Data Lifeguard reliability

Thanks to anyone who can help.

I have a Caviar WD1600JS which will no longer boot to Windows XP.

I took the hd out of the PC and inserted into another PC and ran lifeguard followed by chkdsk.

Lifeguard gave the hd a clean bill of health on the extended test. chkdsk though otherwise giving multiple read errors and multiple replacement of bad clusters.

Is lifeguard reliable?

I wonder that too. Or more accurately, whether the S.M.A.R.T. data on the drive itself, which Lifeguard is reporting, is reliable.

My Caviar Green WD7500AACS continues to increase its bad sector count, a year ago it was 32KB and now 152KB in bad sectors (CHKDSK).

Yet the Lifeguard shows the Re-allocated Sector Count in S.M.A.R.T. value is still 200 – high values being better, and 200 is the best value possible – in other words, no problems. So either you need an awful lot of bad sectors for it to even register in Lifeguard, or its just not registering at all.

Yeah! Thanks for the reply David. I noticed this a few months ago too but with a different WD drive . It is nice that you can confirm similar problems with lifeguard. I am going to treat lifeguard as ‘flaky’ in the future and maybe stop using WD if their software cannot help you diagnose and fix problems with their own products.

anyone from WD reading this thread?

I believe the problem is in the S.M.A.R.T. recording in the drive itself. I don’t think Lifeguard is wrong. Inadequate, perhaps. 

I installed a really good 3rd party disk diagnostics program, whose name I found from another forum thread in this forum, after posting my message above. This new program (whose name I don’t have with me, I’m at work) shows all sorts of extra info such as temperature.

Anyway, it shows the Re-allocated Sector figure of 200, identical to Lifeguard.  It does display a message that my drive has some failed sectors - 5 I think - which doesn’t square with the 152KB that CHKDSK reports, but at least it’s something.

I’ll post the name of it when I get home. Will be interesting to see what it shows for you.

That program is Hard Disk Sentinel

This SMART stuff is very odd.

The Data field for my Re-allocated Sector Count is zero.

And yet the Overview tab says “The drive found 5 bad sectors during its self test.”.

And CHKDSK reports 152KB which at 512 bytes / sector = 304 sectors, which is the only figure that matches up to the reality of the errors it has had. I’ll contact Support. Let us know what you find.

Can we see a full report of all SMART attributes?

The bad sectors that were found during a selftest won’t be reallocated until they are rewritten by the OS. Until then they may appear under the “Current Pending Sectors” attribute.

Similarly, any bad sectors that are detected and taken out of service by CHKDSK will not be reallocated. This is because once a sector is marked as bad by the OS, it is not rewritten until the drive is reformatted.

No problems, thanks for asking. Apologies to tricky300 for hijacking your thread - that wasn’t my intention. We’d be interested in your SMART data if you posted it too.

No. Attribute Thre.. Value Worst Data
1 Raw Read Error Rate 51 199 199 3452
3 Spin Up Time 21 160 158 6975
4 Start/Stop Count 0 100 100 555 
5 Reallocated Sectors Co.. 140 200 200 0   
7 Seek Error Rate 0 100 253 0   
9 Power On Time Count 0 92 92 5895
10 Spin Retry Count 0 100 100 0   
11 Drive Calibration Retr.. 0 100 100 0   
12 Drive Power Cycle Count 0 100 100 269 
192 Power off Retract Cycle 0 200 200 12  
193 Load/Unload Cycle Count 0 200 200 555 
194 Disk Temperature 0 113 102 37  
196 Reallocation Event Count 0 200 200 0   
197 Current Pending Sector.. 0 200 200 2   
198 Off-Line Uncorrectable.. 0 200 200 5   
199 Ultra ATA CRC Error Co.. 0 200 200 0   
200 Write Error Rate 0 200 200 0

That is from HDSentinel, the figures are the same that Lifeguard reports.

One other thing, the quick self test always fails with

“Self Test Execution Status . . . . . . . . . . . : Test Failed By Read Element”

Similarly, any bad sectors that are detected and taken out of service by CHKDSK will not be reallocated. This is because once a sector is marked as bad by the OS, it is not rewritten until the drive is reformatted.

*Light goes on* - okay, I understand - thanks.  I shall reformat it (I bought a WD Green Caviar terabyte as a replacement).

Your SMART report confirms that there are 2 sectors pending reallocation. My own Seagate drive had 1 pending sector for its entire life because Windows 98’s Scandisk had marked it as bad.

BTW, your drive’s highest recorded temperature was 48C (= 150 - 102).

Strange what formatting will do. That drive, which had 152KB of worsening bad sectors and failed the Quick Test on two different PCs (via both HDSentinel and Lifeguard) every time, and was about the be RMA’ed, now seems to be working well – following a full reformat. The Quick Test completes ok too!

CHKDSK now shows zero bad sectors, and SMART has not got any worse. Go figure.

Yes, as to the temperature, I’ve realised that running my Asus mobo in Eco-friendly mode using EPU-4 had resulted in the Case fan being permanently switched off. Amazing what a difference the case extractor fan makes to the hard drives temperature. Out of curiousity I reversed the fan to blow air inwards into the case. The HDD were up to 5 degrees Celcius hotter with it blowing inwards, compared to it sucking out.

Thanks for your advice fzabkar. And good luck to tricky300 with your drive.