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OEM drives and warranties

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July 23, 2009 2:58:36 AM

Just a caution to all the newbies. Disk drives that you buy from Amazon, Newegg, etc that end in " - OEM" are excluded from the manufactures warranty. So that nice Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0 Gb/sec that you picked up for under $100 comes without warranty outside of whatever 30-day policy the seller offers.

The rationale is that companies like Dell use these drives and back the entire system under their warranty which is usually shorter in duration then say, Western Digitals warranty. So unless you want to self insure, pay the extra money and buy the retail version.

My two cents anyway.

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a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 2:51:50 AM

These disks are presumably cheaper? I don't understand why these OEM drives would be sold individually, since there's no PC retailer to provide support for it, right?
July 24, 2009 3:02:39 AM

r_manic said:
These disks are presumably cheaper? I don't understand why these OEM drives would be sold individually, since there's no PC retailer to provide support for it, right?


They are cheaper. The old roman warning, Caveat emptor, applies. Hence my warning. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caveat_emptor

In theory, these drives shouldn't be released to me and you but they are. Unless you want to self insure, buy the retail version. :cry: 
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a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 4:38:56 AM

I have been buying OEM parts for years, never had a single problem yet with anything OEM, however I HAVE bought plenty of retail items that simply refused to work. Not saying retail is better or worse, just stating my experience.
If something did die, the money I have saved buying OEM will pay for it over and over.

Nothing at all wrong with OEM as long as you understand what you are buying.

The failure rate percentages are heavily in favor that nothing will ever go wrong.
Kind of like buying extended warranties. The reason businesses push these so hard is because they make a ton of money on them. The percentage of a failure not happening is so overwhelming in their favor.
July 24, 2009 4:56:12 AM

OEM drives are cheaper because less is spent on packaging as well as support costs. Even though it's nice the get the retail versions I usually just end up saving a few bucks to go with an OEM for my own systems and I go with WD.
July 24, 2009 10:32:09 AM

If you are willing to self insure.... that is what you do when you buy OEM. If it fails you cover the replacement cost. Did I hear double or nothing?

I pick drives with 5-year warranties (OEM and Retail are the same drive, the difference is the warranty) because I am betting that they fail less.

I would like to know the actual risk of buying a lemon. Does anybody know where I can find the actuary numbers by manufacture/drive/retailer?
a b G Storage
July 24, 2009 1:45:36 PM

MikeJRamsey said:
If you are willing to self insure.... that is what you do when you buy OEM. If it fails you cover the replacement cost. Did I hear double or nothing?

I pick drives with 5-year warranties (OEM and Retail are the same drive, the difference is the warranty) because I am betting that they fail less.

I would like to know the actual risk of buying a lemon. Does anybody know where I can find the actuary numbers by manufacture/drive/retailer?


Over paranoid is what I call it, and your reasoning is a bit flawed, but hey if you want to buy only retail, that is your choice for sure. And probably for most people, they should be buying retail parts because they need the install disks, the "take my hand and guide me through this" instructions, the phone number to call for help, and of course the little stickers to put on their case.
I have built myself what, 10 computers.....and probably 20-30 more for friends and relatives over the past 15 years, not a huge number, but a few. Not once have I ever had something fail that needed to go back under a warranty situation. If there ever has been a problem, the part never worked right out of the box. I have never had a drive go bad. I have run RAID for years, and never had a drive go bad. I have stacks of old drives laying around here....some of them nearly 15 years old that still work. Self ensure? I have no idea what you are talking about there. I don't ever recall paying "insurance" for any of my PC parts. I buy them, I use them, I throw them away, give them away, and buy more.
Companies like Dell, Gateway, HP, amoung others use OEM parts, and they build the overwhelmingly vast majority of PC's in the world. It would be a foolish business decision indeed for them if OEM parts failed at a higher rate. Think of the money they would stand to lose? They are the exact same thing, just without packaging, manuals, and firmware, and extras, and of course, the little stickers and a factory warranty. They are not picked off the production line because they fail some minor "test" or other problem. Would it surprise you to find that the OEM business makes up about half of a drive manufactures business, if they are lucky?
In fact, now that I think about, I have had a drive fail, just recently at work. It was a retail packaged Western Digital drive that was bought and configured in RAID 1 next to an OEM drive. The drive was probably 6-7 years old?
July 24, 2009 11:31:42 PM

Just because I am paranoid it doesn't mean that they are not out to get me. :) 

What pray tell is flawed with my reasoning?

