HDD: damaged or not?

vbimport

#1

This HDD is making me crazy :doh:

It is a Western Digital 1 TB RE4 drive. The WD test tool was giving errors when running the quick test.

I cloned the disc to recover data using Acronis True Image, and all data was retrieved except for 2 sectors that was unreadable (according to Acronis).

After cloning the disc, I removed it from the computer and installed in an external box (sata to USB adapter). In the external box the quick test was giving errors again, so I ran the full test to check if the two unreadable sectors found by Acronis was really damaged.

The full test was completed without errors :confused:

Today I installed the disc internally and again the quick test failed :doh:

So I decided to use the “write zeroes” in the WD tool to format the disc, and now the quick test is completed without errors. The full test is ongoing now (I’ll report results when completed).

These results are quite confusing to me… Should I assume that disc is damaged or not??? :doh:

As a side note, just for curiosity if someone is interested, when the full test is run from the external box (i.e. via USB2) it requires about 7-8 hours but when the disc is installed directly on the sata port the test is completed in about 2.5 hours :eek: I wish that my mainboard has an eSATA port :doh:


#2

Maybe a faulty cable or SATA controller?


#3

I just completed the full test… damn these tests are really time consuming (almost 3 hours to complete it) :doh:

As I suspected, no errors found :confused:

When I first noticed errors in that disc, I already tried to change cables, but the strange behavior was still there. When I installed the disc internally today I installed it in a different computer, so I think that sata controller and cables can be excluded as cause :slight_smile:

Because of HDD prices are still very high, and 1 TB drive is definitely more than welcome, I’d like to recycle the disc, but I’m still not sure if data will be safe there :doh:


#4

Have you tried one of the programs that can read SMART? I think HdTune can.


#5

Try doing a full low level format, there may be formatting errors that can be fixed, zeroing the drive is not enough.

Also if there are bad sectors usually the drive can mark them as bad and leave them alone, you would have to use one of the scan/fix utilities.


#6

[QUOTE=geno888;2613521]
As a side note, just for curiosity if someone is interested, when the full test is run from the external box (i.e. via USB2) it requires about 7-8 hours but when the disc is installed directly on the sata port the test is completed in about 2.5 hours :eek:[/quote]Pretty normal :wink:

I wish that my mainboard has an eSATA port :doh:
1,70 € plus shipping: http://www.reichelt.de/PC-Gehaeusezubehoer/BRACKET-10/index.html?ARTICLE=71446

Works nicely for me with Promise PDC 20579 including hotplug :smiley:

Michael


#7

[QUOTE=olyteddy;2613557]Have you tried one of the programs that can read SMART? I think HdTune can.[/QUOTE]
Yes, I tried CrystalDiskInfo, and I got no errors in SMART. Also the WD official tool found no errors in SMART, even when the quick test failed.

[QUOTE=eric93se;2613576]Try doing a full low level format, there may be formatting errors that can be fixed, zeroing the drive is not enough.

Also if there are bad sectors usually the drive can mark them as bad and leave them alone, you would have to use one of the scan/fix utilities.[/QUOTE]
After using the WD tool to write all zeroes, at the end windows was not able anymore to see the disk in windows explorer. Running the disk manager immediately a message appeared asking to activate the disk before to use. So I used the disk manager to create an active partition and the disk was visible again in windows explorer.

I assume that the WD tool indeed blanked the disk like a low level formatting, but I must say that I have no idea if the “writing zeroes” and low level format are the same thing.

However, I found this information at WD web site

[B]low-level formatting[/B]

A process, also called initialization, that prepares a hard drive to store data. Low-level formatting sets up the locations of sectors so that user data can be stored in them. Low-level formatting is performed at the WD factory; [B]users need not perform low-level formatting on a WD drive[/B].

Based on this information, and also on this article in FAQ section I assume that there is no official tool to make the low level format for WD drives other than the write zeroes tool.

