Difference between WD OEM vs. Retail (RTL) drives

Western Digital offers two versions of our Serial ATA, EIDE 3.5" and EIDE 2.5" hard drives. These can be identified by how the hard drive was packaged during purchase and by the associated model number of the drive. The Online Store sells both Retail and OEM packaged hard drives.

There are no physical or developmental differences between our Retail and OEM hard drives

Retail hard drives (Example: WD1200JBRTL) are sold in a retail package and may include the accessories below:

  • Quick Installation Guide

  • Acronis Installation Software (must be downloaded)
OEM or Original Equipment Manufacturer hard drives (Example: WD1200JB) are sold to OEM Computer manufacturers or Distributors in bulk packaging (bare drive only).

  • OEM drives are sold without accessories or installation software.

  • OEM drives may not contain a warranty from Western Digital. When Western Digital sells hard drives to OEM computer manufacturers such as Dell, Compaq, Apple, etc, we sell these drives without warranty. The OEM computer manufacturer would include the hard drive under the warranty of the computer system that the hard drive was installed into. For more information about hard drive warranties, please see our Warranty Policy.


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