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Has the Hitachi Deathstar died?

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a b G Storage
August 12, 2012 10:53:26 AM

:hello: 

System: Gateway NV5378u Laptop (NV53)

I upgraded the hard drive in this laptop a few months ago but haven't used it enough to realize anything was wrong with it until recently.

This is a Toshiba made, Hitachi branded 750 GB TravelStar (TOSHIBA MK7559GSXP) The drive is not new.

Currently I have the drive partitioned into 4 parts.
1) Windows 7 Home 64bit NTFS
2) Windows 8 Release Preview 64bit NTFS
3) Kubuntu 12.04 64bit EXT4
4) linux swap

What's happening:
In Windows 7 (my primary partition) I have been getting write delayed errors and blue screens. I ran a chkdsk /r on the volume and replaced some bad clusters, about 3 files worth. the delayed write error is becoming more frequent making the computer unusable. predictably, MS Outlook 2010 causes a BSD. This is a fresh install of Office 2010 on a fresh install of Win7 from the factory restore disks which i know to be good.
So... my natural assumption was the disk is broken. Then I notice Windows 8 runs well with no issues. And Kubuntu.
So i started digging a little deeper and pulled the disk's SMART info and it reports status as good. It passes all tests except i see a whole lot of write delay errors for disk caching.
I have rebooted under Windows 7 and disabled disk caching temporarily to see how that works out. I'd like to run with disk caching enabled, as it improves performance so much.

What say you community?
is the disk broken?
is there a firmware issue?
is there damage to the logic board?
or is this the result of a virus infection from the previous owner? (MSE and ClamAV say no)

More about : hitachi deathstar died

a c 79 G Storage
August 12, 2012 7:39:39 PM

The definitive test for a "suspect" hard drive is to use purpose-made diagnostic software from the drive manufacturer. Since Fujitsu don't appear to have any such software, you can use "Seagate SeaTools" (DOS version recommended, just in case there's a compatibility issue with Windows 8 & it crashes out). Click "Downloads" on this page: http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/
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a c 288 G Storage
August 13, 2012 9:17:51 AM

Did you see any reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors in the SMART info?

BTW, TravelStar and DeskStar are Hitachi trademarks, not Fujitsu/Toshiba.

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a b G Storage
August 13, 2012 11:24:48 AM

fzabkar said:
Did you see any reallocated, pending, or uncorrectable sectors in the SMART info?

BTW, TravelStar and DeskStar are Hitachi trademarks, not Fujitsu/Toshiba.


Yes, I should edit that thank you.

Yes, I saw reallocated sectors.

I found a Toshiba diagnostic tool and will post the results.

So far the system is stable with disk caching disabled, but so frustratingly slow. looking like a win7 issue.
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a b G Storage
August 19, 2012 11:58:51 PM

Update:

Toshiba diagnostic utility reports the drive is good.

I reinstalled windows 7 using the OEM factory restore disks and immediately ran into problems running windows updates (they would install for hours on end before finishing)

Once again Kubuntu installed and updated and runs without any issues.

While scratching my head wondering what was going on I remembered that in the past I've always used the Direct 2 Disk factory restore, which is no longer available as that drive is no longer in the computer. While the install looks identical to the D2D version, it's not. Restore Disks made with Gateway's Factory Restore for the NV53 are no bueno even though they pass Gateway Restore Disk Data Verification checks.

After erasing the drive yet again and installing from an official Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate disk, the system is running, has installed it's updates and has thus far shown me the same excellent performance I got from the Seagate (albeit with a little more noise and vibration than my old whisper quiet Seagate)
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a b G Storage
August 26, 2012 8:48:59 AM

After restoring my backups and rebooting, I was greeted with a SMART error. This drive is toast. RTV! RMA! It's DOA!

(Still, the original Gateway Restore CDs I created when first bought the laptop and the ones created at the time of the upgrade are no good. Law suite anyone?) :whistle: 
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