In what is a big mistake for the retailer, an Australian documentary maker Darryl Mason bought a hard drive labelled as new to find it filled with pirated movies and malware. According to The Age, nationwide tech retailer Dick Smith sold Mason a (supposedly) brand new external 1.5 TB drive for AU$129 that was filled with said questionable material, and apparently caused the corruption of some of his movie footage stored on his laptop’s hard drive.
For some reason the hard drive was labelled as new by Dick Smith, who have since apologized and admitted that they sell returned, or effectively second-hand hard drives as “new”. In this case, the retailer stupidly forgot to wipe the disk after it was returned, and so Mason discovered nine pirated movies on a disk that only registered as 30 GB.
Mason, who was filming a documentary at the time, hoped to back up his footage to the hard drive he had bought, but the hard drive also appeared to be loaded with malware as it caused the corruption of up to 6 hours of footage stored on the laptop. The laptop had never been connected to the internet, and Mason said the feeling of having his footage lost due to the incident was “absolutely sickening.”
This kind of thing really should not be happening. Not only should Dick Smith have actually wiped the drive, but they should have informed the buyer that the disk may have been used previously, as even if the disk had been wiped after the return, he could potentially have discovered files through data recovery programs.
If you ever purchase a hard drive from a store, we highly recommend you check it to make sure they haven't sold you an already used drive.