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SATA HDD dying?

Last response: in Storage
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August 21, 2010 6:35:37 PM

I have a 60gb solid state drive and a 500gb Hitachi HDD. The HDD lately has been performing very slowly... I try to delete files off it and it won't work. It also often gives "I/O device errors" often.

I tried running check disk on it in command prompt but every time I try it freezes at 5%. Could this drive be faulty? It is still under warranty...

Also I don't know if this is relevant but it just came to mind: The power connector from my power supply to the hard drives (don't know what the term for it is) has multiple connections, and I am using the same one for my HDD and SSD. This doesn't make any difference does it?

Thank you.

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a c 415 G Storage
August 21, 2010 7:15:32 PM

When you say you're using the "same connection" from you're power supply, you don't literally mean the same plug, right? I'm thinking you mean that both plugs are attached to the same wire or the same wire bundle. That's perfectly OK.

Try using a utility such as DiskCheckup to look at the "SMART" error counters for the drive. If you have a lot of reallocated or pending sectors and if the number keeps going up as you use the drive then you definitely have a problem with it.
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August 21, 2010 11:02:17 PM

I downloaded that utility and looked at the SMART attributes, but I don't really know what they mean. Can you interpret this for me or am I looking in the wrong area?




SMART ATTRIBUTES:
ID Description Raw Value Status Value Worst Threshold TEC
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Raw Read Error Rate 0x0000044B031F OK 76 76 16 N.A.
2 Throughput Performance 0x0000000001FB OK 98 98 54 N.A.
3 Spin Up Time 0x0006014C013F OK 118 118 24 N.A.
4 Start/Stop Count 0x00000000067C OK 100 100 0 N.A.
5 Reallocated Sector Count 0x000000000070 OK 100 100 5 N.A.
7 Seek Error Rate 0x000000000000 OK 100 100 67 N.A.
8 Seek Time Performance 0x00000000001E OK 129 129 20 N.A.
9 Power On Time 0x000000001412 OK 100 100 0 N.A.
10 Spin Retry Count 0x000000000000 OK 100 100 60 N.A.
12 Power Cycle Count 0x00000000066E OK 100 100 0 N.A.
192 Power off Retract Count 0x00000000067C OK 99 99 0 N.A.
193 Load Cycle Count 0x00000000067C OK 99 99 0 N.A.
194 Temperature 46 C OK 130 130 0 N.A.
196 Reallocation Event Count 0x000000000071 OK 100 100 0 N.A.
197 Current Pending Sector Count 0x000000000040 OK 100 100 0 N.A.
198 Uncorrectable Sector Count 0x000000000000 OK 100 100 0 N.A.
199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count 0x000000000000 OK 200 200 0 N.A.
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August 22, 2010 12:56:30 AM

^ Everythings OK.
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a c 415 G Storage
August 22, 2010 1:10:28 AM

So according to your "SMART" data you have 70 hex (112 decimal) reallocated sectors (the line starting with "5") and 40 hex (64 decimal) pending sectors (line starting with 197".

The reallocated sectors have gone bad but the drive has been able to move their contents to spare sectors.

The pending sectors have gone bad but the drive hasn't been able to recover the data from them. Every time your system tries to read those sectors, the drive will try it's hardest to read from them, which might take quite a bit of time as the drive tries over and over again. If, after a certain period of time it can't successfully retrieve the data, it will report an error.

It sounds like some of those pending sectors may be in critical areas of the disk such as the master file table, since it freezes up when you try to do various operations. I think you probably have two basic choices:

1) Return the drive for exchange under warranty. You'd definitely want to do this if the reallocated and/or pending sector counts are increasing, as it would probably indicate that the drive is deteriorating.

2) Reformat the drive. If you start from scratch then the drive should use spare sectors for all the ones that have degraded and everything should operate pretty much normally. This may be a viable option if the reallocated & pending sector counts are stable.

Unfortunately neither of these options gets the data back from the pending sectors. You'll have to copy off all of the data you can before either returning or reformatting the drive - any data that can't be accessed is probably lost for good.
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August 22, 2010 1:14:44 AM

^ If replacing, format with military spec erasing. i.e Dod 5220, or Gutmann.
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