Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Are my hard drives OK health-wise?

Last response: in Storage
Share
December 15, 2012 10:46:28 PM

I've just installed various S.M.A.R.T. monitoring utilities onto a couple of laptops, and they are giving conflicting results for both hard drives.

Here's a screenshot of the utilities on my ThinkPad T60, which has a 3 year old hard drive:
http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/505/t60smart.png

As you can see on the top left and bottom right, PassMark DiskCheckup and Acronis Drive Monitor both say that all the SMART values are OK. On the bottom you can see the analysis of the drive from hddstatus.com (launched from the SpeedFan program) - it says all the SMART attributes are good, but notes that the drive has been powered on a lot and is becoming old. Then on the top right is GSmartControl, which is complaining about a bunch of the SMART attributes. If I mouse-over the ones in pink, it says "Warning: The drive has a failing old-age attribute. Usually this indicates a wear-out. You should consider replacing the drive." If I mouse-over the ones in red, it says "ALERT: The drive has a failing pre-fail attribute. Usually this indicates a that the drive will FAIL soon. Please back up immediately!"

So which program should I believe here? Is the drive OK or should I replace it?

Now here's a screenshot of the utilities on my MacBook Pro, which has a 1 year old hard drive:
http://img11.imageshack.us/img11/9241/mbpsmart.png

As you can see on the top left, PassMark DiskCheckup says that all the SMART values are OK. In the middle, GSmartControl has flagged a couple of the Reallocation values, and if I mouse-over each one, it says that "The drive has a non-zero Raw value, but there is no SMART warning yet. This could be an indication of future failures and/or potential data loss in bad sectors". On the bottom you can see the analysis of the drive from hddstatus.com (launched from the SpeedFan program) - it says all the SMART attributes are good, but notes that there are 15 reallocated sectors. Then on the right side is Acronis Drive Monitor, which says the Reallocated Sector Count is a "Fail" and the Reallocated Sector Events is a "Degradation". On the Disk Overview tab it tells me "Reallocated Sectors count S.M.A.R.T. attribute reported bad block on the drive. Increasing number of bad blocks may be an indicator of imminent drive failure. In this case frequent backup and hardware replacement is recommended."

So that drive has had 15 reallocated sectors, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Don't most hard drives have reallocated bad sectors when they are shipped brand new from the factory? I'm not sure I need to replace that drive, as Acronis Drive Monitor is recommending.
a b G Storage
December 15, 2012 11:15:38 PM

Some softwares are just fack.you are try thai in fack software that said buy pro edition to fix all isseus. iam try this software 3years ago same issue that give alert box to backup hdd. i am uninstalled the software the laptop hdd work fine without any single error it is 6years old.iam reinstall os not get any issue.
so reinstall os if any bluescreen error occured and drive error comes the hdd is not working.
a b G Storage
December 15, 2012 11:21:23 PM

Fill the hdd with full of movies or anything.then restart play all files if any file said corrupted at that place the hdd sector has failed.
Quick Solution: if u hear any scratch sound in hdd the hdd is failed otherwise no problem.
Related resources
a c 129 G Storage
December 15, 2012 11:31:42 PM

i worked with hard drives for years at a large storage vendor. all drives have a defect list called a plist. as drive age parts of the drive will go bad. those parts are added to what called a glist. a warning that the drive having head issues is when the glist starts getting bad sectors all over the drive. when smart warning flags you for glsit errors. the two smart software you posted have to take there warnings with a grain of salt. yes it warning you your drive is aging but it not showing and spin up or retry errors of drives that are going bad. if any of the columns were not all zeror in the read fields then i would think about replacing the drive before it failed. the only thing i would do with an older system with a older drive is make sure i had a back up of the drive data. there a lot of free online backup services out there. old drives will fail in three ways..the good failure is the berring starts going...you hear it as a high pitch whine..these failures give you time to order a drive and swap it out. the second it the drive controller fails...the drive fails to spin up or spins up and down...if your lucky you can find a replacement logic board and your data still there. most time these failure are hard. the last is the spindle motor/heads...the dreaded clicking of death. sometime you can tap a drive or chill it and get the data off.
a c 156 G Storage
December 15, 2012 11:43:08 PM

The first drive does not seem to have a problem. No reason why it is show 0 reallocated sectors and seek errors as bad. I do not see any problems with that drive.

