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Query about online HDD test results

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Anonymous
June 12, 2005 3:32:52 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

I'm trying to get the SeaTools program referred to below to run (HDD
check) but in the meantime can anyone give me any idea how 'serious'
the results below really are? Can't a HDD have a few bad sectors?

"Run: 12/06/2005 11:27:50

Primary IDE Channel : ST380020A
Model: ST380020A
Serial Number: 5GC0KMYD
Capacity: 78.45 GB
Test result: Self-test routine completed with a S.M.A.R.T. alert
error!

The Drive Self-Test has determined that the drive may have one or more
failing sectors. Please run SeaTools Desktop for additional
information about this problem.
Any drive reporting a S.M.A.R.T. error should be considered likely to
fail at any time. You should back up your data from any such drive as
soon as possible. Contact your computer or hard drive vendor to obtain
return information."

Thanks!

--

John Latter

Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to homeostasis) linking Stationary-Phase Mutations to the Baldwin Effect.
http://members.aol.com/jorolat/TEM.html

'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?' Discussion Egroup
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 3:32:53 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

As for severity, it can be anything from minor to imminent failure.
Back up any important data BEFORE running the SeaTools utility.

--
Larry Samuels MS-MVP (Windows-Shell/User)
Associate Expert
Expert Zone - www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
Unofficial FAQ for Windows Server 2003 at
http://pelos.us/SERVER.htm
"John Latter" <jorolat@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message
news:bq3oa1plrhdn0hil45gufg33isp3k40cjm@4ax.com...
> I'm trying to get the SeaTools program referred to below to run (HDD
> check) but in the meantime can anyone give me any idea how 'serious'
> the results below really are? Can't a HDD have a few bad sectors?
>
> "Run: 12/06/2005 11:27:50
>
> Primary IDE Channel : ST380020A
> Model: ST380020A
> Serial Number: 5GC0KMYD
> Capacity: 78.45 GB
> Test result: Self-test routine completed with a S.M.A.R.T. alert
> error!
>
> The Drive Self-Test has determined that the drive may have one or more
> failing sectors. Please run SeaTools Desktop for additional
> information about this problem.
> Any drive reporting a S.M.A.R.T. error should be considered likely to
> fail at any time. You should back up your data from any such drive as
> soon as possible. Contact your computer or hard drive vendor to obtain
> return information."
>
> Thanks!
>
> --
>
> John Latter
>
> Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to
> homeostasis) linking Stationary-Phase Mutations to the Baldwin Effect.
> http://members.aol.com/jorolat/TEM.html
>
> 'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?' Discussion Egroup
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 3:32:53 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 11:32:52 +0100, John Latter wrote:

> I'm trying to get the SeaTools program referred to below to run (HDD
> check) but in the meantime can anyone give me any idea how 'serious'
> the results below really are? Can't a HDD have a few bad sectors?
>
> "Run: 12/06/2005 11:27:50
>
> Primary IDE Channel : ST380020A
> Model: ST380020A
> Serial Number: 5GC0KMYD
> Capacity: 78.45 GB
> Test result: Self-test routine completed with a S.M.A.R.T. alert
> error!
>
> The Drive Self-Test has determined that the drive may have one or more
> failing sectors. Please run SeaTools Desktop for additional
> information about this problem.
> Any drive reporting a S.M.A.R.T. error should be considered likely to
> fail at any time. You should back up your data from any such drive as
> soon as possible. Contact your computer or hard drive vendor to obtain
> return information."
>
> Thanks!

In the old days, a few bad sectors was not a big deal if they appeared and
then stayed at that number (did not grow). Nowadays there is a reserve that
is used to "repair" bad clusters on the fly. When the reserve is used up,
the user finally starts to see reports about their presence. It also means
that the number of bad clusters has been growing over a period of time -
not a good thing.

Most hard drive manufacturers have a reset tool for SMART since there is a
very, very slim chance of it being wrong. However, 99% of the time, the
warning reappears very shortly after the reset. In other words, believe the
SMART report and start preparing for the replacement of that drive.

--
Sharon F
MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Related resources
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 3:32:54 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

Thanks for that Sharon. Many people think they have only one or two bad
sectors. They do not consider the hundred or so that may have already been
swapped out via the self diagnosis procedure.

