I am looking for a new internal hard drive for laptop and found the terms like Bare drive and OEM drive.

I searched the net and found that bare drives don’t come with cables and manuals. But I am still confused with one silly thing: Does they have the connector chip on them. Because everywhere I see image of bare drive as showing the spindle and platter.

I believe I don't require any cables or anything else to replace the old drive.

  • 2
    There was a question from someone about a week ago on the topic of the drive pictures which show the internals of the drive. You can with confidence assume that a "bare drive" does include the cover over the head and platters, and does come with the integrated circuit card that mates that drive to the specified type of disk connector cable. Those photos are simply an attempt to make the drive look "sexier". Nov 2 '14 at 23:19
  • "image of bare drive as showing the spindle and platter" -- FYI the "spindle" is a shaft at the center of the platter (aka disk) that connects to the drive motor. The other object in the photo that you are probably referring to is the R/W arm that holds the read/write head assemblies. It is this arm that performs the seek operation.
    – sawdust
    Nov 3 '14 at 7:00
  • Related: Do hard drives really have open cases now?
    – gronostaj
    Nov 5 '14 at 19:59

Does they have the connector chip on them. Because everywhere I see image of bare drive as showing the spindle and platter.

Yes, they are fully functional hard drives. What you are describing when you say you see an “…image of bare drive as showing the spindle and platter…” is most likely a marketing photo attached to a listing on a website to show you something. Because let’s face it: Hard drives are boring tiny boxes that don’t photograph well. Otherwise, the drive is fully functional & has the proper connectors; it just won’t have the cables, CDs, manuals and other junk that comes with a “normal” non-OEM drive.

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    It may also not have warranty from the manufacturer nor tech support (though I don't see why you would need tech support for something as simple as a hard drive).
    – user256743
    Nov 2 '14 at 20:25
  • 3
    @AndréDaniel They still have normal warranties. I've sent multiple such drives in under warranty, it's always been honored. Nov 2 '14 at 20:49
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    Bare = drive in the manufacturer's sealed antistatic bag for all the vendors I've ever bought from. As long as it's properly packaged against g-forces, you're good to go. Nov 2 '14 at 22:53

There's little practical difference between a 'retail' or 'OEM' HDD for consumer systems. For the same model, its the exact same disk drive, with all the relevant internal parts needed to make it function. In general such drives are primarily marketed at system builders (who'd rather get a padded box of drives with just the necessary packaging).

In general OEM packaging looks like this

enter image description here

You have a drive in a sealed bag, and that's it. No SATA cables, manuals or anything else.

Drives absolutely do not ship with exposed platters

Depending on the type of drive and the SKU you may get some additional literature (like manuals), a sata cable, or in the case of some SSDs a 'migration kit' that would let you hook up your drive over USB, image, and swap drives.

I'd also add if it is a prebuilt PC, or server in some cases the replacing the 'OEM' drives that come standard with it have your own drives (OEM or otherwise) may void the warranty. Some may also have specific firmware versions or be branded to the system builder.

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