Before you read on, know that this is a positive review of Samsung hard disk drives based on personal experience. However, this is not a review specifically of the hardware itself, but an aspect of the purchase that's equally as important: the warranty. Samsung, like all major electronics manufacturers, offers a limited warranty along with all hard drives purchased from an authorized Samsung retailer. When you buy a Samsung hard drive, here's what you can expect.
Hard disk drives are covered for up to 36 months after purchase. Samsung will replace or repair your hard disk drive if it encounters any physical problems, bad sectors, noise or other types of failure. Samsung only covers its products if it is used under normal conditions. If you use the product for product testing, or if you open the case or subject it to extreme heat or moisture, Samsung will not cover the damage.
I purchased a Samsung 400 GB hard drive in 2008 from a retailer on eBay. Even though this item was purchased on an online auction, Samsung honored the warranty after it experienced a fatal error within one year.
In fact, the replacement hard drive that Samsung gave me failed two years later, and they even honored that one. That makes two hard drives that Samsung has replaced free of charge.
Samsung's return and warranty fulfillment process is incredibly user-friendly. Samsung has an entire portion of its website devoted to warranty information. Here, you can check the status of your warranty, request an RMA and get instructions for returning your hard drive.
To start, you can visit http://www.samsung.com/global/business/hdd/support/warranty.html for more information on your warranty. There, you can enter the serial numbers for up to 5 hard drives at a time to check your warranty. Samsung will let you know instantly whether or not your product is still covered.
After you verify that your warranty is still covered, you can fill out a the RMA request form that lets you detail what is wrong with your hard drive. They ask you some information for their own records, such as what type of computer and operating system you used and how often you used the hard drive. After that, they generate an RMA slip and an RMA shipping label for you.
The only challenge for the end user is finding a static-free bag to enclose the hard drive for shipping. This is important, because Samsung verifies that the damage done to the hard drive is a manufacturer defect and not due to user error. If they find that the hard drive has been mishandled in anyway, they will return the hard drive to you at your expense and not fulfill your warranty. You are responsible for the shipping costs to send the unit to Samsung's warranty fulfillment center.
Overall, I am very pleased with Samsung's warranty policy and promptness in fulfilling their promises to the consumer. Many companies seem to drag their heels when it comes to backing up their warranties, but Samsung makes it easy to get what you deserve. Given that I've fulfilled my Samsung warranty twice, I've realized a savings of about $100+ over the past three years. While it'd be ideal if the hard drives would have never failed in the first place, a lifespan of two years isn't bad—especially when you get a new one for free at the end.