What is the minimum reasonable packing protection for shipping a HDD?

Mr.Pixel

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Oct 30, 2010
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I'm curious what people have found to be the minimum padding required to have a HDD shipped to them and not develop immediate problems. I ask because I'm currently on my 2nd WD 4TB drive from Amazon, with the first developing issues within days and neither being packed what I would consider "well".

The one I just received is in a small cardboard box with the plastic spacers at either end to hold it in place. This box is inside a larger cardboard box which contains only a total of 2 small air pouches on 2 of the 6 sides. The disk has only really been protected by the inner box, so I'm curious if anyone has had similar experiences and found this protection acceptable?

The first identical drive had similar packaging, and as I said it developed problems, perhaps because of this. The replacement isn't much better protected, even after I left feedback about the first and and called their support specifically to request more padding. Is this new drive worth testing, or should I just send it back and complain more loudly?
 

TType85

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All the drives I have received from Seagate and WD RMA's (old enterprise drives that failed at work) are in just the small box with the plastic end caps so the drive is tight in the box. I have a feeling that is enough if the manufacturer send it out that way. I have not had any issues with any of the ones I were shipped this way (600GB SAS 15K drives, 4TB RE, etc).

Maybe the outer box hurts it more as it has room to move vs just the small box?
 

teh_chem

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The packaging you described sounds perfectly reasonable.

What issues are you encountering? And if you haven't plugged in the replacement drive and used/tested it, you have nothing to complain about yet. The first drive could have been defective from the start, unrelated to packaging/handling.
 

Mr.Pixel

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TType85:
Thanks for your experiences. Not sure about the outer box, but good to know that the inner one has worked well.

teh_chem:
I realize the drive might have just been a dud, but considering that the outer box of the first was far too big, and that there were other (relatively light) items in with it, I wanted to know what it would take for someone to outright refuse a shipment. I will of course test the new drive before use.
 

drescherjm

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The one I just received is in a small cardboard box with the plastic spacers at either end to hold it in place. This box is inside a larger cardboard box which contains only a total of 2 small air pouches on 2 of the 6 sides. The disk has only really been protected by the inner box, so I'm curious if anyone has had similar experiences and found this protection acceptable?

I would be happy to recieve drives packaged this well. This is much better than a lot of packaging that I have recieced in the past.
 

Tsumi

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With packaging anything, the most important thing is to make sure items cannot move. If you can feel/hear movement, it's not packaged well enough.

As for protection from crushing/falling... about a half inch layer should be more than sufficient. Anything that damages through that means it's time to go file an insurance claim against the carrier.
 

bonehead123

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I have ordered close to $2000 of stuff from Amazon in the past 12 months, and have found that their packaging varies from very excellent on some shipments, and barely minimum on others....with no apparent rhyme or reason or pattern.....

But regardless of the shipper, with a HDD or other electronics, I would fully expect double boxing, with considerable spacers and air pillows placed in such a way to keep it from bouncing around inside the boxes AND to minimize any damage from vibrations of riding around on trucks all over the place. IF not, I would complain very LOUDLY to someone in management and note the situation on any and all feedback.......

For other stuff, I still expect the same reasonableness in packaging, and will NOT accept any excuses for anything other than that.

Examples:

I ordered 4 Roku's for xmas. 1 new one direct from Roku, 1 new one from the 'egg, and 2 used ones from places like (H) forums......result:

The one from the egg had the best packaging, with several layers of bubble wrap and peanuts in and around the mfgr's orginal box which was inside another cushioned outer box.....this was way better than Roku's own packing. Also the 2 used ones were packed way better IMHO than I expected......

I also ordered some jewlery and DS games from Amazon, and they were all together in the outer same box, with nothing more than a few air pillows above & below the mfgr's boxes, but it was sufficient to keep them from moving around........

so apparently, YMMV depending on what & where you shop, but bottom line, if you are not satisfied, let them know right away....be polite but firm, and do NOT, under any circumstances, talk to the low-paid, powerless CSR's that answer the phones 24/7......
 

Lost-Benji

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Jun 23, 2013
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Look at it this way;
Q: How much padding would you want on you gonads before facing a fast-bowler in cricket?

A: As much as you can manage.
 

AudiTuner

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Apr 18, 2010
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All the drives I have received from Seagate and WD RMA's (old enterprise drives that failed at work) are in just the small box with the plastic end caps so the drive is tight in the box. I have a feeling that is enough if the manufacturer send it out that way. I have not had any issues with any of the ones I were shipped this way (600GB SAS 15K drives, 4TB RE, etc).

Maybe the outer box hurts it more as it has room to move vs just the small box?

I've RMA'd a few WD drives this way. Seems reasonable to me if the manufacturer also ships a product this way.

WD was actually pretty strict about how you could RMA the drives: no padding, no packing peanuts, nothing static, etc. Just the two plastic end caps. Personally, I would have liked to add a little more packaging materials for peace of mind.
 
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