Like many electronics, external hard drives come with warranties. Most are for two or three years, but some are for five or even more. Rather than shelling out another two to three hundred dollars if your warrantied hard drive fails, then, you can simply have it replaced by using an RMA. RMA stands for “return material authorization” or “return merchandise authorization,” and it’s a code that tells the stingy warehouse trolls, “I compel you to send me a replacement product.”
When your hard drive fails, turn it upside-down and take a photo of its serial number. Then simply use a search engine to look for “(device manufacturer) RMA process.” Chances are, you’ll either just have to call a phone number, or even simply fill in some blanks online, and an RMA will be issued to you along with an address to which you can send back your broken product.
Print out the RMA, include the printout with the product, and also write the RMA prominently on the outside of the box. After the drive is received by the manufacturer, they’ll get another one to you straightway. If you still need to waste three hundred dollars, please just send it to my Paypal account; I promise I’ll spend it on whiskey and stickers.