HDD/SSD Handling: Information & How To Report RMA
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HDD/SSD Handling: Information & How To Report RMA


Article ID: 170093


Updated On:


Symantec Products


Understand Symantec’s rules and procedures for the replacement and handling of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) or Solid State Drives (SSDs). These rules apply only to drives that are subject to return via the Returned Material Authorization (RMA) process and vary according to the Symantec hardware support option purchased.


Hardware Warranty 

All Symantec hardware products come with a limited, non-transferable warranty. Symantec provides RMA hardware exchanges to those customers with a valid product entitlement under warranty or an active hardware support contract (Advance Hardware Exchange* is available for customers with hardware support levels of Standard Plus and higher). Learn more about Symantec’s Hardware Warranty.

To verify your warranty or support status, contact Symantec Technical Support with your Service Contract Number and any applicable Model and Serial numbers.
* Symantec will send a replacement unit to eligible customers in advance of the defective unit being returned by the customer per the hardware support level purchased and in
accordance with the Foundation Agreement and the Specific Program Documentation (SPD).

HDD & SSD Options Per Platform

Below is a table describing the HDD and SSD configured per platform and what type of disk each platform uses. 

  • FRU HDD or SSD for OS image contains the application OS only; no customer data is stored here.
  • FRU HDD or SSD for Storage is where customer data is stored. 


HW Platform FRU HDD for Image FRU SSD for Image FRU HDD for Storage FRU SSD for Storage
S200 N/A Yes Yes N/A
S400 N/A Yes Yes N/A
S500 N/A Yes Yes N/A
S210 N/A Yes N/A Yes
S410 N/A Yes N/A Yes
S450 N/A Yes N/A Yes
S550 N/A Yes N/A Yes


Hard Disk Replacement Rules

If it's determined there is a hardware failure to the original hard drives or SSD used for the Storage of customer data, and the customer wants a diagnosis for the drives, they must be returned to Symantec within 10 business days of receipt of the replacement drive per the Foundation Agreement and the Specific Program Documentation (SPD). Symantec’s procedure is to ensure resident data is destroyed through several failure verification tests.

Customers with hardware support have the option to choose not to return HDD or SSD used as Storage and destroy or dispose of them themselves. Refer to the table below:

Hardware Support Level HDD/SSD for Storage Non-Return Charge Customer HDD/SSD for Storage Return Option
Standard No Yes
Standard Plus No Yes
Advanced No Yes
Premium Plus No Yes
Premium No Yes

Most Symantec support contracts require that defective systems and non-consumable Field Replacement Units (FRUs) must be returned in exchange for replacement hardware unless expressly waived by Symantec.

Process Description 

Failure Verification Process 

Regardless of the circumstances surrounding the physical return of an HDD or SSD used for storage of customer data, Symantec will erase all data resident in the HDD or SSD media as part of the failure verification test. This is accomplished through a write verify test that occurs twice through the failure verification test process utilizing two separate diagnostic programs. The diagnostic programs used by Symantec write many different bit patterns to all areas of the disk to verify the read/write circuits and disk media. This procedure overwrites and destroys all data residing on the HDD or SSD. If the HDD or SSD is classified as “No Trouble Found” (NTF), Symantec will load the required Operating Software. If the media on the HDD/SSD has not been erased, the new software load will be unsuccessful. HDDs/SSDs with known issues do not undergo the verification test and are sent straight to the manufacturer for repair.

Repair Process 

The HDD/SSD manufacturer will perform their version of the write verify test that is compliant with the US Department of Defense sanitation specification (DOD 5520.22M) in addition to the testing that took place during Symantec’s failure verification process. The manufacturer ensures all media is destroyed during this process by overwriting all addressable locations with a character, its complement, and then a random character which is then verified. This process occurs (at minimum) three times. If the error condition requires a replacement of a component or the disk itself, the write-verify tests are rerun after the replacement to verify proper operation. If no errors are found, the HDD will undergo a low-level formatting process. The HDD is ready for use without the possibility of old data being restored.

Scrap Process 

If an HDD/SSD or assembly is un-repairable and there is no return for replacement program available from the manufacturer, the HDD/SSD will undergo a process to destroy the data resident in the magnetic disk media through a program specified by the US Department of Defense. This ensures no data can be restored or recovered. The next step is to disassemble and physically destroy the HDD/SSD, and a certificate of destruction is provided.

Non-Returned HDDs

Following a diagnostic determination that a replacement is required, and an RMA is authorized, the customer may elect not to return the HDD/SSD due to concerns about data
security. In this event, other than the initial gross determination that a failure has occurred, Symantec will be unable to do any further failure analysis which can inhibit making a final determination and report on the exact nature of the failure. The RMA process will be executed in the usual manner; however, a returned defective unit is not expected in advance of the HDD/SSD replacement being shipped. Customers are reminded that they may be subject to current hardware support policy.

HDD Usability 

The HDD/SSDs used at Symantec contain a proprietary disk layout not compatible with any other available operating system’s file-system layout. The HDD/SSD can be used from one Symantec device to another, but the act of inserting the HDD/SSD into the new device re-initializes the HDD/SSD and causes all previous resident media to become unreachable.

Additional Resources