Jun 22, 2021
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We received a DOA (dead on arrival) Western Digital 18TB Purple HDD from a retailer called T.S. Bohemia, in the Czech Republic on June 10th, 2021. Within two hours of receiving the HDD, we connected it to our servers with no success - the disc wouldn't initialize. After two more hours from registering this failure, we personally delivered the defective unit back to the retailer for an RMA claim. Eleven days later on June 21st, the retail sends the same damaged HDD back to us claiming that we damaged their drive so they don't accept our RMA!

We run a large NAS server with many hard drives so we have decades of experience with treating our hard drives carefully. We buy 6-8 drives per year with at least one per year arriving DOA. We suspect many failures are due to the delivery of the drive, but this is hard to confirm. But we never came across a scenario where a retailer blamed us for their DOA unit. Especially since we only had the drive in our possession for no more than 4 hours! Has anyone had a similar experience?

What makes this issue more alarming is the fact that all high-end hard drives are near twice the cost compared to just a few months ago - due to the current shortage. We saw this drive about $50 cheaper on their website, so we bought it. Now to our dismay, we are stuck with an $800 DOA 18TB hard drive.

Is anyone aware of a retailer sending damaged hard drives back out to the market - hoping to offload a defective drive to a sucker who will deal with the manufacturer instead of them? We have now registered a new RMA with Western Digital. Needless to say, this is our last purchase with T.S. Bohemia.
 

drtweak

Illustrious
What I would like to know is what claim do they have that you broke it? If it spins up, doesn't make any clicking noise, or have any marks of damage then how did you damage it? I don't get that.

And as for people doing this. There are people who sold a PS5 BOX for hundreds of dollars and go away with it. so yea.
 

Gam3r01

Titan
Moderator
Honestly, whenever you encounter a DOA or otherwise faulty device always deal with the manufacturer directly whenever possible.
I would not have started an RMA with the retailer. they stand to gain nothing by replacing your drive.
 
Honestly, whenever you encounter a DOA or otherwise faulty device always deal with the manufacturer directly whenever possible.
I would not have started an RMA with the retailer. they stand to gain nothing by replacing your drive.
The retailer should replace the drive with a new one. The manufacturer will probably replace it with a refurbished drive.
 

NightHawkRMX

Polypheme
Ambassador
Sometimes I have gotten new products from manufacturers. Only storage product I have had fail (within warranty) was an SSD which was replaced with a brand new drive.

I would either contact the manufacturer OR whomever you used to pay for the drive, whether it is a credit card company, Paypal, or someone else.

The MFG will likely just replace the drive and should be painless.

Contacting the credit card company or Paypal would mean a dispute to refund your money since the drive was faulty, and certainly would be more of a headache.

I would opt for the former.
 
Does the drive spin up?

Did you examine the PCB? If the drive doesn't spin up, I would carefully remove the PCB and examine the TVS diodes and fuses. If any diodes are shorted, or fuses open, then this would point to a PSU fault.

If you can upload a photo, I can show you what to measure.
 
Jun 22, 2021
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Update to all: Western Digital has now sent a replacement (refurbished) drive. Certainly not a perfect solution, but the best we could ask for under the circumstances.

In most of Europe you can return a product within the first 14 days without question. Outside this window I typically deal with the manufacturer.

We posted a complaint (the text above, in fact) on their Facebook. They removed it within 48 hours.

I would not have attempted removing the PCB. I suspect this would certainly void my warranty. I couldn't risk this for a drive that was literally 4 hours old!

Thanks everyone for their comments. I hope this doesn't happen to any of you 💪
 
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