If I see even 1 bad sector I start planning - now!

--
Regards,

Richard Urban

If you knew as much as you think you know,
You would realize that you don't know what you thought you knew!


"Sharon F" <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> wrote in message
news:o Q9muk0bFHA.2688@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 11:32:52 +0100, John Latter wrote:
>
>> I'm trying to get the SeaTools program referred to below to run (HDD
>> check) but in the meantime can anyone give me any idea how 'serious'
>> the results below really are? Can't a HDD have a few bad sectors?
>>
>> "Run: 12/06/2005 11:27:50
>>
>> Primary IDE Channel : ST380020A
>> Model: ST380020A
>> Serial Number: 5GC0KMYD
>> Capacity: 78.45 GB
>> Test result: Self-test routine completed with a S.M.A.R.T. alert
>> error!
>>
>> The Drive Self-Test has determined that the drive may have one or more
>> failing sectors. Please run SeaTools Desktop for additional
>> information about this problem.
>> Any drive reporting a S.M.A.R.T. error should be considered likely to
>> fail at any time. You should back up your data from any such drive as
>> soon as possible. Contact your computer or hard drive vendor to obtain
>> return information."
>>
>> Thanks!
>
> In the old days, a few bad sectors was not a big deal if they appeared and
> then stayed at that number (did not grow). Nowadays there is a reserve
> that
> is used to "repair" bad clusters on the fly. When the reserve is used up,
> the user finally starts to see reports about their presence. It also means
> that the number of bad clusters has been growing over a period of time -
> not a good thing.
>
> Most hard drive manufacturers have a reset tool for SMART since there is a
> very, very slim chance of it being wrong. However, 99% of the time, the
> warning reappears very shortly after the reset. In other words, believe
> the
> SMART report and start preparing for the replacement of that drive.
>
> --
> Sharon F
> MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 4:40:38 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 07:16:45 -0400, "Larry Samuels" <larry@mvps.org>
wrote:

>As for severity, it can be anything from minor to imminent failure.
>Back up any important data BEFORE running the SeaTools utility.

Thankyou for the tip Larry!

--

John Latter

Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to homeostasis) linking Stationary-Phase Mutations to the Baldwin Effect.
http://members.aol.com/jorolat/TEM.html

'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?' Discussion Egroup
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 4:40:39 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

You're welcome!

--
Larry Samuels MS-MVP (Windows-Shell/User)
Associate Expert
Expert Zone - www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/expertzone
Unofficial FAQ for Windows Server 2003 at
http://pelos.us/SERVER.htm
"John Latter" <jorolat@tiscali.co.uk> wrote in message
news:0p7oa1loodpvoadqh88kqu5h60npn48b96@4ax.com...
> On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 07:16:45 -0400, "Larry Samuels" <larry@mvps.org>
> wrote:
>
>>As for severity, it can be anything from minor to imminent failure.
>>Back up any important data BEFORE running the SeaTools utility.
>
> Thankyou for the tip Larry!
>
> --
>
> John Latter
>
> Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to
> homeostasis) linking Stationary-Phase Mutations to the Baldwin Effect.
> http://members.aol.com/jorolat/TEM.html
>
> 'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?' Discussion Egroup
> http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 5:41:15 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 07:21:36 -0500, Sharon F <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org>
wrote:

>On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 11:32:52 +0100, John Latter wrote:
>
>> I'm trying to get the SeaTools program referred to below to run (HDD
>> check) but in the meantime can anyone give me any idea how 'serious'
>> the results below really are? Can't a HDD have a few bad sectors?
>>
>> "Run: 12/06/2005 11:27:50
>>
>> Primary IDE Channel : ST380020A
>> Model: ST380020A
>> Serial Number: 5GC0KMYD
>> Capacity: 78.45 GB
>> Test result: Self-test routine completed with a S.M.A.R.T. alert
>> error!
>>
>> The Drive Self-Test has determined that the drive may have one or more
>> failing sectors. Please run SeaTools Desktop for additional
>> information about this problem.
>> Any drive reporting a S.M.A.R.T. error should be considered likely to
>> fail at any time. You should back up your data from any such drive as
>> soon as possible. Contact your computer or hard drive vendor to obtain
>> return information."
>>
>> Thanks!
>
>In the old days, a few bad sectors was not a big deal if they appeared and
>then stayed at that number (did not grow). Nowadays there is a reserve that
>is used to "repair" bad clusters on the fly. When the reserve is used up,
>the user finally starts to see reports about their presence. It also means
>that the number of bad clusters has been growing over a period of time -
>not a good thing.
>
>Most hard drive manufacturers have a reset tool for SMART since there is a
>very, very slim chance of it being wrong. However, 99% of the time, the
>warning reappears very shortly after the reset. In other words, believe the
>SMART report and start preparing for the replacement of that drive.

