False Health reading or not?

Experiences with hard disks, SSDs, USB devices, hard disk controllers, motherboards and so.

False Health reading or not?

Postby Hmmm888 » 2021.09.26. 07:03

Hard Drive Sentinel SUDDENLY reports 99% Health on SAMSUNG MZALQ512HALU-000L2
NVMe drive which is in my Lenovo laptop: [https://psref.lenovo.com/Detail/IdeaPad/IdeaPad_Gaming_3_15IMH05?M=81Y400BRCC].

I had some issues earlier today where for some unknown reason, a large file of about 550 MB in size could not be moved, renamed, or deleted from my C Drive (NVME).

I was able to successfully delete the file by using FileShredder. Even "Lockhunter" showed nothing wrong and it couldn't delete the file either. In fact, the option to delete was not available.

After a reboot, Hard Drive Sentinel reports 99% health.

I ran short and extended HDS tests, I ran Windows 10 CHKDSK, I ran Lenovo's Vantage scan and Samsung's Magician. Many features are not available on Magician. There were no issues found.

I'd like to get my Laptop RMA'ed while it's still under warranty and before my NVMe drive fails.

I am just wondering what I should do and how to convince Lenovo to replace the drive?
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby Hmmm888 » 2021.09.26. 23:33

As an update. I ran another third party HDD utility from SmartMonTools. It revealed the same results including "spare" used (1/10). It appears this is not a false reading.

As such, what does "spare" actually mean? Is it like a bad sector replacement where HDD manufacturers add should your drive start to fail? And why did this happen in the first place? My NVMe is a Samsung but it's supposedly a good brand. Of course, all brands have their duds.
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby hdsentinel » 2021.09.27. 09:47

I can confirm that there are absolutely NO "False Health reading", Hard Disk Sentinel (as should) detects and properly reports the Health %.

I received your mail too with the image about the current status. I uploaded here for reference, as it may be useful for other users too in similar situation and also it probably helps to understand the situation:

Image

First of all, sorry to say, but I do not understand why do you feel there is a problem with the SSD in general, especially with the "spare" area.

> As such, what does "spare" actually mean? Is it like a bad sector replacement where HDD manufacturers add should your drive start to fail?

Yes. The spare area is exactly designed for this purpose: when a sector fails, then it is marked as "bad" and all further reads/writes targeted to this sector automatically re-directed to the spare area.
Yes, SSDs can also have bad sectors of course, it is not a "hard-disk-drive only" thing.

Please check: https://www.hdsentinel.com/ssd_case_bad_sectors.php
for more information about bad sectors on SSDs.

> And why did this happen in the first place? My NVMe is a Samsung but it's supposedly a good brand. Of course, all brands have their duds.

Sorry to say, but you are wrong. It did NOT happen with your SSD. If you check the attributes, you may notice the following values:

Available Spare (Percent) = 100
Available Spare Threshold = 10
Percentage Used = 1


It means that your SSD has absolutely NO BAD SECTORS. The spare area is 100% available, which means that no reallocations ever happened. There are absolutely no issues with it.

The Health decrease is caused by the other number, the Percentage Used = 1, which means that (because the SSD tolerates only limited number of overwrite passes) 1 % health of the SSD already used. This is why the Health value is 99%, even if the SSD is PERFECT (probably this is displayed on the Overview page, confirming that the SSD is in excellent health).

Please check:
https://www.hdsentinel.com/kb/category/16/solid-state-drives-ssds/why-my-ssd-shows-98-health-if-no-problems-reported.html
and
https://www.hdsentinel.com/ssd_case_health_decrease_wearout.php

as these pages designed exactly to describe the situation, explain that it is completely normal and expected that the health of the SSDs slowly but surely degrade with time: the writes degrade the status/usability of the SSD. Generally it is not rare that from 100 to 99 SSD health go down relatively sooner.

Thanks, good to know that an other tool is aware of the wearout, but the 1/10 is not really correct (based on the image).
If you use Report menu -> Send test report to developer option in Hard Disk Sentinel, I can check the actual status and advise.

Generally if a file can't be deleted - then it does not really mean problem with the hard disk / SSD at all. Probably the file was just used ("locked") which is normal: Windows and/or running applications can open and "lock" files while they are open. It is normal if you open a document, image, video file for editing (or just playback) and the opening software is using that file which can prevent further access (or delete).

Because of this, of course no RMA required (especially if the tests confirm that the status is perfect and stable). The 99% Health is not "evil" and as you can see, the status is still "Excellent".
The Health % decrease just helps us to
- identify if there is excessive writes which CAN quickly "kill" the drive (as happened with some failed Windows update and/or antivirus software, writing 100's of GBs every day and causing excessive wearout)
- identify when the SSD should be replaced, for example if its health is really low (eg. below 50 % we can plan replacement, but it is probably far).
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby Hmmm888 » 2021.09.27. 23:10

hdsentinel wrote:I can confirm that there are absolutely NO "False Health reading", Hard Disk Sentinel (as should) detects and properly reports the Health %.

I received your mail too with the image about the current status. I uploaded here for reference, as it may be useful for other users too in similar situation and also it probably helps to understand the situation:

First of all, sorry to say, but I do not understand why do you feel there is a problem with the SSD in general, especially with the "spare" area.


My NVme is only 6 (six) months old, with 2.6TB of written data. 

This is why I am concerned, wouldn't you be? Perhaps you missed the part the NVMe drive is only 6 months old and less two point size terabytes of data written?

I have reviewed comments and reports from many sources online where users have hundreds and hundreds of terabytes written and HD Sentinel or other third party SMART tools report the drive as 100%. And no spare areas. Those drives are as old as 8 years. This seemingly contradicts your [opinion] that this event is in fact normal.

hdsentinel wrote:> As such, what does "spare" actually mean? Is it like a bad sector replacement where HDD manufacturers add should your drive start to fail?

Yes. The spare area is exactly designed for this purpose: when a sector fails, then it is marked as "bad" and all further reads/writes targeted to this sector automatically re-directed to the spare area.
Yes, SSDs can also have bad sectors of course, it is not a "hard-disk-drive only" thing.


So if I understand correctly, my NVMe had a failed sector so one of the "spares" was used?

> And why did this happen in the first place? My NVMe is a Samsung but it's supposedly a good brand. Of course, all brands have their duds.

hdsentinel wrote:Sorry to say, but you are wrong. It did NOT happen with your SSD. If you check the attributes, you may notice the following values:

Available Spare (Percent) = 100
Available Spare Threshold = 10
Percentage Used = 1


It means that your SSD has absolutely NO BAD SECTORS. The spare area is 100% available, which means that no reallocations ever happened. There are absolutely no issues with it.

The Health decrease is caused by the other number, the Percentage Used = 1, which means that (because the SSD tolerates only limited number of overwrite passes) 1 % health of the SSD already used. This is why the Health value is 99%, even if the SSD is PERFECT (probably this is displayed on the Overview page, confirming that the SSD is in excellent health) as these pages designed exactly to describe the situation, explain that it is completely normal and expected that the health of the SSDs slowly but surely degrade with time: the writes degrade the status/usability of the SSD. Generally it is not rare that from 100 to 99 SSD health go down relatively sooner.


I'm sorry, but I'm wrong about what? Your assessment doesn't match what others users online who have posted their SMART results that describe their drive being old and a heckuva lot of TB written. My results are unique and premature (based on the information provided to me online). Can we not agree on that?

hdsentinel wrote:If you use Report menu -> Send test report to developer option in Hard Disk Sentinel, I can check the actual status and advise.

How do I do this now, today? Please be clear and specific. I see no logs written.

hdsentinel wrote:Generally if a file can't be deleted - then it does not really mean problem with the hard disk / SSD at all. Probably the file was just used ("locked") which is normal: Windows and/or running applications can open and "lock" files while they are open. It is normal if you open a document, image, video file for editing (or just playback) and the opening software is using that file which can prevent further access (or delete).

