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Read Errors


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#1 senseless

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 11:15 AM

I am not sure that I chose the proper forum for this, but here goes.

My problem began with a RAID 1 array, when I began to get disk failure messages. 

I was using the IRST software, etc to manage 2 1TB drives.  (WD Blue, Windows 10 upgrade)

They were deployed in 2013 and have approx 2.5 years of power on.

So yeah, maybe one's failing.

This RAID is for data storage only.  Not boot.  My OS and programs are on an SSD.

I fiddled with cables etc, and decided to upgrade to 2TB drives.

So the RAID 1 is now up and running with 2 new 2TB Seagates.

 

Using an external dock, I discovered that the "bad" WD drive still had all the data on it.

But sometimes it would be "bad."  Simply gone, and/or sometimes "bad" according to disk management.

(The other disk seems fine, and functions as an external.)

I started fiddling with the bad disk, removed the partition, etc.  Rebuild MBR.

I used minitool partition wizard.  After awhile, the disk seemed to be working again.

I ran chkdsk [letter]: /r

2 times.

CHKDSK found no problems with the drive.

I have copied data to the drive, and it reads fine.

 

Here's my question.

I used minitool to run a surface test, a few times, and it reports all the blocks have read errors.

I also tried HD tune error check, and it says the same thing.

All the blocks.  100% errors.

But the drive works.

And CHKDSK concurs.

Why are these other error tests giving read error results?

Does anybody have any idea what's up with these read errors?

Thanks for your help.


Edited by senseless, 04 November 2017 - 11:17 AM.


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#2 SleepyDude

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 02:10 PM

Hi,

 

I would test the drive using the WD Data Lifeguard Diagnostics utility https://support.wdc.com/knowledgebase/answer.aspx?ID=940

using an EXTENDED TEST

 

The read errors could be because the drive is having some problems reading the sectors for some reason and have to retry several times to successfully read the data, in normal use this will result on the drive performing slower and in the worst case fail to access the data.


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#3 senseless

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Posted 04 November 2017 - 05:05 PM

OK, thanks for the help.

I ran the extended test, and it failed within seconds...too many bad sectors.

The quick test passed.

SMART test too.

So, same result as minitool and HDTune.

 

But the drive is working.

I am wondering if there is something else afoot in this case.

How do these tests know so quickly that every sector is bad?

The CHKDSK test took over an hour to run, and says everything is fine.



#4 SleepyDude

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 06:44 AM

Sometimes the problem isn't the sectors but the drive mechanism that fails and the tools report that can't read the sectors.

 

The drive could be working now but soon or later will fail completely and you risk losing data if you don't have backups.


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#5 Platypus

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 07:30 AM

The most likely mechanism I can think of straight off that could come up with all blocks 100% errors, but return error free data, would be if the error is in the CRC calculation that detects errors in reads. That would mean the reads would deliver data with an unrecoverable error flag which is itself an error, the data is error free. That fault would be in the controller board, and if the drives are identical, and you wanted to bother, the boards could be swapped to see if the fault moves to the other drive.


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#6 senseless

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 08:37 AM

Thanks for the replies. 

SleepyDude, my data is secure, so that is no issue.  I am simply curious to learn the nature of these mixed signals.  And possibly re-task the weird drive if it indeed still has any use.

Platypus, I searched CRC and it seems like the problem might be along those lines, but that math is way out of my wheelhouse.

The error scans vary a little from try to try.  Sometimes it shows a few green sectors, and moves methodically from left to right.  Then hits a bump and just spews red.  When it is finding green, the test moves slowly.  Once it sees red, it just drills across the chart.  Sometimes it is just red from the start.

The HD Tune benchmark test does not run at all, just returns an error popup, "Read Error, Test Aborted."

 

I wonder why CHKDSK does not encounter the same issue?  Is it not doing the CRC calculation?

I might try the board swap, it appears quite straightforward, as long as the BIOS does not need to be swapped.



#7 Platypus

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Posted 05 November 2017 - 11:29 AM

Ah, I had the impression it was consistent and repeatable, across the entire drive ("All the blocks.  100% errors.")

 

In that case, it's still possible something is generating a false error indication but occasionally struggling to work correctly, and swapping boards would reveal whether it's in the electronics on the PCB or internal to the drive. To be successful the drives must be of the exact same series and the boards must be the same revision (generally stamped on the board somewhere e.g. Rev 1.2)

 

But it's really an exercise for the interest sake - as SleepyDude has said a drive in that state could not be considered usable, unless you proved an electronic fault on the PCB and found an identical replacement board.


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#8 senseless

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:12 AM

I assumed that drive 2 was OK, since it never threw a warning while in the RAID1.  And after being plucked from the RAID, it performs as expected for an independent drive.  It still has all of the original data from its life in the RAID.  All seems normal. 

But as I considered swapping the PCB's I decided to surface test this drive and it seems to be in the same state as the "bad" one.  All sectors bad.  Maybe one green at the beginning, then red red red.

Both of these drives work.

I am thinking that the software RAID altered these drives and the scans are being fooled by some sort of technicality.



#9 SleepyDude

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:37 AM

Make sure you try with different Sata cables and if possible connected to ports outside the RAID.


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#10 Platypus

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 10:49 AM

Certainly seems like something strange is going on there.


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#11 senseless

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 08:59 AM

I finally had time to test these drives when attached directly to the mobo.  Both are 100% A-OK.  Had to unplug my DVD drive to free a sata port.  Ran a bunch of scans etc and both drives perfect, no hiccups.

 

I suspect the problem lies with the toaster device that I used to read and test the drives after removing them from the RAID.  

I ran some scans on other external drives that are already attached to my PC via a USB hub and ports on the rear panel.  No problems there.

Probably the toaster.  I might fiddle some more and will post again if I discover anything else.

 

Thanks for your time spent.






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