If I were buying a drive I would definitely test to see whether it worked before storing it away. The "dismantling" only involves removing 4 screws since you won't be removing the existing drive from the cage.
Just thinking about it logically, there would be no reason for anyone to have posted the list of compatible drives in the first place if you can only use the same model as the one currently installed. Unless something changed with newer firmwares, but then you don't remember where you heard the claim anyway. Hopefully someone who has replaced a drive can chime in.
The receivers that can't be activated seem sketchy to me since you can't know that there aren't other problems with them.