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Hard Disk Problem and SMART Value Questions

By keven_alberto_yoesup ·
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I've seen a thread:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=265144&messageID=2512253

My friend also has similar problem as her (Melina). So I want to help him by asking in this site.

It is easy to said that he just have to replace his HD. But I want to ask some question first to make him feel safe. Now he's paranoid because this was the First Bad Blocks problem that he has and my other friends seems also never has Bad Blocks problem on their HD. I'm also worried if this could suddenly happened to me.

1.Some questions about SMART Value:

a.Some people said that if Bad Blocks remapped then RAW Value of Reallocated Sector Count increased (not 0 anymore).

However, in my friend HD the Bad Blocks not remapped but stays as "Current Pending Sector" and "Offline Uncorrectable" because both of them has same RAW Value (186) so I think the Bad Blocks not remapped/or cannot be remapped.

Could someone tell me why the Bad Blocks doesn't automatically remapped by the HD or the OS?

b.What is the meaning of Attribute 187 (Reported Uncorrectable Error) and Attribute 189 (High Fly Writes)? Sometimes they list as Unknown attribute 187 and 189.

My friends HD RAW Value of 187 is 1443 (Reported Uncorrectable Error) and RAW Value of 189 is 2(High Fly Writes).

What is the cause of them?

c.Before he know his HD has Bad Blocks -> The HD which has Bad Blocks is not where Windows installed, Windows always has slow startup and Windows always do CHKDSK at startup. Is this normal? However, the progress of CHKDSK is really slow, he said he estimate it could take about 14 hours to finish the CHKDSK so he always skip it. Is this normal too? His HD is about 160GB Seagate.

d.Then he used CHKDSK /r in his HD (it also took about 14 hours like the CHKDSK at startup), it removes the annoying CHKDSK at startup, but Windows still has slow startup.
What caused this?

e.He assume that the Bad Blocks mostly in Free Space of his HD, because when he add files to it, it worked fine but when he try to move the same file to another HD it gave him CRC Error meaning the file was placed in the Bad Blocks.

What caused the Bad Blocks appear in the Free Space of HD and why did Windows still placed the file in the Bad Blocks even though my friends already used CHKDSK /r?

2.About the Hard Disk problem, in question number 1 I write that my Friends HD has a Bad Blocks.

a.How could I know a HD is failing or not other than Event Viewer (Showing Paging Error or HD has Bad Blocks),SMART Test, or I heard Clicking sounds?

SMART Test sometimes doesn't help like in my Friend case and I don't want to check Event Viewer and doing SMART Test and HD Test everyday.

b.My friends has made a backup to an External HD, but he still worried about it because some people said that after some use the External HD doesn't get detected by the OS(Windows).

What caused it? And Why sometimes people said Their External HD get Bad Blocks after it hasn't been used for a while (months/years) even though it was placed in Cool place (not Overheat), rarely moved(doesn't had any vibration), and in a clean place. What caused the Bad Blocks in the External HD that sometimes appeared even though it is not been used for some time?

c.My other friend also has another problem after he add a new Seagate SATA HD to his PC, this is the first SATA HD that he has. The SATA HD shows as SCSI HD in Device Manager and SeaTools (so he couldn't test the HD using SeaTools). He also has slower Windows startups after the new HD installed. He used Windows XP SP2.
What caused it and what should he do?

d.Why sometimes people saying they had Bad Blocks in their CD/DVD? What caused it?

e.Does a sudden power outage harm a HD? What should I do if it happened?

Edit: I also have same problem as question 2c, but I wonder this is related about my other problem, deleting folder when I seeing folders in Zip Files using Right Click->Compressed (Zipped) Folders is really slow. My File System is NTFS, I'm also using Window XP SP2.

Sorry if someone think most of these questions have been answered in thread started by Melina.

Thanks for reading and answering.

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All Answers

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Old Mycroft: I'm also wondering about this too

How many ways do you have to know that the hard drive is failing before you know that it is failing?,.

I'm also want to know other way to detect a failing Hard Drive other than from SMART Test and Event Viewer because most people I know and my friends never do SMART Test to their HD including Enabling SMART at Startup and seeing Event Viewer. Almost all of them don't even know what SMART Test is and what is Event Viewer.

I'm also wondering about this too:

I've already told you. CHKDSK only retrieves data, it DOES NOT FIX the Bad Blocks.

The next time you boot the system, the computer is just as likely to write data to the Bad Blocks again.


Some people said that CHKDSK mark the Bad Blocks as Bad so the Bad Blocks won't be used again. So they are wrong about this?

By the way, does a faulty cable which is being connected to a Hard Drive can damage that Hard Drive?

Sorry if I post this in other member thread.

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Keven: You have to accept the truth ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Just to add to what Old M ...

