Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Recently I received my hard drive (LaCie) that I've sent away for warranty, my disk failed, and I used Palimpsest Disk utility to check if anything was wrong in the S.M.A.R.T Status. And it said that there were a few broken sectors. So the next day, I went to the store and told the story.

4 weeks later I actually got my drive back. The first thing I did was plugging it in and starting the disk utility, and weirdly it showed me pretty much the exact same things, even the values of most tests were the same as they were before when my drive broke. The serial number is different though, but it does show a very peculiar value.

Now I'm wondering, I'm almost sure it's the exact same drive and it still says I've got broken sectors, does it just say that because it has been cached in the drive somewhere while LaCie DID actually fix it? Or should I run the extended self test (which seems to take hours) first?

Also I've tried the smartctl command tool, it says the drive has smart support, but it doesn't show anything, it says that it's enabled, but then it says that it's disabled, picture below


The picture of the Disk utility:

alt text

share|improve this question
tagged "external-harddrive" since you say it's a LaCie; i don't know them to make internals. can be removed if it is an internal drive. – quack quixote May 5 '10 at 20:03
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Since the Reallocated Sector Count shows zero reallocated sectors, I'd try an extended self-test and see if it clears a flag that got stuck for whatever reason. The Powered On and Power Cycles fields seem to indicate that you do, indeed, have a new drive.

It might be the case that your software is caching the value; try uninstalling the software, deleting the installation and data folders, and reinstalling. You could also try to find another separate SMART diagnostics program, or check the drive on a different computer.

Update: I've had trouble getting smartmontools to work with USB drives in the past. Apparently, many USB drives are not properly supported:

Depending on the type of interface being used, some S.M.A.R.T.-enabled motherboards and related software may not communicate with certain S.M.A.R.T.-capable drives. For example, few external drives connected via USB and Firewire correctly send S.M.A.R.T. data over those interfaces. With so many ways to connect a hard drive (SCSI, Fibre Channel, ATA, SATA, SAS, SSA, and so on), it is difficult to predict whether S.M.A.R.T. reports will function correctly in a given system.

share|improve this answer
I've download several smart apps, pretty much all of them indicate that the drive does not have smart support. Smartmontools' smartctl indicates though that the drive has smart support, but I can't put it on, I think I have to rely on the Disk Utility, and do an extended self test using that – Jeffrey Vandenborne May 6 '10 at 18:12
I found several references noting that most SMART utilities support few, if any, USB and Firewire drives. I added an excerpt from Wikipedia to my answer; this might be why smartmontools and other tools aren't working properly. – rob May 6 '10 at 18:32
I think that's the reason why it doesn't seem to work, decided I'm going to get the hard drive out of the case and try if it works using a sata connector, thanks for your answer – Jeffrey Vandenborne May 7 '10 at 12:36

Is it possible that they replaced the circuit board on the drive but didn't "fix" the platters? If so then they likely replaced whichever ROM stores the serial number but the bad sectors would remain.

IMHO: It's not worth "fixing" a bad disk drive for reuse. I would never trust it with data after any type of hardware failure.

share|improve this answer
I've thought about this as well, but I suppose the only way I can make sure is to do an extended test, which is going to take some time, and true, I'm refusing to use it if i still got the bad sector warning. The akward thing is, Disk Utility is the only app I've come across that has smart data support for this drive. – Jeffrey Vandenborne May 6 '10 at 18:10

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .