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Would you trust a replacement HDD...

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Would you trust a replacement HDD...

... sent from the manufacturer?
Received the replacement 1.5TB Seagate drive under warranty and installed it into the PC this afternoon.
I won't be using it for storing backups but will be using it for editing, temporary files and rendering videos. Are these replacement (refurbished) drive reliable?

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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Despite dire warnings from some of the "more enlightened computer whizz kids" on here, I am currently using a "re-furbished" 2.5 260gb HDD in my laptop... and it is working fine... no problems writing or reading to/from it... did have a dual boot on it, with Linux Mint 9 and WIndows, Formatted it and re-installed Windows Vista... no problems at all....
Oh and I also bought it from a seller on Ebay... just to confound the critics.  Cheesy
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Most hard drives supplied in use were purchased as part of a computer so cannot be replaced under warranty.  Of those that were bought direct and that are eligible for a warranty replacement, only a small fraction actually do expire and get replaced.  So the number of refurbished hard drives in use is a tiny fraction of the overall hard drive population.  Therefore it is very unlikely indeed that you will find anyone who has seen enough refurbished hard drives to have any genuine statistics about their reliability.
Now if Shutter would like to buy and use another 99 manufacturer-refurbished hard drives and report back in a few years time, we might be getting somewhere. 
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

The OP was asking for "personal opinions"........................ not market research into the whole issue of refurbished (re-manufactured) hard drives...
as for this comment....
Quote

Now if Shutter would like to buy and use another 99 manufacturer-refurbished hard drives and report back in a few years time, we might be getting somewhere.   

Why don`t you do this, as you seem to have more expertise in the matter than most people on the forum. Then you could give us a much more definitive response.
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

I'd imagine that a reputable manufacturer supplying warranty replacements would take reasonable steps to ensure that the replacements were 'up to scratch'.
There's certainly nothing wrong, in principal, with supplying (manufacturer) refurbished components as warranty replacements though it's natural to be a little suspicious simply because they're called 'refurbished'.
Refurbished could mean previous warranty returns that have been repaired (or event just tested and found OK), it could mean parts that have failed test after manufacture and repaired and retested, it could even mean (for example) a recalled batch where firmware has been found faulty and corrected.
Given the relative costs of manufacturing in bulk and repairing it seems unlikely to me that refurbished means major repair of used units.
[EDIT] Sorry, to answer the question: Yes, I'd trust a replacement HDD as long as it came from the manufacturer.
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Well here is my take on the issue..
I've had 2 or 3 hard drives show signs of imminent failure but only one ever truly died to the point of being totally dead. I did have another in a laptop that died after having the the carp thumped out of it a few times (damn thing was so annoying - turned out to be a duff printer driver causing the lockups  Roll eyes)
I've had plenty of second hand hard drives in my time too. One of them was the one that failed but I've also had new HDDs show signs of imminent failure so I've stopped using them and transferred everything off them etc. Weird thing being when reformatted they seem to be ok which is odd. One of them is an external buffallo usb drive - makes odd beeps every now and again with an odd thud from the heads inside. It used to do it frequently but now i just use it as a backup (rarely) and its been reformatted since too. i also had an 80GB drive which showed signs of barely being readable by windows - to the point that it would struggle to play an MP3 from it. Looking back this before I really understood much about the disk activity side of things so it could have been a runaway process that was writing / reading constantly. Either way I switched it out for another drive and stopped using it. When I eventually reformatted it and used it for storage I seemed to have no problems with it though I only really used it for minimal stuff rather than important stuff.
I think there was another too but in truth I can't really remember the details clearly enough to tell you about it. I have a vague recollection that like the above it could have been a software glitch that convinced me the drive was knackered. I'm not very lucky  with stuff that i buy so i get a bit paranoid about HDDs failing.
Would I use a refurbished drive? I'd take my chances yes but I'd also be aware that it could of had hundreds of GBs transferred across it and be getting on. There is no way of knowing. I'd use it but I'd not expect it to last longer than 1.5 years and I'd be listening for any unhealthy clunking sounds on a daily basis.
If you've been sent a replacement for a dead one for a bit of equipment you bought new then I would probably insist on a new one tbh. Sure, second hand / refurbed may well be ok in their eyes but do you want to take the chance? All the seconds I've used were because I was limited financially but if I had the choice I'd still prefer new. Don't get me wrong, I've got some second hand drives that have been very good and still have nothing wrong with them now but its the uncertainty that is the problem - that and never knowing if you can trust it to hold your main / backup files.
A good example is my netbook. I bought the first one 2 - 3 years ago from a store that was selling them as refurbished but like new. When I spoke to the bloke he told me that they were basically ex-demo but there might be the odd one or two that were returned and had been made like new again such as a duff motherboard being swapped out or a good internals having new plastic work fitted etc. He also said that many of them were unsold stock that was getting on age-wise. He assured me that what I would get would be to the eye a brand new netbook. I was happy enough with that - I've had tons of proper second hand computers / parts so a netbook that might of been ex-display wasn't an issue for me. So.. at a time when netbooks were still £295 - £320 I got it for £195.
Got it home, loved it to bits.. within a day or two I noticed the hard drive was letting out a tiny chirp sound every 10 seconds. It became rather annoying and frustrating as I was getting paranoid about it lasting and loosing my files etc. Took it back, they swapped it on the spot (no fuss or quibbles I might add) and just gave me another. I've had this one and had no trouble with it at all. It's been a great little thing really, very reliable, good battery life (though I do fully discharge / recharge and never partially charge), not a squeek or clunk from the HDD etc.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that its luck of the draw. Use the drive, test it out for a bit but the first sign of any head clunking or other unhealthy sounds get everything off and send it back. Drives that make unhealthy sounds are drives that are warning you of problems for the future. Get everything off while you can and be rid of it!
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Thanks for your replies and thoughts on this.
As I said in my OP I won't be using if for proper backup/storage but it will be getting a thrashing with video editing. Once edited I will use the drive for the rendering process and, probably, storing the finished files for some time till I sort out a better backup method than I have at the mo.
I do get edgy when I hear any sort of noise with drives and a couple of years ago I took a series of drives that I was worried about back to the local dealer to exchange.
These days I am not so concerned about the odd click/whirring sound but occasional run Seagate tools. If that shows a pass on the Long Test then I disregard my concerns.
With 14 drives externally and 6 internal they do become a worry.
I now tend to only turn the externals on when I need them which poses another question...
Can drives 'stick' or become unusable/unreliable from lack of use?

