Hard Drive Damage

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Hardware' started by seekermeister, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    I've posted a couple of questions in the past regarding hard drive problems, but not quite like this one. Due to the fact that my Windows 7 installation has become especially sluggish lately, I've been looking at a number of possibilities for dealing with it, including a clean installation of everything.

    However, before doing so, I've been checking my hardware for any problems that may be involved also. It wasn't very long ago, that I checked the current hard drive that the system is installed on, and it passed with flying colors, but I just checked again, and it has a lot of very slow blocks on it now (like 3-6MBs), as can be seen in the screenshot below.

    What I noted is that most of the slow blocks are located approximately at the beginning of a partition that I have been using for a parking space for downloads. I do that because I've noticed that when downloading a video file, that it lands on the drive in a fairly fragmented manner, but when copy/pasting it to it final destination, it usually is placed there without any fragmentation. I also find it convenient to keep these files separate until I finish any organizational changes that I need to do first.

    Thinking about the location of those slow blocks, I remember a couple of discussion that I've had in the past regarding possible damage done by defragging a drive, because of moving data around. I often download as many as a couple dozen or more video files per day, meaning that the suspect area of block are rewritten very often.

    I know that a problem for SSDs is there limitation for being rewritten, but I was under the impression that Hard drives don't suffer from that problem...IS THAT REALLY TRUE?

    Whether it is or not, I'm going to look for a location for my parking partition that I care less about damaging in the future. Still, it relates to a number of aspects of system maintenance, that I would like to have a better understanding.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. dikbozo

    dikbozo Well-Known Member

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    If I were you I would download and run the appropriate diagnostic software from WDC. They have pretty good record IME, which is considerable with regards to hard drives in general. I am fairly certain your drive would pass a short test but run it and the long test as well. Slow write speeds on a hard disk are not normal and should be investigated as soon as possible. I would suspect you have a soon to be failing disk on your hands.

    I found a PDF online that lists the specs of your drive that has a 2012 date on it. If you bought this drive somewhat recently, say the past year or two, consider checking for a possible RMA. I realize the current climate regarding drive warranties has changed to one of 1 year for the most part as opposed to 3 or 5 years. IIRC WDC Black drives still have 3 years.

    I would suspect the HDD have a limit on the number of read write cycles jst as SSD do but that it is much higher partly due to the provably higher MBTF thast HDD currently have. I don't use or endorse SSD for long term use or storage due to their relatively unproven nature (YES, they have been in use for a while but not anywhere near the wide spread torture HDD ave been subjected to and IME very few enterprise class institutions will use them in mission critical places).
     
  3. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    While I tend to agree with what you said after recommending using the WDC diagnostic, I shall not take the time to run it, even though I already have it installed. I have never found it any more reliable than HD Tune, and the fact that it is basically just a pass/fail test makes it much less useful.

    While I imagine that the speed test of HD Tune would indirectly relate to the write speed as you suggest, it relates to the read speed as well. The reason for my post was not to determine whether this drive is sick or not, because I already have deemed it as such. What I'm trying to determine now is how best to deal with this kind of issue in the future with other drives, because this is the second WDC hard drive that I've had recently with slow sectors that definitely effects their usefulness even before they actually die. As it appears now, I will have to use my least useful drives where I know that there will be a high degree of read/write activity. The problem with that is that those drives are no longer under warranty, and wouldn't be possible to replace with buying new replacements.
     
  4. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    Oh! Also it seems that you have understated the warranties for WDC drives. According to their website:

    Internal Desktop Hard Drives Overview

    All of their drives have two or more years of warranty. The blacks still have 5 years. If you got one with only one year, you probably bought one like one that I did a while back, where the vendors supply was old, because the warranties start from manufacture date, not the date of purchase. That is why I now always inquire about the manufacture date of any drive that I buy. It also seems that some vendors offer drives without any manufacturer's warranty, and just use their own warranty system.
     
    #4 seekermeister, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013
  5. dikbozo

    dikbozo Well-Known Member

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    If you would like more info on your drive, I recommend Crystal Disk Info from here:

    CrystalDiskInfo - Software - Crystal Dew World

    If that doesn't give you enough, I give up. The detailed info regarding the S.M.A.R.T. is enough for me.
     
  6. seekermeister

    seekermeister Honorable Member

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    You still don't seem to understand. I'm not looking for help with diagnosing this drive. However, it would seem to be a waste of time to explain it again.
     
  7. dikbozo

    dikbozo Well-Known Member

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    Yes. It would seem that you have not made yourself clear as to what it is you are asking.

    In case you forgot exactly what it is you asked, a clarification would help.
     

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