Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

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

Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby bgage » 2018.04.07. 15:38

I have no signs of any issues from this hard drive. Yet, Sentinel shows that Smart info is nothing but BAD. Full Reinitialize disk surface shows nothing wrong. Yet the Smart Numbers for "Current Pending Sector Count" and "Off-Line Uncorrectable Sector Count" are off the chart at 4294967293 (0000FFFFFFFD). Yet Reallocated Sectors Count is only at 87. I would think if I had that many problems I would be unable to use the drive, yet it seems to work just fine. I have the following big Message in Red:

There are 87 bad sectors on the disk surface. The contents of these sectors were moved to the spare area.
The drive found 65533 bad sectors during its self test.
There are 65533 weak sectors found on the disk surface. They may be remapped any time in the later use of the disk.
More information: https://www.hdsentinel.com/hard_disk_case_weak_sectors.php
239 errors occurred during data transfer.
In case of sudden system crash, reboot, blue-screen-of-death, inaccessible file(s)/folder(s), it is recommended to verify data and power cables, connections - and if possible try different cables to prevent further problems.
More information: https://www.hdsentinel.com/hard_disk_case_communication_error.php
It is recommended to examine the log of the disk regularly. All new problems found will be logged there.

It is recommended to backup immediately to prevent data loss.


See attached Reinitialize disk surface test.
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Re: Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby hdsentinel » 2018.04.09. 10:53

Sorry for the possible confusion, from the information I suspect your drive may be not so bad - but I'm afraid not perfect.

Generally the drive seems not working correctly, could not properly record possible errors and changes.
This is relatively rare, but happens, with some Seagate drives, caused by a firmware bug of some specific hard disks.

It is caused by an underflow condition: the drive previously encounter some minor problem(s) and when it tried to fix that, it decreased the error-counter twice (first to zero and then to -1 which lead to underflow to negative numbers in the internal error-counter of the hard disk drive).

Yes, generally there are reallocated sectors and also communication problems (at least according the text description).
Cables, connections are frequent causes of such issues, when the error counters may become damaged / corrupted.
Sometimes power source (accidental reset, shut down, sudden disconnect may be in the background.
Then the result may be exactly what you see: some of the attributes turn to really weird values.

Of course you can very easily fix the issue: as the test confirmed that currently the status is stable, you can remove the appropriate reported errors from the text description and restore the health of the hard disk the following way:

Please open the S.M.A.R.T. page of the hard disk and locate the attribute "197 Current pending sector count" where the Data field shows FFFD
Click on the "0" in the Offset column in this line and specify -65533 in the small window opened. Repeat the above for "198 Off-Line Uncorrectable sector count" attribute also.

( This procedure illustrated at https://www.hdsentinel.com/faq_repair_hard_disk_drive.php )

Soon these kind of issues will be longer reported in the text description and the health of the drive increases too.
Then only possible change, modification will be reported in both the text description and the health %.

However, as the drive has other issues (reallocated sectors) I'd be very careful about it. Yes, intensive testing is a good way to verify the status, confirm if the drive is stable at the moment, but I'd use only with caution and with constant monitoring and backup upon any, even minor change.

If possible, I'd suggest to please use Report -> Send test report to developer option, then I can check the complete hard disk status and may advise on the actual situation. The best would be if you can send developer report now (for reference) and maybe later upon any possible change. This way it is possible to compare and verify what happened, how the status changed.
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Re: Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby bgage » 2018.04.11. 13:56

No changes made yet. report Sent.
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Re: Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby bgage » 2018.04.16. 13:34

Did you have a chance to look at the debug information I sent?
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Re: Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby hdsentinel » 2018.04.17. 10:16

Thanks, yes, I examined the report of the drive.

Apart from the weird values, yes, I see the problems (Reallocated Sectors Count and Reported Uncorrectable Errors) so it is a lucky situation if the drive is operating at all.

You can try to correct the values by using the Offsets as we discussed previously but to be honest, because of the other non-zero error counters, I'd not use this drive to store mission critical data, maybe only for secondary storage.
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Re: Is my drive really bad or just screwed up?

Postby bgage » 2018.04.19. 01:10

Thanks, that's what I was wanting to know.
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