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HT3974: Hard drive data recovery and warranty implications

Learn about Hard drive data recovery and warranty implications

HT3974 Keeping failed Hard Drives

1898 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 1, 2012 4:58 AM by Christopher Murphy RSS
Wassa Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 7, 2012 11:28 PM

Can I keep a HDD that apple are replacing under AppleCare.  Local store says No? Is this correct?  The apple site talks about apple not doing data recovery, but it does not say I cannot keep the failed HDD and attempt recovery myself. Is the store correct?

  • David M. Green Level 2 Level 2 (475 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2012 4:57 PM (in response to Wassa)

    I ran into this in the past before also.  The Apple certified repair center required the bad drive to be return.  This was the only way they were able to honor the replacement covered by AppleCare.

     

    If data on your failed drive is sensitive, you could purchase the replacement and keep or destroy the failed drive.  This is the option we went with for our customer.

  • Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,670 points)
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    Jul 9, 2012 11:44 PM (in response to Wassa)

    Sure, and it avoids the potential situation:

     

    "Oh, Hi Apple... umm... my hard drive has... umm.. failed and I... umm... need a new one... Oh, and I really want to keep the old one and I'm not really trying to scam you out of sending me an additional 2TB hard drive for free... really."

     

    In other words, it protects Apple against others (not you) who might try to game the system. You wouldn't consider keeping your 'failed' MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro, or even an iPad if Apple were going to replace it for free under AppleCare, would you?

     

    Plus, by taking the returns Apple can do QA testing on them to determine if there's a systemic failure (e.g. a particular brand/model/batch fail more often than others) and, potentially avoid problems down the line.

     

    If you don't want to send it back, buy a replacement. It's your call, although kind of a waste of the AppleCare coverage.

  • Crapsmith Calculating status...
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    Aug 14, 2012 1:35 PM (in response to Camelot)

    What about cases like mine, where my HD has failed and I am no longer under warranty? Apple STILL wants to keep my HD, even though I am paying for the replacement. I own the bad HD in the computer, and I am buying the replacement. By what legal right can they keep the bad HD?

  • Camelot Level 8 Level 8 (45,670 points)
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    Aug 14, 2012 4:52 PM (in response to Crapsmith)

    Are you paying full price for that replacement? or are you paying a discounted rate?

     

    It's common to offer a discounted rate, even for out-of-warranty parts, on the basis of returning the failed part. If you're paying full-rate, then, it's not unreasonable to keep your failed part - although why you'd want to, beats me.

    That said, if you're replacing a failed, out-of-warranty hard drive, why are you buying from Apple anyway - third party vendors are often far cheaper, especially for items like hard drives.

  • Crapsmith Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 14, 2012 5:09 PM (in response to Camelot)

    I don't know if it's full price or not -- I was quoted $132 for a ~150GB drive -- but the technician said the same as you, that I could get a much higher capacity drive for less, so if it's a discounted rate, then it would seem quite overpriced.

     

    I understand what you're getting at, though: if if's a discounted rate, then that would be the consideration I'm receiving in exchange for "letting" them keep the drive. Problem is, I'm not given an option to pay full price in exchange for keeping the drive.

     

    I want to keep the drive to try to recover data from it (which may prove futile). As for why buy from Apple, I wanted to minimize the time and effort I am spending on this issue (have spent a lot already) by getting it taken care of then, while at the Genius Bar, instead of having to make additional trips to other stores to get the repair done.

     

    In the end, because of Apple's dumb policy, I will achieve my original objective -- replace and keep the failed HD -- but at considerably more effort and time on my part. Would have been easier for me to take care of it at the Genius Bar, and I would have been willing to pay a big markup on the price of the new drive to save me the additional headache. So it seems like it would have been a win-win, if not for the policy.

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 17, 2012 9:05 PM (in response to Camelot)

    All vendors want the dead drive back to cover it under warranty. All businesses want defective product returned for warranty claim. Not at all unusual. Not at all unreasonable. Why they want it back probably doesn't matter. For server customers? They could totally automate remote login via ssh to the computer and poll SMART for drive serial # and status and determine if it's dead the likely reason why (although roughly 35% of disks fail without SMART stating failure), to avoid being scammed. But nevertheless they still want the drive back.

  • Mysidia Calculating status...
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    Aug 31, 2012 9:51 PM (in response to Christopher Murphy)

    "All vendors want the dead drive back to cover it under warranty. All businesses want defective product returned for warranty claim. Not at all unusual."

     

    Usually they do.   There are multiple vendors that will make an arrangement, where the customer retains custody of the failed drive;   especially when required due to regulatory reasons.

     

    "Not at all unreasonable."

     

    With hard drives, it is a bit unreasonable.   The problem is,  release of even a drive that is not working correctly

    contains private data,  which may have a variety of unpredictable implications -- its a huge unreasonable risk.

     

    With the drive not functioning correctly, there is no way to remove private data from the drive,

    except physically destroying it.

     

     

    If the hard drive manufacturer would provide a simple mechanism, where  the customer can ensure that their private data is unreadable after it is released from their custody,  and satisfy their requirement to return the drive,  then it would be reasonable.

  • Christopher Murphy Level 2 Level 2 (470 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 1, 2012 4:58 AM (in response to Mysidia)

    With the drive not functioning correctly, there is no way to remove private data from the drive, except physically destroying it.

     

    Use full disk encryption.


    If the hard drive manufacturer would provide a simple mechanism, where  the customer can ensure that their private data is unreadable after it is released from their custody,  and satisfy their requirement to return the drive,  then it would be reasonable.

     

    Lion and higher supports software based full disk encryption. Most enterprise disks come in variants that implement disk level encryption internally, however it is Apple that doesn't provide support to access this feature on those disks.

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