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HDDlife reads 'spin retry count' as 45% while the RAW value is 0.

Last response: in Storage
a b G Storage
February 13, 2012 8:36:40 PM

Hello experts :) 
I installed HDDLife on my windows 7 laptop (HP Probook 4530S).
Every other attribute is at 100%, but the 'spin retry count' is at 45% (RAW value=0).
I read somewhere on the internet that an increase in the RAW value of spin retry count indicates a failure in the drive's spindle mechanism.
Then how come I have a RAW value of '0' and a status of 45%?
A RAW value of zero indicates there's no spin-retries, the drive spins up in the first attempt, doesn't it? Shouldn't the status be 100% as well? or in other words, for the status to be 45%, shouldn't the RAW attribute have a positive non-zero value?
I'm confused. Please advice;
And i almost forgot, happy valentines day everyone :-)
February 13, 2012 10:15:01 PM

Who is the manufacturer of your hard drive? It might be a good idea to search for some diagnostic tools specific to that manufacturers drives and run those. If manufacturer diagnostics don't report anything sketchy, I wouldn't worry about it too much.

I can't personally comment on the RAW value though, so hopefully someone more knowledgeable can fill you in on that, but if I was in this situation, this is what I would do.
a b G Storage
February 14, 2012 8:42:34 AM

Hello Genericuser, thanks for your reply :-)
According to the 'device manager', my HDD is a '320GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache 2.5" SATA 3.0Gb/s Internal Notebook Hard Drive'.
I didn't run a toshiba tool to check the disk's health, however, i ran a chkdsk, it said 'no problems found'. Next, before the system boots up, if I keep tapping on the 'ESC' key, I get into something like a 'bre-boot menu'
Form there, if i tap F6, it launches a 'HP Diagnostics' application. From this diagnostics thing, i ran a HDD burnin test, a short DST, and a full DST, It said 'HP self-diagnostics didn't find any problems with your computer. If you believe this is an error, contact HP Technical support for more assistance.
Should i still look for a toshiba diagnostics tool? I've always used HP computers, got no clue where to find toshiba utilities (it's not there in the HP support website).
This laptop is just about 3 months old, and is covered by warranty for a year. I'm not facing problems with the computer at all, windows7 is rock steady, it's never crashed on me, not even once, but i just want to make sure the HDD is not faulty before the warranty expires. And i'm still waiting for some clue as to what's up with HDDLife, how come the RAW is zero and status is only 45%?
Thanks again
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February 14, 2012 5:55:01 PM

I did a bit of reading on the raw value applies in your case. From what I have found, the raw value ends up meaning completely different things depending on who made the drive. The utilities will "normalize" the raw value in different ways, to make it "easier" to read. For example, when looking at my hard drive for the spin retry count value, I have a raw value of 0 as well, but my normalized value is actually 100, which is the "best" with this program, and the threshold is 97, meaning if it goes below 97 I have reason to worry. However, it still means 0 times it's failed to spin on it's first time and needed to retry.

You asked why the value doesn't go up when it first spins up, it's because the value will only increase if it fails to spin up and needs to retry it. The actual first spin up attempt is recorded in a different S.M.A.R.T (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) value, which is what we're talking about (S.M.A.R.T values).

Anyways, enough with the history lesson and back to your primary concern: why does the raw value read 0 and the percentage read 45%? To be honest, I'm not sure. Different programs will report that raw value of 0 in different ways. For some reason the program you are using is interpreting it at 45%. I have never personally used a program that reports percentages so I can't compare. A good bet would be to look at the drive with a few other utilities and see if they still report a raw value of 0 (they should if nothing is wrong), and consider the "percentage", or normalized value irrelevant.

Now to my main point: If the raw value is reporting 0, it is reporting that 0 times it had needed to retry a spin after failing on the first spin up attempt. This value would take precedence and be considered the "right" value and to trust. I would consider the drive fine, but you can look at the drive status with different programs to be sure.

However, if you want to run drive-specific diagnostics as a final double check, you are going to need to figure out the manufacturer of your drive. You can either look in the BIOS and Google the random jumble of letters and numbers, use a drive utility and it should probably give the same serial number or it may even out right tell the manufacturer. Lastly you can power down the laptop, take out the battery, then take out the hard drive and look at the label on that. Manufacturers will include Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba, Hitachi, etc. Google that specific companies diagnostic tools and run those. If they still don't report anything wrong, then I don't think you need to worry.

Sorry for the long read, but I wanted to be thorough. I don't know why a raw value of 0 is normalized in that program as a 45%, but if the raw value is still 0, I wouldn't worry about it.

Some good readings I came across:
a b G Storage
February 17, 2012 11:37:58 AM

Best answer selected by the_substitute_teacher.
a b G Storage
February 17, 2012 11:49:16 AM

hello Genericuser :) 
thanks for your help buddy :) 
my hard drive is a 'toshiba MK3261GSYN'
tried the HP diagnostic test, next tried seatools for windows, and finally the 'Acronis Drive Monitor'
All these tests returned 'disk health 100%, disk performance: Excellent'
I guess the HDDLife software i used initially was returning wrong results :) 
You've been very helpful, i really appreciate your patience with me :) 
And for everyone else reading this thread in future, i'd suggest use seatools for windows and the acronis drive monitor to get proper SMART values. HDDLife is flawed, don't rely on HDDLife results :) 
Thanks again Genericuser, best answer :)  (and the links you provided are excellent)

February 18, 2012 4:55:44 AM

Not a problem, glad I could help!