Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

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Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby Ray » 2014.02.24. 04:38

I have noticed the estimated remaining lifetime on the overview tab drop from about a year and couldn't help but notice there is something wrong with the Reallocation event count. There are other values that I'm uncomfortable with like the uncorrectable errors (187) and the command timeout (188). The command timeout hasn't increased throughout the year but the uncorrectable errors were zero and very slowly increasing. The attribute that's increasing in a higher rate is the reallocated event count.

I was somehow assured because the attributes current pending sector (197) and reallocated sector count (5) remained zero, but I'm not fully comfortable with the others though. Besides there's the dropping lifetime which is dropping at slightly slower rate than the power on time, but dropping. What do you think is the condition of my hard drive?

Here the SMART report:

http://s3.postimg.org/rde2dy70z/sentinel_SMART.png
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Re: Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby hdsentinel » 2014.02.25. 09:22

The change of the mentioned attribute (196 Reallocation event count) is completely normal for some particular Seagate models, especially (but not limited to) hard disks used in some Lenovo notebooks - as they have special firmware which uses this value for other purposes, not to indicate real problems.

This is recognised in the newest versions of Hard Disk Sentinel - and if this is the case, it does not report problems with this attribute in the text description.
So I'd suggest to update Hard Disk Sentinel to the latest version (4.50) by the automatic update from the File menu (if you have an older version).

I'd recommend to use Report menu -> Send test report to developer option by this version, as it would help to confirm if your drive works the same way - or if there is a different situation. This would also help to check not only the firmware version but also the estimated remaining time as well.

Anyway, I always suggest to perform some intensive testing, as described in the Support -> Frequently Asked Questions page:
Hard disk health is low or recently changed or I just installed a new (used) hard disk. How can I perform a deep analysis?
http://www.hdsentinel.com/faq.php#tests

as these would reveal any possible problems - or confirm that the hard disk status is now stable and there are no problems.
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Re: Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby Ray » 2014.02.25. 21:43

What about the other values, the uncorrectable errors (187) and the command timeout (188). They are 54 and 9 respectively (decimal). According to wikipedia these attributes could indicate potential electromechanical failure. Are they safe, given the fact that the first one (187) was zero before and the second (188) didn't change for as long as I can remember?
And is the update free?
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Re: Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby hdsentinel » 2014.02.26. 08:31

Both can indicate problems in special situations - but in almost all cases, these issues are not really related to actual hard disk problems, but more likely caused by power or data cables, connections and other issues in the operating envrionment (power fluctuations / power failures - but even overclocking can also cause that).

If you use Hard Disk Sentinel for longer time, you can even keep track the complete change of these values - so you may "connect" the changes to such events.

But this is not really required: if there would be a real error with the mentioned (or other) attributes, Hard Disk Sentinel would surely
- report in the text description
- show the degradation health value
- it would be detected by Disk -> Short self test or Disk -> Extended self test
- the Disk -> Surface test -> Read test could not be completed without problems

So generally, in all situations where you do not feel comfortable about the values, it is recommended to use the tests in Hard Disk Sentinel: they are intensive as they reveal any possible problems in the operation of the drive - or confirms that there are no actual problems.

Yes: if you have licensed version of Hard Disk Sentinel, then your license grants lifetime use with lifetime free updates.
This means that you can use both the current installed version for as long as you prefer - and you can update to all future versions for free,
so there are absolutely no subscription / renewal / update fees.
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Re: Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby Ray » 2014.03.02. 02:06

Thank you very much for your support. The program is reporting the same as you mentioned about the cables, however, given the fact that I won't be able to open the laptop (Lenovo), I believe I will be stuck with those cables for a while.

Would the presence of bad cables cause any long term damage to the drive or have any effect on the performance whatsoever, that I should take action right away?

How is it possible for 187 the reported Uncorrectable errors to have a value when the 1 Raw read error rate is equal to the 195 Hardware ECC recovered?

Could you please indicate which tests in the program that are completely non data destructive (read only)? And will such tests be enough to confirm the situation, without having to resort to more extreme tests?

You mentioned in a post earlier that there's a special firmware for the drives in the Lenovo laptops which uses this value for other purposes. What other purposes are we talking about here?
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Re: Reallocation event count in ST9500325AS

Postby hdsentinel » 2014.03.03. 13:11

These issues should cause no problems during the operation - but yes, it can have negative impact on the performance, if you see the error counter changing during normal usage and/or during intensive testing.

I'd suggest to use

1) Disk -> Short self test
2) Disk -> Extended self test
3) Disk -> Surface test -> Read test

tests in Hard Disk Sentinel. These are 100% safe for the stored information and can be started any time.
The Disk -> Surface test -> Read test may show a warning before starting (as because of the current running Windows and applications the disk can't be locked for exclusive use) but this is no problem - you can start the test anyway.

I'd suggest to use Report menu -> Send test report to developer option now and after the test(s) you perform. This way it is possible to examine not only the current complete status but the possible change of the counter.

> How is it possible for 187 the reported Uncorrectable errors to have a value when the 1 Raw read error rate is equal to the 195 Hardware ECC recovered?

This is completely normal for Seagate hard disks: the mentioned Raw read error rate and Hardware ECC recovered attributes does NOT indicate the actual number of errors (this is why they are not called error count).

Of course I can confirm that if there would be a real error with those attributes, Hard Disk Sentinel would surely
- report in the text description
- show the degradation health value
- it would be detected by Disk -> Short self test or Disk -> Extended self test
- the Disk -> Surface test -> Read test could not be completed without problems

If you are interested in further information about this, please check this forum topic:
http://www.hdsentinel.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=32&t=735&p=973#p973

(note that for Seagate drives, the "seek error rate" attribute may work the same way)

> You mentioned in a post earlier that there's a special firmware for the drives in the Lenovo laptops which uses this value for other purposes.
> What other purposes are we talking about here?

This is a good question - Seagate support may be able to answer it ;)
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