What do companies do with data on drives sent back to them?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by StephenCampbell, Jul 21, 2012.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    Sep 21, 2009
    #1
    My Hitachi time machine drive just started S.M.A.R.T. failing abruptly, so I took it out of my Mac Pro and put in a different drive to backup my stuff with temporarily while I get this one replaced.

    This morning I tried putting the faulty drive in again to see if I could at least erase the data before sending it to Hitachi, and my computer won't start up with it inside.

    The drive has a copy of All my data on it (or at least did). If it is still retrievable by anybody, is there any reason for me to be hesitant about sending it in for a replacement? What are their protocols for this kind of thing?
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    Even if the drive is broken data can always be recovered (although probably not all of it). However I doubt the repair geeks can really be bothered. They will probably just replace and your old drive will end up as landfill.
     
  3. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    That doesn't seem very secure to me.... I need the replacement drive... but that's just unacceptable. Somebody could take it out of the trash even and get all my stuff...
     
  4. TjeuV macrumors 6502

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    Belgium
    #4
    Well, it seems clear now ... Keep that drive at home, don't send it to anyone and there will be no data stolen.
     
  5. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    But they don't send my replacement until they receive this one...

    Seriously, how does this normally work? Do people just send drives back without worrying about it? There must be a secure protocol for this.
     
  6. iHateMacs macrumors 6502a

    iHateMacs

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    Coventry, UK
    #6
    How can there be. It's based on trust.

    Whatever they say they do they may not, plus it may get lost/stolen in transit.

    The only way is to take the drive back yourself, watch it being destroyed and pickup your replacement.


    Just out of interest, what procedure would you feel happy with? Bearing in mind that people don't always follow procedure and you'll be none the wiser.
     
  7. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN
    #7
    I can say that HP claims that they expose their drives to a magnetic field to wipe their data. The guy I spoke to may be lying off his @$$ but a company like HP isn’t going to earn a lot a trust by not allowing people to send defective drives without some assurance that their drives won’t be compromised.

    Of course if you can’t trust a company, you will just have to get a new drive yourself out of pocket. A company just isn’t going to give you a new drive to replace a bad one without getting the original one back. How do you expect them to get a replacement from their suppliers?
     
  8. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    Hey now there's an idea... how do I expose it to a strong enough magnetic field?
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    A modern hard drive will be totally unaffected by any magnetic field. Hard drives use very strong magnetic fields concentrated on a tiny area to change the bits on the drive; a magnet that is strong enough to lift a car would still not have the necessary strength on that tiny area unless the case is opened and the platters are removed - and in that case it would be a lot easier to just mechanically destroy the platters.

    In the future, the OP should consider Filevault. With a reasonably good password, it makes it impossible to read any data on the drive.
     
  10. pdjudd macrumors 601

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Plymouth, MN
    #10
    According to Gnasher, that may no longer be possible. I admit my conversation with HP took place several years ago so it may be out of date. My take is that they have some way to assure data deletion before disposal - they would need it for compliance reasons with their customers.
     

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