Comparing the TigerDirect page for a Seagate ST2000DM001 to the Amazon page for the ST2000DM001, we see that the TigerDirect page includes a few more pictures for that exact model number.
One of the pictures shows the drive with the case on.
This suggests that the other 3 stores you checked just decided, for whatever reason, not to show the product as shipped. This would be a marketing decision. The drives either still come enclosed or the Seagate ST2000DM001 is different from different stores — which doesn’t seem likely.
No, hard drives are in sealed enclosures and these images are marketing shots to give you an idea of the engineering inside.
@Paul is absolutely correct.
Hard drives need to be enclosed (I’d say sealed, except they are not quite sealed – but the tiny area which is not sealed is behind a heavy filter).
It makes sense that drives need to be sealed when you realise how they work. The drive head floats very slightly above the platter to read the information. The thing is that that gap is tiny. A finger print or speck of dust is several orders of magnitude bigger then the distance between the head and the platter, so even the smallest amount of dust would cause the drive to die very quickly. Similarly it makes it easy for the head to be knocked, and even the slightest knock can damage the drive.
Another vector to prove that drives are closed –
- New drives are (or will) be sealed with helium inside so even more performance and density can be squeezed out. You can’t do this if the drive is not sealed.
- Go to your nearest computer store and ask. They will show you all new drives are sealed.
- Go find some information about “clean room” drive recovery. This is where they remove the platters from the drives to to put them with other heads to try recover data. Clean rooms are all about zero-dust, because even a tiny amount of dust will kill the drive before the data can be removed.
This is not new. Here’s an ad for a 10 MB HDD which also most definitely did not ship with open disks.
Here’s how a 10MB HDD looked like
It’s marketing. A hard drive cover is boring; the internals look impressive. This isn’t a new concept, for example this Intel processor doesn’t actually have a semi-translucent heat spreader:
For display purposes only.
The read-write heads move across the disk, flying on a thin film of air about 3-7 millionths of an inch thick.
Finger prints and the finest dust will bridge this, causing a head crash.
A human hair is a mountain in size in comparison at about 0.5-6 thousandths of an inch
Most drives available have a sealed container with a micro-filtered breather hole to keep out the dirt. The “most” excludes certain fully environmentally sealed technologies.
Mechanical hard drives will always come in sealed metal enclosures.
The only exception I know to the “solid metal enclosure” rule, was the Western Digital Raptor X, a hi-performance 150Gb 10k RMP HDD: it was sealed with a transparent plexiglas enclosure, so you could effectively see the spinning disks and the moving head.
You can find more image about the Raptor X on this google search.
And I’m a proud owner of a WD Raptor X, it was the main HDD of my old 2007 PC build, and you could really feel the difference!
Today I consider it a collector’s item 🙂
Also note the Amazon page you linked is for the DT01ACA200. That’s a 1TB per platter drive, it has two platters and four heads yet the photo quite clearly shows 3 platters — the picture does not change between the 2TB and the 3TB model (DT01ACA300) at all. That shows something is off.
In fact, the picture is very very likely to be of the 500GB 2.5″ AV Western Digital drive from 2010: http://www.digit.in/storage/wd-av-25-2-5-inch-sata-hdds-with-silk-stream-advanced-format-technology-at-rs-2750-to-rs-4400-4294.html http://thumbs2.picclick.com/d/l400/pict/351079558689_/WD-25-500GB-16MB-SATA-II-Laptop-Notebook-MAC-PS3-Hard.jpg http://hardver-teszt.hu/news.php?newsID=681 and the official PDF at http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/SpecSheet/ENG/2879-771362.pdf also has a very very similar pic. Needless to say in reality it shipped sealed.
If they really are covered, what reason would a marketing team have to only show pictures of the guts?
The marketing team sometimes doesn’t produce any picture at all. If you do a Google image search for the image from the Toshiba page on Amazon you linked to, you’ll find that same image for many other drives. It’s basically clip art. There are so many models of hard drives, it’s such an easily identifiable image and there’s really not much marketable difference between the physical appearance of their guts (nobody really cares what the inside of a mechanical drive looks like at this point – it’s on the same level as a picture of a DVD or, say, a piece of plywood on a home improvement store’s web site), that many times there just isn’t a special image, and stock art is used.