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I've just looked at the health status of my old 2,5 inch 500 Gb Fujitsu drive with a popular "HD Tune" utility. It shows a warning for the "Reallocated Event Count" property.

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How serious is that?

The thing is that the drive is practically new. I pulled it out of a new laptop over a year ago and never used it since. Right now it only has 53 "Power On" hours which sounds about right since I only had it running a few evenings overnight before switching it for something more performant.

Does this warning indicate that the drive is likely to fail some time in the future? I'm somewhat perplexed since the drive is effectively unused.

What is more, I have arranged with somebody to buy off this drive since I don't really need. It is 12,5 mm thick (with 3 plates) meaning it doesn't fit into an external enclosure which makes it quite useless to me.

Can I give away the drive without having it on my conscience or better cancel the deal? In other words, can the drive be used safely for years to come or better throw it away?

UPDATE: The sector scan shows no bad sectors.

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I also have the same prob on a brand new drive. it's a seagate ST320LT007. –  Gaia Oct 31 '12 at 0:24

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Google wrote an excellent white paper about hard drive failures:

http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/research.google.com/en//archive/disk_failures.pdf

The gist of it is, once a hard drive starts handling media failures (such as remapping sectors), it is headed downhill and will fail soon. This is true whether the drive is brand new or 3 years old.

If you are truly concerned about data integrity and uptime, RMA the hard drive.

P.S. It is unlikely a modern SMART drive will show bad sectors, at least not until its ability to remap bad sectors has been exhausted.

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REC is 'the number of attempts to transfer data from reallocated sectors to a spare area' - i.e. how often SMART wants to move data because of suspect sectors - I think you have a partially dead disk.

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Modern drives reserve a bunch of sectors for relocating other to if they seem to be in dubious condition (hopefully before they go bad). It is not unusual for a drive to have to do this occasionally in its life, but doing it too much indicates a serious or growing problem so I would recommend the drive not be used. It may give further years of trouble free service, or it may start suffering unrecoverable read or write errors tomorrow.

SMART parameters are not always identically supported across all drives, so it might be worth seeing if the drive manufacturer has their own utility to double-check that the drive and HD Tune are on the same wavelength.

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