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In this edition of #STSGuides, I’m going to tell you about the process of sending your drive for replacement to Western Digital (WD), here in the Philippines. I’m sharing you my experience with WD’s RMA process, since I have to RMA my own WD Black 2TB, which happens to be the storage of my valuable data, such as personal files, company accounts and archives. It’s now a lesson for me to utilize cloud storage as well as regular backups further.

Your hard drive is one of the most vital component of your computer, and you’ll probably won’t afford to have it destroyed with your valuable data inside. Now, if your computer always prompt for disk errors and repairs (i.e. S.M.A.R.T errors in boot-time), and you have files which are not readable anymore or let’s say, corrupted, then it can be a sign of a failing drive.

Windows 10 prompts to restart for fixing drive errors

You can use several methods to identify a failing drive, one is by downloading WD’s own diagnostic tool, as well as third-party software such as HD Sentinel or HD Tune. These latter software will provide you with further information on your drive condition and details. Remember to get and take note of your drive’s serial number for later use.

HD Sentinel, shows your drive health as well as further information about the drive

The screenshot above of the HD Sentinel was taken after I sent the failing drive for replacement, and the 2TB drive shown there is the replacement drive already. The drive itself, before I sent it for replacement, is just under 8% health.

Although I didn’t lost much data, it’s better to send your drive immediately for replacement once you detect symptoms of failure, since you can’t really predict when drives will fail once they reach the low health threshold.

Make sure to backup your data and anything else on the drive before sending them to WD, as they aren’t responsible for backing them up.

Now, without further ado, we’ll go to the procedures of sending your drive for replacement.

Step 1: Check Warranty Status

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Before starting, we need to check if the warranty is still active by entering the serial number/s to Western Digital’s warranty checker page. Other WD products such as NAS and external storage solutions might have the serial number(s) on the stickers attached to your device.

WD Warranty Checker Page

After typing in your serial number(s), you’ll be greeted with your warranty status and dates on the next page.

Now, if the status is “In Limited Warranty“, we can now proceed to the next steps. Take note of the warranty expiration date, too, as they will honor only all RMA requests made before the expiration date.

Step 2: Sign Up and Register Your WD Product

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Sign up/login on the WD Support Portal and register your WD products.

WD Product Registration Page

After this procedure, we can now proceed to the next step.

Step 3: Creating an RMA Request (IMPORTANT)

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Now that your drive is registered, create or file RMA request through this page by filling up all the necessary information. Your drive should show on the linked page like what you see below:

You can see that you can file an RMA for several reasons (I chose bad sectors, since that’s the condition of my drive). You can also add a comment so that the processing agent would take note of the drive’s condition.

After that, you’ll be given a PDF file sent to your email (RMA premailer/label) along with the RMA Number (IMPORTANT – TAKE NOTE OF THIS) to be printed and pasted along with the HDD in an anti static bag, if you choose to ship it to their authorized service center, which we’ll discuss on the next step.

WD will not honor any RMA requests without a valid RMA number.
RMA Premailer

You can also access this premailer on the WD Support Dashboard.

Step 4: Send Your Drive to WD Service Center

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You can choose two methods for this option: WALK-IN (preferred), SHIPPING (less preferred).

I chose the walk-in option, since their service center is accessible to my location (Makati), and trust me, the whole process only takes less than 15 minutes (if there’s no queue). I only have the RMA number with me, and they took care of the rest.

Here’s the address of WD’s authorized service center in Makati:

You can either ship your HDD to this address or just go there.

If you choose the ‘WALK-IN’ option, just look for “The Atrium Makati’, which you can access via Makati Ave.

image retrieved via Google

It may be an old building, but there are offices there, such as BIR Makati, and of course, WD’s service center through Primasiana Philippines.

image retrieved via Google

WD’s service center is located in Unit 305, third floor in the building, you can choose to go through the elevator instead (since the escalators aren’t working anymore), and probably not safe to step on.

Sneaky photo inside WD’s service center (Photo: Bryan Snow/AMG)

I told you before, the whole process took just less than 15 minutes! I received my replacement HDD in a sealed anti-static bag, and I got no worries about waiting for it to arrive. The warranty of the drive you’d received would still be the same as your old drive, and remember to register it on your WD account as well so you’ll be able to request for a replacement once again in case the replacement drive fails, too.

You’ll receive a refurbished (WD recertified) HDD instead of a brand new one

However, if going to Makati isn’t possible for you, SHIPPING option would be your next and last option. It is important to pack your drive for shipping according to WD’s instructions which you can find HERE. Remember to print out the RMA number and premailer you got earlier and paste it on the box. According to WD, RMA turn-around would be 5-7 days unless delayed by reasons such as customs, or delivery problems.

I’m going to say that although it’s unfortunate for us to send our drives for replacement as a result of it failing, WD’s RMA service is quick and easy to do, compared to some RMA processes which would require you a lot of hassle, especially if you’ll have to send it internationally.

Now, with all the steps covered, we would like to inform you that you can have the chance to save your budget first about buying a new hard drive in case something goes wrong on your current one.

And since new hard drives now bear long warranties (aside from most 1-year store warranties), you can have a peace of mind on your investment for such a long time (usually from 5 – 10 years, depending on the drive model).

We hope that this guide helps you well! Share if it helps!

DISCLAIMER: This post isn’t sponsored in any way by Western Digital.