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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Quality and Reliability ]

Hard Disk Warranty and Disaster Recovery Issues

If you use computers long enough and often enough, you will eventually will have to deal with a failed drive. It really is only a matter of time and luck. When this occurs with a drive that is reasonably new, you'll want to have it repaired or replaced under warranty. Unfortunately, most people couldn't tell you anything about their hard disk's warranty other than its length--and in some cases they later find out that they were mistaken about even that! The vast majority of hard disk users don't read the "fine print", and many manufacturers don't exactly make it easy to find even if you want to read it.

There are a lot of issues related to warranty coverage on hard disks that you need to understand to be sure of your warranty status and what will happen in the event that you need to exercise your warranty rights.  Hard disk manufacturers differ drastically in terms of their warranty and service procedures, which is something most people don't think of at the time they buy. But if reliability is important to you, you must understand how various manufacturers approach warranty issues before making your purchase. For some people, this matter is more important than all the other quality and performance issues put together.

In this section I take a close look at the warranty issues related to hard drives. This includes a discussion of manufacturer warranty policies, a look at the important matter of OEM and retail drives, and a look at issues involved in returning a drive for repair or replacement. I also discuss data recovery and data security, essential topics to those with very important or confidential data.

Tip: You may also want to check out this related general discussion of warranty and service issues.

Next: Warranty Coverage: Retail, OEM and Stolen Drives


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