You understand the risk and you are willing to self insure. OK.

The post was started for the benefit of the newbies who might not understand the risk.
a b G Storage
July 25, 2009 12:59:21 PM

Well, I may be reading more into your post than there is, it seems you are saying that buying OEM runs a higher risk of failure.
I guess all you are saying is if it does fail, you are stuck with it. I just think that failure rates are so low, it really doesn't matter.
I would say that most failures, and it would be interesting to know the facts, are caused either directly or indirectly by the user.
I am constantly amazed by posts around the forum where someone comes in with a problem, lists all the details, except that they dropped the part out the top floor window of their house or spilled cola all over it, or they accidently plugged the wrong wires into something (even though there should have been no way possible to do it) until 30 threads down in the post when everything suggested to them has not worked, and they finally come forward with ALL the details. It happens more than you think!
July 25, 2009 3:21:47 PM

Like you, I am very interested in finding out the actual failure rates (.x per hundred). It seems reasonable that some percentage of the cause of failure is a combination of annoyed-at-life shipping people dropping stuff that shouldn't be dropped and buyers mishandling the same. I need data! My problem is that I can't find any.

I would like to believe that the failure rates are low but how can I discover the actual rates? The manufactures must know but they are not talking.

As for this thread, as you divined, I just wanted to alert the new folks that warranties are only for people who pay for them.
July 28, 2009 11:57:31 PM

I have bought quite a few OEM drives from Newegg, both WD and Seagate. They all have 3 or 5 year warranties on them and I registered them all and those websites both show my warranties extending for the amount of time they said they would.
August 2, 2009 6:11:21 AM

When has WD changed things?

OEM drives have a 1 yr warranty and Retail have 3 yr.

Each manufacture gives OEM warranties just not as long as Retaill

Well about 2 years ago they did. I haven't looked it up recently but, Maxtor, WD, Samsung, and Seagate all gave at least 1yr on OEM drives about 2 years ago. I had a stack of drives that died over about 5 years and I went to the manufactures site and checked them all out to see if any were still under warranty. When you punched in the serial numbers on them it told you if they were OEM vs Retail and how long the warranty was and when it expired.

For instance I just checked my dead 300GB Seagate Drive against Seagates "Is my drive still under warranty?" section and it's warranty is only a year long.

Just remember with OEM thier Warranty is no where near as long as Retail.

It makes no sense that they would not have a warranty on OEM. What happens when Dell, HP, Compaq, Lenovo, ect gets bad drives in from computers they sold? You think they just take the loss? No they return it to the manufacture. This way they don't take a total loss and if you believe anything short of that you need help.

If you want I can really break down the process for you..

August 2, 2009 1:27:58 PM

Erland,
Before starting this thread I sent an inquiry to Western Digital asking the following question.

Quote:
I am strongly considering purchasing one or more drives from Newegg with this designation:
Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - OEM

The OEM designation gave me pause; does this product enjoy the full 5-year warranty as stated in your product specification?

Thank you,
Mike Ramsey



I received the following reply.

Quote:
Dear Mike,

Thank you for contacting Western Digital Customer Service and Support. My name is Nestor V.

OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer hard drives are sold to OEM Computer manufacturers or Distributors in bulk packaging (bare drive only).


OEM drives are sold without accessories or installation software.

OEM drives may not contain a warranty from Western Digital. When Western Digital sells hard drives to OEM computer manufacturers such as Dell, Compaq, Apple, etc, we sell these drives without warranty. The OEM computer manufacturer would include the hard drive under the warranty of the computer system that the hard drive was installed into.



I hope that we have met your expectations today and that you are satisfied with our service. If you have any further questions, please reply to this email and we will be happy to assist you further.

Sincerely,
Nestor V.
Western Digital Service and Support
http://support.wdc.com


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