Alright, so I purchased my Lenovo Thinkpad E560 last year in August. 4 weeks ago, I did a hardware scan that Lenovo provides, and I got several failed tests in the disk drive section. One of them being 'SMART Drive Self Test'. Some quick internet searches told me to quickly back up my data and replace the drive, so I did that.

Went to the shop, and they told me they'll send it to the factory and they will replace the hard drive. Got my laptop back 2 weeks after, did the hardware scan and all seemed fine. Then 2 weeks later, I did the test again, and again it failed at 'SMART Drive Self Test'. Someone recommended me to also get CrystalDiskInfo, so I downloaded that but that didn't return any errors:

CrystalDiskInfo Screenshot

Then I read that someone recommended using GSmartControl, so downloaded that and that did give me some errors:

GSmartControl Screenshot

This definitely doesn't seem right to me.. Should I bring it back to the store? Because my laptop is working fine after all.. I don't really know how to interpret all this data but it doesn't seem that positive to me. Any help is truly appreciated.

Also, I'd like to know what causes these failures? I never dropped my laptop, no water/sand damage, I keep it in a cover to keep the dust away and keep it in a dust free environment. I'd like to know if I'm doing something wrong.

  • 1
    Could be a power supply issue. I would talk with the store again. – eckes Aug 21 '17 at 21:54
  • I'm using the power supply that came with the laptop. I probably will go to the store again! – Alexander Ameye Aug 21 '17 at 21:55

As your CrystalDiskInfo screenshot suggests, you do not own an SSD but an SSHD - that means that it is a conventional HDD with a small SSD-unit inside.

However, that in itself isn't an answer.

As Wikipedia's article on S.M.A.R.T. suggests, the "Reallocation Event Count" (ID #196) is a critical value that shows the total count of attempts to transfer data from reallocated sectors to a spare area. Both successful and unsuccessful attempts are counted.

So the advice to quickly back everything up to another drive is a good one.

As to why your drive is failing: There are many factors as to why it can happen. This research paper from Google and this blog entry from Backblaze (especially the paragraph about "The Bathtub Curve") or Wikipedia's article on Hard disk drive failure give you some hints that while there are some factors such as the count of spin-ups, the (difference) in temperature, and header-parkings, there still is the chance that you simply get a bad drive, or, to cite the Backblaze-blog (emphasis mine):

Reliability engineers use something called the Bathtub Curve to describe expected failure rates. The idea is that defects come from three factors: (1) factory defects, resulting in “infant mortality”, (2) random failures, and (3) parts that wear out, resulting in failures after much use. [...] The theory matches the reality that Backblaze experiences. [...] For the first 18 months, the failure rate hovers around 5%, then it drops for a while, and then goes up substantially at about the 3-year mark.

EDIT: A Power Cycle Count of 76 on 131 hours of on-time seems reasonable, so I would not expect power supply issues to be the reason.

  • The title first said SSHD but then someone suggested to edit it.. Thanks for the extensive error! My warranty is valid for another 12 days so I'm bringing it to the store tomorrow! I'll show them the tests I ran and the results, best case scenario I get a whole new replacement laptop. – Alexander Ameye Aug 21 '17 at 22:51
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    That's only fair! Personally, I'd ask them to only replace the drive (if the rest of your notebook is working satisfyingly) as this should be a matter of minutes, unlike the whole RMA-business (that also can lead to getting back the notebook untouched) - but of course, that also depends on your warranty coverage and on what you want to do. – flolilo Aug 21 '17 at 22:58
  • @floliolilo . The BackBlaze and Google papers are great, thanks for sharing. – Christopher Hostage Aug 21 '17 at 22:59
  • Yup, unfortunately the store itself doesn't replace the drive, but they send it back to Lenovo which takes like a week or 2 weeks :/ it would suck if they 'repair' it and then send it back to me and then for me to find out that it still doesn't work, but then I'm over my 1 year of warranty, but I bought extra warranty through the store I think so things should be fine. This whole experience taught me to back up haha, thanks for the help! – Alexander Ameye Aug 21 '17 at 23:04
  • @ChristopherHostage you're welcome. Additional stats can be found here: Backblaze - Hard Drive Test Data . – flolilo Aug 21 '17 at 23:06

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