02-19-2009 01:56 AM
I bought a 1.5TB Seagate HDD a week ago and within 6 days it has already developed 7 bad sectors. I have 2 500GB Seagate 7200.10's which don't have any bad sectors after almost 2 years. Should I be worried that such a new HDD has developed so many bad sectors this quickly? I know the HDD has spare sectors for this very purpose (using Everest I believe the amount of spare sectors this HDD could have is 36 however I could be mistaken) however I feel that a brand new HDD should not be developing bad sectors, especially not this rapidly. Does anyone have any experience with this?
I have attached a screenshot of Hard Disk Sentinel reporting on the problem (gr8 utility for viewing/monitoring the status of your HDD's) below.
02-19-2009 06:04 PM
I would expect a hard drive that large to have a much greater number of spare sectors than 36. I suppose that a 1.5TB drive would have around 3 billion (3 x 10^9) user-accessible sectors, and I would expect many more than 1 out of every 100 million sectors to go bad within the drive's useful lifetime. My absolutely wild guess would be that a drive typically has something closer to 1 spare sector per 100,000 user sectors. Anyway, if someone actually knows the answer, I'd be very interested to hear it.
It is normal for a working hard drive to experience *recoverable* errors. These may result in long pauses, but your operating system won't likely show an error message. (But if you're noticing frequent long pauses, check your SMART status.)
It is NOT normal for a hard drive to experience non-recoverable errors at a frequency greater than what is stated in the datasheet. Non-recoverable errors will give you both a long pause AND an operating system error message. They can only be recovered by writing data to the affected sector, at which time the drive may or may not relocate it to a spare sector. In the past, I've had fairly good luck getting SeaTools for DOS to do this for me. Often, the contents of that sector will be lost as a result. This is what backups are for.
If your drive experiences non-recoverable errors daily or even weekly, you should likely RMA it.
02-19-2009 06:16 PM
Note also that any reasonably modern hard drive does a very good job of making this process completely transparent to the operating system, and I'm not entirely convinced that the numbers that are reported to the user are always trustworthy.
FWIW, "smartctl --all" on my several-years-old ST373453LW says that the drive has 3 "elements in grown defect list". (Yes, I run Linux.)
02-20-2009 12:52 AM
Hi Graham, thanks for the response. I used Everest to come up with the '36 spare sectors' ideas as under the SMART status of the drive, under the 'Threshold' column it mentions 36. I took this, in conjunction with Hard Disk Sentinel's reading of the drive's overall health (93%) to mean that a threshold of 36-7 = the perfentage (even though in actual fact it would be closer to 80% drive health). I just took a shot in the dark with this, thanks for clearing that up for me.
As you can see by the screenshot, the status for this particular attribute does read 'Ok: Vaule is normal'. I just don't like leaving things to chance, and the rate at which these bad sectors developed was quite alarming (for a brand new drive).
02-20-2009 05:49 AM
I've got 5 of these drives in my pvr at home; I started monitoring bad sectors via smartctl in january when I noticed reallocated sectors in the smartctl output. So far, I have never had harddrives develop so mandy defects in such a short time. I don't think environmental factors come into this: the drives are reasonably well cooled (run at < 35°C) and the box doesn't get moved at all.
* drives were installed from 2008-12-6 to 2008-12-17, replacing older 750GB disks
* on installation, none of the drives showed any reallocated sectors
2009-01-14 01:00:01; 0; 1; 1; 2; 7;
2009-02-12 01:00:01; 0; 1; 1; 2; 20;
so out of 5 disks, just one is without reallocated sectors and the others are showing from 1 to 20 sectors - doesn't look too promising :-(
02-21-2009 11:10 AM
You guys should all be glad, I've had 3 of these drives and all three have gone down the toilet when it comes to bad sectors...
My first drive took two weeks then it had over 2300 bad sectors and even Vista started to warn me that a disk failure was imminent...it started the first day with 12 bad sectors....
My second one is the good one, it ONLY 12 bad sectors and it's been almost three weeks...
The third one(the replacement of the first one) hasn't directly started out great; first day 3, second day 7 and now after a whole week (lol) it's got 28 bad sectors...
The thing is that all three disks are from different batches too so it's not a bad batch or anything...
02-22-2009 11:37 PM
Man that's harsh, I wonder if these drives are prone to these sorts of errors or if we just have messed up drives. Oh and yesterday another 4 bad sectors popped up. At this rate the drive will be riddled with them in a few weeks...
02-23-2009 04:40 AM
Since all three drives I've had have the same problem, some more than others I'm leaning towards that it's something they're prone to...but I don't know, but since I'm not doing anything special with the drives - I just fill them up as we're supposed to
Just 4 count yourself lucky mate, mine's up to 53 now...it get another five or so for just starting the computer (NOT systemdrive!!!)
But I guess it's just sending it back and hoping next won't have the same problem....but I have to say, what's the point with a drive you can't trust with your data?
02-23-2009 06:35 AM - edited 02-23-2009 06:41 AM
I was saying that an additional 4 had popped up (in one day) for a total of 11 bad sectors in just over a week. Even my old 120Gb IDE HDD (which sits in a external HDD enclosure) has zero bad sectors and that drive has been around for about 4-5 years. I don't understand how none of my Seagate drives have ever reported bad sectors before, and now this new (albeit massive) drive is seemingly finding them at random. I did install SeaTools for Windows and run a 'Long Drive Self Test' which found no errors. I would have run the advanced tests however the 'These tests may cause data loss' warning kind of made me decide against that. I ran a CHKDSK as well, just to be thorough and came up with nothing either:
Checking file system on E:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is DaddyMassif.
A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.
174272 file records processed. 0 large file records processed. 0 bad file records processed. 0 EA records processed. 0 reparse records processed. 188812 index entries processed. 0 unindexed files processed. 174272 security descriptors processed. Cleaning up 6 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 6 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 6 unused security descriptors.
7271 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
36853256 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
174256 files processed. File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
197299428 free clusters processed. Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.
1465006079 KB total disk space.
675409296 KB in 166951 files.
77752 KB in 7272 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
321319 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
789197712 KB available on disk.
4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
366251519 total allocation units on disk.
197299428 allocation units available on disk.
Perhaps windows only picks up bad sectors the HDD itself reports (i.e. the ones HDSentinel is picking up don't count as they have been replaced with 'spare' sectors). Still makes me worry for the safety of my data...
02-23-2009 06:49 AM