Question Should I Trust This Hard Drive?

Captain Brock

Junior Member
May 9, 2017
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I ran "HDDScan V1.4" on a hard drive that is used strictly for data storage. The drive is a 2TB Hitachi which has been little used (mostly unpowered) during seven years. HDDScan is giving me some error warnings (see attachment.) I also do not understand the green categories; are any of these sketchy? The drive seems to perform well, but should I use it for backup of critical data in a new system?
 

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mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,301
5,444
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The app you're using isn't the one I'd normally use, but 'current pending sectors count' being >0 isn't good. It means that some sectors on the hard drive platter are deemed to be faulty and are pending data re-allocation to a reserve sector. In theory this should happen without the system skipping a beat, but in practice it often doesn't happen when it should, and if this drive was the one that a computer boots from, just one faulty sector could be enough to cause Windows not to start.

There's a couple of SMART attributes that use the word 'uncorrectable', but assuming that the attribute in warning state here refers to uncorrectable sector count, that means the procedure to re-allocate a faulty sector's contents has failed for some reason. So while 'pending' is bad, 'uncorrectable' is worse.

The 'UltraDMA CRC errors' one though is interesting, it normally indicates an issue with data in transit, and is a reasonably decent indicator of a faulty SATA cable, though whether that applies just as well to USB is another question, it could suggest a USB HDD enclosure problem. Are you getting any CRC errors for your internal drive(s) or just this one?

I wouldn't rely on this drive for anything personally, certainly not backup.
 

Captain Brock

Junior Member
May 9, 2017
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0
66
Thanks Mikey! I am curious what software you would use?
But I have decided to retire this drive, and maintain it as a last-ditch copy of all my data on this date. I busted out a new WD Red which got shining A's in all categories for the same report.
Interesting experience (off-topic): I set up the drive using Rich-Copy from a SSD. The result was a good copy of 140GB of data with 99% fragmentation. Horrors! I set about "Defraggling", a seven hour process to get to 0% fragmented. I cloned this drive to an identical disk using Macrium Reflect. The clone was also 0% fragmented.
So, I've started over, and all is well.
:)
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
15,301
5,444
136
@Captain Brock

CrystalDiskInfo. I just download the zipped version. I'm no expert in reading SMART stats, I just pay attention to a few attributes and learning more as I go. The ones I pay attention to are the ones regarding sectors (anything >0 is likely fishy) and CRC errors.

What I'd really like though is a program that analyses SMART stats including the quirks of manufacturers like Seagate who say "oh, just ignore this stat which looks really fishy, our drives do that". Either that or the manufacturers simply standardise so that one method of reading stats fits all drives. (LOL, like that's gonna happen)

Btw, you don't need defraggler. Windows comes with a defrag tool, just search the Start menu for 'defrag' and (if you get multiple results) choose the one with the more long-winded name.
 

Charlie98

Diamond Member
Nov 6, 2011
6,253
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But I have decided to retire this drive, and maintain it as a last-ditch copy of all my data on this date. I busted out a new WD Red which got shining A's in all categories for the same report.
I had a brand new Red go bad on me in about 10 hours of use... it was faulty, but WD replaced it quickly and it's still in service now after about 5 years (or more... I forget.) Point I'm making is... don't trust any ONE drive for anything... always have a backup to the backup, even if it's a periodic long-term storage solution. Everything works great... until it doesn't.
 

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