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I have a Gigabyte P67A-UD3-B3 motherboard. There is a single hard drive (a cheap Seagate Barracuda drive) attached to it over SATA3, and AHCI is enabled in the BIOS. Recently, the drive started to encounter lots and lots of bad sectors and the reallocated sector count reported by SMART shot up to huge numbers. That problem exhibited itself in spectacular fashion, where the OS would rarely boot even though everything on the drive was still readable, and every tool I threw at the problem agreed the drive was doomed.

The hard drive was replaced by warranty and I used ddrescue to directly copy the old one. However, I just ran a self-test on my replacement drive, which I have had for about two days, and it is reporting a single reallocated sector. Now, I know one reallocated sector isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm worried to have bumped into this already after replacing a drive that failed for the same reason. Is it possible some other hardware is responsible for this?

(For what it's worth, the motherboard has failed me already, so I wouldn't mind blaming it and force-choking the thing to death).

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  • I'm curious what you mean by "huge numbers." A 500gb drive has something like 125 million sectors. . .
    – surfasb
    Jul 16, 2011 at 6:56
  • Sorry, I'm a little late answering that, but (going by memory) it was around 100 when I first noticed the problem and it went up from there — to something like 1500 — by the time I sent the dead one back to Seagate. (It hadn't been heavily used yet, which might explain some of that behaviour). Something involved there made the drive slow and unreliable. It would take a few tries to boot an OS from it. Jan 13, 2012 at 20:46
  • As long as you have a working drive now, then that is good news.
    – surfasb
    Jan 13, 2012 at 22:41

2 Answers 2

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You can try doing a full format. This will sometimes fix bad sectors. Also try http://crystalmark.info/software/CrystalDiskInfo/index-e.html for some more information about your drive. A bad controller should not cause bad sectors but could corrupt data. Most likely they sent you a refurbished drive that also is defective.

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  • +1 Good point about not causing damage, but could cause corruption. I think that is what you meant, "should not"?
    – KCotreau
    Jul 16, 2011 at 1:31
  • You're correct. I was typing on my iPhone while waiting at curb side pickup for food. Bored = SuperUser Question Answering
    – kobaltz
    Jul 16, 2011 at 2:24
  • I do it while watching TV or working myself.
    – KCotreau
    Jul 16, 2011 at 2:29
  • Thank you! It's reassuring to have an appropriately clever person tell me the sata controller won't be the problem here :) I'll just keep an eye on it, I guess. Still just the one bad sector, so I'm suspecting it's probably a coincidence. Jul 21, 2011 at 2:06
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I would say it is simply coincidence. With so many sectors, some are going to go bad, even on a new drive.

I know of no way your motherboard can cause this.

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    P.S. If something were causing such problems, I would suspect your PSU before the motherboard.
    – KCotreau
    Jul 16, 2011 at 0:32

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