Hard disk crash Samsung Spinpoint HM121HC

19 Nov 2008
Posted by Laptop Junction

GREAT!!! The 120 Gb - 2,5" inch Samsung hard disk - HM121HC - has crashed big time. With it's production date of October 2007 it lasted for about 8 months in the Dell Latitude D610. Somewhere in the boot / partition records the disk surface has gone sour. This after coming back from standby - Windows boot records couldn't be found anymore.

The HM121HC Spinpoint has a IDE PATA interface with 8M Cache and spins at 5400 RPM. The harddisk is known as the Spinpoint M5 and developed specifically for portable consumer electronics, where the key lies in controlling noise, vibration and power consumption. Samsung's SpinPoint M5 hard drives are fifteen-percent quieter and use five-percent less energy than other models with the same storage capacity.

It's a pretty silent drive and did well over 8 months of traveling. Unfortunately it failed big time.

- * NOTE * -
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Read about the unreliable 1 TB Samsung Spinpoint F1 - HD103UJ here

Before the crash, there were no signs of disk failure. No clicks, no sudden slowdown in reading / writing the disk. Just 1 day before a drive image had captured the C partition, unfortunately the D drive partition had an older backup. The problem with these big disks, when they crash a lot of data is at stake.

Immediate recovery was started by restoring the driveimage on the C partition. Luckily a bootable CDROM for Norton Ghost was already there. But the restore attempt failed, Norton Ghost also reported access failures.

So next was an immediate rescue of file level data using Partition Recovery. Great program, it reconstructed the file / directory tree and allowed recovery of quite a few essential files. Specially the big files had suffered, the C as well as the D partition was hit bad.

Samsung Spinpoint M - HM121HC harddisk crashes - no warrantyThe Samsung Spinpoint hard disk is covered by a 3 year Samsung warranty. However it's not that easy to exchange a damaged disk in Asian / Middle-East countries - usually dealers hide behind local warranties. Even though Samsung mentioned RMA procedures on the website, it's usually futile information.

So here we go, lets have a try anyway.

The Samsung Spinpoint purchase location is Kathmandu - Nepal, the crash location is Dubai - UAE.

The Samsung dealership in the UAE is TRIGON. So the first call goes to TRIGON - Dubai, the local service department - +9714-3936247. In 2 minutes the service agent has it's answer ready: "No sir, local warranty only - Please try the head office of Samsung in Dubai". Thank you very much. Bye.

So next is the Samsung head office - now the Samsung customer interaction center - +971-800-7267864. The service agent on the phone has another answer ready in a few minutes: "No sir, we only give 1 year warranty." A referral to the 3 year warranty program for Samsung hard disk changes the tone. "Please sir, can i call you back after i checked with my boss?". Ok, lets wait for the boss then.

One hour later the answer by phone, which was already double checked with the head office in Taiwan.
So for all travelers with a laptop, who happen to have a Samsung hard drive inside, this is the Samsung warranty deal;

"Warranty is locally oriented. This means RMA (Return Material Authorization) will only be acknowledged from the country of purchase. So if your harddisks fails in a different country / region, one has to start the RMA in the country / region of purchase."

Samsung spinpoint hard disk Warranty void for laptop travelersThis implies, when buying any Samsung harddisk while traveling, the warranty is void when leaving the country. For international (business) travelers with laptops; there is no Samsung warranty for hard disks outside the region of purchase.



For those who buy a laptop abroad with a Samsung Harddisk inside, the Samsung 3 year warranty is void when making a claim outside the region of purchase. 

The 120 Gb Samsung Spinpoint HM121HC is replaced by a 120 Gb Western Digital WD Scorpio Blue WD1200BEVE 5400RPM/8 Mb Cache with 5 year warranty from date of purchase. Distribution region is Europe, Middle-East and Africa to which the 5 year warranty applies. Western Digital has a warranty check application on the web to check if it's still within warranty.