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Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:06 pm
by haystack
Okay, I'm just curious about this guy's. Any advice would be appreciated.

So recently, I purchased an enclosure and a 4TB western digital blue drive to use as storage. I put some stuff on it before, but I noticed there were some slow downs occurring and some things weren't being copied properly. Last night, I decided to format it, and I'm using the disc utility that comes pre-installed with 19.3. When I started the format, I told it to erase everything, and I noticed that one of the things it was saying about the HDD was "Assessment: disc ok, four bad sectors". But I checked it this morning, and now it's saying "Assessment: disc ok, one bad sector".

So, my noob questions are these.
1.Could these "bad sectors" be at the software level? (Not sure if it's possible to be software/hardware only)

2. Should I just bite the bullet and buy a new one?

I realize these are quite noob-ish, but I'm just curious.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:12 pm
by Pjotr
Bad sectors are physical. Even a small count makes a drive unreliable; things usually go from bad to worse rapidly....

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:20 pm
by AndyMH
Install smartmontools, think it is in software manager.
https://www.howtoforge.com/tutorial/mon ... on-ubuntu/
If you can, I'd send it back.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 7:10 pm
by haystack
Okay, I downloaded smartmontools and opened up the disc utility. I did a self-test, and it said the self-test failed. Is that bad, if so, how bad? Should I go ahead a replace it?

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:18 pm
by all41
Should I go ahead a replace it?
Absolutely, do not trust this drive with Irreplaceable data.
As mentioned bad sectors often multiply, could happen anytime.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:42 pm
by Kadaitcha Man
haystack wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:06 pm
.. I purchased an enclosure and a 4TB western digital blue drive to use as storage ... "Assessment: disc ok, four bad sectors".
There is no conclusive evidence that the drive is bad, despite those error messages. You need to first remove the enclosure and its cable from the list of possible causes. The only way to do that is to plug the drive directly into a machine and test it from there. Until you do that, assuming that the drive is bad and shouldn't be trusted is a mere unfounded, wild guess.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:46 pm
by all41
Yes, missed it being in an enclosure. Check the drive connected directly.
Depending on how recently purchased you may have warranty coverage.
assuming that the drive is bad and shouldn't be trusted is a mere unfounded, wild guess.
I would get my data off there immediately--

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:53 pm
by Kadaitcha Man
all41 wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:46 pm
I would get my data off there immediately--
I wouldn't. The OP wrote that it was clean formatted and that files were then copied to it.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:14 pm
by haystack
Unfortunately, I have nothing to test it on. All I have is a laptop, and the drive in question is a 3.5 inch hdd. Could it be a problem with the enclosure? I did think it was odd that when I formatted it, I checked the "Erase" option which erases everything before formatting, it started with saying "four bad sectors" and then about 10/12 hours later it was saying "one bad sector".

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 10:40 pm
by Pierre
you don't have too many options, to play with,
and all you can do, is to re-format the drive, within it's enclosure - again,
then check again, on how many errors there are & then Install & run that smartmontool utility, again too.

you could also try that, from an different usb port as well, as it's not unknown for an usb port to be flaky.

if that drive is still giving an error or two, then do look at taking it, back to the store where you purchased it from,
and get them to take the drive from it's enclosure & then test it themselves.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Mon Apr 20, 2020 11:56 pm
by MartyMint
If you remove the drive from the enclosure, you risk voiding the warranty.
I would return it immediately.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:15 am
by all41
I put some stuff on it before, but I noticed there were some slow downs occurring and some things weren't being copied properly
This seems to indicate problems out-of-the-box.
If you remove the drive from the enclosure, you risk voiding the warranty.
op says he purchased the drive and an enclosure which implies separate purchases.
I would return it immediately.
Me too.

I would like to re-emphasize what Pjotr said:
Bad sectors are physical. Even a small count makes a drive unreliable; things usually go from bad to worse rapidly....

