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Reliability of refurbished external drives
August 11, 2011 5:59 PM   Subscribe

Am I asking for trouble by buying a refurbished external >1TB drive?

Deals like this one are tempting, but can anyone share their experience or, even better, research on refurbished drives? I won't be storing anything I can't lose on it, but would like to have a better sense of reliability before buying.
posted by nímwunnan to Computers & Internet (9 answers total)
 
Best reliability, in general, drives with a 5 year warranty.

Dodgier drives: 3 year warranty.

This drive? 90 day warranty.
posted by zippy at 6:18 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You can buy a brand new WD external 1TB Hard-drive for $80
posted by edgeways at 6:34 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd say stay away, you could probably find a new one for that price if you searched hard enough
posted by Sonic_Molson at 6:36 PM on August 11, 2011


Thanks! WD it is!
posted by nímwunnan at 6:55 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like the WD Elements over the Essential, because the Elements don't have that annoying WD "SmartWare" software. The 1TB is currently $70 on Amazon or $95 for 2.5TB.
posted by fings at 7:38 PM on August 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, fuck LaCie. They put shitty drives in pretty boxes and mark them up.
posted by b1tr0t at 7:46 PM on August 11, 2011


I know this thread is answered (correctly might I add) but I want to emphasize to anyone that might read this:

NEVER EVER BUY A REFURBISHED HARD DRIVE!

The warranties are bad, the failure rates are high (don't have my cite handy) and increasing the risk to your data is never worth the $10-15 you might save.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 10:39 PM on August 11, 2011


Also to chime in with further info that may be useful to extend the answer.

HD space is cheap. Not only is it a bad idea to buy refurbished, it's a bad idea to buy cheap. WD is a trusted name for a reason. Check ratings such as those on Newegg.com before buying. If there's one part of the system you don't want failing, it's the hard drive. In fact, buy a second for backup purposes. Even a trustworthy hard drive can fail. Warranties replace the cost, but not the data.

Personally, I won't touch refurbished computer hardware other than monitors. I can see the condition of a monitor, I can't see whether a board or a drive has an uncommon defect that the refurbishment didn't catch. Most hardware is cheap enough these days that refurbished simply can't offer enough of a discount to be worth the risk, doubly so if the warranty isn't at least as extensive as the original product.

Also, if you're looking for a deal, here's a Samsung drive at $60 with over 1,000 ratings and a pretty solid average rating.
posted by Saydur at 12:00 AM on August 12, 2011


Personally, I won't touch refurbished computer hardware other than monitors.

I've had very good luck with refurbished Apple products. Just add AppleCare and it is all good.

NEVER EVER BUY A REFURBISHED HARD DRIVE!

This.

There are people* who transmit vast quantity of data using the Hard Drive over FedEx protocol. I'll let you guess at the failure rate of those drives, but I'll assure you that you don't want them after they've been refurbished.

* I may or may not be one of them
posted by b1tr0t at 8:44 AM on August 12, 2011


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