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Thread: Possible hard drive return

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    Possible hard drive return

    Hi Scan, I bought a hard drive a few weeks ago. Everything was going ok, had a corrupt file on the drive - restarted the pc and the drive had gone from windows. The drive was visible in the bios and 'manage' section of my computer. The drive went through a phase of smart failures in the bios and appearing and disappearing from windows on restarts. I managed to get all the data off the hard drive which seemed to take an age. I ran the western digital diagnostic tools and the drive now passed the smart test but failed on the advanced test - too many bad sectors to complete. The drive was also having problems formatting - so I used a Linux live CD to format it. Then run the diagnostic tools again and all seemed fine (thinking the format had somehow sorted the problem).

    Now I’ve noticed that drive performance is very poor, writing and reading from the drive. Not knowing what to do I have Sisoft Sandra and ran a read/write test – I’m only getting 4.5mb/s compared to my other drive, same make and model 65mb/s.

    Am I able to return this drive as faulty due to the poor performance? The make and model is the same as other drives that I have without this problem.

    What programs are run on the drives at Scan – maybe I can try them before I send the drive back?

    Thanks,
    Richard.

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Totem,

    If the drive fails its own S.M.A.R.T internal diagnosis then it is usually eligable for replacement under warrenty.

    Over the years ive had about 5 drives fail and each time the manufaturer will RMA the drive after you have run their own diagnosis, some will give you a diagnosis code that you can quote them when RMA'ing it.

    Western Digital and Maxtor have their own diagnosis software and most likely other big named manufacturers will too. Sometimes if the drive has failed its smart diag it will report this during the BIOS post startup (have to watch closely as it generally shows only for a second before windows splash screen shows).

    If the BIOS cant see the drive its also possible the diagnosis software wont either try re-seating the cables else the diag software should work fine.

    Good luck

    BS

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Thanks for the reply bcsbcs. The drive had passed the western digital tools testing after previously failing - i formated the drive. The drive hasn't had a smart failure in the bios for a while either. Its just that the performance is so bad, im not sure why. When i get home ill reset the cables but i dont think it would make a difference as windows can see the drive etc.

    Would it be worth getting hold of another manufactures drive test tools and running them or would it kick up a fuss about not being the correct make of drive?

    Cheers.

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    I personally wouldnt run another manufacturers diagnosis software on a drive as it may well work but it may try to test things that arnt supported by your drive, usually the diagnosis software will only show you drives supported by their software anyway.

    I must say i'm a little confused as to why you say it failed with a SMART error but now it doesnt, usually unless the SMART statistics have been reset it will usualy continue to report SMART errors, its simply a mini database of characterstics/threshold levels reported by the drive. Once a drive exceeds the manafacturers set thershold levels it wouldnt normally reset it (not in my experience anyway).

    I wonder if its worth checking in the bios and in the windows driver that the access mode for the drive is still correct. In windows this is usually the IDE/SATA controller under device manager.

    Regards

    BS

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Which drive was it?

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Western Digital WD5000AAKS-22yGAO. Im not sure why the smart test in the post was going funny, the pc would also halt on checking the drives - after the first smart test bit on booting.

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Just a real world performance issue: Unraring a 715mb file to the empty drive takes 3.05 mins. To an identical drive WD5000AAKS-65TMAO = 28 seconds. When i get home i will try and the fitness test by maxtor.

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    Sounds like windows has forced this to PIO mode or perhaps write caching has been turned off.
    Check this in device manager under Disk Drives and IDE controllers sections.
    Try deleting its entries under device manager and forcing its redection/installation and it will hopefully use DMA again.

    NB If windows sets PIO because it has an amount of bad reads/writes to a drive it may be an indication of early failure and irrespective of whether you get DMA setup, backup any important data and test the drive with manufacturer/3rd party tools to verify its integrity.

    Also make sure the BIOS settings are correct for the drive, and that your IDE/SATA drivers are correctly installed. You can also try using windows default drivers, sometimes not as fast but can workaround issues with unstable 3rd party drivers.
    Last edited by rabbid; 29-03-2008 at 02:24 AM.

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    Re: Possible hard drive return

    NCQ has also been known to cause weird issues like this.
    Oh, and I know its going to sound crazy, but make sure the actual SATA port is enabled in the BIOS. Windows still seems to pick up drives that are attached even when its disabled on some systems, but plays havoc with them.

    Dont forget the obvious too - Try a different cable
    Quote Originally Posted by Saracen View Post
    And by trying to force me to like small pants, they've alienated me.

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