In regards to shipping of HDs... I wrote Western Digital and got this reply back:
-----begin email reply----
22 Feb 2010
Good Morning Mr. McGovern,
Thank you for your interest in and support of Western Digital and our hard drives.Â Your clear experience in the use and installation of hard disks over the years, and your loyalty to WD, is admirable and appreciated.
Your email is quite timely. WD has, over the past 6 months, engaged in an exhaustive review of our online and distribution partners re-packaging of WDs products, and come to the same conclusion you have: the packing and shipment of our world-class hard disks needs to be much more consistent, reliable, and up to standard specifications that Western Digital tests and sets for our products in terms of handling, shock/vibe, etc. WD ships to our direct distribution partners in factory-sealed master packs (20 or 50 depending on form factor) and then the distributor, e-tailer, or online reseller puts them into single-pack boxes (referred to as single kits or single packs).
So, in the interest of the providing a reliable and consistent customer experience, WD will, effective April 1, 2010, be implementing a requirement for our WW Distribution accounts to use ONLY a WD-approved single-pack box for all online retailers (to include but not limited to Newegg, Tiger Direct, Amazon, Dell, CDW, PC Connection, PC Mall, Zones, Insight, others). These online partners have been notified of this change and will be purchasing their WD drives in these new packs from the distributors in mid- to late-March.
... (sales hype about WD drives paragraph left out)
I hope I have provided you with a satisfactory explanation and outlined our plan to resolve the packaging issues youâ€™ve discussed.Â It is always our pleasure to serve your storage needs, and I hope that you will also try our other products that are designed to enhance your digital life, like the new WD TV Live. Take a look at www.westerndigital.com
PS: We have addressed the packaging concern with Newegg directly and they have assured us that they have modified their procedures even in advance of the new WD-required boxes.Â Also, Amazon, Tiger, Dell, and CDW have improved their processes following our discussions with them.
Sr. Sales Manager, Americas E-Channel
Western Digital Technologies, Inc.
------end email reply------------