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hadden
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Regardless of source, I reckon that I only trust every hard disc no more than 50%. If I have any suspicions my level of trust in that drive drops. If I hear a clunk that trust drops to 0%.
I would place a refurbished drive from Seagate near the 50% end of the scale.
When I read the OP yesterday, I realised that it had been some time since I had run SeaTools... so I did. I have 4 internal drives in my main PC and SeaTools returned a FAIL on the Short and Long tests for my System disk! Sad
So, I have some work to do...
First task was to check that the automated task making image backups of the system disk are working fine and it is.
So, time to check for bad sectors...
Thanks for the prompt, Mav.
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Quote from: shutter
Why don`t you do this, as you seem to have more expertise in the matter than most people on the forum. Then you could give us a much more definitive response.

I have returned two hard drives under warranty of behalf of clients and received refurbished drives in return.  The most recent was in January this year; I can't remember when the earlier one was.  AFAIK neither of the refurbished drives has given problems since, but there is no guarantee my clients would tell me.
Personally, I am very wary of any computer equipment that is described as refurbished but perhaps this is different.  Anyway, the point I was trying to make was the it is very unlikely that Mav will be able to garner enough personal experiences to draw a significant conclusion. 
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Quote from: ReedRichards
Quote from: shutter
Why don`t you do this, as you seem to have more expertise in the matter than most people on the forum. Then you could give us a much more definitive response.

I have returned two hard drives under warranty of behalf of clients and received refurbished drives in return.  The most recent was in January this year; I can't remember when the earlier one was.  AFAIK neither of the refurbished drives has given problems since
Anyway, the point I was trying to make was the it is very unlikely that Mav will be able to garner enough personal experiences to draw a significant conclusion.   

So why was your comment directed to me personally, as it seems that you have already done the market research, with 200% more returns than I have,  and drawn the same conclusions.
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

A refurbished computer usually means a computer that has been restored to its factory settings, possibly then brought up to date with Windows updates and the like (or possibly not) and probably only run for a short time so intermittent problems associated with faulty hardware could pass unnoticed.  This has made me so wary of the the term "refurbished" when applied to computer equipment that I am very wary indeed of refurbished hard drives.  But I cannot justify this with any examples of problems with a refurbished hard drive from my limited experience of two of them.
Shutter, on the other hand, seemed to be a keen advocate of the refurbished hard drive so I jovially suggested he was the man to undertake more market research.  That bit of intended joviality went down like a lead balloon, or should I say went down like a computer with a dead hard drive?   
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Quote from: Mav
With 14 drives externally and 6 internal they do become a worry.
Can drives 'stick' or become unusable/unreliable from lack of use?

Now theres a man who likes his hardware!
As for the sticking question, yes they can. I've had it happen, only once but it did happen. Machine hadn't been used for months an when booting the drive just wouldn't run properly. Once warmed up it did but clearly i couldn't rely on it so dumped it. Forgot all about that one until seeing your question.
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Quote from: Sprite
Now theres a man who likes his hardware!

Over the years I've built up quite a catalogue of videos, movies, music and some junk.
With HD content a lot of space gets taken up quickly especially as I store the highest quality I can.
I'm sure I can combine the contents of many of the drives and probably have one or two spare for SWMBO Smiley
I lost interest in video editing for some time due to health and other problems but am getting back into it which means I have lots of stuff to go through, edit and then store.
Also, during that period of HDD worrying I alluded to above every time I thought there was an issue with a drive I'd buy a replacement, transfer the files and then send it back under warranty.
No matter how much HDD space you have you always will find a way to fill it up  Wink
Back to my original question. I wasn't really looking for a definitive answer - I doubt if there really is one - but rather anecdotal evidence based on personnal experience.
All the replies received have been most helpful and I feel my original remit of using the drive for anything but critical backups would be appropriate.
Thanks Smiley

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VileReynard
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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Why not get a modern very large drive - rotational speeds and cache sizes are much better.

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Re: Would you trust a replacement HDD...

Most of my drives are 1TB with a few 1.5 and, I think 2TB and a couple under 1TB.
When the 2TB drives die I will replace them, if necessary, with 1TB or 1.5TB ones.
I feel that the more tightly packed the data becomes on a drive then there are more possibilities for errors and failures with more data lost in one go and longer times for each full backup. I have no evidence to confirm this just a feeling in my water based on Sod's law.

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