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CoreyCoop

Member
Dec 31, 2022
5
1
I was 'given' (Pulled from my company's recycle shelves) 20 WDC 4TB 'Purple' Surveillance' hard drives (WD40PURX), all manufactured in 2014. I'm considering using them in some sort of RAID configuration (perhaps RAID6?) using the server that they came in.
I have been running them through SR 6.1 to see if there are any errors, (so far so good,) and just out of curiosity then running SR on them. I've gotten though 11 of them and got what I think is a strange reading. I got no errors on SP6.1, and it seemed like it was about as long as the others, but when I then ran SR on it instead of getting numbers like:
159.8, 152.2, 127.8, 107.0 74.4
I got
87.1, 143.2, 121.9, 102.6, 72.0
And while it was testing the '0' location, the progress bar across the top paused for about 2.5 seconds.

I can only assume that there is a significant problem in the first part of the drive, but SR6.1 didn't see it, or eventually decided it was OK? Is this something the drive electronics will eventually re-map, or is it too old for that technology. I'm assuming it's a throw-away anyway, but I'm curious.
 
I am going to have to speculate a bit here as your information is minimal. These drives, per your OP, have been sitting on the shelf for a period of time. It is normal for their bit patterns to gradually weaken over time and become slower/harder to read back. (This is often referred to as Bit Rot.) I am thinking you were doing SR 6.1 level 2 scans as that would explain your results.

When a level 2 scan is able to successfully read s-l-o-w reading sectors (without requiring any DynaStat data recovery) those slow reading sectors will NOT be rewritten and will remain s-l-o-w to read. Thus, ReadSpeed (RS) would show decreased read speeds as you have seen. Since you are seeing no SR 6.1 errors, there has been no data recovery required by the L2 scanning, and hence nothing rewritten back to the drive by SR l2 scans. All slow reading sectors have been preserved. :)

This drive appears to me to be much in need of some SR 6.1 maintenance, i.e. a Level 3 scan. A Level 3 will rewrite every sector on the drive, thus refreshing/restoring all bit patterns to full strength and read speed to at/near normal full speed.

I would suggest you consider doing a SR 6.1 Level 3 scan on this (and on any other slow to read error free drives) and then run RS again for a post level 3 benchmark. You just might be impressed by the results. :)

Since you have seen no errors on this drive, that is consistent with Bit Rot that is not serious enough yet to trigger recovery errors., and not indicative of a more serious drive problem.
 
you may want to look at this as well, i remember a better explanation of drive type/usage, but cannot find it now.

 
SpinRite is meant for drive [data] recovery and maintenance. You don't have any of your own data on there to recover or maintain, so you should probably do that first. In other words, [long] FORMAT the drives first, to give them current data (granted it'll be a lot of zeroes) and THEN run SpinRite on them to see if the format operation caused these convalescing drives any pain as they came out of their stupor. Or, as Dan suggested, run a level 3 or higher, which will cause the drives to rewrite the existing data, but that seems kinda silly, since you'll only going to reformat them anyway.
 
My thinking @CoreyCoop is that it make sense to be sure the drives are healthy first. And then reformat or do whatever you choose to do with now presumably healthy drives.

As @PHolder noted you have no data of concern on these drives, so data recovery is not the issue here. Drive health, however, is the concern here. A SpinRite 6.1 L3 scan will give a you good indication of a drive's health. The only issue I perceive "wrong" with the first part of the drive is slow reading presumably as a result of sitting on a shelf for a period of time. A level 3 scan will read and then rewrite every sector on the drive, refreshing all the "data" on the drive and eliminating the slow-read bit rot condition that presumably exists., thus restoring the drive's performance.
 
Sorry, I should have said from the start that I did run L3 scan on all these drives, then did the SR scan. I'll try reformatting, and perhaps run the L3 scan again? Is there a utility to reformat the drive in the DOS version created by RS (that I then added SD6.1 to), I don't see FDISK in the Freedos folder. The machines I'm using have no hard drives, I'm simply booting them from the USB. They are also finds from the Recycle shelves. Or I could put them in my main machine which might be a bit difficult, or in a temp USB 'test' rig to format on my main machine.
 
