I bought a WD MyBook 500GB to back up my two internal drives that I have had for over 4 years each. The backup went smoothly over Firewire at a respectable speed and everything was fine for months and months.
Fast forward to a month ago. I was using the external drive when all of a sudden there was a click and it powered off. I tried turning it back on but it would click on spinup and power off again and again. Obviously this is making me panic as I know that the internal drives that I backed up are going to die any day. I also know that the probability of being able to back up those drives onto another one is lower than ever.
So here I am at the mercy of WD. I know that I absolutely need to be able to access the data on the MyBook. I decided to take it apart and remove the SATA drive within. When I opened it I realized that the hard drive itself was so hot that the metal burned me on contact. Obviously the hard drives should not be so hot that you can boil an egg on them. I thought maybe since my computer has fans blowing at the hard drive bays, I can put the drive inside my computer. For those not familiar with the MyBook external drive, the enclosure has no cooling what so ever.
I was able to put the drive inside my computer and everything was running great, until a couple days ago. I downloaded 20 gigs of data that I needed to transfer to this 500GB drive that I got out of the MyBook. I started the transfer and then saw the approximate copy time was 4 hours. The transfer rate was 1.5MB/s (Megabytes, not Megabits). Obviously this is ridiculously slow over the SATA interface even on the low RPM WD Green drive.
My next move was to try to figure out if maybe there is some issue with Windows 7, or with drivers, or maybe anything else that is creating a bottleneck on the transfer. I did a reboot into Ubuntu with a LiveCD, mounted the necessary drives, and started the transfer. Exact same situation, 1.5MB/s and not a kilobyte faster.
I rebooted back into windows and ran a test on both my main OS drive and the WD drive having this issue. The results are as follows:
OS Drive (Best of 5 Tests, 100MB Test Data Size)
Sequential Read: 49.01 MB/s Sequential Write: 48.28 MB/s Random Read 512K Chunks: 19.51 MB/s Random Write 512K Chunks: 23.97 MB/s Random Read 4K Chunks: 0.298 MB/s Random Write 4K Chunks: 1.132 MB/s
Faulty WD Drive (Best of 5 Tests, 100MB Test Data Size)
Sequential Read: 41.82 MB/s Sequential Write: 1.060 MB/s Random Read 512K Chunks: 25.83 MB/s Random Write 512K Chunks: 1.250 MB/s Random Read 4K Chunks: 0.395 MB/s Random Write 4K Chunks: 1.575 MB/s
Obviously something is horribly wrong. The read speed is completely fine, probably what it always was. The write speed on the other hand is abysmal. What could possibly cause the write speed to slow down so much and not affect the read speed? It is worthy of noting that once the data is written at this very low speed it is written correctly. There is no file corruption. If I run a S.M.A.R.T. Quick Test (Using Western Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostics software), I get this error message:
Quick Test on drive 1 did not complete!
Status code = 07 (Failed read test element), Failure Checkpoint = 97 (Unknown Test)
SMART self-test did not complete on drive 1!
But on the actual main screen of the utility it says that the drive SMART Status is PASS.
That was a lot of information but hopefully someone knowledgeable with Hard Drives can help me with a couple questions.
1. What is going on? Did the heat in the external enclosure damage the drive?
2. Why can I still use the drive without any problems other than a slow write speed?
3. What is going on with this SMART Status and what does that Quick Test result mean?
4. Should I expect this drive to die on me any second?
Pretty much any other input anyone has would be great. I really want to diagnose what happened and unfortunately I don't have that much experience with Hard Drive issues.