Initial problems with WD20EARS - bad sign? Should I RMA it?

I just installed a new WD Green WD20EARS in my system (Linux with latest kernel 2.6.34).  When I attempted to query it via smartmontools I got:

# smartctl -a /dev/sdc
smartctl 5.39.1 2010-01-28 r3054 [x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-10 by Bruce Allen,

Device: °ód Version: 
>> Terminate command early due to bad response to IEC mode page
A mandatory SMART command failed: exiting. To continue, add one or more '-T permissive' options.

Further, after I partitioned it (single partition starting on sector 2048 to keep everything aligned to the 4k sector size), I couldn’t write an ext4 file system to the drive:

# mkfs.ext4 /dev/sdc1mke2fs 1.41.12 (17-May-2010)Filesystem label=OS type: LinuxBlock size=4096 (log=2)Fragment size=4096 (log=2)Stride=0 blocks, Stripe width=0 blocks122101760 inodes, 488378390 blocks24418919 blocks (5.00%) reserved for the super userFirst data block=0Maximum filesystem blocks=429496729614905 block groups32768 blocks per group, 32768 fragments per group8192 inodes per groupSuperblock backups stored on blocks: 32768, 98304, 163840, 229376, 294912, 819200, 884736, 1605632, 2654208, 4096000, 7962624, 11239424, 20480000, 23887872, 71663616, 78675968, 102400000, 214990848Writing inode tables: done ext2fs_mkdir: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while creating root dir

As you can see, it gave this odd “ext2fs_mkdir: Attempt to read block from filesystem resulted in short read while creating root dir” error. 

I have since nuked the MBR and partition tables with dd and repeated the process which did not give errors.  I have been rsyncing files on to it for the past few hours with no complaints.  It seems to be okay but should I be worried about this and should I RMA the drive?

Does the Linux kernel you’re using align for 4K sectors?  If so, then I wouldn’t worry about it, that is as long as you’re not getting any SMART errors, or bad sectors.

I manually aligned it with fdisk.  I’m not seeing any SMART errors but I also can’t get the long offline test to complete.  It always reports some sort of “reset by host” type error.

I’m not sure what that error means, but I will look into and get back to you.

I was told that since the error message is related to the SMART, the drive could be bad.  Also, you should know that some SMART test utilities do not work as well as others.  I was also told that you should probably test the drive in a Windows computer with our DLG Diagnostics utility and see if it passes all the tests.   Otherwise, you may have to replace the drive.