[QUOTE=mciahel;2613689]Pretty normal :wink:
1,70 € plus shipping: http://www.reichelt.de/PC-Gehaeusezubehoer/BRACKET-10/index.html?ARTICLE=71446

Works nicely for me with Promise PDC 20579 including hotplug :smiley:

Michael[/QUOTE]
I don’t have sata ports available in mainboard :o

Maybe a PCIe controller is a better solution. Searching around I found this very interesting controller, but too bad there is no 4x slot in my mainboard :doh:

An interesting alternative seems also this (sorry, I can’t load the English page because the browser redirect all the time to the Italian one :doh:) but the lack of cooling fans seems to me a bad idea


#8

Not usable sectors will be replaced by spare sectors.


#9

Today the PC crashed again… without any apparent reason. The machine was working perfectly then suddenly the screen become black and everything froze. The HDD led was not blinking, so the only solution was a hard reboot :doh:

memtest is running now

I will install the UPC software after memtest is completed… I really have no idea WTF is happening. I changed mainboard, HDD, cables… and this machine is still unstable like a drunk man walking on ice :doh:

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2613712]Not usable sectors will be replaced by spare sectors.[/QUOTE]
Before and after the zeroes writing no bad sectors was shown. The only error I got was when acronis was cloning the disc, but the WD tool full test found no errors in the same sectors that acronis was not able to read :confused:


#10

I think your HDD is okay, but your method of loading the OS is at fault. I have never been a big proponent of Cloning, I believe in loading the OS bring all the updates, then load your Software and Data. So I think if you start from scratch, and try this method you will have a solid, stable Machine. :cool:


#11

In my opinion you still need to do the low level format, it doesn’t matter that the factory has done this already because the disc is having problems and the low level format will help fix them.

If that doesn’t do the trick then I would send the drive out to Western Digital if its still under warranty.


#12

[QUOTE=eric93se;2613888]In my opinion you still need to do the low level format[/QUOTE] Users haven’t been able to perform real low-level formatting on (most) harddrives for many years now, so I’m assuming you mean something else. Perhaps you should elaborate on what you mean by low-level formatting?


#13

[QUOTE=alchav21;2613831]I think your HDD is okay, but your method of loading the OS is at fault. I have never been a big proponent of Cloning, I believe in loading the OS bring all the updates, then load your Software and Data. So I think if you start from scratch, and try this method you will have a solid, stable Machine. :cool:[/QUOTE]
The operative system was installed directly on HDD about a week ago. When I replaced the mainboard I did also a fresh install. The disk has 2 partitions: one for operative system and another for data.

When I cloned the disk with Acronis, the “unreadable” sectors were in the data partition, so I’m assuming that the operative system is healthy.

My guess, actually, is that win 7 is not suitable for 24/7 running. I am considering to install Linux as alternative, but currently every time I tried to install any distro I failed miserably, so I definitely would like to avoid Linux as hell :doh:

[QUOTE=eric93se;2613888]In my opinion you still need to do the low level format, it doesn’t matter that the factory has done this already because the disc is having problems and the low level format will help fix them.

If that doesn’t do the trick then I would send the drive out to Western Digital if its still under warranty.[/QUOTE]

I tried to find a tool for this purpose, but there is nothing officially supported by WD. I’m not sure that is a good idea to use a third part tool. I could seriously kill the disc, and warranty will be voided if I kill the disk with a not official tool.


#14

[QUOTE=geno888;2613952]
I tried to find a tool for this purpose, but there is nothing officially supported by WD…[/QUOTE]Data Life Guard is what you want. Apart from that, the Dragon is roughly 1000% correct about the “low level format” :wink:

Michael


#15

My guess, actually, is that win 7 is not suitable for 24/7 running.

@geno888

I have a dozen computers running Windows 7 Home,Pro. and Ultimate 24/7
Running Folding at Home 24/7 on these computers and been doing it since Win 7 came out.


