - i would, wouldn't you?
LOL!
sorry about that, but it seems to be the truth. Unless it comes across the HONEST GUY OF THE YEAR, which i highly doubt it!
Try and find out if there is a policy about it on their website, like saying that all private data are destroyed or back up and sent back to the user or something like that.
October 10, 2007 12:33:45 AM

Grab four 9V batteries. Connect these in series so you have one 36V battery. Now, remove the HD from your external case. Connect the leads to the Ground and +12V wirings, very briefly.

If it works, your circuit board should release the blue smoke that powers all circuit chips (after all, how come they don't work without the smoke inside?). Now, you can feel safe that they won't look at your data.

Think about it though, they do warranty replacements on how many drives a day? It's an in-out process, they don't even check to make sure it works or not. If you warranty the drive, you wouldn't hassle if it worked, right?
October 10, 2007 12:43:17 AM

There is a chance that they just accept your word that the drive is bad, dump out the guts (including the HD platters), install the new guts and send it back to you. That is what you are wishing will happen.

But I would think that they would have to "see" if the drive actually works. Maybe they will just load the drive into a system that attempts to write and read several specific files off the drive. At that point they are just reading their specific data files. Room on the drive for the files with no read or write = dumps the guts and move onto giving you a new drive.

Considering the company is going to want this entire transaction (and the dozens just like it every day) to go as fast as possible, there would not be a lot time alloted to snooping into your drives. And because the customers returning the drives could include government agencies (state, city, Feds, local law enforcement etc etc) as well as real corperate customers, I assume (assume being the key word) that there is a lot of oversite in that particular division of the company.

Also, when the guts get dumped into the trash, the guts will be shredded. There is just waaaaayyyyy too much risk for governmental or large corporate files to mixed into the trash. Shredding and burning is cheaper than the risk.

So your only concern is the line tech that reads the drive to insure it works or not. IF that tech has a long lunch period and some extra time on his/her hands and your files had names like "don't let mom see these pictures" and "secret Swiss bank account numbers" then you should be worried. Otherwise just return the drive and don't sweat the small stuff.

October 10, 2007 1:37:03 AM

I've always had a problem with this. I don't have an answer for you. Only you can determine the relationship between the sensitivity of the data on the drive related to the cost of a new drive. Once you send it off there is no guaranty that your data will remain secure.
October 10, 2007 2:17:08 AM

Hard drive manufacturers do not have time for such nonsense. The drives are mass processed through a diagnostic and even when they find the drive is good, the platters still are processed to a complete wipe. The good controllers are recycled and mated with good platters further down the line.
October 10, 2007 2:30:57 AM

That may be true, but there is no guaranty that the data is secure, only a reasonable assumption. It all depends on how sensitive the data is.
October 10, 2007 2:47:33 AM

I agree with Onestar. They could careless about what is on the drive. Time is money in the market. They have no time to snoop.
!