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OEM vs. Retail hard drives

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August 24, 2008 8:34:14 PM

Apart from the lack of an included cable, manual, and a box, is there any difference between OEM and retail versions of the same hard drive? Do they come with the same warranty? Are the retail drives more likely to have been packed properly during shipping and handling, etc.? Any chance the manufacturers put their "seconds" (i.e., slightly suspect or flawed) into the OEM distribution chain?

The only version of the drive I'm interested in I've been able to find locally is OEM that just comes in an anti-static bag, or I can order the retail version on the internet... the advantage of buying locally is if the drive is bad I can return it immediately... but is the drive more likely to be bad?

Thanks for any help....


More about : oem retail hard drives

August 24, 2008 8:45:06 PM

Just get an OEM unless you really need the pretty box.
August 24, 2008 8:53:07 PM

the drive is the same, it just comes in a much less fancy package. basically an anti-static bag inside a plastic clamshell-type thing. and then most likely wrapped up in bubble wrap.
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August 24, 2008 8:56:57 PM

Yes, you get the same warrenty
August 24, 2008 9:14:40 PM

I've never found a good use for the box, nor have I ever wanted to pay the high premium just to get one. OEM is the ONLY way to get a hard drive... unless some vender is running a heck of a sale on the retail box.
August 24, 2008 9:33:20 PM

hairycat101 said:
I've never found a good use for the box, nor have I ever wanted to pay the high premium just to get one. OEM is the ONLY way to get a hard drive... unless some vender is running a heck of a sale on the retail box.



Yeah sometimes if you watch Office Depot they once in a blue moon (like every couple of years) have a decent sale where they are actually a little cheaper then Newegg and are comparable in price to an OEM drive but with the box and cable.

Unless you just do not have the cables I fully endorse the OEM buy(like your mobo does not come with SATA ones.)

Same thing with OEM optical drives.

The two parts I would not recommend going OEM on is your Mother Board and possibly the Video Card. The Mother Board mainly for the ummm the back cover thingy is different for each brand and version so one usually will not work with another one.
August 24, 2008 9:40:12 PM

When you get the drive run the regular format not the quick format. It will run check disk and mark any bad sectors. This should be done with any drive. The OEM and retail drives are the same.
August 24, 2008 10:37:02 PM

Thanks for all the replies.

For the record in this case the OEM (locally) is about $10 more than the retail version (on the internet). No big deal either way. For me it is worth the $10 extra to be able to return it locally in case of problems so that there's no downtime.

This is to be installed in a Mac Pro and I don't believe cables are required for that installation. I'll have to figure out the most thorough way to scan the disk for bad sectors using OSX; not sure if the basic formatting will do that or not. (A question probably best left for a Mac forum).






August 24, 2008 11:09:00 PM

Eversince i brought my Seagate 1.6GB to my WD 320GB drives...always been OEM... no reliability issues with me
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