I'm also want to know other way to detect a failing Hard Drive other than from SMART Test and Event Viewer because most people I know and my friends never do SMART Test to their HD including Enabling SMART at Startup and seeing Event Viewer. Almost all of them don't even know what SMART Test is and what is Event Viewer.

As far as I am aware, SMART is the ONLY hard drive health check that runs by default inside any Microsoft environment. The capability for SMART to work is either built-in to the drive or it's not (some drives don't support SMART).

Using another hard drive testing utility won't make any difference - you might end up with different results, but it won't make the drive any healthier. If you want to kid yourself, go ahead and use another testing program but the drive will still die sometime soon.

As to the people that are telling you that CHKDSK marks the Bad Blocks so they won't be used again - THEY ARE WRONG!!

Many years ago, when hard drives were small and expensive, there were 2 HDD programs CHKDSK and SCANDSK: SCANDSK would mark the Bad Blocks as out of bounds and the hard drive avoided using them from then on. However, Microsoft abandoned the use of SCANDSK, leaving only CHKDSK available for file retrieval.

THIS happened because drives became much BIGGER and also became much CHEAPER.

You can now buy TWO 500GB hard drives for the price I once paid for an 800 MEGABYTE hard drive. The Western World now exists in a 'throw-away' consumer state - if it breaks down, throw it away and buy a new one.

If in The Philippines you still tend to fix things when they stop working, I have some bad new for you: you CANNOT FIX a dying hard drive - it just isn't possible, and as I've already told you - if you continue to check and double-check and re-check a failing hard drive it will DIE and you'll be left with nothing.

If you then insist on retrieving the data it will cost you many thousands of Dollars to send the drive to a Data Recovery Company - to do what you could have done yourself if you weren't so fixated to find a way to stop it dying.

This is my last word on the subject!


<Silly typo>

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Old Mycroft: Thanks for clearing this

Thanks for clearing this... but I still needs some things to be cleared.

As far as I am aware, SMART is the ONLY hard drive health check that runs by default inside any Microsoft environment. The capability for SMART to work is either built-in to the drive or it's not (some drives don't support SMART).

Using another hard drive testing utility won't make any difference - you might end up with different results, but it won't make the drive any healthier. If you want to kid yourself, go ahead and use another testing program but the drive will still die sometime soon.


Could another Hardware affects another Hardware like a HD affect another HD (and affecting its SMART Values)?

In my case, one of my HD which Windows was installed experiences lower "Raw Read Error Rate" Current Value after startup (this afternoon) than before last shutdown (this morning)(before:62 after:60). This happened after I installed new SATA HD in my PC. I'm also always get slower Windows startup after the new SATA HD installed two days ago.

Maybe the new HD stressing my other HD on startup and affects(decreases) the other HD SMART Values in startup. Does this is true or could another Hardware cause this?

You can now buy TWO 500GB hard drives for the price I once paid for an 800 MEGABYTE hard drive. The Western World now exists in a 'throw-away' consumer state - if it breaks down, throw it away and buy a new one.

Well, in my country a new HD is still considered expensive, so I'm trying to avoid changing my HD if possible.

Because I think there is still possibilities that the faulty wasn't the HD.
Example:Now I change my HD to a new HD because the one is failing,after few days the new HD seems failing too. In this case I think there is at least 2 possibilites:
1.The new HD is faulty.
2.Another Hardware caused my HD failing (this new one and the old one)->If you answer true in my first question about another Hardware could affect a HD in SMART Status and other things in that HD.


If in The Philippines you still tend to fix things when they stop working, I have some bad new for you: you CANNOT FIX a dying hard drive - it just isn't possible, and as I've already told you - if you continue to check and double-check and re-check a failing hard drive it will DIE and you'll be left with nothing.


I'm not trying to fix a dying HD,but first I'm trying to find cause of it first ASAP. Maybe another Hardware could caused it (does this true?) so what I need to is just changing that Hardware (that could be cheaper that the HD) to prevent the HD dying even further,not changing the HD itself.

If you then insist on retrieving the data it will cost you many thousands of Dollars to send the drive to a Data Recovery Company - to do what you could have done yourself if you weren't so fixated to find a way to stop it dying.

At least in my country, I think there is almost none Data Recovery Company.So I'm making a backup but I'm always thinking what if the Backup media fails too.

Maybe I'm too paranoid about this, sorry about this because this is my first HD problem after using Computer about 4-5years.

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Smart problem

by genco940 In reply to Well, I think some of th ...

Open BIOS, disable data transfer, reboot

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And the easy answer is

by The Master2 In reply to Hard Disk Problem and SMA ...

Enable SMART in BIOS and when you see a Warning about Imminent Drive Failure when you start the Computer replace the failing HDD.

If you want to know the design details of a HDD I suggest that you ask the maker of this Drive for a full explanation of how their products are made and how they work or learn what makes a HDD a HDD.

