RAW Read Errors, help!

My WD Black 1.5TB died a week ago. I got a WD Black 2TB as replacement. I have done entensive test on the drive before installing OS since I dont wanna lose data again. The 2TB checked out both quick test and extended test with WD Data Lifeguard DOS V5.19. However, after I install Windows 7 I found that my RAW Read Errors in the SMART are really high. They were 107 right after fresh install. This morning they turned in 110.

Is this something I should be worried about? I would hate to RMA another WD drive. If this one goes bad, I will switch to Seagate for sure.

if you have another cable you can try i would do that…

it sounds most likely a connection related issue to me.

maybe take a close look at the connectors on the motherboard to so you can make
 sure they don’t have dust or whatever on them…

After my last WD drive failed I have rechecked EVERYTHING. I went to newegg and bought brand new SATA cable. Using different SATA port and power connector.

I took my PC apart and cleaned it completely so there should be no trace of ANY dirt inside my case now.

And as I am typing, the RAW Read Error Count has increased to 111.

Good thing is I am holding off installing software on the drive. I am not going to install ANYTHING unless I am 200% sure this drive is safe.

To be honest, WD quality control is starting to ■■■■ me off. First one died in exactly one year and three months. Now this RMAed one has this situation going on.


well like i said its *most likely a connection problem and if not my guess is there is a problem with the drive.

but i’m curious where are you getting these smart values from ?

and do you have cables that have two small bumps or similar so they click into place ?

using those may help or make things worse. i had to pry off the metal retention clip thing

on on of my sata cables before it would go in far enough, when i did that it pretty much cleared up the issue.

my motherboard has crappy connectors on the board itself and its really easy to get a bad connection with them because of how tight and short the connector hole is on the ports.

my point is here is there are different cables that are made totaly different so if there was some that

are different that you can borrow from another pc for testing i would do it…

bear in mind its just mass produced plastic with a few strips of metal so sometimes they arn’t perfect.

i have some cables black sata that are the same but one of them had shorter metal strips inside…

I’d hate to think someone RMA’d their drive when they didn’t have to so i’m trying to suggest being as thorough as possible for YOUR sake not WD’s. I feel for ya that is REALLY frustrating so i wish you luck :slight_smile:

But i’m sure most people here would agree with cause (connection issue) but to be thorough i am curious can you look in the windows event viewer and see any messages related to your hard drive for the warning or errror categories ?
Also do you have a SATA onboard nvidia controller ?

Also you only mentioned that one smart value, are you getting any other smart values that look bad ?

Are you sure ALL the data on your drive is good ? Have you run chkdsk to scan your partitions ?

Using windows I’m assuming…

I have tried multiple sata cables—with clips and without; has 90 degree bent and straight.  I have tried SATA port from 1 to 6. My system configuration is as below:

Intel QX9650 @ 4GHz

ASUS Maximus Formula. X38 with ICH9R. In BIOS SATA set as AHCI

WD Black 2TB 2002FAEX-007BA0

Radeon 5870

GSkill DDR2-1066 8GB

Windows 7 Professional SP1 with all patches

All Intel Drivers, including the Instel Rapid Storage Technology

I have tried the following: AIDA64 2.7,  HDTune 5.0, WD Data Lifeguard

All three SMART statues report Raw Read Error Rate 117(yep, increased from yesterday)

Benchmark shows my WD Black 2TB is considerably slower than most online reviews. For example, My CrystalDiskMark benched at 500MB is 132MB/s Read and 127MB/s write.  All online review shows this drive SHOULD be around 143MB/s Read and 135MB/s write. I dont know what is wrong with it.

I am not getting any other warnings besides the RAW Read Error Rate. All other major problem indicators remained at 0.(Relocatted sector, Current Pending Sector and Uncorrectable Sector Count)

Judging from the condition of the HDD I suspect this is a refurbished drive. Only this can explain the high RAW Read Error Rate and the low performance. For comparision, my RMAed Black 1.5TB performs better than this Black 2TB using the same system.

So far I will install software on this. We will see how long it goes. If it fails again within a year, I am sure WD will get a knock on the door from BBB. And plus I will be suggest against WD every oppunity I have. :frowning:

well that was a solid reply but you never did say wether there is any messages in the windows event viewer…

because if that value is adding up gradually i would be very surprised there was no messages about some kind of transfer error in the event viewer, which could lead you to some other things you might be able to test etc

if nothing is in there about your disk or the controller itself i would not know what to suggest at this point.

and yeah if i was in your shoes i would choked too so sorry to hear about your problems… thats really crappy !


also if your interested i can shut off anything i’m running and turn on HDTune on my computer and benchmark my 1TB Black drive i got from an RMA Recently and post the picture results ?

