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Windows 7 Hard Drive Question


Honorable Member
May 29, 2009
My question is not how to fix anything, because I have already replaced the drive in question, but how to diagnose some strange behavior, so I can give an objective reason for an RMA.

I have been having significant problems with a number of apps in terms of their slowness, and a recent string of BSODs, which all seemed to point in different directions. After checking the software and system every way I could think of, I began looking at the possibility of it being a hardware issue.

I ran a test with HDTune, just the day before the last BSOD, and the system drive looked okay, but when I awoke the next day it had crashed again, and hung on reboot at the Windows logo screen.

After a couple of attempts to boot normally which failed in like manner, I ran the Windows Startup Repair Utility, but when it failed, it said that the reason was a bad hard drive. That is when I pulled a spare drive out of the closet to replace it with.

As soon as reaching desktop, I ran HD Tune again, and when the benchmark screen indicated a severely low transfer rate, I ran an error scan with both HD Tune and Digital Life Guard. Both of those results were A-Okay, with no bad sectors. I then ran the benchmark on it again, and that time the transfer rate was normal.

At this point, I have no idea of what the problem was, unless it was something to do with the logic board, but as far as I can tell, neither of the diagnostics that I use actually test that directly, other than reading the smart data.

Now I have a drive that I don't trust, but can't point to exactly what the problem is. Can anyone suggest a definitive method of testing this drive?
If this is a WD drive they don't send you a new driver for RMA it's a refurbished one. Are all of your important drivers up to date?
I understand the idea behind your question, but it covers a lot of area. Which ones do you consider important in terms of the scope of the issue in question.

Perhaps I was just lucky, but I've RMAed several WDC drives in the past, and all except the last one were new. As far as the quality of their refurbished drives, if that last one is any indicator, an RMA would be a losing proposition, because it is very marginal and limited in terms of what I feel I can use it for.

The primary reason that I left Seagate for WDC is because of the poor quality of their RMA drives. If WDC becomes the same, I may have to try some other manufacturer.
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Refurbished does not automatically mean it was broken and then repaired. Most refurbished just means the box was opened and the product cannot be resold as new. And even for those that were faulty then repaired, that does not mean the refurbished will perform in an inferior manner.

I am not convinced this is a drive problem but the best way to get an RMA from a drive maker is to run the drive maker's own drive Hard Drive Diagnostics program. Any errors found and not fixed are reason for a RMA. But if no errors found, that's a pretty good indication there are no problems with the drive.

As always, with any hardware problems (especially hard to pinpoint hardware problems) I ALWAYS want to ensure I am feeding my electronics good, clean, stable power so if me, I would swap in a known good power supply to see if the problems still occur. Note a flakey PSU can still supply all the necessary voltages within tolerances, and still be flakey. The DC may be "dirty" with too much ripple, or some other anomaly.

Also, heat is always a concern so you need to ensure there is no blanket of heat trapping dust coating your heat sensitive devices. And finally, make sure your system is free of malware.