#16

[QUOTE=geno888;2613952]My guess, actually, is that win 7 is not suitable for 24/7 running.[/quote] It is. It’s not a server of course, but it should not be any problem to run it 24/7. Only in Windows NT and before there was this mysterious bug that the operating system shut down after a certain amount of time.

I am considering to install Linux as alternative, but currently every time I tried to install any distro I failed miserably, so I definitely would like to avoid Linux as hell :doh:
Linux is not that hard and its native drivers are even better than windows 7 native drivers. Configuring, compared to windows, is hell. Perhaps that’s bothering you?

I tried to find a tool for this purpose, but there is nothing officially supported by WD. I’m not sure that is a good idea to use a third part tool. I could seriously kill the disc, and warranty will be voided if I kill the disk with a not official tool.
Even a low level format does not kill any hardware component on the disk.

A low level format of a drive can’t hurt, except for the data on it, no matter how many times you do it.

Another idea: How does the drive perform in another computer, preferably one you know is very stable.


#17

First of all thanks everybody for help :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=mciahel;2613968]Data Life Guard is what you want. Apart from that, the Dragon is roughly 1000% correct about the “low level format” :wink:

Michael[/QUOTE]
This is the tool I used to write all zeroes and to test the disc (both quick and full) :iagree:

[QUOTE=bean55;2613974]@geno888

I have a dozen computers running Windows 7 Home,Pro. and Ultimate 24/7
Running Folding at Home 24/7 on these computers and been doing it since Win 7 came out.[/QUOTE]
There must be something in my machine then. After 3 days the computer becomes unstable, and then I find the machine crashed without any apparent reason. The event viewer shows nothing.

I also tried to make “regular” reboots manually every 2-3 days, but nothing changed. Crashes are totally random and I have no idea what is the cause :doh:

Even if I already tested RAM with memtest, I did only 3 complete cycles. I never tried to run memtest for a couple of days. I’m sure that overheating is not a problem, because there is no cable mess in the case, and there is a 20cm fan in the side panel blowing a lot of fresh air all over the mainboard.

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2613978]
Linux is not that hard and its native drivers are even better than windows 7 native drivers. Configuring, compared to windows, is hell. Perhaps that’s bothering you?[/quote]
Actually yes :o

In every distro I tried there is always something that I’m not able to configure, something different with each distro (for example, what is working out of the box with ubuntu is not working at all in fedora and vice versa).

[QUOTE=Mr. Belvedere;2613978]Another idea: How does the drive perform in another computer, preferably one you know is very stable.[/QUOTE]

I didn’t think to this. How can I check it? Should I fill it with data and run again the full test with WD tool?


#18

I also tried to make “regular” reboots manually every 2-3 days, but nothing changed. Crashes are totally random and I have no idea what is the cause

2 Things that come to mind is mixing different ram or biggest reason for this that I have ran across is the PSU, even new ones have given me problems in the past with Win XP.
Bought new PSU and problem went away.


#19

I’m using a Seasonic S12II 330W in that computer, and when I was using win XP-64 the machine was able to run 24/7 for a long time (I’m not sure 100%, but I think that the longest time running was around 6 months, with a forced reboot after updating the antivirus software, but it was planned, and not caused by a crash).

Win 7 seems a lot more unstable than XP-64.

About RAM, I’m using a 2 GB kit (2 x 1GB).

These RAM are the same I used with the other mainboard with XP-64, so I assume that they are fine (if with XP-64 the machine was able to run 24/7 for 6 months I assume that the RAM are fine).

If I still get failures regularly after 2-3 days, I’ll try Linux, but if also Linux fail, then I need an exorcist :bigsmile:


#20

Different board can create more problems.As soon as you changed the board it became a whole new setup.What worked together before may not now.

My vote would still be the PSU, if you know someone that has an extra that you can try I personally would try.
Just my 3 cents worth after working on computers for several years now.