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Is it safe to RMA Hard Drives?

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July 19, 2011 4:47:45 PM

Hello, I have failed WD and Hitachi hard drives with sensitive data on them. Data is probably OK, drives won't power on. Is the data at risk of exposure if I RMA them or should I destroy the drives and eat the replacement costs? How are returned drves handled by the manufacturer?

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a c 371 G Storage
July 19, 2011 5:21:14 PM

You can always ask the manufacture's how they handle rma's, but I'd hope they destroy the drives. If you can manage access to the drives temporarily, the WD diagnostics program has a write zeros function to wipe the drive with or use something like nuke and boot.

http://www.dban.org/
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July 19, 2011 7:27:23 PM

That's a question you need to answer yourself.

If the data is so sensitive that if it were in the wrong hands your life would be over - yes, destroy the drive and start again.

If it's business files or home movies etc.. you should just RMA it because although engineers can look at files while testing / repairing the drive.. I'm pretty sure there's some privacy laws that says they're not allowed to disclose what has been found unless it's severely against the law etc etc.

Most of the time when a drive is RMA'd it's simply thrown in a machine to see if it'll boot. If it can't.. it's scrapped.
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a b G Storage
July 19, 2011 10:11:57 PM

kevinc5 said:
Hello, I have failed WD and Hitachi hard drives with sensitive data on them. Data is probably OK, drives won't power on. Is the data at risk of exposure if I RMA them or should I destroy the drives and eat the replacement costs? How are returned drves handled by the manufacturer?


Expose your BAD (RMA) drive to a powerful magnet (like the one of the sub-woofer). After that do the RMA, your data can not be read after exposed

You can test one with your good drive... You can verified what i'm talking about :-)
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a b G Storage
July 19, 2011 11:10:45 PM

You will be fine they aren't throwing your old drive in the streets for some one to pick up. They will recycle it.
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