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I have an external hard drive I used for backups a Seagate 5TB ST5000DM000.

It started having issues so I did a surface test and discovered over 20000 bad sectors (all in one spot so obvious drop). Anyway, I bought a new drive and cloned for a second drive so all good about the data.

Then I decided to wipe the drive, so it would re-allocated the bad sectors and then do a one time backup and just put it away, just in case.

However, the wipe seems to have wiped all SMART data on the drive and its ability to even keep track of bad sectors or other metrics?

Screenshot of smart data

Here is what Crystal disk info gives, almost nothing.

I did a full disk wipe, not just a partition wipe. I did try restoring the disk from a backup of it being new but this state still remains.

Is there any way to restore the SMART capability?

(The drive does work, but slower, and it seems that it cannot remember bad sectors and often sees write errors.)

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  • You can't "fix" a drive when it breaks down. That drive is totaled.
    – harrymc
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:35
  • I know I can't actually fix it, but the SMART data was intact and worked normally before I wiped. I am just looking to get it back to that state, so it says something like relocated sector count 20000, instead of just being empty,
    – MichaelE
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:38
  • The disk is just going from bad to worse, which is to be expected when it breaks down.
    – harrymc
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:41
  • Common, the disk itself does not matter. The question is how did I wipe the SMART data. And most importantly how can I restore it or prevent it from happening on another perfectly functional drive. Could be something with Seagate setup, such that it shows more than 2TB on all machines?
    – MichaelE
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:46
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    S.M.A.R.T is a function of the firmware, it is not possible for the drive to be in its current condition, due to it being formatted. In other words, the drive has simply failed and has nothing to do with the format.
    – Ramhound
    Aug 1, 2018 at 18:48

2 Answers 2

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Wiping the disk only touches upon the data of the disk and does not affect the firmware. The firmware is usually baked into the chip on the disk and cannot be changed, since it is usually also encrypted and digitally signed, so is well-protected against hacking.

Once a disk starts dying, there is no way to fix it, the disk has just reached its end of life. Sometimes the disk errors have to do with spots on the disk losing their magnetism, and that problem can be fixed by either a slow (not quick) reformat of the disk to renew the magnetism - the data itself may possibly be saved by products such as are listed in this answer.

The only way to keep your data safe is to have a backup on another disk, since for two disks to fail at the same time is unlikely. Keep also an eye on the S.M.A.R.T. indicators of the disk(s), which may give an early alert of problems.

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I must strongly disagree with the responses on this question.

I have MANY drives in my PC's. I have a 4TB WD Purple used for security cameras. Suddenly it stopped reporting S.M.A.R.T. data. CrystalDiskInfo sees all other drive smart data just fine. This purple drive is used 24/7/365 to record every minute of 6 1080p cameras and one very high resolution camera. Note that the drive reported no errors until the SMART data stopped reporting. I ran every test on the hard drive using many types of extensive hard drive testing programs. It has been running 24/7 at 90% disk space utilization for more than two years like this since the SMART data disappeared without a single indication of problems besides the missing reporting data. Even with all the camera streams the drive utilization ranges only 3%-7%. I was going to swap one of my WD Gold drives with the Purple drive years ago, but I am certain the drive is fully functional and not dying as most suggest here. I've written emails to WD on a few occasions and never receive a reply. This is odd because I have a couple dozen drives registered with them which are within warranty period, including 5 WD Gold drives ranging from 10-18TB and as many WD RED drives and some BLACK drives. I'm a pretty good customer. For some reason they were always responsive in the past and this question draws silence.

Oddly, using my developed Google Fu I have been unable to find any other reports of this issue.

SMART data is a function of the firmware. If the firmware was corrupted I would expect issues with using the drive. SMART data is nothing more than reporting stats. It has no bearing on the health of the drive but to report the health.

I would not base a drives health on the lack of SMART data. This drive will likely last many more years. This particular PC I built in Jan 2010 and until last year it was running three WD Velociraptor 10,000rpm 300GB drives in RAID 0 striped for the system drive. These drives were running perfectly after 10 years nonstop use. High end WD drives have served me well.

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