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SMART warning - Split from http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/28744/hard-drive-installation-an

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#1 Justa


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:03 AM


HP warranty replaced the hard drive with a Seagate.  It originally had a Western Digital.  I tested the new Seagate hard drive with Piriform Speccy and it displayed a SMART status of "Warning".  Speccy lists each attribute as good but I don't understand how to read the data.  Everything I have heard about a SMART test that is in "Warning" status indicates a problem has been noted and the drive is likely to fail in the future.


I ran Seagates Sea Tools for Windows for SMART test only and it indicates a status of "Good".  I am skeptical of the test results because Seagate has a lot of motivation to indicate passes to avoid warranty service.


So the Seagate has been running for a few months.  One morning my user directory removed my real name and changed it to user name so my directory name for my documents now reads "c:\users\username\".  About 80% of my documents are missing and some of my remaining user docs will not let me open them indicating I don't have rights to open the file.  My personal account is as an administrator.


HP refuses to replace the hard drive because the computer still boots and have told me my only recourse is to reset the hard drive completely with back up discs I purchased from HP when I first bought the computer.  This laptop has already had to be returned around 6 times for various times and I am sick of messing with it.  Completely reloading all my software will may result in calls to Microsoft due to the number of reloads done on Windows 8.0  and to activate (Microsoft Office 13).  Last time I had to call several other software vendors to reactivate after reload and if I has lost the "key" for anything I will wind up have to repurchase software I already paid for.


Due to the Seagate being in Speccy's "Warning" status since new and my current loss of data I think it is ridiculous to completely reload everything that really takes days to complete when I fully expect the drive to fail in the future.


Do I have any recourse with HP on the extended warranty that includes accidents and everything else?  Right now they won't replace the hard drive and are ignoring the Speccy "Warning" status and my sudden loss of data.  They ran their extended HP test from my hard drive and it passed but I believe the hard drive firmware may have either repaired sectors or hidden sectors that have gone bad.


Any suggestions greatly appreciated!  Thanks


Forget to mention:

HP ENVY m7,j010dx

I7 4th gen processor

16 GB Ram

Edited by Justa, 22 September 2014 - 09:49 AM.

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#2 JohnC_21


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 09:47 AM

I don't know about HP's test but Seatools for DOS will try to repair bad sectors. Here is the Wiki on SMART. Pay attention to the items in pink, especially "Pending Sector Count" and "Reallocated Sector Count". If those two items are high, I would call HP customer service and tell them to make a note of it on your account. Then if the drive fails after warranty you might be able to get them to replace it at no charge.


I would keep an eye on those attributes and the rate they increase. Make a note of that also when calling HP. And, get any important data off the drive and onto the cloud or a USB external.


You can download GsmartControl and look at the attributes tab.



#3 Platypus


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Posted 22 September 2014 - 10:00 AM

As a technician, I would lean towards the hard drive and system manufacturers diagnostics over a more generic SMART analysis such as Speccy. SMART parameters are proprietary, and thresholds and meanings of some parameters do vary between brands of drive. So you can't be absolutely 100% sure of correct interpretation from a third party utility. Comparing the analyses of several diagnostic tools can be useful.


It is quite possible that bad sectors have been remapped from the maintenance reserve, this is normal and will have been happening with all the drives whose end-of-life is determined by grown faults. (As distinct from electronics failures, head crashes etc.) Unfortunately since grown faults (sectors that go bad post manufacture) are an inherent hazard with magnetic recording media, you can only assess after the event whether it was unreasonable for a drive to have failed as it did, and if so seek redress. It's entirely possible for a drive to experience some grown faults, then stabilize and be reliable, time alone will tell.


As a user, I'm in no better position than anyone else in this regard, so I have to recognize that drives can fail, and for that reason I keep images of all my systems. This avoids complex reloads, and makes it easier to precipitate maintenance if necessary, such as a zero-fill of the drive to force reallocation of pending sectors as mentioned by JohnC above. Having a system image saved can really save your bacon, and is well worth doing as a prudent precaution.

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