Excuse me for a second as I put on my tin foil hat and explain the following
External hard drives. One thing that annoyies me is that if it seems to work out cheaper to purchase banded external hard drive as appose to an internal hard drive + external exclosure.
Like check out Newegg.com - Western Digital Element 1TB 3.5" Black External Hard Drive - External Hard Drives
and then compair it with
Newegg.com - Western Digital Element 1TB 3.5" Black External Hard Drive - External Hard Drives
Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drives - Internal Hard Drives
Not only is the OEM hard drive $0.99 more expensive, but you still need to pay another $28.99 more for a seperate enclosure.
Okay, $0.99 is nothing to go crying to the bank about, however i have encountered a lot of times where the some times it's just cheaper to purchase an external hard drive just so I can gut the enclosure just for the hard drive inside. However it does have me scratching my head on how come WD can offer a cheaper price on the external hard drive when the OEM parts cost more.
So this bring me up to my next problem. When you look at one of these branded external hard drives, they do an extremely good job of sealing them up so you can not open the enclosure. We all know that if we open the enclosure, we void the warranty. However the problem with just about all the enclosure that there is a level of wear and tear on the USB connection as you constantly plug in and unplug the cable. What I have seem countless times is that the solder about the USB connection normally breaks and after that, you can not read your hard drive.
So this bring me back to this western digital external hard drive. The external enclosure is a seal unit. So what happens when the hard drive stops working? You plug in your USB cable, and the drive is not detecting. Could be a problem with the external enclosure? Or is a problem with your drive?
Sure we can crack open the enclosure, and void warranty on both the enclosure and your drive?
Or we could send the drive back for warranty replacement. However doing this means that you loose all your data. Unless you pay the hard drive manufacturers to do "Data Recovery" on the drive. And therefore they could charge you any dollar value they want just to "recover" your data. When in fact, all they could be doing in changing an exclosure over and sending it back.
So in the end, when it comes down to branded external hard drives, one thing to thing about it is that if your drive happens to stop working, you are only left the following options
* Void Warranty and test your external enclosure
* Send drive back for warranty and loose your data
* Send drive back for warranty and pay extra for a data recovery service.
Etherway, you stuff.
So next time you are thinking about purchasing an external hard drive, you might want to consider getting an enclosure where you can swap and change the drive out. At least there you can keep your warranty on the drive with out having your data being held for ransom by the Western Digital or Seagate.