Thankyou for the insight into how things work Sharon :) 

--

John Latter

Model of an Internal Evolutionary Mechanism (based on an extension to homeostasis) linking Stationary-Phase Mutations to the Baldwin Effect.
http://members.aol.com/jorolat/TEM.html

'Where Darwin meets Lamarck?' Discussion Egroup
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/evomech
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 5:41:16 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 13:41:15 +0100, John Latter wrote:

> Thankyou for the insight into how things work Sharon :) 

You're welcome, John. The downside of the lower cost of drives these days
is a shorter warranty time and more frequent failure. A few manufacturers
still offer a decent warranty. If you can get a decent price point with the
additional warranty (catch a good sale) then it would be the way to go.
--
Sharon F
MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 5:41:17 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

"Sharon F" <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org> wrote in message
news:o QeYmC1bFHA.2124@TK2MSFTNGP14.phx.gbl...
> On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 13:41:15 +0100, John Latter wrote:
>
>> Thankyou for the insight into how things work Sharon :) 
>
> You're welcome, John. The downside of the lower cost of drives these days
> is a shorter warranty time and more frequent failure. A few manufacturers
> still offer a decent warranty. If you can get a decent price point with
> the
> additional warranty (catch a good sale) then it would be the way to go.

I do believe seagate give a three year warranty ??.

> --
> Sharon F
> MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Anonymous
June 12, 2005 6:44:05 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 13:25:42 GMT, old jon wrote:

> I do believe seagate give a three year warranty ??.

I think it's 5 for their drives. But you're right in that they are one of
the few companies that offer 3 years or more.
--
Sharon F
MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Anonymous
June 13, 2005 2:01:12 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 09:13:59 -0400, Richard Urban wrote:

> Thanks for that Sharon. Many people think they have only one or two bad
> sectors. They do not consider the hundred or so that may have already been
> swapped out via the self diagnosis procedure.
>
> If I see even 1 bad sector I start planning - now!

You're welcome. I went years without seeing a bad hard drive on my home
systems. Have been replacing them at the rate of one a year on my desktop
PC for the last three years. Never see a bad sectors report. Instead the
SMART warning has cropped up each time. I replace them right away too.

--
Sharon F
MS-MVP ~ Windows Shell/User
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 6:50:43 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 08:15:12 -0500, Sharon F <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org>
>On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 13:41:15 +0100, John Latter wrote:

>> Thankyou for the insight into how things work Sharon :) 

>You're welcome, John. The downside of the lower cost of drives these days
>is a shorter warranty time and more frequent failure. A few manufacturers
>still offer a decent warranty. If you can get a decent price point with the
>additional warranty (catch a good sale) then it would be the way to go.

Here in South Africa, Seagate's standard is 5 years, larney WD models
are 3 years, Hitachi vary by model. One particular distributor offers
only 1 year on HDs (they do Maxtor) and RAM, even though the norm for
RAM is 3, 5 or lifetime warranty. Guess who I don't buy HDs or RAM
from, not matter how "cheap" they are...

Watch out for scams, such as vendors who sell properly-warrantied HDs
but sell them short-warrantied - they are usually the ones selling
cut-price PCs with skimpy HD capacities that have been out of
production for 3 months or more. Where do you think those "new" HDs
come from? Yep, the free warranty-fulfillment HDs that their victims
(sorry, "valued customers") didn't get (but they did).

In fact, familiarize yourself with HD vendor's warranty terms, and
give any resellers who are short of these the third-degree. This
applies particularly to some large OEMs (big brand name PCs) who break
the warranty chain, probably for a $5 discount per HD or something.


