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Health of new Caviar drive & load/unload (idle time) setting

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February 26, 2012 3:08:15 PM

Just purchased a new WD20EARX Caviar Green to use mostly for backups of all my various hard drives (photos, music, videos, etc). Having read that there are issues with the idle time being set at 8sec, I took a look at the S.M.A.R.T. values. Figured get a baseline and monitor for awhile to see if need to up the setting (5 minutes appears a common recommendation). Being a backup drive that's not always going to be in use/connected, not sure how concerned I need to be, but thinking better safe than sorry. Make sense or a needless concern in getting the longest life from it?

In using Active @Hard Disk Monitor trial to view the values, I was curious to see the "Health Status" showing 87%. It appears to mirror the spin-up time value and I'm wondering why? Here's the screenshot:



Curiously enough, restarting the drive and immediately rerunning Active @Hard Disk monitor, the health now is 91% with the spin-up rate mirroring this. I can understand if the spin-up is very slow it could be a sign of impending problems. And possibly it's faster now since it just had been "running"?

Also had read that the S.M.A.R.T values for unload/load cycle count may not get updated properly for this drive - but have seen others listing their values. Should I be monitoring it with Speedfan, Passmark's Disk Checkup, or another tool instead? Will have to change anyway if I continue past the trial period on Active's tool...

Any thoughts on the idle time setting, worrying about Health Status, and which to use to monitor the load/unload values is much appreciated!


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a c 119 G Storage
February 26, 2012 4:22:40 PM

I have a WD Veloceraptor that I use for basicly the same purpose as whqat you are doing. I don't have it monitored and it is very seldom acessed but is used as a Windows backup. It just sits there and is ready to be used whenever I do go in there and I have not had any issues whatsoever. I don't leave my computer on 24/7 and it is shut down at night. I have had this drive being used this way for at least a year now maybe more. Disk management does report it as a healthy partition and it does respond quickly whenever it's acessed so as a backup a drive will just sit there and wait to be used and I don't think you have to be constantly worrying about the condition but rather just check at least once a week.
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February 29, 2012 9:28:06 AM

Thanks and would have replied sooner - I was doing some testing on the new Caviar Green drive. Using Windows 7 Home Premium I'd formatted it using the default 4k sector size. After doing some of the health checking, etc. I noticed errors on the disk showing in my event log. Ran WinDlg and it failed both the quick and extended tests. After the extended, I let try and repair the bad blocks but couldn't do that. So looks like it's on its way back to Best Buy (part of the reason I bought one from there - easier return than shipping back). Have to love it having bad blocks from day 1!

Just wonder whether to try and get one that tests clean or find another model. Have read recommendations of going with the black vs the green, but don't for 2TB it's out of my price range. May have to go with another and test it solidly though no guarantee it won't stay dependable...

Any thoughts?
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a c 119 G Storage
February 29, 2012 8:10:50 PM

Since they don't tell you that the drive has bad sectors or errors on the drive all you can do is get the drive home and test it quickly so if it is bad you can get it right back to the store. I would try the WD Caviar Black drive , they do seem to be very popular.
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March 4, 2012 9:20:27 AM

Again thanks inzone! I agree 100% the WD Black is the better way to go, but at the moment can't justify paying about $250 for it. I know track record and dependability should be first and price second for backups, but... Instead I will make sure I have a second backup on another drive of all my "can't lose" items.

I returned the bad Caviar Green and found they had one Seagate Barracuda Green 2TB in stock for $119.99. So I'll give that a go and see how it fares. Similiar to the WD Green on reviews and track records I've read but it is $35 cheaper with tax.

One curious thing in talking with Geek Squad I'd never heard before, they will replace the drive any time it fails within its 5 yr warranty w/the original receipt. Sounded like they'd replace it on the spot. While I suspect they will actually RMA it for me and I wait for a replacement if it fails in the next 5 years, still sounded better than I expected. Thought I'd have to send it in myself and all... Being the pessimist, I can see myself bringing it in and getting a blank stare and hearing "I'm not sure why you were told that..."? Anyone else hear or encounter this?

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a c 119 G Storage
March 5, 2012 2:32:58 AM

I have encountered a similar thing with another type of store and the dael was if I purchased the store extended warranty they would take care of everything and the manufacturer would not be involved.
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March 6, 2012 11:33:28 AM

inzone said:
I have encountered a similar thing with another type of store and the dael was if I purchased the store extended warranty they would take care of everything and the manufacturer would not be involved.



When I have time, will have to ask again and see what response I get. Nothing was said about an extended warranty, but that seems logical. That's why this sounded too good to be true!

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March 13, 2012 9:56:08 AM

Best answer selected by wha2do.
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a b G Storage
March 13, 2012 11:09:21 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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