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Storage HDD Diagnostic help

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by TheStockBroker, 27 Jun 2016.

  1. TheStockBroker

    TheStockBroker Modder

    19 Nov 2009
    Likes Received:
    Morning All,

    I had a Seagate (Yes, I know, what was I thinking?) 8TB HDD fail on me about a week and a half ago. The drive was a month and 9 days old, and it straight up just stopped working on day 40.

    I was using a Linux distro on this particular machine, and being the robust OS that it is, as soon as it realised there was a problem it disabled any access to the drive (presumably to protect my data from further damage if possible) and would not allow me to read or write until the fault was fixed.

    The drive was reporting "Electrical Failure" in all the smart tests I ran. Now, actually running a SMART test is different to just reading the SMART attributes of a drive. In Linux, running an actual SMART test is very easy. No matter what I did; swapping SATA port, SATA cable, power cable... the drive consistently reported electrical failure - even when swapping the drive out directly for another identical drive that was working perfectly. I was therefore 1000% sure the disk is borked, and could not access the data on the drive due to my OS being cautious.

    I arranged RMA for the drive with Scan.co.uk, who I purchased the drive from, and to their credit they turned it round in literally a days time, from me sending the RMA request, posting it off same day, and them testing it as soon as it arrived the next day. I was overjoyed that I would have my replacement in what would be a 2-day turn around.

    Unfortunately in my RMA report, I just explained that I was "unable to initialise the drive", "unable to read or write data" and that my many SMART Tests were reporting electrical failure.

    Scan tested the HDD and have said it's in full working order. This is because they've used a Windows machine, which was happy to access some of the data on the data on the drive, they then quick-formatted it, and ran Crystaldisktools to check the SMART attributes which report OK. (I agree the attributes report fine, even on my machine, but this is because the drives self-test cannot complete)

    I called to contest their results, and explained that the problem was more deep rooted than being able to access a small subset of data, quick formatting (which only writes to a tiny portion of the drive) and SMART attributes not being the same as completing a SMART test.

    I explained that if they ran a full format of the drive or ran an extended SMART test, that the problem would become apparent. This being an 8TB drive, they don't want to do either because it will take up to 17 hours for a SMART test on a drive this size.

    Again, to Scans credit they returned the drive F.O.C with next day delivery which I do appreciate. I also accept why they think the drive is okay - as the "tests" they've done will make it seem like it is working fine... and they ran those particular "tests" because of my original RMA report which I should have taken more care over and provided better detail.

    I've now got the drive back and have determined that the "electrical" fault is with a particular platter or head I don't know which. But the drive, under Windows, works fine up until about 4TB has been written and then it cannot be written to any more. Attempting to full format the drive fails at 46%.

    TL;DR I'm trying to put together a foolproof test that demonstrates the drive is faulty, but without asking the warranty department to leave this testing night and day; any ideas?:idea:

    I can't even find a single SMART test application for Windows, how is this possible? They're all just attribute readers. :confused:

    Also, I can't go direct to Seagate because their policy is to replace with a refurbished drive, which I don't find acceptable after spending £200 on a drive for it to fail after just a month.
  2. noizdaemon666

    noizdaemon666 I'm Od, Therefore I Pwn

    15 Jun 2010
    Likes Received:
    GSmartControl. Runs exactly the same tests that you ran in Linux as it's the same programs just recompiled for Windows. The short test which takes a few minutes should be adequate to pick up the electrical failure.

    However, Scan's testing methodology is quite frankly absurd. It tests nothing as you rightly said. I'd post in their support forum on here. That would be like me testing a stick of RAM by having a PC complete POST.

    Edit: Alternatively, quick format it, write around 3.5TB of random data to it, ship it to them and ask them to write another 1TB?

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