Warning.. WD HC530 14Tb at too good to be true pricing

Evan

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Jan 6, 2016
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I'm amazed that anyone spending a quarter of a million dollars on hard drives would even consider the idea of buying them from anywhere other than the official distributor :eek:
in days gone by this is the case buy your shouldn’t be surprised that there is also heaps of very legitimate businesses on eBay doing huge volumes. The whole separation of distribution channels is nothing like it used to be.
 

Strange Design

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Jul 7, 2020
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For anyone curious, I purchased a few drives from the same batch as those mentioned in the OP. By all indications they appear to be genuine drives, but in OEM (i.e., white label) packaging and with no manufacturer's warranty. Up to you to determine whether the price justifies the lack of warranty in your specific use case, but for me it did.
 

bob_dvb

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Sep 7, 2018
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I worked for a consumer electronics manufacturer some years back and we had some shipments hijacked (yup, it does happen). We reported it to the police of course, when the units turned up for warranty claims we would honour them if the customer gave us evidence of where and how they purchased the units because that helped build intelligence for the distribution.

At one point we knew where a big shipment was being held but the British police wouldn't act. My boss said to the police "I am getting in my car and going over there now, if you don't come then you'll have to deal with the aftermath." He wasn't and aggressive man, but it was a good ploy because the police did act and retrieved some stolen goods, along with evidence.

Eventually the gang slipped up and the police found out how they were marking our shipments, some people got caught.

Ultimately enforcement for "brand protection" isn't cheap, it usually is outsourced to specialist investigators and security companies. Some organisations consider it a good investment, others see it piling on their operating expenses without direct ROI.

As to the question of legality? Depends on your jurisdiction, but receiving stolen goods is illegal in many countries. It's not often prosecuted if done in innocence, but if the authorities think you knew it was too good to be true then they can act unsympathetically. Ultimately if they are stolen goods then they aren't yours, even if you paid for them. Buyer beware.
 

Astara

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Jul 6, 2020
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It really depends on whether or not you want to grab reconditioned or remanufactured drives. If they are something like Deskstars vs. Ultrastars, i.e. consumer level vs. business level $300 seems expensive for remanufactured drives.

It is also the case that apparently many if not all of the drive makers are selling shingle drives in the consumer market without labelling them as such! They would tend to have a very bad rewrite time and are usually used in very large drives intended to be used in surveillance recording.

Stealing is one of the last things I'd suspect simply because 1) if they are corporate drives, they usually get rid of them after about 3 years to avoid
time based brake downs, and there's not alot of profit to be made in drives that have serial numbers on the drives as well as inside that can be read
 
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phnguyen90

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Sep 23, 2018
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Those drives could be a clean pulled from HGST JBOD.

For example, certain system integrator company has a really good discount with WD for JBOD and JBOF. Sometime they purchased a bunch of JBOD for a big project then they parting out whatever left after the project finished. Selling the whole JBOD is hard so they took the drive out and sell it to retail customer.

Most of the drives do have warranty but it has to be the original system integrator company or OEM to process the RMA for you.
 
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Jaket

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Those drives could be a clean pulled from HGST JBOD.

For example, certain system integrator company has a really good discount with WD for JBOD and JBOF. Sometime they purchased a bunch of JBOD for a big project then they parting out whatever left after the project finished. Selling the whole JBOD is hard so they took the drive out and sell it to retail customer.

Most of the drives do have warranty but it has to be the original system integrator company or OEM to process the RMA for you.
This is something we have seen and quote often the case from a company we buy hardware from at times. They get systems pre built with a large amount of drives yet the client wants 8TB NVMe's so the 24x4TB NVMe's per system get taken out sold and they replace with the larger ones.
 

yobigd20

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Jul 8, 2016
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FWIW I bought one of these on ebay because I needed a drive to dump my 4k UHD backups for storage. I did not realize they would not work 'out of the box' for a desktop. What I mean by that is, a normal SATA power connector from a desktop power supply (EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2) will not power this on due to , from what I could find on the net, a 3.3v power signal it was looking for. I got around this by using a Molex to Sata power connector and then it powered on fine. Works great. I allocated it as NTFS using 2mb unit sizes (again, only using it for 50-100gb sized files) and saw transfer speeds up to around 270mb/sec.
 
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Except for the part where WD said they were stolen...
Clarification, somebody here said that WD said that they were stolen. Invalid serial # is normal for OEM drives. For all we know the OP is an eBay competitor of the seller with the batch in question, trying to get us to avoid that seller.

