As can be seen on the screenshot below one of my hard drives is showing a weird count for sectors. Should I be worried about the disk dying? It's been running like this for four years. Could this be just a weird bug in the hard drive firmware?

(I have another identical drive from the same batch and it's not showing anything like this)

enter image description here

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    you need to perform a surface scan with, i.e., MHDD – XXL Jul 22 '12 at 21:59
  • What is the firmware version of the other (identical) drive? – Synetech Jul 23 '12 at 6:54

As the general wisdom goes as soon as the drive begins to handle media errors it is wise to replace it.

Reallocated sectors may not necessarily mean the drive is going to die any time soon (may work for years). Just as with the other SMART attributes, it's unreliable and unpredictable - any can indicate imminent failure and the drive will work for years against all odds, but the other drive with a clean bill of health will die one day without even a warning.

It's up to you of course but I would say a drive with a lifetime of only 84 hours (10 working days) showing media errors is a bad sign. If you can - return it. Sadly reallocated sectors do not necessarily count as the warranty case - unless the manufacturer's diagnostics program will say "the drive is doing poor". You could download the program from the WD site (if they offer one) and you can see what kind of response you can expect from their customer service department. If it should say that the drive has problems they will accept the return.

I too had very similar experiences.

1 out of batch x2 Seagates started showing reallocated sectors (< 200 hours) while the other continued operating for 2000+ hours.

1 out of batch x2 Toshibas also showed reallocated sectors (< 100 hours) while the other went to work for 5000+ hours without an itch.

It's all unpredictable.

  • the WD diagnostics is showing that zero sectors have been realocated... and this particular drive is working like this for about 4 years... so i guess that the smart data is somehow bugged. And if did read the hex data right, the drive has been operating for 12000+ hours – Gabriel Jul 22 '12 at 22:00
  • You are correct I didn't pay attention. In that case toss out the program. – User Jul 22 '12 at 22:08
  • Better post a screenshot from the WD tool of from HD Tune. – User Jul 22 '12 at 22:09
  • The screenshot shows the power-on time as 12034 hours (0x2f02), not 84 hours. – Michael Hampton Jul 22 '12 at 22:26
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    @DavidSchwartz In my experience, "value" is fairly unintelligible. "Raw value" is what a user typically wants to look at for some real-world measure. For example, on my machine, the power-on time value is 96, while the raw value is 3536. I can tell you that 96 is not at all reasonable, and 3536 hours (~147 days) is, since I've had this computer for a little under a year. The same holds for several other drives I've looked at in the past. – jjlin Jul 23 '12 at 4:30

As far as I can tell, your disk looks okay. According to that paragon of truth known as Wikipedia, the value is derived from the raw value, and is scaled in such a way that it can be usefully compared to some warning threshold. Then, if value goes below threshold, the idea is that this indicates that your drive might fail in the near-ish future.

Since your value (200) is well above the warn threshold (140), this is good.

I usually just look at the raw values of key attributes (read/write errors, seek errors, uncorrectable errors, the various sector events). If they start increasing regularly, that suggests to me the beginnings of drive failure. In your case, a raw value of 0xFFFFFFFF is harder to explain. It could be what the raw value was initialized to, but then you say that you have another drive of the same model that doesn't behave like this, so... I don't know what to say about that. But the rest of your raw values for the "key" attributes are 0, which looks good to me.

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