I bought a second WD1001FALS-00J7B0 drive a couple of days ago to supplement a previous year old one mainly because I had been impressed by the performance of the previous one. However this afternoon I decided to check out the new drive and see exactly how it did compare with the old drive. I was surprised to find that the performance did not seem to quite so good - access time seemed to be off by a couple of millisecs and the min transfer rate achieved was somewhat lower. So I decided to investigate further - all of this had actually been precipitated by Active@ Hard Disk Monitor showing that my new drive seemed to be showing some spin-up time problems with a 92% rating for SMART Attr 3 - my other drive shows no issue with this after a years use. So I took a further look with HD Tune (which I had used to do the performance measurements) and it would not display any SMART information, nor would it display any details about Serial Number, Buffer (says n/a) or Standards supported. The only difference between the two drives is that the new drive is partitioned into two NTFS partitions whereas the old one only contains a single NTFS partition. The new drive runs about 4 degrees centigrade cooler than the old one, but at 40 degrees this is not an issue. I would include some screen shots but unfortunately I cannot work out how to get them into this post. Oh by the way I downloaded the WDC windows diagnostic package V1.17 and tried to run it but it started up and then froze (this is Win 7 HP 64 bit).
So the big question is should I be concerned about the spin up performance and does the fact that HD Tune cannot extract basic information about the drive (including buffer size etc) mean I’ve got a drive that looks like it might be an early life failure?