Lifespan of my WD Elements 3 TB desktop External HD


I just discovered yesterday, that my WD Elements desktop external hard drive might be failing.
According to CrystalDiskInfo ( Version 8.5.2 x64), it is showing a CAUTION warning, with a Uncorrectable Sector Count of 36.

(see image below)

I bought this External Hard Drive in March 2015, so yeah, it’s over 7 years old, but it was only used about once per week for Windows Backups.

Power on hours is only 547.

Is this really an expected lifespan of an external hard drive? I think in terms of my previous laptop, which was used for just over 10 years, (still works fine) and the internal hard drive still shows GOOD status with CrystalDiskInfo. It has Power On Hours of 36326!!!

An external hard drive failing at only 547 power on hours seems…lacking.

My previous laptop hardrive, (IMAGE BELOW) still going with good status.

I downloaded and installed WD Dashboard diagnostic tool. It tells me the health of the HDD is “normal” :face_with_peeking_eye: but also tells me it fails the S.M.A.R.T diagnostic short test with error code 7

So, it’s NOT healthy

error code 7

I also downloaded and installed HDDScan.exe diagnostic tool. It tells me (like CrystalDiskInfo) that I have Uncorrectable errors


Why is the WD Dashboard utility telling me the health of the drive is normal??

If your hard drive is failing then it must be showing some sort of symptoms like Strange noises, corrupted files, crashing during boot, and glacial transfer speeds all point to the inevitable end. This is normal, especially if your drive is more than a few years old. On older spinning drives, moving parts like the motor can degrade over time, or the drives’ magnetic sectors can go bad.
What you can do if you find all these above symptoms then it might be that your hard drive is degrading , so what you can do to check its status.

Check your Drive SMART Status
Most modern drives have a feature called S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology), which monitors different drive attributes in an attempt to detect a failing disk. That way, your computer will automatically notify you before data loss occurs and the drive can be replaced while it still remains functional.

In Windows, you can manually check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your drives from the Command Prompt.
Just type “cmd” into the search bar and open the application. In the pop-up box, run:
wmic diskdrive get model,status`
It will return Pred Fail if your drive’s death is imminent or OK if it thinks the drive is doing fine.
OR You can Install Utility Programs for More Data
The basic S.M.A.R.T. information can be misleading. IT only tells you if your drive is near death, but you can start to experience problems even if the basic S.M.A.R.T. status is okay. For a closer look, CrystalDiskInfo is also good.
Caution label is usually a good indicator that you should back up the drive and think about replacing it soon, even if you aren’t having problems yet.
If you want an even deeper, more accurate picture into your drive’s health, check its manufacturer’s website for a dedicated tool.
For example, Western Digital has Western Digital Dashboard(Opens in a new window) for its drives These tools can sometimes take into account certain technologies specific to their hard drives and SSDs.