There is no question hard drive technology has greatly improved in recent years, with which consumers benefit the most. It is not just speed and capacity, but also good value for consumers. 80GB
hard drives in 2003 cost the same if not more than a 500GB today while the 300GB
was priced similar two year ago.
Document data does not take much hard drive space if you are running an office in a medium size company. Other than the “crazy” covering your “behind” type of emails and their attachments, I found no more than 100 megabytes of worthy enough data to be kept after 30 years of working in mid/upper management positions.
However, things begin to change greatly in the last two years. I managed to get a 4GB SanDisk Sansa
MP3 player to store some of my favorite songs, but photos from ever increasing Mega Pixel cameras begin to come in from everyone in the family thanks to the drastic drop in digital camera price of late. Worst of all, video clips from vacation, new born, new cars and birthdays take up the most room before you have the time to burn them into DVD. Admittedly, I do keep several good DVD movies in my HDD in any given time due to my lazy nature. Suddenly, I found my 250GB hard drive struggling for elbow room. I no longer “laugh at” people in need of high capacity HDDs.
Western Digital, Maxtor, IBM (now Hitachi) and Seagate are the common names in the industry. The nice folks from Geeks Computer Parts
sent us two refurbished 500GB Seagate hard drives
for evaluation. Introduction :
If you have worked on PC long enough you know the life expectancy of a hard drive varies. Personally speaking, I have had really bad luck with IBM Deskstar five years ago, three failures within a 15-month time frame; two Western Digital both lasted over two years. I don't recall any of my HDD failure since 1988 other than what I've mentioned.
Return Material Requesition (RMA) turn-around time improves from my first return in 2001 to 2005 when the last one took only 10 days. It means from the day I mailed in the defective drive to receiving a replacement on the 10th day while it took about 4 weeks back in 2001. I notice the improvement came from having inventory in the U.S. rather than shipping the replacement from offshore factories which could be anywhere from Eastern Europe to Southern Asia.
Not all RMA'ed returns are due to defective products. As more and more DIY weekend builders assembling their one of the kind PC, there are more returns from inexperienced beginners fail to setup motherboard BIOS and or OS properly. A common one I notice is this, "My 300 GB X-brand hard drive only recognized by Windows setup as 137 GB, so I returned it". I am sure returns from broken SATA connector ranks pretty high too.
My favorite one is, "I purchased XXX 250GB hard drive and Windows showed only 233GB. I feel like being taken so I returned the drive to the store." I only hope this guy does not build houses, he would have to return all the 2x4 lumber
Some new HDDs carry a one year warranty; others have 3 or 5 years. Factory Refurbished or Certified Repaired HDDs might carry shorter warranty periods depending on the situations. My replacement IBM drives carried the remaining warranty period from the originals, while Western Digital gave me another 12-month. The policy changes as manufacturers adjust the warranty period from many market factors. Seagate offers a 5-year warranty on its new HDDs.
The HDDs here have the following warranty information from Seagate. Most HDD manufacturer websites contain information page based on Serial Number and Model to list warranty information. It is always a good idea to find this out after you purchased the drive to match what is printed on the box or whatever you have had read prior.
In this case, depending on how long this particular HDD has been sitting in inventory + the remaining 7-month left (now till Feb 08) is the warranty period offered by Seagate on certified repaired drives.
Testing refurbished HDDs -->