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About to RMA a failing hard drive that is now working

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June 18, 2012 7:55:10 AM

WD 750GB 2.5" Scorpio Black, coming up with bad sectors and blue screens. WD Data Lifeguard stopped mid way through extended test saying too many bad sectors.
Started RMA process with WD and gave credit card details so that they could send me a replacement drive ahead of me sending the old one back. If I fail to send the old one back within 30 days, I get charged $120.
New drive arrived and installed.
I then proceeded to wipe the old drive prior to sending it back; I used a 3 stage process.
The old drive now passes the Data Lifeguard extended test!

What do do? Is the old drive now OK? or do I send it back under the RMA anyway?

I could just keep the old drive and be chartged the $120, and thus have a spare drive.

Another twist: The old drive warranty was to 2017. The new drive warranty is only to 2013.

Oh, what to do, what to do...........
June 18, 2012 3:48:05 PM

When a disk passes the Extended test, it doesn't mean that its ok.

You have to know that when a Hard Drive detects a Bad Sector while performing a full scan test or when reading/writing files, it automatically marks the sector "Bad" and re-allocates it to the spare space on the disk. The spare space is usually 60-120MB.

So if the sector is re-allocated, windows cannot access it anymore, neither WD Data Lifeguard. So that can explain why your Bad Sectors "Suddenly" Disappear.

Try a SMART Monitor Program like Hard Disk Sentinel (Free to try 30 days)
or a Free alternative : Active@ Hard Disk Monitor
http://www.ntfs.com/disk-monitor.htm

Check for "Reallocated Bad Sectors" or something similar, and check the Drive's Health Status.

If I was you, I would send the drive to RMA anyway, then buy a super cheap 70$ 500GB drive at Newegg.com
Like this one : http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

-Hope it helps! :) 
Bloc97
June 22, 2012 3:10:00 PM

Thank you Bloc97.

I used Hard Disk Sentinel and performed a Reinitialize disk surface action. The result is zero everything in terms of damage, bad blocks, reallocated sectors found, spin retry errors found, new reallocation events found, new pending sectors found, and new off-line uncorrectable sectors found. All zero apart from 10,000 good blocks.

I am at a loss now with this drive. Anyone with any thoughts?
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a c 123 G Storage
June 22, 2012 5:44:47 PM

I'd send it back anyway, the warranty change is a bit odd though, but I'd rather have a drive that is more likely to not fail than a longer warranty in case it does.
a b G Storage
June 25, 2012 11:33:34 AM

FYI, I just received a replacement drive under RMA from WD, it was refurbished and it only lasted about 60 days. Now neither drive works AND they still charged me the RMA value of the drive which I am disputing.

I would go out, buy another drive (Seagate etc) and copy your data over, THEN RMA the WD drive and hope your replacement is okay, but always be suspect of it. Maybe only use it for backups or non-critical data.
a c 123 G Storage
June 25, 2012 2:22:38 PM

canadian69 said:
FYI, I just received a replacement drive under RMA from WD, it was refurbished and it only lasted about 60 days. Now neither drive works AND they still charged me the RMA value of the drive which I am disputing.

I would go out, buy another drive (Seagate etc) and copy your data over, THEN RMA the WD drive and hope your replacement is okay, but always be suspect of it. Maybe only use it for backups or non-critical data.



That is the thing I have about warranty replacements, they are almost never a new item. I have had the same issue with monitors that got replaced only to have the replacements go bad soon after.
a b G Storage
June 25, 2012 2:45:09 PM

Yep, had the same thing happen with power supplies too. I just love it when I RMA something (for myself or a client) and get some old POS refurb to replace it. Very disappointed with WD. The idea that you can keep giving people refurb products that fail and that they will continue to buy your products is delusional.
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