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Very sudden harddrive failure/warnings. How and why?

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  • Hard Drives
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
November 26, 2012 1:26:57 AM

Hi, I've consulted this forum many times in the past either for troubleshooting or for some self education but now I actually need some help.
(Mind you, this all came about in one night, It's never happened prior to this)

Hard Drive make/model: Toshiba MK1059GSM (2.5" 1TB) It came preinstalled into my laptop.

To add: The laptop recently underwent a fan and keyboard replacement due to some liquid damage (Repeated water spillage... not the other things you folks could possibly conjure up in your minds)
I should also probably mention that it has a tendancy to power down completely and then power back up after a regular windows showdown. (Using the button in the start menu obviously) So every night I have to give it a hard shutdown.

Scenario: Last night the preinstalled Intel SMART utility (Which was the only real useful program that came with it in the box) decided to tell me that I was going to be subject to hard drive failure. So naturally I googled the problem, downloaded Hard Disk Sentinel, and did a Disk Check with windows. (I can provide logs/screenshots respectively if needed)

Anyway, Disk Check returned no strange errors, no bad records, and 0kb in bad sectors. HOWEVER, Hard Disk sentinel (I ended up randomly selecting Acronis for a second opinion which only gave the same results) Needless to say I ended up with a relocated sector count of a whopping 14,800. (Value=10 but shows up on the charts as 14800) I have no idea how this came about so suddenly, but based on other things I've read, SMART doesn't have a habit of lying. Can anyone shed some light on this?

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a c 459 G Storage
November 26, 2012 8:53:36 AM

The reason that your warning came suddenly is that a SMART failure is only triggered when a critical attribute hits its threshold level. For example, it may be that yesterday the total number of bad sectors was 14792 and that the normalised value of the attribute was 11.

In fact the number of reallocated sectors appears extraordinarily high when compared to other drives. Most manufacturers allow for up to 2000 or so bad sectors before a drive is considered to have failed.

I suspect that the reason for this high number is because yours is an Advanced Format model and that Toshiba is counting each physical 4KB sector as eight 512-byte LBAs. If so, then a figure of 14800 LBAs would equate to 1850 physical sectors.

To test my idea, I found the following threads. All appear to confirm that the raw value of the reallocated sector count is always divisible by 8.

http://www.computerhope.com/forum/index.php?topic=13241...
5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 009 009 010 Pre-fail Always FAILING_NOW 14944

http://www.thg.ru/forum/showthread.php?p=1665523
05 Reallocated Sector Count 10 59 59 6744 OK

http://vozforums.com/showthread.php?p=50695697
05 _97 _97 _10 000000000220 Reallocated Sectors Count

http://city.is74.ru/forum/showthread.php?t=52515&page=4...
5 Reallocated sector count 10 10 10 14840

http://forum.ixbt.com/post.cgi?id=print:4:118307
05 Reallocated Sector Count 10 95 95 920 OK

http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?23177-new-g74s...!/page2
Reallocated Sector Count... Current 96 Worst 96 Threshold 10 Data 672 Status Warning
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November 26, 2012 7:00:24 PM

Welp... That answers a big chunk of the question. Can you (or anyone else) recommend any good replacements? Or at least some brands that'll last me more than 184 power-on days without doing this? (The unit is past warranty in terms of actual days however)

Also, I did mention having to do plenty of hard shutdowns in the first post. Is it possible that those hard shutdowns are what caused the bad sectors (whole or in part)?

Finally, how do I remedy the hard shutdown situation in the first place? I've tried disabling powering back up from any peripherals or hardware failure, in bios, but it still likes to go on and do so anyway. I turn it off regularly and it shuts down to where the light on the power button blinks (usually denoting sleep mode) and then comes back on.
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a c 459 G Storage
November 26, 2012 7:37:41 PM

I can't offer any opinions on reliability, or reasons for failure, but is it possible that some USB device is waking up your laptop? Is there a BIOS setting than turns off standby 5VSB power to your USB ports when you power down?

In fact I have a rogue Microsoft wireless keyboard that immediately wakes up my PC after sending it to sleep mode. ISTM that the keyboard has a firmware bug. It is connected to the PS2 port. FWIW, I have a workaround which I've posted in the following discussion:

See http://groups.google.com/group/alt.comp.hardware.pc-hom...
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November 26, 2012 8:10:37 PM

It has nothing connected to it whatsoever, and when I shut down, I use the shutdown button from the start menu, not sleep, not restart or hibernate, but it still acts like it's sleeping... and won't ever stay asleep. Even with the adaptor and whatnot disconnected it still does the same. (The same is true with the battery out and AC connected) It's really annoying, I tried in a halfhearted attempt to disable what I could but the situation persists, and I don't really know my way around the bios all that well to begin with.
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a b G Storage
November 26, 2012 8:59:54 PM

HDD failures are often without warning. They can happen at any time to any HDD. Back it up and replace it while you can.
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November 27, 2012 6:42:21 PM

Best answer selected by VroomVroom.
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