HDD Handling

This page establishes the Blue Coat policy for replacement and handling of Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). The policy applies only to drives which are subject to return via the Returned Material Authorization (RMA) process and varies depending which service option package customers purchased.

Hard Disk Replacement (not including X-Series):

Original Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) are to be returned to Blue Coat within 10 days of receipt of the replacement drive. Blue Coat’s procedure is to ensure resident data are destroyed through several failure verification tests.

Customers with BlueTouch Standard and Standard Plus service who chose not to return HDDs may be charged a $500 fee per un-returned drive. Customers who purchase BlueTouch Advanced, Premium or Premium Plus service may retain 1 HDD per year per system serial number with no charge if the customer chooses to retain & dispose of the HDD.

BlueTouch Service
Option Packages
HDD Non-Return
HDD Non-Return Charge
Waived for 1 HDD/Year
Standard Yes --
Standard Plus Yes --
Advanced -- Yes
Premium Plus -- Yes
Premium -- Yes

The part number associated with this charge 070-08108. Failure to return the HDD or pay the invoice within 35 days of receipt may result in the suspension of support and services for that specific asset by Blue Coat and will void Blue Coat’s Warranty.

Most Blue Coat service agreements have a requirement that defective systems and non-consumable FRU’s must be returned in exchange for replacement hardware, unless expressly waived by Blue Coat.   

Process Description – HDD RMA to Blue Coat

Failure Verification Process - Regardless of the circumstance surrounding the physical return of an HDD, Blue Coat will erase all data resident in the magnetic disk 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 Blue Coat 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. If the HDD is classified as “No Trouble Found” (NTF), Blue Coat will load the required Operating Software. If the media on the HDD has not been erased, the new software load will be unsuccessful. HDDs with known issues do not undergo the verification test and are sent straight to the manufacturer for repair.

Repair Process – The HDD 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 the 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 and verify. 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 or assembly is un-repairable and there is no return for replacement program available from the manufacturer, the HDD 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 and a certificate of destruction is provided.

Non-Returned HDD to Blue Coat - Following a diagnostic determination that a replacement is required and an RMA is authorized; the customer may elect not to return the HDD due to concerns about data security. In this event, other than the initial gross determination that a failure has occurred, Blue Coat will be unable to do any further Failure Analysis which can inhibit making a final determination and report-out of the exact nature of the failure. The RMA process will be executed in the same manner except that a returned defective unit will not be expected for the HDD shipped out on an advance replacement service contract.

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