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WD Caviar Green 1TB WD10EARS problems

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December 8, 2011 5:22:21 PM

Hello,

I've been having some issues with my WD Caviar Green internal hard drive - and it's only been powered on for 13 days according to SMART data. I've had it for about a year, but I keep it unplugged when it's not being used, to try and preserve it.

Last night, I started backing up my documents onto the Caviar Green (as it's my backup drive), and this morning I proceeded to reinstall Windows 7 on my 500GB Caviar Black OS hard drive. While installing, I found out that the partition on my Caviar green was "misaligned by 512 bytes", so after Windows 7 had finished installing I temporarily copied all the contents of my Caviar green onto my Caviar black so that I could fix the misaligned partition. But after 15 minutes of copying, it threw me a "Cannot read from source file or disk" error for a few small unimportant files. Thinking that this was a minor consequence of a misaligned partition and nothing to worry about, I skipped those files but shortly afterwards it threw me the same error for a lot of my movies. This made me very concerned. Thankfully though, all of my important documents and backups are all right - they're all on my Caviar Black right now, but I've just started to get some "Cannot read from source file or disk" errors with some other things on that drive too, so in the morning I'll get some blank DVDs and burn all of the important stuff, just to be safe.

So to try and identify the problem, I have just booted from one of my Linux LiveCD's. I've opened Disk Utility and according to the SMART data I have 101 pending and uncorrectable sectors, 281 read/write errors and the self-test failed. For a drive that's barely been used, has never been moved or dropped and was fine YESTERDAY, that's very unusual because in my spare computer I have a 5 year old Samsung 80GB hard drive that has been in constant use since new - yet it has no bad sectors, no read/write errors and it flies through the self-tests. It's also unusual that the "pending sectors" aren't being reallocated like they should be. I haven't realized it until now, but my Caviar black has had 2 pending sectors since new last year, and despite being formatted several times they have not been reallocated.

I have been trying to fix this ALL DAY and I have such a headache. I'm almost certain that I'll have to RMA at least the Caviar green, which I don't really want to do as I'm concerned that I wouldn't get a replacement before christmas. Also, the only spare HDD I have is an 80GB PATA one and I can't afford a new one due to the hard drive prices skyrocketing lately.

I would really appreciate somebody's help and advice on this matter. Is it something that will go away after reformatting and repartitioning? Is it my fault for having a misaligned partition all this time? If so, does that mean I won't get an RMA on it?

Thanks for taking your time to read this, any replies or help are very much appreciated! :) 
a c 288 G Storage
December 9, 2011 10:49:05 PM

Which OS did you use to partition the Caviar Green drive? If it was Win XP, then it will have placed the boot sector for the first partition at LBA 63. This is not a multiple of 8, therefore the partition is not aligned. If, OTOH, the partition had started at LBA 64, then it would have been aligned. The difference between LBA 63 and LBA 64 is 512 bytes.

That said, a misaligned partition will not result in data errors. You will only see reduced performance. In fact read speeds should be unaffected, but writes will be significantly slower due to an additional rotation imposed by a read-modify-write cycle.

As for your SMART errors, the 101 pending and uncorrectable sectors are a worry. I wouldn't trust that drive. :-(
December 10, 2011 6:25:15 PM

fzabkar said:
Which OS did you use to partition the Caviar Green drive? If it was Win XP, then it will have placed the boot sector for the first partition at LBA 63. This is not a multiple of 8, therefore the partition is not aligned. If, OTOH, the partition had started at LBA 64, then it would have been aligned. The difference between LBA 63 and LBA 64 is 512 bytes.

That said, a misaligned partition will not result in data errors. You will only see reduced performance. In fact read speeds should be unaffected, but writes will be significantly slower due to an additional rotation imposed by a read-modify-write cycle.

As for your SMART errors, the 101 pending and uncorrectable sectors are a worry. I wouldn't trust that drive. :-(


Thanks very much for your reply! :) 

It's good to know I haven't screwed up the drive by having a misaligned partition, thanks for explaining that to me. I used Ubuntu Linux's Disk Utility to partition the drive, it was an old version IIRC and it probably didn't support partitioning advanced format drives.

The other day I phoned my computer shop, explained the problem and they agreed to RMA it - unfortunately though they can't give me a replacement because of the thailand floods. They really can't afford to replace it, as they only have a few of those drives left and can't get any more in - which is understandable. So the best they can do is give me a refund of what I originally paid for it, which is better than nothing.

So for now, I'm using my old spare Seagate 80GB and 250GB drives, which will be fine until I get a new drive next year. That said, could you recommend me any particularly reliable or quality hard drives please? This experience has soured me on Western Digital drives and I'm not sure whether I should care about the horror stories with other brands.

Thanks again for your reply, have a nice day!
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a b G Storage
December 4, 2012 1:10:41 AM

theneomaster said:
Thanks very much for your reply! :) 

It's good to know I haven't screwed up the drive by having a misaligned partition, thanks for explaining that to me. I used Ubuntu Linux's Disk Utility to partition the drive, it was an old version IIRC and it probably didn't support partitioning advanced format drives.

The other day I phoned my computer shop, explained the problem and they agreed to RMA it - unfortunately though they can't give me a replacement because of the thailand floods. They really can't afford to replace it, as they only have a few of those drives left and can't get any more in - which is understandable. So the best they can do is give me a refund of what I originally paid for it, which is better than nothing.

So for now, I'm using my old spare Seagate 80GB and 250GB drives, which will be fine until I get a new drive next year. That said, could you recommend me any particularly reliable or quality hard drives please? This experience has soured me on Western Digital drives and I'm not sure whether I should care about the horror stories with other brands.

Thanks again for your reply, have a nice day!



Hi,

You really should take a look at this as well: http://community.wdc.com/t5/My-Book-Live/Very-high-Load...

and install idle3-tools: sudo apt-get install idle3-tools

Here's how to use it: http://idle3-tools.sourceforge.net/

If you don't want to kill your drive prematurely, you really want to install it!

Good luck!

Irene

!