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  • What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

    I'm relatively new to the world of IT, and I'm learning a lot as I go.

    One of the issues that has come up several times is a failed hard drive that is still on warranty. The reason this is an issue is that most often a failed hard drive will not "mount" and therefore I cannot wipe the data from it using something like Eraser.

    When companies replace faulty hard drives that are still on warranty they often want the original back (if not always), so my question here is what do you do in this situation? Despite the fact the hard drive doesn't show up on machines, I have serious reservations sending back a drive that I haven't run some sort of data shredding software on to format it. I can't open it up and destroy the platters like I would with a disk who's warranty had expired either.

    Up until now we've just been taking a loss on these drives and buying new ones, but we don't have the money to constantly replace faulty drives (especially ones still on warranty) so I'm wondering what the best course of action is in this case.

    I am completely open to suggestions!

  • #2
    Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

    If you are having such a bad time with failing HDDs then I would suggest changing the drive manufacturer or find out why you seem to be having this issue. In the last 10 years I have had 6 HDD failures in some 85+ Servers running 24/7.

    Before returning the HDDs you could always use an electronic device that will corrupt any data on the drive.
    1 1 was a racehorse.
    2 2 was 1 2.
    1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
    2 2 1 1 2

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    • #3
      Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

      I wish it were that simple...

      Unfortunately the failed disks come from a variety of manufacturers, in a variety of different machines serving a variety of different purposes.

      Most of them are not in servers...the one I'm most concerned about is a hard drive we've been using for backing up our file server (which has no shortage of sensitive information).

      What are these electronic devices you speak of?

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

        I can't say that I've tried any of the following but there are rumours about freezing the HDD or using a powerful magnet will erase the data.

        I'd just say the if the information stored in there is valuable and sensitive then, just byte the bullet, get the drill out and fork out for a new drive.
        As Biggles said though, it's not very usual for the drives to keep going bang like that.
        Also, try to make sure if possible, the sensitive information/data is centralised and not distributed so in case of disaster you not only ensure availability but also try and prevent data leakage.
        I know this is easier said than done, but you'd be surprised what big companies (especially big companies) store locally and sometimes simple measures make a difference.

        HTH
        Caesar's cipher - 3

        ZKHQ BRX HYHQWXDOOB GHFLSKHU WKLV BRX ZLOO UHDOLVH LW ZDV D ZDVWH RI WLPH!

        SFX JNRS FC U6 MNGR

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        • #5
          Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

          I've also never had a drive fail under warranty. Given the low cost of drives except for the highest performance / highest capacity combos now, I'd say just destroy the disk and buy a new one.
          Gareth Howells

          BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

          Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

          Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

          "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

          "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

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          • #6
            Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

            A microwave. 30-60 seconds on high. Just hope you dont need to use it afterwards. A large Magnet would work, but the size of the magnet needed to get though the protective cases to ensure that ALL data bytes are reset is rather massive.

            Simplest and easiest way to kill all the data on a hard drive, that or a hammer.

            Just tell the company that you are sending the drive back to that you will be taking action to ensure that the data can not be read, as you can not do it logicily, you have to do it physicly. Simple :P

            If you are losing that meny hard drives, check you server area for interferance, dust or vibrations that could be shorting the life span of you hard drive (and all the IT equitment).

            Wofen
            Good to be back....

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            • #7
              Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

              Sorry -- a METAL object for a minute in the microwave????
              Have a quick look on to see why this is a VERY bad idea

              Large magnet is probably your safest bet, or follow the advice given and do not worry about the repair. Then you can do what you like with the drive (burial at sea, possibly?)
              Tom Jones
              MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
              PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
              IT Trainer / Consultant
              Ossian Ltd
              Scotland

              ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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              • #8
                Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                A lot of companies now, will let you keep your hard drive while replacing it under warranty for a small additional cost. However, I believe you had to sign up on that when you purchase the server.
                MCITP:SA, MCSA 2003, MCP, CCNA, A+, Net+, Security+

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                • #9
                  Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                  "Fire, and lots of it." "Oh that's your cure for everything."

                  Originally posted by boondock View Post
                  A lot of companies now, will let you keep your hard drive while replacing it under warranty for a small additional cost. However, I believe you had to sign up on that when you purchase the server.
                  I also believe you have to send them the failed disk and they then send it back to you, otherwise how will they know that it warrants a replacement?

                  I once had to return a tape drive to a supplier as DOA*... with a tape stuck in it. In the end, we put a drill through the tape while still in the drive. For some reason, the supplier didn't bat an eyelid (probably thought it safer not to quibble with the guy with the big drill) and promptly issued a refund. No refund for the cost of the trashed tape though

                  * not quite DOA, but on its deathbed.
                  Gareth Howells

                  BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                  Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                  Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                  "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                  "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                    Originally posted by DKNUCKLES View Post
                    I'm relatively new to the world of IT, and I'm learning a lot as I go.

                    One of the issues that has come up several times is a failed hard drive that is still on warranty. The reason this is an issue is that most often a failed hard drive will not "mount" and therefore I cannot wipe the data from it using something like Eraser.

                    When companies replace faulty hard drives that are still on warranty they often want the original back (if not always), so my question here is what do you do in this situation? Despite the fact the hard drive doesn't show up on machines, I have serious reservations sending back a drive that I haven't run some sort of data shredding software on to format it. I can't open it up and destroy the platters like I would with a disk who's warranty had expired either.

                    Up until now we've just been taking a loss on these drives and buying new ones, but we don't have the money to constantly replace faulty drives (especially ones still on warranty) so I'm wondering what the best course of action is in this case.

                    I am completely open to suggestions!
                    I take mine to the range.

                    (not my pics)
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by ahinson; 7th July 2010, 13:58.
                    Andrew

                    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points sigpic where appropriate **

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                    • #11
                      Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                      Pity you're too far away for me to offer you a data disposal contract
                      Gareth Howells

                      BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                      Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                      Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                      "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                      "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                        Originally posted by Ossian View Post
                        Sorry -- a METAL object for a minute in the microwave????

                        You know what is cool though ? A CD in the microwave for about 15 seconds in a dark room...
                        Please do show your appreciation to those who assist you by leaving Rep Point https://www.petri.com/forums/core/im.../icon_beer.gif

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                        • #13
                          Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                          Note to anyone out there who wants to try this: you accept full liability for whatever happens to you and your microwave. Be sure to wear your tinfoil hat and post the result on YouTube for us all to have a good laugh at.
                          Gareth Howells

                          BSc (Hons), MBCS, MCP, MCDST, ICCE

                          Any advice is given in good faith and without warranty.

                          Please give reputation points if somebody has helped you.

                          "For by now I could have stretched out my hand and struck you and your people with a plague that would have wiped you off the Earth." (Exodus 9:15) - I could kill you with my thumb.

                          "Everything that lives and moves will be food for you." (Genesis 9:3) - For every animal you don't eat, I'm going to eat three.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                            This has gone badly . Please return to the question originally asked. Thanks.
                            1 1 was a racehorse.
                            2 2 was 1 2.
                            1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
                            2 2 1 1 2

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: What to do with failed hard drives on warranty

                              Well thank you all for your creative suggestions as to what to do with failed hard drives haha.

                              I guess I'm up the creek without a paddle on this one :/

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