By the time you "see" a bed sector, not only have the spare sectors
been used up, but NTFS's fix-on-the-fly nonsense has failed too.
Everything conspires to hide HD failure from you, until the warranty
period is up, even if that may kill your data.

That's just the sort of industry this is :-(

So if something finally does admit things might be a tad wiffy,
BELIEVE IT and lifeboat your data off first, then try for a full image
backup, then do diagnostics - in that order.

BTW, in most cases, a warranty replacement HD is not a new HD, and
even if it is new stock, that Serial Number will only have balance of
the original HD's warranty period. So warranty stock should not be
sold as new, unless with appropriate disclosure and discount.

Sometimes the "refurb" warranty HD is "refurbished" simply by some
cursory "write zeros" test and resetting of S.M.A.R.T. etc. and then
out it goes; you may just be getting someone else's warranty return.



>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
Forget http://cquirke.blogspot.com and check out a
better one at http://topicdrift.blogspot.com instead!
>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
Anonymous
June 14, 2005 6:57:35 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 22:01:12 -0500, Sharon F <sharonfDEL@ETEmvps.org>
>On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 09:13:59 -0400, Richard Urban wrote:

>> Thanks for that Sharon. Many people think they have only one or two bad
>> sectors. They do not consider the hundred or so that may have already been
>> swapped out via the self diagnosis procedure.

>You're welcome. I went years without seeing a bad hard drive on my home
>systems. Have been replacing them at the rate of one a year on my desktop
>PC for the last three years. Never see a bad sectors report. Instead the
>SMART warning has cropped up each time. I replace them right away too.

Some things about S.M.A.R.T.:

1) It's usually disabled in CMOS by duhfault

....so turn it on via the relevant CMOS Setup menus

2) It often misses HDs that are failing

....so don't rely on it alone; suspect a sick HD whenever you have
mouse-freezing pauses with the HD LED unwavering On, and consider any
slowdown/hesitation in DOS Mode surface scanning as proof of failure,
once you have excluded other hardware pauses such as hot CPU, even if
Scandisk shows no outright errors

3) Beware of "easy" vendor S.M.A.R.T. reporting

Use something that shows full detail, not just a "S.M.A.R.T. says it's
OK" summary, and preferably use an objective tool. Interpreting
S.M.A.R.T. report detail can be daunting, though.

I suspect S.M.A.R.T. was a concession driven by HD integrators and
resellers, who took HD vendors to task when HD firmware started
automatically "fixing" (and therefore hiding) defects. It's like a
window retro-fitted into this defect management process, and the fact
that after how many years, Windows still does not natively report
S.M.A.R.T. and OEMs still turn it off by default. tells its own story.



>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
Forget http://cquirke.blogspot.com and check out a
better one at http://topicdrift.blogspot.com instead!
>------------------------ ---- --- -- - - - -
June 15, 2005 8:38:08 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

On Sun, 12 Jun 2005 09:13:59 -0400, "Richard Urban"
<richardurbanREMOVETHIS@hotmail.com> wrote:

>Thanks for that Sharon. Many people think they have only one or two bad
>sectors. They do not consider the hundred or so that may have already been
>swapped out via the self diagnosis procedure.
>
>If I see even 1 bad sector I start planning - now!

I recommend you get Western Digital drives. The fact that Seagate
falls apart is not at all surprising.
--

Map of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy
http://home.houston.rr.com/rkba/vrwc.html

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
--William Shakespeare; Henry VI, Act IV, Scene II
Anonymous
June 15, 2005 9:33:54 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.periphs,microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware (More info?)

>I recommend you get Western Digital drives. The fact that Seagate
>falls apart is not at all surprising.

A few years ago I had the opposite experience.
The company build hundreds of PC based routers
and I handled the drive RMAs.
I remember returning about 70 Western Digital drives
but less than 30 Seagates, and that was
after the company switched to using ONLY Seagate drives
(albeit the cheaper "Medalist" model).

Most hard drive mfgrs make it really easy: I entered the drive's
serial number to the web site and printed the RMA form and label.
But most give back REFURBISHED drives in exchange, which is a raw deal
since we could not sell those to customers: they got only NEW drives.

At home, I've suffered 3 Maxtor drives failing while in use.
I don't care about the rebates and price: I'm going Seagate only now.
Sadly, Staples sells mostly Maxtor, so they have lost my business.
!