A casual SMART scan pointed out my WD 1TB drive manufactured in 2009 unfortunately has several uncorrectable sectors. A following SMART Quick Test fails within 10 seconds with the message:
06-Quick Test on drive 3 did not complete! Status code = 07 (Failed read test element), Failure Checkpoint = 97 (Unknown Test) SMART self-test did not complete on drive 3!
Although the drive itself continued to function within exceptions for the time being, that is, reading and writing files, I bought a new drive and backed up the data from the defective one.
Consequently I prepared the defective drive for RMA. Using the WD Data Lifeguard Write Zeros tool, I wrote zeros (Full Erase) to the drive – twice. General consensus specifies a single wipe to be sufficient to make overwritten data irrecoverable. Lo and behold, the partitions were indeed no longer displayed in the OS and the drive marked as uninitialized.
However, much to my surprise, I was able to restore data I assumed was gone from the drive with an undelete application. With very little effort I must say (less than one minute scanning).
I wonder what is going on. Did the Write Zeros tool not really wipe the drive? Although this problem could be accounted to the fact the drive IS defective, I had no trouble writing to the drive before. Perhaps I should forget about RMA’ing, as I rather not risk sensitive data exposed. That unfortunately also means that I can’t take advantage of warranty, which is valid until somewhere in 2012, one of the reasons I bought the drive to begin with.