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Anyone use 'Recertified' HHD's?

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
(Sorry if this topic has been beat to death prior... but search isn't working.)

What exactly is a 'Recertified' HDD? An RMA product dusted off and repackaged? New product that failed QC for some reason and repackaged?

Is 'recertified' worthy to consider?
 
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GoStumpy

Golden Member
Sep 14, 2011
1,212
11
81
Absolutely. I have two currently, a Hitachi 500GB and a Western-digital 1.5TB Green... Both look, feel, and work like brand new.... Being re-certified I expected maybe the odd mounting scratch or something... nope! Brand freaking new.

Until I have a bad experience, I think re-certified is a great way to save some money. I see no problem buying the floor-model in a store if it means saving 30-50%!
 

bryanW1995

Lifer
May 22, 2007
11,139
28
91
Recertified is very hit/miss. Some times, even most of the time, it's brand new with just a scratch or whatever. However, some times it's somebody's RMA drive that had a hard-to-detect issue. Basically, all HW is a crapshoot, you're just stacking the odds against you a bit more when you buy recertified.
 

Elixer

Lifer
May 7, 2002
10,378
763
126
For what it is worth, recertified HDs have a crappy warranty (90 days). If they were really as reliable as new drives, they would come with a longer warranty.

As was mentioned, it is very hit or miss on what you get. I had 2 recertified drives fail on me in under 1 day, 1 failed at the 91 day mark, and 1 still working (110 days old).

Unless you get it for a really good price, factor in the cost of shipping the drive back for service, and then compare that price to a new drive price, and usually, you don't end up saving anything.

I saw newegg has a crap load of recertified HDs on "sale" now, and, IMO, just not worth it.
 

Gigantopithecus

Diamond Member
Dec 14, 2004
7,665
0
71
I don't buy recerts from online vendors but have used dozens straight from the manufacturer, like Gillbot, rarely a problem - no more or less reliable than new drives IME.
 

taltamir

Lifer
Mar 21, 2004
13,586
6
76
What exactly is a 'Recertified' HDD? An RMA product dusted off and repackaged?
Yes, theoretically "fixed" of whatever problem it has.
The thing is, it is not cost effective to recetify HDDs unless there is a consistent design problem, in which case massive returns occur and they typically "fix" such that it is "as new" but not solve the underlying problem. Resulting in an unreliable product that breaks again.

Think the xbox360 RROD, it took major design overhauls to fix and if you got a warranty repair it just meant you got the same defective original design hardware again.
 

Subyman

Moderator <br> VC&G Forum
Mar 18, 2005
7,876
32
86
If it is direct from the manufacturer, it usually means they replaced everything inside including the platters. I've never had any trouble with them, but consumer HDDs have a bad failure rate anyway.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,209
38
91
Recertified can mean a lot of things.
Very true, which is why I'm asking... :sneaky: I see a lot of them out there (Newegg, etc...) so it seems pretty commonplace, but, as they say, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is...
 

taltamir

Lifer
Mar 21, 2004
13,586
6
76
If it is direct from the manufacturer, it usually means they replaced everything inside including the platters. I've never had any trouble with them, but consumer HDDs have a bad failure rate anyway.
The platters is the one thing they will not replace. And if EVERYTHING had to be replaced then there is nothing to recertify.

It typically means they replaced the electronic board (the green board on the bottom of the drive) while leaving the internals (platters and heads) alone, and properly sealed (a single grain of dust in there would destroy it over time).
 
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RhoXS

Member
Aug 14, 2010
162
0
76
I have purchased recertified products for many years and saved a ton of money. That does not mean there has never been a problem but the problems are so infrequent I think it is worth the frequently significant savings. I also think one has to be selective in what recertified stuff is purchased. Basically, two principals guide what recertified devices I buy. First, it has to be relatively easy to exchange if there is a problem or have a very low probability of having a problem. Second, some things are off my acceptable recertified list simply because of bad experiences.

The two things I will not buy recertified anymore are hard drives and mother boards. In both cases I have experienced failures that my instincts told me are related to the fact that someone else had a problem that did not reliably reveal itself in the pre recertification testing. Also, the reliability of a HDD is so important I think it is a bad decision to buy one that has any chance of being compromised.
 

bryanl

Golden Member
Oct 15, 2006
1,157
8
81
If it is direct from the manufacturer, it usually means they replaced everything inside including the platters.
That used to be the case. On WD's old forum board, probably 7-10 years ago, a corporate post said the drives were almost completely rebuilt, with only the electronics and the main aluminum casting retained, and the latter received a new internal antistick/antidust coating. But 2 years ago, either Seagate or WD would admit any specifics, except the 'assurance' that no drive with 25,000 hours of use was ever recertified.
 

go_gordon

Member
Jan 5, 2012
40
0
0
The few recertified drives I've used have died within 1-2 years. They worked, but in the end the data was gone. I'd avoid them for anything you wouldn't want to lose. Or just make sure your backups are good, which is always a good idea.
 

Absolution75

Senior member
Dec 3, 2007
981
2
71
You're basically gambling, as its been said before, re-certified could mean a guy that returned the product, or a repaired hd. Hard to say.
 

Toughbook

Junior Member
Dec 25, 2011
18
0
0
They are just another way for the manufacture to make money on our defective drives we had to return. I would imagine they test each drive and if it passes a certain test they move it onto another test to determine it's exact fault. I highly doubt they would open them up, but you never know.

Think about the less techy people out there that return drives when there is no problem at all with them. They test them out, relabel them and out the door they go.
 

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