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 Post subject: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 21st, 2011, 0:54 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
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Location: Malaysia
Can some tell me what causes the external hard disk to have unstable sectors ? How to resolve the issue ? Can a low-level format solve the issue ?

http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/811/13088984.jpg/


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 21st, 2011, 5:08 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
Drive may be faulty. Please supply the full SMART output (inc raw values) and not only that one section in the image you supplied.

Also I recommend you make sure you have a full backup of your data from that drive - although some sectors are already unreadable, so you may get errors when trying to read some files. :(

Have you had some problems reading files from that disk?


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 21st, 2011, 11:42 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
Posts: 6
Location: Malaysia
What do you mean by full SMART output ?

Last week, when I plug in the drive to my laptop, Windows told me that the drive is unformatted and ask whether to format it or not. Initially when I bought the drive it can used and I had also copy more than 100GB of data into the drive. I just have no idea why it became like that.

I had recovered the data using GetDataBack for NTFS and did a reformat to the drive. After the reformat, I checked the drive with HD Tune again and it showed the same result - unstable sectors. Furthermore, I also did a diagnostic using SeaTool from Seagate and when i ran the Short Drive Self Test (ShortDST), the test failed.

What actually causes this issue ? I did safely removed the drive every time after I used it. Can a low-level format resolve the issue ?

Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 21st, 2011, 12:23 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
dawn0090 wrote:
What do you mean by full SMART output ?

That "Health" tab in HD Tune Pro is showing you SMART data from the drive (you can research this topic on Wikipedia or elsewhere, if you want more info). In your screenshot, you only showed part of the "Health" output (ie. part of the SMART data). There is other info in the part of the "Health" (SMART) output which you did not show (notice the scroll bar in your screenshot).

However, now that you have given more info below, you do not need to provide that SMART data, as the answer is clear - see below. If you had explained the whole story originally, then I would not have requested that data. :)

dawn0090 wrote:
Last week, when I plug in the drive to my laptop, Windows told me that the drive is unformatted and ask whether to format it or not. Initially when I bought the drive it can used and I had also copy more than 100GB of data into the drive. I just have no idea why it became like that.

This means that part of the filesystem became unreadable.

dawn0090 wrote:
Furthermore, I also did a diagnostic using SeaTool from Seagate and when i ran the Short Drive Self Test (ShortDST), the test failed.

That is vital information in your story. Your drive is faulty. Return it to the shop or RMA it, as it seems to be quite new (use whatever is your usual procedure for faulty goods in your country). Seatools would have displayed an error code after the test failure, which you can supply to the shop or Seagate, to confirm the failure.

dawn0090 wrote:
What actually causes this issue ?

It's a faulty drive, or someone caused mechanical shock/damage. It's good that you managed to recover the data.

dawn0090 wrote:
Can a low-level format resolve the issue ?

You have no way to perform a real low-level format, but in any case, from the new info you have supplied about the DST failure, the drive is faulty so do not try to use it, if you care about your data. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 21st, 2011, 23:50 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
Posts: 6
Location: Malaysia
Yes you are right, the drive was newly bought, two weeks ago. I had just used it for not more than 10 times I guessed. I will return the drive to the shop tomorrow and claim for the warranty. Anyway, thank you very much for the help, really appreciate it.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2011, 7:17 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
You're very welcome. :)

I have one more suggestion: If you ever saved any personal information on that disk, I suggest that you try to overwrite (wipe) the whole disk before you return it to the shop. This will reduce the chances of the shop or Seagate from reading your personal information from the disk. I believe that Seatools has an option to do that.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2011, 23:58 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
Posts: 6
Location: Malaysia
Seatools for Windows doesn't seen to have the option for me to fully erase the drive. I also tried Seatools for DOS but when I got to the License Agreement part, I can't even moved my mouse nor used the keyboard. By the way, I heard that Seatools for DOS will not detect USB external drive, is that so ?

Any help ? Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 1:32 
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Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 12:14
Posts: 385
Location: Austria / Europe
USB devices (keyboard, mouse, HDD, CD-ROM etc) will be recognised in Windows only
because there are "drivers" installed automatically.


In DOS - there are no such drivers installed automatically - thats why a USB keyboard,
a USB mouse and an external USB device (HDD etc) will NOT work.


If you are lucky, you can find DOS drivers - but whether they work with a specific
device is in the skies.....

+++


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 24th, 2011, 3:49 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
dawn0090 wrote:
I also tried Seatools for DOS but when I got to the License Agreement part, I can't even moved my mouse nor used the keyboard. By the way, I heard that Seatools for DOS will not detect USB external drive, is that so ?

Correct - for all the reasons that falther kindly explained to you, Seatools for DOS is not designed for external drives (Seatools instructions also say this). You do need to be using Seatools for Windows.

(While it might theoretically be possible to try a generic USB MSD DOS driver with Seatools for DOS, now isn't the time for playful 'hacking' IMHO, when a suitable, tested alternative exists...)

dawn0090 wrote:
Seatools for Windows doesn't seen to have the option for me to fully erase the drive.

Which version of Seatools for Windows are you using (see Help -> About)?

After you've enabled the Advanced Tests menu, what options do you see under the Advanced Tests -> USB Erase Tracks menu?


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 0:33 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
Posts: 6
Location: Malaysia
Thanks for your guide.

