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when is a disk crash not a disk crash ?

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  • when is a disk crash not a disk crash ?

    hi everybody,

    went in to work today and powered up my machine, my heart skipped a few when i heard the sound of a disk drive seeking... and seeking... and seeking... and my machine wouldn't boot. i tracked down the broken drive -- a Seagate ST32000641AS Barracuda 2Tb -- and pulled it out of the system. machine then booted ok, but i'd lost a pretty important drive.

    later today, i took the drive home and plugged it into a different machine so i could run seatools and some other diagnostics, including the passmark diskchecker. diskchecker said the drive checks out fine. i ran it again using the 'extended' test, and a few hours later it said the disk was 100% fine.

    questions -
    - how reliable is the diskchecker program ?
    - assuming the answer to that is like '100%', does anyone have any ideas what else might've happened and how i could troubleshoot that ? maybe a different hardware issue of some sort ?

    add'l info : both machines run windows 7 x64 enterprise sp1.

    thanks!

  • #2
    Obvious question is, did the 'broken' drive seem to work when plugged into the new system? (can you read and write files?)

    DiskCheckup runs the drive's own internal test. We don't know exactly what this particular Seagate drive does as an internal self test. So can't really comment on how comprehensive it is.

    But here is what I would do.
    1) If the drive works in the new machine, backup everything immediately. Check the backup works.
    2) Reformat the disk
    3) Collect and record the SMART data.
    4) Use a tool like BurnInTest to do a write / read test of the entire disk's surface.
    5) Check the SMART data again. Look for any increases in bad sectors, or other error counters.

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    • #3
      thanks much for your reply, david.

      Originally posted by David (PassMark) View Post
      Obvious question is, did the 'broken' drive seem to work when plugged into the new system? (can you read and write files?)
      ah, i see that wasn't clear from my post. yes, i'm able to read and write data from/to the disk. strangely, sometimes there's a brief 'hesitation' when i try to access the drive the first time after turning on the machine. i.e., windows explorer stops responding for a couple seconds. not sure if that means the disk does have a problem or if that's just because the drive has so much data on it.

      Originally posted by David (PassMark) View Post
      DiskCheckup runs the drive's own internal test. We don't know exactly what this particular Seagate drive does as an internal self test. So can't really comment on how comprehensive it is.

      But here is what I would do.
      1) If the drive works in the new machine, backup everything immediately. Check the backup works.
      2) Reformat the disk
      3) Collect and record the SMART data.
      4) Use a tool like BurnInTest to do a write / read test of the entire disk's surface.
      5) Check the SMART data again. Look for any increases in bad sectors, or other error counters.
      i was afraid of that. this is a 2 terabyte drive, don't have anything else on my machine that big, so i guess i'll have to buy a new one just to back this one up.

      i'm going to contact seagate and see if they can't do anything, since the drive is still under warranty.

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