I have an 2 year old 30g Maxtor HD. I began experience performace issues and lock ups so I restored my ghost image from a DVD. The transfere rate was extremly slow 13-20 meg/min so it took 5 hours to restore my ghost imaige.
After this I received a SMART error on start up so I ran Maxtors powermax and it failed the SMART test. Tech support had me write zeros to the HD which increased performace close to old benchmarks.(only took 40 min to restore ghost imaige this time) However I still receive the SMART error. The condenseding lady from Maxtor tech support told me to disable the SMART notification in my bios and said goodbye.
Frankly I find it insulting that Maxtor would tell me to disable a fail safe feature and hope I'm too stupid to care about my data. The SMART test has saved my data before. I ran some more test and the SMART error lies in the "Reallocated Sector Count" (whatever that means)
Any suggestions on how I might solve this or should I call Maxtor and demand a replacement drive? Thanks for reading :-)
When the HDD finds a read/write error, it will mark this sector as "reallocated" and transfer data to a special reserved area. That's why on a modern HDD you can't see bad blocks while testing the surface - all bad blocks are hidden in reallocated sectors. The more sectors reallocated, the worse the condition of the disk surface.
I would tend to think that if the drive has already been zero'ed out, and S.M.A.R.T still shows the drive as having a high, or an ever increasing number of reallocated or bad sectors, that it is time to RMA the hard drive. Generally, any Maxtor drive I've ever had that caused a S.M.A.R.T error has been near failure, or has already failed.
All drives eventually have bad sectors that are remapped, but my personal opinion is that this really shouldn't begin to become much of an issue until the drive is at least three years old, and even then, should only require more frequent backups, monitoring and full surface scans, until the drive really begins to fail from normal wear-and-tear.
I'd get a new drive, especially if it is still under warranty. The S.M.A.R.T error is sufficient reason for a replacement, especially since the Maxtor diagnostic software clearly showed the problem, and should have given you an error code to be used for the RMA.