I only have it running on a SATA II controller though…

I checked my Event view log, I cannot see any warning messages concerning I/O transfer.  And the RRE value just went over 122. At this rate, it will hit the threshold of 200 in a week or two.

That will be very kind of you to take a snap shot of the benchmark. I believe all WD Black drives still implement the 500GB platter tech so far. So if your drive performs better it will definitely be that my drive is not in shape.

I posted my benchmark picture in here already a few weeks ago i think it was.

but i’ll post it again… i tend to save the pictures. I have some from my WD Green 1TB and a Maxtor ATA drive and a USB drive most of them idle and full cpu load.

i only tested the black drive on idle though (Win 7 X64)

Its not a fair benchmark unless you kill as much **bleep** as possible, so many variables etc…

I’d post a pic of the Green drive but i did RMA the drive for a couple reasons so i don’t know if there is any point in that…

Lastly about the event viewer… did you look by category ? the view where it shows you each one and a column where it says, last hr, last 24hrs, last week, etc

Because i usually look at that view the most and then expand the category i’m interested from there.

I was curious of you found any under warning or error with the title ‘disk’

You say you already looked so i 'll take your word for it but i’m surprised you never seen anything.

Sorry not sure what else to suggest… I’m experienced and knowledgable but not an expert.

Maybe contact tech support at WD and ask them what they think ?


Also i think its obvious there is problems if your benchmark is spiking down to zero read a lot

i have pics of my green drive doing that and when it did read as slow as 0 i would also see messages at the same time in my event viewer mentioning a controller error etc

OK so I called WD’s customer support. They transferred me to one of their engineers(pretty cool here, actually someone with the knowledge to answer my question). And here is his explanation:

“The raw values of the RRER attributes represent a sector count , not an error count. This figure rolls over to 0 once the count reaches about 250 million.”

“All modern HDD have the same RRER problem, the larger the disk, the more RRER value you will get. Meanwhile, the more you store on your HDD, the higher the value goes.”

To summarize it up. The disk is completely fine with the RRER value increasing. It is perfectly safe.

Another thing, I suspect my drive maybe low in benchmarks, turns out it is a simple statistical model problem. There is an average, so there will always be individuals fall on the short end. Looks like mine is on the short end but still within tolerable range.

I will take his word for now. He is the one who participates in designing HDDs anyway.

According to WD’s published specifications, the WD2002FAEX has a maximum sustained data transfer rate of 138 MB/s while the WD5002AALX is rated for 126 MB/s and the WD5003AZEX is rated for 150MB/s.

WD Caviar Black Datasheet:

The slower drive has 500GB per platter technology whereas the WD2002FAEX appears to use short stroked 600GB platters.

Comparing the transfer rates, we have …

(138 / 126)^2 x 500GB = 600GB

A fully stroked drive will have a ratio of 2:1 between the max/min transfer rates, whereas a short stroked 600GB platter would have a ratio that is signficantly less than this, probably 1.7. You should see this on your HD Tune read benchmark graph.

The WD5003AZEX in the datasheet is benchmarking like a drive with a single short stroked 700GB platter:

(150 / 126)^2 x 500GB = 709GB

However, the following thread has a WD5003AZEX model that benchmarks like a fully stroked, 1TB-per-platter drive with a single head:

The following example is a bit “fuzzy”, but it appears to show your model with fully stroked 500GB platters:

As for the Raw Read Error Rate threshold of 200 (I suspect that it is actually 51, not 200), you appear to be confusing normalised values with raw values. Normalised values are “health” scores whereas raw values usually reflect an actual error count. For example, you might find that the normalised value might only drop 1 point (from 200 to 199) when the raw value rises to 1000, say.

BTW, the following statement is quoted from my article:


“The raw values of the RRER attributes represent a sector count, not an error count. This figure rolls over to 0 once the count reaches about 250 million.”

Unfortunately it applies to Seagate’s drives, not WD’s. :-)))

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@xkm121, in my article I wrote …

“The raw values of the RRER and HER attributes represent a sector count, not an error count. This figure rolls over to 0 once the count reaches about 250 million.”

The WD engineer’s statement is identical except that he deleted the words “and HER” (he also did not correct the resulting grammatical error). This begs the following questions, why is a WD design engineer quoting from an unofficial article written by a Seagate user? Don’t WD engineers have access to WD’s own internal technical documentation? Are WD’s engineers not aware that Seagate’s and WD’s SMART attributes are completely different?

