The SSD itself should be in a tamper-evident bag. The sticker seal, which is an ESD warning IIRC, will show pretty obvious signs if it has been opened.
The SMART reported power-on-hours should only be relied on if the bag is opened (in which case you have every right to question the retailer) or if buying second-hand. FWIW, I purchased an X25-V about 3 months ago and it had 30 hours on the clock; a QC test candidate, perhaps.
If your drive came in the standard blue box used with Intel SSDs, then is should have been sealed on both ends, IMO. As you have described, the one end of the box, in my case when looking down at the top of the box in a readable position, the white Intel label with the mini-bar codes, UPC, Pack Date, etc, is on the right. The other side only uses a clear disk of sealing tape-like material, thicker than standard tape, about an inch in diameter. If one is careful, it can be removed without damaging the box. The above packaging was found on the last 80GB G2GC SSD I purchased, packed on 3/21/10. This one was purchased from a brick and mortar store.
So unless Intel is not sealing the 120GB SSDs in the same way, I would say you might just have an opened/returned one. You could also check the Power-On hours count, Power Cycle count, and Unsafe Shutdown count in the SMART Attributes in the Intel SSD Toolbox.
That new 80GB SSD that I have not used yet, besides formatting it, running the Toolbox diagnostic, and benching it with AS SSD, shows that I have 5.50 GB Host Writes in the SMART Attributes.
If you purchased an OEM type SSD, I've seen those in plain cardboard boxes, unsealed, but as mentioned above the SSD is in a plastic bag sealed with a disk of paper-covered tape.
Who knows what E-Tailers receive in packaging, can we assume it is consistent, or is it varied depending upon to whom the product is shipped? I think you should check those SMART numbers too.
I purchased my drive from Newegg. It is the retail kit, and It was only sealed on one side. The SSD bag did have a tamper resistent seal that was unopened. When looking at my box, in the same manner that you described above, it is exactly the way you described it - minus the clear tape on the left flap of the box.
I am concerned that I got a used / refurbished drive because both side of the box weren't sealed.
The toolbox reports that the power on hours are 17. I have installed the drive, run a Vista install, a clean Windows 7 install, all the Windows updates, and a virus program installation. Additionally, I have left the computer idle for several hours.
Power cycle count is 20.
What do you guys think?
What other information, from the toolbox, should I post here?
Thanks for all the responses!
EDIT: Oh yeah. Drive is showing 111.7 GB. Does this seem right?
When you say that your 120GB SSD is showing 111.7GB, do you mean when looking at it's properties like this:
If so, that is just fine. These are the Properties of a new Intel 80GB SSD, initalized and formatted, with nothing on it. But why the difference is sizes?
So, when is a Gigabyte not a Gigabyte? When you are comparing powers of 10 (decimal) to powers of 2 (binary.) We can see above that the 80,024,170,496 bytes in decimal, Base 10, is equal to 74.5 GB in Binary, Base 2. That is not due to formatting, but just the differences in number systems. Notice that Windows used 92MB for the NTFS file system, as you would have seen if you initialized and formatted it on a working PC. But this tells us nothing about whether or not your SSD was used.
If your SSD was a return, the other owner didn't do much if anything with it. If you connected it to a working PC, and the SSD was unused, you would have had to initialize it and format it. If you did not need to do this, it was pre-formatted, and it was used previously. If you never connected it to a working PC, and just installed your OS on it the very first time you connected it to your PC, you won't be able to tell that way.
Your hour count is low, as is the power cycle count. Same thing for the power cycle count, and don't forget all the re-boots that Windows does during the OS installation, as well as yourself if you adjusted your BIOS settings, etc. You've done two OS installs, updates, and other software installs, that easily adds up to the numbers you are quoting.
I'm thinking... it was new, unused.
You're OK. I bought my 120GB drive from Newegg, too, and it's got the same unsealed box end as yours. The drive inside was sealed, and shows similar power-on hours and cycles to yours (it was originally unformatted; I transferred over the partitions from my old drive using the Intel migration software).
I just checked the packaging from an X25-V 40GB i bought when they were first available, and the box is the same: one side has the sticker covering the lip, and the other end is unsealed. However, as i mentioned above, the SSD was in a tamper-evident bag. You're probably used to the processors having the seal on the box, however here, the SSD bag itself is the evidence.
You have a brand new drive IMO, so don't worry