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Hard Disk Failure - Warranty Replacement - Confidential Data

-DJL- asked
Last Modified: 2011-10-19
I've just had a hard disk fail and it will need to be returned once a replacement has arrived.

The disk has confidential data on it - I can't perform any kind of deletion/overwriting/destruction as the disk is faulty.

Any comments on Western Digitals policy on handling RMA'd disks below?  The disk was part of a RAID0 array, i've tried recovering data from the other working disk - the data is very patchy, so I don't think theres much there to recover anyway.

Would you pay for the replacement and take a sledge hammer to the disk, or trust that they handle with care?

"Ensuring customer confidentiality is a priority to Western Digital. When a drive is received, it is put through a rigorous testing process for analysis. During this process, all data on the drive is completely erased, and subsequently irrecoverable. For recertification, each drive must pass an extensive testing process, a comprehensive physical inspection, and is updated with the latest available firmware revision. If a drive does not pass any of the checkpoints during this process, it is scrapped and not recertified."
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Just destroy it since you will pay for replacement.
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Thanks for all the commnents.

I've been in contact with WD again - so far the responses have been all along the lines of "here's an article from our knowledgebase", which considering the emails I sent where both asking for clarification of said article, they weren't all that helpful.

I'll give them a ring when they get back from their bank holiday.

Mean while, i'm still trying to get a Gutman erase to finish on the disk.


Seagate, Fujitsu, Maxtor, and Western Digital (WD) all honor commercial and government security policies that state the platters may not leave the facility.  IBM does not, but must be addressed on a case-by-case basis.  Iomega does the same for its disks, but must be handled on case-by-case as well.

If the manufacturer do not have a COD (certificate of destruction), you may write your own.

Tell your RMA rep that you are requesting replacement with a COD.  You will return the necessary hardware to validate that you have a drive covered under warranty.  This is usually the cover plate and/or the PCB (printed circuit board) with serial number stickers intact.

Here is a sample from Seagate.

If this is for a private person, the policy may not apply.  The security policies were intended for government entities, government contractors, and commercial businesses with written policies.  These IT buyers would quickly change to another manufacturer instead of absorbing the cost of failed disks that are still under warranty.

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