I've got this Seagate ST3320620AS and it is reporting the following SMART error
ID Attribute Description Threshold Value Worst Data
0A Spin Retry Count 97 94 94 0
Pre-Failure: Imminent loss of data is being predicted
The error is reported in Everest, Spinrite, Seatools (DOS and WIN) and in Speedfan. So the SMART data is certainly valid, however the drive is functional and passes thorough chkdsk, seatools short/long generic tests and a defrag. No bad sectors or anything like that, just this one SMART error.
The problem actually happened after a Battlefield 3 crash, the drive has about 150GB of games on it, lol, but otherwise is just used for secondary storage, The drive is accessible in XP and 7. Windows 7 initially reported the error right after Battlefield 3 crashed. Win 7 didn't crash, just the game.
I can't help but wonder if the drive is okay and this SMART error is , well.... erroneous.
If you look at what that SMART error actually means, it makes sense that it wouldn't have bad sectors as it's not referring to that as the issue. Sounds like it's having trouble spinning up the disk, but once its running I guess it's operating normally. Hopefully it's still under warranty.
"Spin Retry Count
Count of retry of spin start attempts. This attribute stores a total count of the spin start attempts to reach the fully operational speed (under the condition that the first attempt was unsuccessful). An increase of this attribute value is a sign of problems in the hard disk mechanical subsystem."
Actually one of the diagnostic tools suggested that the drive may have issues reading from certain areas of the disk, I don't recall which, but it's academic, I am actually interested in if SMART error data can be just wrong at times; falsely induced?
BTW, the drive is under warranty so its a no brainer to replace, but that's not what I am interested in for the purposes of this post.
SMART errors can be invalid. A bad sata cable will sometimes show CRC or other errors, but these are usually on the data related SMART parameters, not physical parameters such as spin retry count. I'd imagine those can be invalid too somehow, but I don't think I'd chance it on a mechanical error.
To play it safe, I'd backup the contents of the drive and RMA it.