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Hard Drive Warranties

When you are buying a new hard drive then most of the time you will be covered by a warranty. This will mean that you have a piece of mind should the drive break from a fault that isn’t yours. It is important to note that warranties will vary between drives and manufacturers, so always refer to your documentation to ensure that you know what you are covered for and how long.
Generally the warranty period will apply from the date that the drive was purchased and will cover defects that are caused only by manufacturing. This means that you will not be covered should you cause any damage, like if you spill liquids on the drive or if it gets destroyed in a fire. The warranty is also invalid if it can be proved that you have tampered with the drive, misused or neglected it or installed it incorrectly. It is also invalid if someone modifies or repairs the drive that isn’t approved by the manufacturer. Again, this is all general warranty information, but it usually applies to most drives.
How long you have to claim on your warranty will vary depending on who the manufacturer is. For example, Samsung offer a two year period. At the beginning of this year it was announced that Seagate and Western Digital were cutting their hard drive warranties. Some went down from five years to just one. Seagate stated that it reduced their warranty periods as a way to save money and reinvest back to product development. There is little competition in the hard drive market since it is dominated by a select few key players, meaning that companies like Seagate and Western Digital can get away with reducing the warranty periods they offer.
Minimal warranty periods can have a big impact on businesses that use hundreds of drives where issues can often arise. If drives are breaking outside their warranty period then it can be very costly for these companies to shell out for replacements.
Although companies provide warranty for the physical drive itself, they will more than likely not provide a warranty for the data stored on it. This means that if your drive fails within a couple of months and takes down all your data with it then the hard drive company are not responsible to recover that data. Again, this is something that is to do with costs. Replacing the hard drive is not an expensive procedure for them as it is what they are producing all the time. Hard drives can fail in many different ways and to get the data back it could mean sending it to recovery professionals who will need to work in clean rooms free of unwanted air particles. This is something that is expensive and a process entirely different to just building the hard drive. The equipment needed for data recovery as well as the staff and their training are extraneous costs that hard drive manufacturers do not want to deal with. As such, they will instruct you to back up your data in order to protect it as it is not their liability to get it back should the drive fail under warranty.


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