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I have bought a Hitachi UltraStar 7K3000, a 3 TB internal drive. It was sold not in the box but in some kind of plastic parcel that was closed. Manufactured in Thailand, March 2012 - so it's 6 years old.

How can I check the health of it and if it was used and refurbished?

What I have done before asked the question:

  1. CrystalDiskInfo shows it's new and unused (zero/low values). Can this program deliver wrong information?

    CrystalDiskInfo HDD status

  2. Windows 7 chkdsk: also okay.

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    Seems like you've done all that anybody reasonable can/would do.
    – barlop
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 9:04
  • @barlop so the Information from CrystalDiskInfo is always true? Cannot be manipulated?
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 9:14
  • @barlop and also maybe it it possible to check the health condition of HDD with some additional tools. I mean it was stored for 6 years.
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 9:16
  • Mikro Hard drives can give off what is known as SMART data but a tool to check the health of a hard drive has probably checked that. Can it be manipulated? Well, a hard drive manufacturer would have that kind of knowledge, and if they went rogue then yes they could design a hard drive that gave fake SMART data or adjust an existing hard drive to, but no such situation has ever been reported to my knowledge. And Fortunately such an epidemic doesn't exist. And i've never hard of a single case.
    – barlop
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 9:18
  • Also a google for the existence of such a thing brings up nothing like it.. it brings up a fake anti-virus to fool idiot users into thinking that they can repair their hard drives by fixing the smart data.
    – barlop
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 9:20

5 Answers 5

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The most reliable way is to look at the SMART values, using whatever tool you prefer for your platform. SMART values include Power_On_Hours, which should tell you if the disk is used or not. It will also tell you a lot about the health of the disk.

Tinkering with the SMART values is not impossible, but difficult, and needs insider knowledge about the harddisk controller, which usual means working at the company that produces those harddisks.

Any company being able to tinker with those values will also be able to remove any other traces of refurbishing. So in that case, it's pretty hopeless, but such an amount of energy is usually not spent to dupe customers.

I don't know what kind of information CrystalDiskInfo shows, and you didn't tell us in the question, so I can't comment on that.

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  • I have updated my question with CrystalDiskInfo information
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 13:04
  • CrystalDiskInfo shows the SMART values, and according to the values shown, the disk is new and healthy.
    – dirkt
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 13:07
  • It also shows power on hours at 19 in the upper pane?
    – Moab
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 14:08
  • @Moab yes, it were my test, installations
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 14:28
  • @Moab superuser.com/questions/1428552/…
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 23, 2019 at 10:09
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Did it look something like the below? If so, this is the standard packaging for a hdd to be delivered in. I believe it's just an anti static packaging which is sealed.

enter image description here

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  • Yes - it was this kind of plastic. And was sealed.
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 19:02
  • Then I can confirm that's perfectly normal packaging for a hdd to come in. If it wasn't sealed then I'd be worried. Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 19:17
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You could also try to use forensic tools on the harddisk, to reveal if there was any content on it . Something like sleuthkit or the testdisk tool seems like a good place to start. (Edit: I meant the testdisk not the file tool, sorry)

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  • Thanks! I don't know why someone downvoted you :) I have upvoted.
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 11:49
  • @MikroDel Thx. Strange. It is a perfectly valid answer to you question.
    – TJ_Spark
    Commented Apr 7, 2018 at 17:07
  • Highly unlikely, refurbished drives are usually zeroed. Commented Apr 22, 2023 at 0:19
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Some of these comments are wrong. It's 2023, from what I read in customer hard drive reviews for Amazon, sellers are able to reset the hours count back to zero even when there are damages to the outer hard drive meaning it's used. Some are reporting suspiciously low hours on the drive. The most alarming evidence is how many of the reviews report drives failing after a few months or even DOA. They are sending them out in antistatic bags, and most being sold are server pulls.

You have to do extended SMART tests on them and keep them powered on for 24 hours to weed out obvious failures. And bad blocks or reallocated means to take caution not always that it's going to fail immediately unless the count keeps climbing, crytaldiskinfo tells you, but I'm no expert, do more research

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    Welcome to SuperUser! How is this better than the other answers? Commented Apr 17, 2023 at 16:13
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    What do you mean? It's clearly a much better answer than any other previously, it introduces the reality that it's nowhere near "impossible "to tamper with the SMART data as said in their answers. The reality is used sellers are heinous and will cheat to trick people to make the sale .My response invoked more details by the person commenting after me. Try to read what is said and comprehend it before accusing people that there answers are unhelpful when it's actually extremely helpful. You just don't understand what is being said
    – eksine
    Commented Apr 18, 2023 at 19:24
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You can not rely on the SMART data, and TBH it seems wrong / tampered with in this case. It's common practice to reset SMART on refurbished drives. Specialized hardware allows to do this in bulk.

But anyone can reset SMART on a Hitachi drive with freely available tools. Contrary to common belief this isn't complicated, in fact it is easy.

enter image description here

Since we can find Hitachi technology in other brands too it may work on for example Toshiba's too. This, after a secure erase can make the hard drive appear brand new.

enter image description here

I know for Seagate's it's possible via the terminal port and vendor specific commands that can be send via a standard terminal program.

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  • True. I have found some seller also have done it. It can be rechecked with smartctl. Cause not the complete information is reseted.
    – MikroDel
    Commented Apr 21, 2023 at 20:15

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