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.)

  • You can't "fix" a drive when it breaks down. That drive is totaled. – harrymc Aug 1 '18 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 '18 at 18:38
  • The disk is just going from bad to worse, which is to be expected when it breaks down. – harrymc Aug 1 '18 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 '18 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 '18 at 18:48

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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