WD juggles hard drive warranties

Western Digital is a company I've long praised for bucking industry trends and offering three-year warranties on its Caviar SE hard drives. However, it looks like tracking down Caviars with a three-year warranty will get a little more difficult in the future. According to Western Digital's new warranty policy, only bare Caviar SE drives (commonly sold as OEM drives) will get three years of warranty coverage. Caviar SE drives with full retail packaging will only have a one-year warranty.

Because OEM and retail Caviar SE drives are mechanically identical, there's no reason to believe that either is more or less reliable than the other. Western Digital will also offer an extended warranty for its retail Caviar SE drives that brings coverage up to three years at an additional cost of $14.95.

Since Western Digital is offering a warranty upgrade and keeping its OEM drive coverage at three years, I can't really complain¬ójust make sure you pick up an OEM drive if you're in the market for a Caviar SE. That said, I can't help but wonder why anyone would buy a retail drive rather than an OEM drive, anyway.

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