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:27 am
by Kadaitcha Man
all41 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:15 am
I would like to re-emphasize what Pjotr said:
I think everything you wrote summarises the thread quite well.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:35 am
by all41
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:42 pm
haystack wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 2:06 pm
.. I purchased an enclosure and a 4TB western digital blue drive to use as storage ... "Assessment: disc ok, four bad sectors".
There is no conclusive evidence that the drive is bad, despite those error messages. You need to first remove the enclosure and its cable from the list of possible causes. The only way to do that is to plug the drive directly into a machine and test it from there. Until you do that, assuming that the drive is bad and shouldn't be trusted is a mere unfounded, wild guess.
@km
I definitely follow your thinking here. Yes--we both would investigate further. Actually I am currently (cautiously) watching a 500GB drive reporting 120 relocated sectors to see if the sector count increases, and it hasn't for at least six months. On the other hand I've seen a 1TB drive with 24 sector relocations corrupt entirely at next boot--so who knows--it can certainly happen.
Just sayin
Cheers

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:45 am
by Kadaitcha Man
all41 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:35 am
Kadaitcha Man wrote:
Mon Apr 20, 2020 8:42 pm
,,, assuming that the drive is bad and shouldn't be trusted is a mere unfounded, wild guess.
@km
I definitely follow your thinking here. Yes--we both would investigate further. Actually I am currently (cautiously) watching a 500GB drive reporting 120 relocated sectors to see if the sector count increases, and it hasn't for at least six months. On the other hand I've seen a 1TB drive with 24 sector relocations corrupt entirely at next boot--so who knows--it can certainly happen.
I agree. Just to be clear, I wasn't having a dig with the comment I made above.

Cheers.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:01 am
by all41
nor did I perceive a dig in our discussion. Your point was well regarded
Cheers,
Larry

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:30 am
by all41
all41 wrote:
Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:01 am
nor did I perceive a dig in our discussion. Your point was well regarded
Cheers,
Larry
@haystack
Please keep us updated on this.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:03 am
by Petermint
If it is USB 3, run the lsusb command to get the USB-SATA chip id and google "linux + chipid". Some USB 3 chips are USB 2.5 chips and fail intermittently.

You could test the drive in USB 2 ports if you have a Y cable to get power from two USB 2 ports.

You can also test with UAS, USB Attached SCSI, switched off. There are a few posts on UAS. The switch made a couple of USB 3 enclosures work in my computers.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 5:00 pm
by haystack
So, here's where I'm at now.

I got to thinking it COULD be the enclosure, cause it's a brand I've never heard of before. RSHTECH is the brand name.

As a side note, yes, the enclosure and the hard drive were separate purchases, I bought them both on Amazon.

I've ordered another hard drive, same brand (Western Digital), and same capacity (4tb), and another enclosure that's a different brand name (I'll have to look it up, I can't remember it off hand at the moment).

It really struck me that the bad sector count decreased during the erasure process. I realize the drive could actually have problems, but my thinking was "if there are bad sectors, why would the number decrease?" And I did buy the drive new, at least I believe it was new. It came in an anti-static bag that I had to cut open with scissors to get the drive out. I don't imagine they'd take the time to seal a used drive in anti-static plastic, but what do I know?!

Once everything arrives, which will be within the next 2-3 days, I'll test the original drive in the new enclosure to see if I get a different result. Which I'll admit, right now, is probably a 50/50 split, either it's bad or it isn't ya know.

I'm also trying to do this as quickly as possible cause I have another drive, a Seagate, that I actually purchased off the shelf as an external drive, and it's slowing down at times. Sometimes I'm getting 40-50 mbps copy speeds between the Seagate and my computer and sometimes i'm getting 10-20 mbps copy speeds. I've set it aside for now, and I'm not going to use it again until I have a drive that is working properly so I can transfer my data off of it.

And thanks everyone for all the advice up til now. I really appreciate it. But hang on, I might still need advice once everything arrives.

Re: Bad Hard Drive Sectors

Posted: Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:29 pm
by Petermint
Please plug in the enclosure and run command lsusb. Post the result here. The chip ID can help other people reading this.

The fix might be as easy as adding something like the following line to file /etc/modprobe.d/usb-storage quirks.conf. 174c:55aa is the USB ID of an enclosure that gave me similar problems.

Code: Select all

options usb-storage quirks=174c:55aa:u