The one with relocated sectors(your drive called APPLE HDD) could be a problem for sure(15 reallocated sectors), but the first one seems to show as being ok.

You can also use CrystalDiskInfo(nice and fast) to read smart DATA, but it should be the same.
http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-...
HD tune(the free non pro. If you try pro do NOT use the write test as it erases a drive) has an option to scan a full drive for errors as well. takes a while.
http://www.hdtune.com/download.html
December 16, 2012 4:17:34 AM

Thanks for the replies, guys.

Good catch Trinity Alex - GSmartControl must be having a problem getting the SMART values so I'll disregard it for that drive. Also, I do have sleep mode disabled on all my computers because I don't want downloads to be interrupted.

I'll also make sure to check the APPLE HDD periodically to see if those reallocated sectors ever increase.
a c 309 G Storage
December 16, 2012 6:02:04 AM

I notice that the first drive has recorded 970,919 load/unload cycles, and the normalised value of the attribute is at 3. This would suggest that the drive is rated for 1 million load/unload cycles, and that it loses one point for each 10,000 cycles. Some people are concerned by this behaviour and try to mitigate it by adjusting their power management settings or reconfiguring their drive's internal APM setting.

On average your drive is parking its heads every ...

17885 x 60 / 970919 = 1.1 minutes

Your other drive parks every ...

899 x 3600 / 207320 = 15.6 seconds

One other thing to know is that Hitachi's raw data are multi-byte values, so a value of 77309411329 for the Spin Up Time is best viewed in hexadecimal ...

77 309 411 329 = 0x0012 0000 0001

http://www.google.com/search?&q=77309411329+in+hex

Therefore the Spin Up Time looks to be either 0x0001 or 0x0012, whatever that represents.

Similarly, the Power Off Retract Count appears to be 4 or 195 (= 0xC3):

12779524 = 0x00C3 0004

You can do the same thing for the "Apple HDD".

94 489 280 514 = 0x0016 0000 0002

Notice that GSmartControl reports a raw value of 2 for the same attribute.

The Power Off Retract Count also looks better in hex:

8 589 934 596 = 0x0002 0000 0004

One attribute that would concern me would be the Hardware ECC Recovered. It is sitting at the threshold level. This would normally indicate a serious problem.

It doesn't look much better in hex:

293 605 744 = 0x0000 1180 1170
December 16, 2012 6:17:29 AM

fzabkar: Can a hard drive park its heads even if it doesn't go to sleep? Because I have configured my computers to NEVER turn off the hard drive. I read if you configure the computer's power options to not turn off the hard drives, that should increase their life since there will be less wear and tear.
a c 309 G Storage
December 16, 2012 6:26:59 AM

Hard drives have their own internal APM settings. If the drive senses no activity within a certain idle timeout period, it autoparks its heads.

Your computer's power management settings merely prevent the OS from issuing an ATA Standby or Standby Immediate command to the drive. That's a different thing altogether.

CrystalDiskInfo should report your drive's current APM setting.

BTW, the two drives are rated for 1 million cycles, not 100,000 as I first wrote.
December 18, 2012 6:30:17 AM

Oh I have one more question - since the APPLE HDD drive has some reallocated sectors, does that mean that drive lost data? Or is it possible to have reallocated sectors without losing any data?
a c 309 G Storage
December 18, 2012 8:15:31 AM

If a sector cannot be read, then it will be flagged as "pending reallocation". If the drive subsequently manages to read it, then it will be reallocated with the original data intact. Otherwise the drive waits for new data to be written to that sector, in which case it knows that the original data are no longer of any value. It then writes these new data to a spare sector, and removes the original sector from service.

So, the answer is that reallocation never results in data loss.
December 18, 2012 1:31:52 PM

So what happens if I have a spreadsheet stored on some bad sectors and I open the spreadsheet and the drive can't read those sectors. Does the drive just return bad data? Then if I save the spreadsheet, the sectors will be reallocated and the bad data gets saved? I would consider that to be "data loss".

Also, is the "Uncorrectable Sector Count" SMART attribute an indicator of data loss - meaning that if it's zero then no data was lost?
!