The Used Hard Drive Guide

Hard drives are the lifesource of your business, whether on your computers and laptops, or within the network infrastructure of your business through servers, SANS, RAIDs and more.

No matter how well-designed or sturdy a hard-drive may be; all hard drives will eventually fail. Sometimes a drive will show symptoms of an impending fail, allowing users time to back up their data and search for a replacement.

Signs of Hard Drive Failure Include:

  • Sluggish functions
  • Read/write errors
  • Abnormal heat output
  • Whirring, clicking, or other sounds

Other times, hard drives will fail without warning – and that total failure can result in the loss of all data from that particular drive. Data recovery process can be expensive, time-consuming, and result in loss of business, and ultimately may not be successful in recovering hundreds of dollars’ worth of digital media, thousands of dollars’ worth of customer records, financial records, processes and training documents, or more.

Considerations When Buying a Used Hard Drive

If your business is using legacy equipment, replacement parts may have be EOL by the original manufacturer such as EMC, IBM, Dell, Equallogic, Sun, etc. When this happens, if you do not have any spares on-hand, the used/refurbished market is your best bet for finding a replacement.

If you do not have any contacts in the used market, you may be tempted to turn to eBay. Many reputable used companies sell on eBay, but many parts listed on eBay are sold by liquidation companies who do not have the means to test the equipment they acquire, and possess little knowledge about what they’re listing outside of information presented on the label itself.

The danger from buying hard drives on eBay include:

1. Item may not function
2. Item may be listed incorrectly.
3. Hard drive may not have been wiped.
4. Seller may be overseas, or care little for returning the item or troubleshooting problems
5. Limited stock, seller may not be able to replace equipment
6. Risk further downtime dealing with slow shipping or incorrect/faulty products

How to Buy Used Enterprise Equipment Online

If you’re going to buy used hard drives, or other failed IT equipment, it’s pragmatic to buy from a professional and reputable used IT equipment company. Not only can they test equipment and likely have a quality control program in place, they will also have a DOA return policy in place and offer great customer service.

1. Do a Google (or other search engine) search using the part numbers on your failed hard drive. Hint: Using the manufacturer part number may provide the most accurate search results.
2. Look for professional retail websites that offer secure online purchasing (look for the HTTPS in the url, a shield, or badges from Trustwave, Verisign, etc.)
3. Make sure the product listing has an “Add to Cart” or “Buy It Now” button – not just request a quote!
4. If you’re in a pinch, look for sites that offer same-day or overnight shipping. Be sure to read their shipping and return policies.
5. Look for sites with reviews on the used hard drive you will be buying.
6. Avoid sites that offer “instant quotes” or want you to call for pricing – these can take days waiting for responses and force you to compare prices and options from multiple companies. You can also end up on unwanted mailing lists from data mining.

Conclusion on Buying Used Enterprise Hard Drives Online

Buying one or more previously used hard drives can provide you with a quick and inexpensive way to bring your system back to operational. If you’re buying from a trustworthy, knowledgeable business, buying online can be fast, rewarding, and cost-efficient.