A cursory examination of eBay reveals drives with both ALE604 and AL6L4, made in 2019 and 2020, all selling for a similar low price from sellers with 5000-10000 feedback in wildly different geographic US locations. So the price is not caused by a batch of hypothetical stolen drives, the price is clearly the going price for OEM versions of this drive. Maybe Quibi ordered a million of them and backed out :)
 

Freebsd1976

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Feb 23, 2018
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search in taobao.com , quite a few sellers also sale this version HD price $250-300 , but they said this is OEM or big customer version
 

Nom

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Oct 5, 2015
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FWIW I bought one of these on ebay because I needed a drive to dump my 4k UHD backups for storage. I did not realize they would not work 'out of the box' for a desktop. What I mean by that is, a normal SATA power connector from a desktop power supply (EVGA SuperNOVA 850 P2) will not power this on due to , from what I could find on the net, a 3.3v power signal it was looking for. I got around this by using a Molex to Sata power connector and then it powered on fine.
That means the drive you bought, had been removed from an external USB case - it was originally destined to be an external drive, not an internal drive (it's common for shucked drives to refuse to operate if they detect 3.3v in the SATA power connector).
This also means no warranty by WD.

Incorrect, see https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...too-good-to-be-true-pricing.29333/post-274203
 
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BlueFox

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Oct 26, 2015
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That means the drive you bought, had been removed from an external USB case - it was originally destined to be an external drive, not an internal drive (it's common for shucked drives to refuse to operate if they detect 3.3v in the SATA power connector).
This also means no warranty by WD.
That's not correct. They've been using the updated ATX power specification on their enterprise drives for some time. These were never in retail external drives.
 

aron

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Jul 19, 2017
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I bought 8 pcs of these drives for 2000 Hong Kong dollar (255 USD) each locally here in HK. Got 3 days "test warranty" from the seller. Have but them in my Qnap NAS and works very well. Not too much info discloused where they came from, but i could see like 500 of them in boxes at the place where i picked them up.
 

madbrain

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Jan 5, 2019
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I bought 8 pcs of these drives for 2000 Hong Kong dollar (255 USD) each locally here in HK. Got 3 days "test warranty" from the seller. Have but them in my Qnap NAS and works very well. Not too much info discloused where they came from, but i could see like 500 of them in boxes at the place where i picked them up.
3 days ? That's highly suspicious. I hope you start a full surface test right away. h2testw would take about 24 hours on such a drive I think, for a full write and full read pass.
 

madbrain

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Jan 5, 2019
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That's not correct. They've been using the updated ATX power specification on their enterprise drives for some time. These were never in retail external drives.
Yeah. And even drives from shucked enclosures have not required any workarounds with my home built PCs. Guess the PSUs are all recent enough. But some are >5 years old.
 

Nom

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Oct 5, 2015
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That's not correct. They've been using the updated ATX power specification on their enterprise drives for some time. These were never in retail external drives.
Thanks for the correction - that explains why not all shucked drives care about the presence of the 3.3v pin !
 

aron

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Jul 19, 2017
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3 days ? That's highly suspicious. I hope you start a full surface test right away. h2testw would take about 24 hours on such a drive I think, for a full write and full read pass.
Hi! Thanks for your concern. Actually not particular suspicious. Quite similar to arrangements on drives bought on Ebay that have 30 days "dead on arrival warranty", but no factory warranty. It was 3 days in this case, but still manageable as bought locally. I tested the drive by copying 1 TB of data, and recopied it again. Clearly not a full test, but checked that all seemed reasonably ok. Then got them installed in a Qnap and had all data copied back which took less than the 3 days. All turned out well.
 

DaveInTexas

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Oct 28, 2021
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Necro'ing this thread as I recently stumbled upon a number of WD model WUH721414ALE604 drives for sale at various merchants and EBay. My issue is a search for model WUH721414ALE604 returns no results on WD's website, or can I find it in their product catalog. The merchants selling it advertise it as a WD Ultrastar DC HC530 14 TB SATA drive. However, all of my WD manufacturer research indicates this model # does not exist.

Contrary to logic based on what I can infer from WD sources, there are several vendor photos online that clearly show drives with model # WUH721414ALE604 emblazed upon them, mostly with a DOM in 2021. Still, I am suspicious because WD's website tells me the SKU does not exist.

