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I've just got a new PC, and I fired up SpinRite, so any bad sectors could be found and marked.

It's only about 10% complete (running at level 5), but I already see 9,422,938 "ecc corrected" errors and 202,836 "seek errors". This is a 1 TB drive, so I know the bit density is quite high. But those error counts seem awfully large for a drive that hasn't seen much action yet. Should I be concerned? Should I return the drive and request a replacement?

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ECC errors normal, not really hard errors but error corrections that happen on the fly, there can be millions of error corrections on high density hard drives, that is how they can read and write data without any loss.

If you purchased the software from Gibson Research, there should be documentation that covers this, if not, contact Gibson Research and ask about it.


After further research the high "seek" errors could be a problem, ECC errors are normal for high density drives, but seek errors are not, but can vary from drive to drive, about all you can do is return the drive and get a new one of the same model and size and use it for a while, then re-run spinrite to compare seek error rates, unusually high seek errors will cause the hard drive to run much hotter than normal also. Unfortunately I don't have any statistics on what constitutes "high" seek errors or at what point they reveal a real hard drive problem. Seek errors can also drive up the ECC error count.

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Do you think the count could also be high because the disk has never been formatted and perhaps they don't initialize all of the platter space at the factory? – Scott Chamberlain May 10 '12 at 20:46
Nope, its the firmware doing its job so you don't lose data, normal functioning of a high density drive. – Moab May 10 '12 at 21:02
The disk was formatted - it's in a Dell desktop PC with the OS image burned onto it. @Moab - I know that ecc corrected and seek errors are "normal", but I was concerned about the high number (mainly of ecc corrected). I've run Spinrite many times on many disks, and never seen numbers so high, especially on a brand new drive. – user249493 May 10 '12 at 21:10
No one can really answer this question for you, but Moab's information should be enough to help you. – Xavierjazz May 10 '12 at 21:35
@user249493 The higher the platter density the higher the ecc corrections, last one I did had over 5 million, no problems with the drive and smart data looked excellent. – Moab May 10 '12 at 22:32

I'd say just run the drive. If it performs abnormally poorly then take it back. If it fails just invoke the warranty. Either way you keep backups so you won't lose data. You shouldn't really need to run these type of scans unless you actually have a problem with a drive, just spin them up and go.

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Spinrite was designed for hard drive maintenance, not just sector recovery – Moab May 10 '12 at 21:04
Well, yeah, but part of that "maintenance" was making sure the drive controller knew about bad / unreadable sectors and marked them as such. Spinrite often does a better job of that than the drive firmware itself. – user249493 May 10 '12 at 21:20

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