Refurbished Hard Drives Are Worth It: Myths Debunked – TechMikeNY



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Refurbished Hard Drives: Advantages and Common Misconceptions


At TechMikeNY, we are all about capitalizing the value of IT equipment to its maximum.  Why throw something out when it has potentially years of production still in it?  When you consider the growing issue of e-waste, it’s a no-brainer that both the consumer and the global population benefit from quality refurbished IT equipment. 

As you’ll see in this post, nothing fits this bill more than refurbished hard drives (Spoiler Alert: They are worth it because they're built to last!)

Refurbished Hard Drives – Facts

  • Hard drives are built to run for many, many thousands of hours. Even 10K to 20K of production hours can be a fraction of their intended lifetime. 
  • The return rate for refurbished hard drives is extremely low. Our in-house data for TechMikeNY refurbished drives shows it at 1% or below.
  • Guess what? New hard drives can fail too.  Based on a study by a cloud provider, Backblaze, a hard drive has a higher chance of failing in its first year of operation than its second.  That may seem counter-intuitive, but it is a known phenomenon with hardware and systems that defects are likelier to present themselves early in a device’s lifecycle.  A refurbished hard drive is reliable because it has already passed that initial defect phase. 
  • What about SSDs? While SSDs lose storage capacity over a very long time, they are more resilient to physical handling and jostling due to the lack of moving parts (compared with the “spinning” platter and read/write needle of a traditional HDD).
What about “Enterprise-Grade” Hard Drives?  Enterprise-grade hard drives are a designation used by some hard drive manufacturers to describe a class of drives designed to higher performance specifications.  All of the SAS hard drives that TechMikeNY sells, both individually and on our configure-to-order section, are Enterprise-Grade. 


  • MYTH: “A refurbished hard drive no longer has its manufacturer’s warranty.” If the hard drive is within the manufacturer’s warranty period, it is covered, regardless of how many times it has changed hands or is considered refurbished.  For example, Western Digital’s drives will often come with a 5-year warranty.  The exception to this is out-of-warranty damage to a drive (in which case, whether it is refurbished or not is irrelevant) and some OEM drives, which would, in most cases, be covered by the OEM warranty and not the drive manufacturer. 
  • MYTH: “OEM drives are better.” Aside from the fact that OEM drives tend to be significantly more expensive, most OEM drives are simply rebranded drives that are identical to the commercially available drives from the manufacturer.  The only nuance is some OEM drives may have alternate firmware.
  • MISCONCEPTION: “I won’t be able to get a manufacturer warranty for my server with refurbished drives.” If the server you are using is refurbished, you will not be able to regardless since the specifications vary from the original factory configuration.  If the server is new, any hard drive failures would be covered based on the previous point of the drives’ manufacturer's warranty.  The good news: refurbishers often offer warranties.  TechMikeNY offers a standard one-year warranty and extended warranties for purchase that cover all server components.  You are covered!
 TechMikeNY sells servers with new hard drives also!  For customers who want the quality and support of a TechMikeNY refurbished server but with new hard drives, we have several server configurations that utilize new WD SATA Blue 3D NAND SSDs -- in 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB volumes.  They have a 5- year warranty direct from WD should one of them fail.  We have been selling them for over a year and have not had a single failure or RMA. 

Final Thoughts

Hard drive manufacturers have been perfecting their production techniques for a while now.  Hard drives – especially from established manufacturers – are built to last.  Why not take advantage of this designed longevity by purchasing a refurbished hard drive?

Have more questions on the reliability of refurbished hard drives?  Drop us a line at  We’d love to hear from you!

 1 comment

  • “Enterprise” class drives are designed and engineered for continuous operation. “Consumer” class drives are designed to have periods where the PC will be powered off and the drives will be at cold rest. Enterprise class drives are also designed with more data pathways to allow for higher IOPS, which is in essence how many simultaneous operations the drive can sustain before the cache fills and slows the performance.

    Tim Hasselbach

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