So, personally I'm a bit stumped, but will refrain from purchasing any of these drives regardless of how they look. They're sketchy at least, and likely fake or some sort of weird white label version IMHO. WD does not to my knowledge have any DC (Data Center) HC (High Capacity) models AT ALL with a "0" (zero) as the 2nd to last model number. I've never seen one.... and I have a comprehensive list of every official HDD model from every manufacturer, so if this is legit I'd greatly appreciate it if someone would explain how that's so and provide supportive documentation. I'd love to be proven wrong! :)

edit: Put another way... show me a legit WD manual indicating that model ID and I'll STFU. I have searched, but yet to find one, which is why atm I'm convinced that model ID is bogus. Perhaps an illegal clone. At the very best, perhaps B-stock, but I just can't fathom that WD would let that fly with their name on it. The whole set of circumstances is very odd, regardless of the truth.
 
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mach3.2

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Feb 7, 2022
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Necro'ing this thread as I recently stumbled upon a number of WD model WUH721414ALE604 drives for sale at various merchants and EBay. My issue is a search for model WUH721414ALE604 returns no results on WD's website, or can I find it in their product catalog. The merchants selling it advertise it as a WD Ultrastar DC HC530 14 TB SATA drive. However, all of my WD manufacturer research indicates this model # does not exist.

Contrary to logic based on what I can infer from WD sources, there are several vendor photos online that clearly show drives with model # WUH721414ALE604 emblazed upon them, mostly with a DOM in 2021. Still, I am suspicious because WD's website tells me the SKU does not exist.

So, personally I'm a bit stumped, but will refrain from purchasing any of these drives regardless of how they look. They're sketchy at least, and likely fake or some sort of weird white label version IMHO. WD does not to my knowledge have any DC (Data Center) HC (High Capacity) models AT ALL with a "0" (zero) as the 2nd to last model number. I've never seen one.... and I have a comprehensive list of every official HDD model from every manufacturer, so if this is legit I'd greatly appreciate it if someone would explain how that's so and provide supportive documentation. I'd love to be proven wrong! :)

edit: Put another way... show me a legit WD manual indicating that model ID and I'll STFU. I have searched, but yet to find one, which is why atm I'm convinced that model ID is bogus. Perhaps an illegal clone. At the very best, perhaps B-stock, but I just can't fathom that WD would let that fly with their name on it. The whole set of circumstances is very odd, regardless of the truth.

the "E604" part of the model number simply means 512e drive with 6Gb/s SATA interface (E6), power disable 3 pin support (0), no encryption support (4).

Final page of the data sheet, under the "How to Read a Model Number" section.

WD sells multiple variants of this drive, just because it's not explicitly listed in the datasheet doesn't mean it's not legit...
 
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DaveInTexas

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Oct 28, 2021
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the "E604" part of the model number simply means 512e drive with 6Gb/s SATA interface (E6), power disable 3 pin support (0), no encryption support (4).

Final page of the data sheet, under the "How to Read a Model Number" section.

WD sells multiple variants of this drive, just because it's not explicitly listed in the datasheet doesn't mean it's not legit...
I disagree.

I appreciate where you're coming from with your reply. I am familiar with WD's model naming nomenclature and convention. However, my experience / understanding is that doesn't mean all those model variations actually exist. Most manufacturers - including WD - have a nomenclature for how they determine HDD (or other product type) model numbers. However, that does not mean that all such variations exist. They don't.

WD might happen to have produced a "-E6L0" suffix iteration of the DC HC 530, but I have yet to see any specs on it. That's what I'm pushing for. If it's a legit WD manufactured model ID, why doesn't any documentation exist that mentions this model number?

For example, have you ever seen a WD SATA FED-FIPS model (-E6L5)? No. Because they don't exist. Seagate is the only manufacturer to produce FIPS compliant SATA disks.

If you extrapolate the WD naming convention model under its own merit, one would presume such a model does exist, such as WUH721414ALE6L5, but it doesn't. Perhaps WD did manufacture an ISE version (Instant Secure Erase) of the DC HC530. However, if they did, why isn't it mentioned in any WD literature? This is my point. I can find documentation on every legit HDD from any manufacturer. This lends validation. But I can't find any docs for WUH721414ALE6L0, even though I can find lots of them for sale. This is a red flag IMHO.

Sometimes merchants make mistakes and advertise incorrect HDD model IDs, but in this case there are photographs online showing what appears to be a WD HDD with a label clearly showing model ID WUH721414ALE6L0. Yet, there are no documents corroborating its existence.

I'm questioning, why is this the case? Are there loads of unscrupulous or clueless resellers out there? Or is WD lazy? Or something else? I'm trying to understand why this model does not fit the mold.

With all due respect, you have a good point... but, it still does not answer the question: how can these devices exist in the wild when their (supposed) manufacturer has never acknowledged their existence (of this particular model ID)? I'm still very skeptical until someone can prove what's going on. Otherwise, I'd strongly recommend everyone avoid these drives, regardless of who the reseller is.

Example: here's a proper WD manual
 
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