Furthermore, it is obvious that the raw value of WD’s RRER attribute is not a sector count. Your first post began with a raw RRER value of 107, and now the figure is 122. During this time you ran a HD Tune read benchmark. Are we to believe that all this activity resulted in only 15 reads?

Something is not right. I think you need to ask some more questions.

yeah that sounds plain wrong.

mine says 51/200/200/0

my previous drive a WD Green had

HD Tune Pro: WDC WD10EARS-003BB1      Health

ID                                  Current  Worst    ThresholdData     Status   
(01) Raw Read Error Rate            195      195      51       22264    ok       
(03) Spin Up Time                   126      126      21       6658     ok       
(04) Start/Stop Count               100      100      0        369      ok       
(05) Reallocated Sector Count       200      200      140      0        ok       
(07) Seek Error Rate                100      253      0        0        ok       
(09) Power On Hours Count           83       83       0        12679    ok       
(0A) Spin Retry Count               100      100      0        0        ok       
(0B) Calibration Retry Count        100      100      0        0        ok       
(0C) Power Cycle Count              100      100      0        316      ok       
(C0) Unsafe Shutdown Count          200      200      0        233      ok       
(C1) Load Cycle Count               200      200      0        518      ok       
(C2) Temperature                    117      101      0        30       ok       
(C4) Reallocated Event Count        200      200      0        0        ok       
(C5) Current Pending Sector         200      200      0        17       warning  
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable          200      200      0        0        ok       
(C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count      200      200      0        0        ok       
(C8) Write Error Rate               200      200      0        0        ok       

Health Status         : warning

I RMA the drive because of connection issues at bios, performance issues (drive freezing) and weak/pending sector issues that would not get remapped. and data corruption issues… it was a train wreck of BS since i took it out of the package on day one ! I assumed it would run but it took hours for me to notice and then try and trouble shoot whey it was randomly not seen in the bios at all. Eventually i just got tired of screwing with it and since i rarely reboot i left the problem until it got bad enough that i came here… i brough this up because they have faulty drives and there is NO doubt about that.

And if you have exhausted all connection related ideas and that value still increases then i would contact tech support and TELL them you want a new drive because this is bull**bleep** !

I know for a fact that value increases under atleast one confirmed circumstance… bad cables etc

If it happens because of other reasons i’m not so sure or how technicaly but if the device is faulty then i could see that being ANOTHER reason for the value to do that.

I think that excuse is pure bs !

And if that is the drive they mailed you from an RMA then get on the horn and tell this is unacceptable period. It’s one thing to have poor quality products but to send someone a new drive that is faulty also and then give them bs on the phone about it is unacceptable !

And this is NO one time occurence either go read the feedback at newegg for black drives lol

MANY people have bought these and had do an endless stream of rma’s. Seriously read teh feedback here…


4th reply in 3 days ago one guy said this…

This guys quote is repeated MANY times by many people ! (had to get 11 drives for the 5 he wanted)

There is no excuse to receive 4 of 5 drives dead and THEN receive dead/faulty RMA drives !

And that has been said there MANY times also ! …read it.

Go kick their **bleep** man !


i found this on google…


notice the guys first response… about how that *should be a warranty smart setting.

but you *may notice that WinDLG doesn’t read your smart values from your sata drive though lol

Thank you all for your reply! I also found the “engineer” is kinda sketchy. I googled the statement he gave me and guess what? Found it out right on search results.

I am more that pissed off right now. First the poor quality, then this BS with their tech support department.

I am posting up this screenshot about the current value.  Should I yell at WD customer support about this? 

And I am 100% sure that the drive passed both short and extened WD Data Lifeguard Diagnoistics for DOS. This value just keeps increasing. What should I do?

I have already installed software on this drive. I have spent 3 weeks on this F*UCKING issue already and lost quite some business due to the shi*tty quality of WD’s drive.

If there is ONE WD employee on the forum, please let me know how do you think about this situation.


Guess What I Just Got In The HDTune Readings?




Western DIgital

You have dropped the ball on this one. I spent 3 weeks trying to clean up the mess that is caused by YOUR freaking defective products.

Original one—dead in ONE YEAR 3 MONTHS

RMA drive—showing bad sectors within one week of getting it in the mail.

How am I suppose to trust you guys any more? More RMA? More dead drives? And best of all, I GOTTA PAY SHIPPING FOR YOUR HORRIBLE QUALITY CONTROL?

Never buying WD again. NEVER EVER buying WD again. Stay as far away from you as I can.

@xkm121, I fully understand your frustration. However, even though your support contact appears to have treated you rather shabbily, I would instead direct my displeasure several levels further up the food chain. That’s where all the inane support decisions are made.

