Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Samsung F3 drive woes continues

In the previous story I mentioned how my girlfriend’s brother’s Samsung F3 drive gave a lot of trouble. I wonder if he will ever go and claim warranty. He is waiting for someone else to do it for him. I just hope the warranty period is more than 1 year, because otherwise he will have to get a new drive.

Now, that was one isolated problem. I was having trouble with my F1 drive which I use as my data drive. (F4 is for backup only.) The troubles were only speed issues. When I copies files and sometimes did few things at the same time using the F1 drive, the PC would become very slow and stall at times. It is not a newly developed problem. That is how drives work. They are so slow because they are slow to access files.

So I was thinking about adding another drive and build a RAID-0 array. I know, RAID-0 is not good for data, but since I backup my data, I didn’t see a problem with that. But the issue was finding an identical drive. Remember this is anyway slow for today’s standards. Newer 7200RPM driver were faster despite having the same rotational speed. It was mostly due to the drive density, which related to how much data could be read in one go. Newer drives were at 500MB or even 667MB (as for my 2TB drive) per platter. Anyways, the cheapest F1 drives I could find online were very expensive, compared to the newer and faster drives everyone was buying these days, specifically the  Samsung F3 drive.

F3 was less than JPY5000 where as the F1 drive was more than JPY6000. The speed boost was substantial as well. But one day I found a second hand F1 drive for JPY3500, but I didn’t like buying second hand hard drives because they might have bad sectors. (I don’t buy second hand HDDs and PSUs. That’s my stance.)

Anyways, I figured what the hell and bought two F3 drives without thinking much. F1 drive can go into dad’s PC someday when I go back to SL. I bought them from Amazon. They arrived on Friday.

But I was received by disappointment. One of the drives was not working. Sometimes it wouldn’t get detected at POST. The times it got detected, it took longer than the other drives. Somehow I managed to make a RAID array, but I couldn’t format the array. The faulty drive would disappear in Windows. Yikes, now what to do? How can I claim warranty? All this time I was riding on my luck thinking I will never have to claim warranty on things bought online. The PSU that burned before was not bought online, and even if I couldn’t claim warranty, I wouldn’t have minded because anyways I didn’t want that. But this is different. This is not working right from the beginning. Second DOA part I have ever bought, the first one being the Sapphire X800GTO.

Anyways, I tried to call Amazon, but it was busy. I sent them two mails, to which I didn’t get responses. But then I tried calling them again, even though I was not confident with my Japanese. Finally someone answered the phone and it was a disaster. I mean, it was not just the Japanese. It used a VoIP client called PoivY because it is free to land lines within Japan, but the call quality was terrible. I had a hard time understanding the woman on the other end. Anyways, after many minutes, I managed to tell them that there was a problem with one of the hard drives, and they told me to send it back and they will send me a new one. Great thing was that they sent me the HDD even before receiving the broken one and haven’t charged me a penny. I have to return the broken one within 30 days.

Now there is another problem. I don’t know how to send a package. I told them that, and they sent me an email in English telling me the address and their official courier. I’m gonna send it back this Saturday. The latest time slot the courier accepts goods is between 5pm and 7pm and I cannot make it on a weekday. So I have to wait till Saturday. I have already made the package. Let’s see how it goes.

Something I learned from Amazon is that I have to contact the manufacturer for any RMA related stuff. Since this was a return within 30 days, I Amazon is willing to take it and replace it. After that 30 day period, I just hope nothing will go wrong with the stuff I buy from Amazon!!!!

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