Meaning of DATE - Printed on Label

To whom it may conern,

I am an IT-expert working for an Austrian court in a case related to a WD drive (WD15EARS). The drive has a label on its surface containing different specs.

Could you please officially confirn that the DATE information (fe 15  JUL 2009) is related to the production date of the drive and a specific drive can not been brought earlier to the market than this date.

Thank you very much for your answer in advance

PS. If you can not confirm my sattement please send me contact information of a official WD representative who can.

This is a user forum. As an “IT-expert”, you should be directing your technical questions to WD’s Tech Support, who will no doubt pass them on to WD’s engineering or manufacturing departments.

That said, I’m an electrical engineer and, FWIW, in my “expert” opinion you should be examining the following:

(1) Determine the drive’s warranty status by typing its serial number into WD’s online warranty checker:〈=en

IIRC, the warranty period will be 1, 2, 3, or 5 years, plus a few months.

(2) Examine the date codes on the PCB. You will need a Torx 6 screwdriver.

For example, see this board:

Notice the “3709” on the PCB below pin #1 of the Samsung SDRAM. That’s telling you that the PCB was manufactured during the 37th week of 2009.

Now look at the markings on each of the chips:

Samsung SDRAM at location U2 - “940”
Marvell 88i9045 MCU at U5 - “0942”
SMOOTH chip at U1 - “0943”
Winbond “BIOS” IC at U12 - “0938”

The chip markings are date codes in YWW or YYWW (Year / Week) format. For example, the SMOOTH chip was manufactured during the 43rd week of 2009.

Clearly the drive cannot have been manufactured before week 43 of 2009.

Maybe you should try contacting WD’s Technical Support about this. You can do so either by phone or email.

To Contact WD for Technical Support


WD hard drives store most of their firmware in a hidden, reserved System Area on the platters. Several of these firmware modules contain manufacturing logs. Module 02 contains unique information such as the drive’s serial number and a date stamp that appears to reflect the drive’s manufacture date.

Someone who is familiar with data recovery forensics would have the special software tools to retrieve these firmware modules. Otherwise, you could obtain WDMarvel for US$100 and use it for this purpose. There are also freeware tools and methods to achieve the same end. However, I have no idea as to the legal implications of doing so.

Here are firmware resource dumps from several WD15EARS examples:

Hi there,

thank you very much for answering my question. I very much appreciate your effort.

I did try the warranty status check. But warranty staus is “Out of Warranty”. Which of course did nothelp very much :slight_smile:

I shall check the time stamps on the circuit board of the drive.

Best regards from Austria

I did. Thanks for your advice.

Best regards from Austria,