Ask yourself, why did your support contact need to resort to researching the Internet for an answer to your problem? Why did he not just access WD’s internal technical documentation via WD’s own Intranet? Is it because WD does not provide technical documentation to their own support staff?

Many years ago I worked in tech support for a US computer company. This company manufactured its own hardware and software (yes, it was very long ago). I had access to all the circuit diagrams and technical manuals, some of which were the size of phone books. At a senior level, I also had access to source code. Nowadays the industry is highly competitive. Margins are razor thin, and intellectual property is fiercely guarded. Therefore I wouldn’t be surprised if WD’s helpdesk staff are not privy to the same technical data that was available to us in my day.

In fact WD’s publicly available technical documentation is laughable. With the possible exception of Toshiba, WD is probably the worst of the HDD manufacturers in this regard. Ironically, Hitachi, now a WD subsidiary, is probably the best, at least until WD takes full control. Then Hitachi’s technical database will probably vanish from the Internet. In fact that’s what happened when WD acquired SiliconSystems. Until WD’s acquisition, SiliconSystems’ technical datasheets were available to the general public. Nowadays they are only available to WD’s “Solid State Storage Partners”. Perhaps if WD’s helpdesk staff could be elevated to “partner” status, then they could avail themselves of the same information that is available to WD’s special friends.

Let’s see what public documentation is available for your drive:

All I see are skimpy brochures, spec sheets and marketing pap, no product manuals or anything of a substantial nature. It’s no wonder that your support contact wasn’t able to help you.

As for your SMART data, it does seem that the RRER attribute is related to your recent pending sectors. However, it is evident that WD doesn’t see the raw value of the RRER to be of serious concern. I say this because, if you examine the SMART data posted by “WD10EARS”, you will note that after 22264 counts the normalised value has fallen by only 5 points, from 200 to 195. If we assume a linear relationship, then it would appear that each point represents approximately 4000 counts. Therefore, in order for the normalised value to hit the threshold of 51, the drive would need to record about 600,000 counts. In other words, a drive with 0.6 million counts (errors ?) would still be passed by Data LifeGuard.

good post

but to add about my drive i rma’d

i was getting massive errors in the event viewer when those RRER’s were happening

and that was causing the machine to freeze all the time watching a video and it would stall out etc

and benchmarking the drive made it do th exact same thing… and i too had my drive for the same amount of time and it rapidly got worse real fast… the current pending sector count combined with data corruption started spiralling out of control and i lost a fair amount of data… although i’m not sure this guy has detection issues on startup with teh motherboard like i did the whole time.

So my point is the link i posted shows that WD considers that smart value as under warranty as well as others i had problems with and now this guy does too. I also bet his drive is gonna get WAY worse REAL fast.

I didn’t even wanna RMA my drive because i seen how many people went through what this guy is going through now. which is why i waited so long to do something about it… why RMA a drive if your gonna get another bad drive sent to you and does sending in your new retail drive for a refurb sound good ? lol

I be they turn em on and do a quick test (like we do at home basicly) and then go “oh i don’t see a problem” and proceed to give it the next guy who does an RMA.

Oh and i almost forgot my old drive DID get a failure code on DLGDiag for DOS too.

Having a failure rate of drives shipped to customers like what is happening here is simply insane !

That one guy had to get 11 drives to get the 5 he wanted ? Seriously ? And read that link and you will see this has happened a LOT and then read the OTHER hard drive links on newegg …same **bleep**.

and THEN

when these people RMA their drive they get ANOTHER bad drive too ?

No bloody way ! That is is just mind shatteringly insane !

Imagine if Intel shipped CPU’s with a failure rate that high and then a failure rate of the RMA refurb products too… They would be out of business !

If it wasn’t for the fact the WD’s prices are so cheap and we have little alternatives this company would be big trouble !

I kept looking at feedback before i bought my green drive and figured i had a 50/50 chance of having problems and i was right… but had no choice.

Anyway i had a mod or admin here send me to a user called TechSupport (Sam) and that person helped me really well so i suggest you do that too and tell them your situation etc.

And personally after what you have gone though i think they should send you back 2 drives now just for trouble !

You can only blame the manufacterers is Malaysia or where ever so much before you have to take responsibility for the products you sell.

I have posted a thread in their support section. We shall see how this turns out.

I have seen somewhere that people claim these drives have a 33% failure rate. I just regret choosing WD in the first place.

Thanks for all the help guys!

My thread in the WD support section is deleted.

This is just nice. Good work WD. Really good work.  :frowning: