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[ The PC Guide | Systems and Components Reference Guide | Hard Disk Drives | Hard Disk Performance, Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Quality and Reliability | Hard Disk Warranty and Disaster Recovery Issues ]

Obtaining Warranty Service

If you suspect that the drive you are using has a problem, then you may need to contact the company to obtain warranty service on the drive. Instructions for doing this are easily found on the manufacturer's web site under a heading typically called "Support". You will usually be asked to call the company's technical support department for instructions and to obtain an RMA (return of materials authorization) number. Some companies may let you get an RMA number using an automated system.

Warning: Never send a drive, or in fact anything, back to any company without an RMA number (unless you are instructed to do so, which is rare). At best, the item will be refused and sent back to you. At worst, it will get lost in their system because they will have no way of tracking it. Never underestimate the odds of unidentified hardware getting lost in a large company!

Companies vary in their policies regarding failure determination, and the conditions you must satisfy before they will accept a drive back under warranty. Some will make you use their diagnostic software to check out the drive first; others will take your word on a claim that the drive is misbehaving (reasoning that nobody would put themselves through the hassle of sending back a drive without good cause!) Policies regarding paperwork and timing of various actions also vary greatly from one drive maker to another.

For more general information on repairs and returns, see this section.

Next: Data Security

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