But I encountered a problem - the drive status showed USB Full Disc Erase Failed. I tried a couple of times but still failed. Any ideas ?


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 7:41 
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Joined: September 5th, 2010, 12:29
Posts: 859
Location: South Africa
You could always use a 3rd party tool to overwrite and erase all your data.

Something like http://www.killdisk.com/ or http://hddguru.com/software/2006.04.13-HDD-Wipe-Tool/

I've never used either but there are many freely available tools out there to wipe your drive clean. Even a full format (not 'quick') in Windows should do the job.

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Data Recovery Cape Town


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 8:28 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
@dawn0090,

Unfortunately you haven't answered my previous questions, to help explain why you originally reported that there was no USB full disk erase function in Seatools. I checked and Seatools for Windows starting with v1.2.0.5 does have that functionality under the Advanced Tests -> USB Erase Tracks menu. You seem to have now found this, but there's no explanation about why you previously denied its existance...

dawn0090 wrote:
I encountered a problem - the drive status showed USB Full Disc Erase Failed. I tried a couple of times but still failed. Any ideas ?

That confirms how faulty the drive is. :( Depending on how long the process ran before reporting a failure, and depending on the result of manual checks (e.g. with a hex editor), then we don't know how much of the disk (if any) was actually erased (overwritten). Unfortunately there aren't enough details in that error message to know exactly what is happening.

As Nick_CT said, there are other programs available for trying to erase disks - although those may also fail, if the disk is really faulty. Be careful that you understand how to use any erasure tool which you decide to try, since you don't want to erase the wrong disk. For that reason, one safe technique (which might be outside your skill set), is to disconnect all internal disks, use a bootable CD (e.g. Linux or other tools) with disk erasure functionality, and the only disk which is attached is the disk to be erased.

You might end up having to make a choice, depending on the sensitivity of data that you've already stored on that disk: Either be certain that the disk cannot be read by anyone else by destroying the platters yourself - but then you cannot claim on the disk warranty (of course); or do what you can to erase the disk (if necessary by using some local PC help, since we can't see exactly what is happening to your desk through a web forum), and hope that this is enough to prevent any curious person trying to look at that data, before the disk is repaired or destroyed later, by (or on behalf of) Seagate.

@Nick_CT:

Nick_CT wrote:
there are many freely available tools out there to wipe your drive clean.

True - unfortunately some (e.g. HDDErase) cannot be used with an external USB disk, as in this case. So the OP needs to ensure that they're trying to use appropriate s/w and, based on the results so far, I'm concerned that any tool trying to do overwrites of this USB-attached disk, may fail in a similar way - but my concerns might be overly pessamistic. I hope the OP appreciates your useful suggestions. :)

Nick_CT wrote:
Even a full format (not 'quick') in Windows should do the job.

Unfortunately that's not true using your exact phrase, as it places no limits on versions of Windows to which it applies.

Just to be clear for other readers, your comment only applies using a "full" format in Vista & Win7 (not WinXP and earlier versions). It also requires the user to understand a little about partitioning, and the difference between what a Windows drive letter represents (and hence, what gets overwritten), compared to a physical disk. Otherwise the end result (of what gets overwritten), might not be what they expect. :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 8:35 
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Joined: September 5th, 2010, 12:29
Posts: 859
Location: South Africa
Vulcan wrote:
Just to be clear for other readers, your comment only applies using a "full" format in Vista & Win7 (not WinXP and earlier versions). It also requires the user to understand a little about partitioning, and the difference between what a Windows drive letter represents (and hence, what gets overwritten), compared to a physical disk. Otherwise the end result (of what gets overwritten), might not be what they expect. :shock:


I should have been clearer, you're right. I was referring to Win 7 in particular, as that's the only one I've experimented with in terms of 'full formatting' and then trying to recover anything.

Indeed for someone who's technical ability is not very high, it's important to understand the difference between drive letters, partitions, physical drives etc.

I'm sure the OP will come right.

The 'HDD Wipe Tool' I linked to does say that it supports USB enclosed drives:
"Supported interfaces: S-ATA (SATA), IDE (E-IDE), SCSI, USB, FIREWIRE. Big drives (LBA-48) are supported. "

_________________
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Data Recovery Cape Town


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 8:51 
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Joined: May 6th, 2008, 22:53
Posts: 2139
Location: England
Nick_CT wrote:
The 'HDD Wipe Tool' I linked to does say that it supports USB enclosed drives

Indeed and I hope the OP tries it. Good suggestion of something to try :) but no guarantee of success on a faulty drive, of course...


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: May 25th, 2011, 8:54 
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Joined: September 5th, 2010, 12:29
Posts: 859
Location: South Africa
It might not be 'warranty friendly', but the 'hammer-to-platter' method is my favourite :wink:

_________________
Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.
Data Recovery Cape Town


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 Post subject: Re: Seagate 1TB Expansion Drive Unstable Sector
PostPosted: June 10th, 2011, 9:57 
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Joined: May 21st, 2011, 0:46
Posts: 6
Location: Malaysia
Eventually I used Seagate Disc Wizard to wipe the drive and did a full format on it. This took me a real long time. It is indeed a lengthy process. I didn't manage to try out all the tools that were suggested as I guessed it will be time-consuming. But anyway I had sent the drive back for warranty.

Thank you very much for all the helps. I really appreciate it. :)

Regards.


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