If you think you have a headache now just think what the people who where trying to your friend Melina have.

People can only say the same thing so many ways before they loose interest and as they are doing this on a volunteer basis here they have no incentive to continue as it's time consuming for no result for anyone.

If you even read some of the thread that you have referred to you will see that everything is dependent on the software used to test the thing and as this has not been mentioned your entire series of questions are unanswerable in any meaningful manner.

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I think SMART aren't helping sometimes

by keven_alberto_yoesup In reply to And the easy answer is

In first post, I said that SMART aren't really helping in my Friend case.

SMART Value using many different diagnostic tools only shows "Current Pending Sector" and "Offline Uncorrectable" as Warning so my friend HD still Passed SMART Test even though it has many Bad Blocks in it.

I've search Google the causes of Bad Blocks and Hard Drive Failure,but I also want to know opinions and suggestions from people themselves and sometimes I couldn't find good answer in Google.

Like what causes "Raw Read Error Rate" attribute on SMART go down on startup or accessing that HD ,why the Bad Blocks in my friend HD doesn't remapped automatically, or why sometimes External Hard Drive not detected or even getting Bad Blocks even though it hasn't been used for some time and was place in Cool,Not Vibrating and Clean place.

By the way, Melina is not my friend, I've only found her thread in this website when searching in Google.

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Well your friend is attempting to over Analise everything

by The Master2 In reply to I think SMART aren't help ...

There is a Old Saying Sh1t Happens accept it and get on with your life.

Any mechanical device will fail saying that it's working OK is like saying My girlfriend is only a little bit pregnant she either is or she isn't pregnant there are no areas of In Between there. The same with a Failing HDD it is in the failing condition and is failing. Saying that it's working properly when it is failing is just plain stupid but this person can not comprehend that and this is where the problems arise.

Do you know till that person posted the What Causes Raw Read Errors I had never heard anyone ask such an obvious question and I never paid any attention to tests like that. You do not need to test a HDD every 2 seconds and constantly doing so is more likely to cause problems that just using the thing as you need it.

As for this it is a JOKE! or why sometimes External Hard Drive not detected or even getting Bad Blocks even though it hasn't been used for some time and was place in Cool,Not Vibrating and Clean place.

Sh1t Happens

The HDD doesn't need to be in a cool place and it was failing before it was stopped but they never knew it was happening so who cares? The main things that causes failures to occur with modern HDD's is that they are allowed to get too Hot while working which causes damage to happen to either the Platter or the Electronics that drive the HDD so they degrade or it get some form of Vibration. A modern HDD stopped with the heads parked can suffer a 30 G load and not suffer any Damage to the Platter or Heads but if it gets a small amount of vibration while running damage can occur and I have yet to see a place that a HDD is mounted that doesn't suffer from some vibration but your friend insists that the drive in question is Cool doesn't have any vibration at all and is failing. Well get over it Sh1t Happens there is nothing you can do to prevent it from happening you just need to accept that it happens and if you are only using a small number of drives as the comparison base anything that does happen is going to represent a high % of the drives that you have so the results are skewed drastically.

SMART Doesn't have anything at all to do with Mapping the Surface of the Platter it only monitors the Physical Parameters of the HDD and it reports any imminent failures you don't need to mess with it at all it is a Set & Forget Thing nothing more nothing less.

Every test that you can throw at a HDD is only a test it is not the Definitive answer to Life The Universe and Everything it is just a Test that will tell you if there are problems you do not need to diagnose every result to the Atomic Level trying to understand why Sh1t Happens

I want to know why my car stopped and needed to be repaired and what do I have to do to stop this happening again. I know have it serviced. But expecting it to happen just because a Radiator Hose has failed. So if I constantly pull off the 1 radiator hose that blew and check it every 3 minutes I will know that it will never give me any problems again. So as that was the one problem that I had previously it must mean it is the only problem that I could possibly have. That reasoning is ridiculous and you are unable to help anyone who thinks like that.

With a HDD it is a set and forget till it gives problems and then pull out throw away and replace when it does. Nothing more is required Plain & Simple.

Set the BIOS to enable the SMART and when you see a Message warning you of Imminent Drive Failure you replace the HDD immediately. Nothing more is required. What is so hard to understand about that?

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I was never paid any attention to it too

I was never paid any attention to any test like SMART too before my friend has Bad Blocks in his HD.

I don't test it every seconds ,but I wonder the "Raw Read Error Rate" on my HD is still 62 before last shut down few hours ago,now it dropped into 60. If this continues then it will be more near into Threshold value.

So I would like to know, what should I do and what could caused this?

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Try Spinrite.

by normhaga In reply to I was never paid any atte ...

I generally do not have luck with Spinrite, but it can save an HD. I find it less time intensive to replace the failing drive.

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How stuff works..................

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to Hard Disk Problem and SMA ...
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