GENERALLY, yes. My situation is NOT general. I'm the exception. Again, you missed the part when I wrote that even when I rebooted to Safe Mode AND I used a specific UNLOCKER application to UNLOCK the file, it could NOT UNLOCK the file. What I did not mention (I thought that was a given to the reader) that application reported the file as NOT being locked. In theory, I should've been allowed to delete, rename, and move the file. In reality., I could not. The only method was to use the DoD algorithm which resulted in major re-writes of zeros. Are you familiar with this process?

hdsentinel wrote:Because of this, of course no RMA required (especially if the tests confirm that the status is perfect and stable). The 99% Health is not "evil" and as you can see, the status is still "Excellent".
The Health % decrease just helps us to
- identify if there is excessive writes which CAN quickly "kill" the drive (as happened with some failed Windows update and/or antivirus software, writing 100's of GBs every day and causing excessive wearout)
- identify when the SSD should be replaced, for example if its health is really low (eg. below 50 % we can plan replacement, but it is probably far).


I'm sorry, I don't agree with your assessment. You're being dismissive or trivializing my issue despite the fact my laptop drive is brand new, with little wear and rewrites. You fail to concede the issue of my system malfunction preceding the health degradation. Can I have someone else's assessment from HD Sentintel to review my circumstances?
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby Hmmm888 » 2021.09.28. 02:39

So I called Samsung. I was told the Fileshredder application or utility basically hammered a specific portion of the NAND repeatedly with writes and maxed out that portion of the drive. This then triggered a "spare" to be used.

I'm still confused on what this "spare" thing is. Nowhere online does it explain or explain well in a manner that even a five-year-old can understand. Comments by @hdsentinel aren't any better.

Anyway, I'm still at a loss why the file itself could not be deleted despite logging in SAFE Mode as both ADMINISTRATOR and my regular profile as ADMIN in safe mode.

I'm replying for archival purposes should others run into this issue.
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby hdsentinel » 2021.09.28. 09:32

> I have reviewed comments and reports from many sources online where users have hundreds and hundreds of terabytes written
> and HD Sentinel or other third party SMART tools report the drive as 100%.

This is surely not possible for a such/similar models.
Different SSDs may have different error-counters and different status information reported. Some older SSDs suffer exactly from this problem: they may not report generic wearout and they reported 100% - and then failed suddenly at 100%.


> So if I understand correctly, my NVMe had a failed sector so one of the "spares" was used?

As I wrote, NO
The Available Spare (percent) = 100 on your SSD which means that NO spare area used at all: the complete spare area is free (available).
So NO, your SSD has NO failed sector at all, so NO SPARE USED.
Sorry if I did not outline this enough....

On your SSD, the amount of writes and usage caused 1% wear level of the SSD. Yes, alone 2.6 TB is not too much, but (for example) if many small files updated (common with Windows updates and/or temporary files) then it is not rare that the wear level can go down, even by relative small amount of written data.

Maybe you missed also what I wrote: "Generally it is not rare that from 100 to 99 SSD health go down relatively sooner."

This "Percentage used = 1" is calculated by the SSD itself based on the amount of written data and the type of written data (eg. small files vs large files) and the age of the drive.
Please note that this is NOT calculated by Hard Disk Sentinel (or any other tool) but calculates by the SSD firmware: Hard Disk Sentinel "just" reports this information.
You may contact Samsung about how exactly this calculated.


> My results are unique and premature (based on the information provided to me online). Can we not agree on that?

Different SSDs report status completely differently.
Comparing completely different SSD brands / models / model families (with their different set of S.M.A.R.T. attributes) always lead to false assumptions.
Even different capacities and firmware versions (of the same SSD family) can slightly count/report wearout differently.

Sorry to say, but it is normal and expected that a modern SSD (which designed to report wearout levels) do exactly what it should: report 1% health decrease.

If you consider that you use the SSD for 6 months, then it gives very long time to use. I can confirm that many SSDs would report 1 % health decrease much sooner: some may report 1% health decrease in some weeks or so.

I'd be more than happy to examine the actual situation and assist - this is why I also suggested to use Report menu -> Send test report to developer option in Hard Disk Sentinel.
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Re: False Health reading or not?

Postby Hmmm888 » 2021.09.28. 22:41

So I see a clear bias. My previous [rebuttal] to the moderator's comments here refuting his belief there is no issue with the drive is clearly not supported by Samsung. Who said Fileshredder caused the issue.

Trumpism is alive and well, even in hardware forums.
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