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Let's make sure we are on the same page here:

- You have scanned the drive with SR 6.1 Level 3
- There were no errors (No R's, U's, or B's) on the GSD display
- There were no sector issue entries in the SRLOGS file
- The front of the drive still benchmarks with slow performance after the L3 scan

Is this all correct?

How is the drive connected to the machine for testing?

Note: FreeDOS does have a Format command. However, Steve's implementation of FreeDOS does not appear to include this.

Type a ? at the C:\ prompt to see the FreeDOS options available to you.
 
- You have scanned the drive with SR 6.1 Level 3
- There were no errors (No R's, U's, or B's) on the GSD display
- There were no sector issue entries in the SRLOGS file
- The front of the drive still benchmarks with slow performance after the L3 scan
Yes to all. I only ran SR6.1 once, I have run RS three times and always got the same result.

I have four identical machines running four drives at a time, all are connected the same way, this computer happens to be the first one I hooked up and experimented with, so it has run tests with no anomalies on 5 hard drives in total, this is the 6th drive it's tested, and the third of this exact model drive, only this third one has shown this issue. Although my connection is a bit unusual, in that I pulled the cables out of the top of the slightly ajar case to have easy access to change the drives, they are all connected the same way, and all the drives on this machine (and the others) have been tested and worked fine. Although I suppose could move the drive to a different machine and try running it again.
2024-01-17 16.50.08s.jpg


I just noticed that the first two times I ran RS, the '0' location read 92.0, the second time it read 92.2, and the third time, about an hour and twenty minues later it read 87.1 (report shown below). I don't know if that is normal variation or not.

<<snip>>
############################################################################
# SpinRite Detailed Technical Log generated at 7:49 pm on Jan 13th, 2024. #
############################################################################
pre-release 5.04

Type|Port|BIOS|Runtime|Size| Model | Serial
----+----+----+-------+----+------------------------------+-------------------
AHCI| 0 | 81 | 29,418|4.0T|WDC WD40PURX-64GVNY0 |WD-WCC4E7NJCYP3
BIOS| 80 | 80 | ... | 15G|This is the system boot drive |


+==========================================================================+
| SpinRite 6.1, beginning level 3 operation at 7:49 pm on Jan 13th, 2024. |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| From 0.0000% sect: 0 To 100.0000% sect: 7,814,037,167 |
|==========================================================================|
| WDC WD40PURX-64GVNY0 |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| access mode: AHCI serial number: WD-WCC4E7NJCYP3 |
| pci bus addr: 0:23:0 firmware rev: 80.00A80 |
| adapter vendor: Intel Corporation rotation rate: 5400 |
| vendor-device: 8086-A102 ata/atapi spec: ATA-8 |
| bios drive: 81h drv technology: generic |
| attached port: 0 lba in use: yes, 48-bit LBA |
| port speed: SATA 3 at 6.0Gb/s |
| max driv speed: SATA 3 at 6.0Gb/s multi-word dma: -/2 (unknown md) |
| ultradma modes: 5/6 (100.0 MB/s) |
| sector count: 7,814,037,168 available pio: 4/4 (16.67 MB/s) |
| byte count: 4,000,787,030,016 |
| 4Ksec features: SMART SECURE POWR |
| transfers: 32,768 sector long ops: no : WCACH LOOKAHD HPA |
| AHCI speed: 131,431,184 byte/s feature detail: 746B7D61 7469BC41 |
|==========================================================================|
| Level: 3 Graphic Status Display |
|==========================================================================|
| :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |
| :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |
| :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |
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| :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |
| :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: |
|--- work ---- remaining --- completed +------- sector status key ---------|
| megabytes: 0.000 4,000,787 | .oO analyzing | R recovered |
| %: 0.000% 100.000%| . unprocessed | B defective |
| time: 0:00:00 20:08:12 | : processed | U unrecovered |
|==========================================================================|
| Final Sector Event Counts |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| command timeout: 0 command aborted: 0 |
| comm/cable errs: 0 not recoverable: 0 |
| minor troubles: 0 sect neverfound: 0 |
| dynastat recovr: 0 defective sectr: 0 |
|==========================================================================|
| End-of-Run SMART System Status |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| monitored param margin current/max raw data |
| ECC corrected - |
| rd chan margin - |
| relocated sect - |
| realloc events - |
| seek errors - |
| recal retries - |
| cabling errors - |
| uncorrectable - |
| write errors - |
| command timeout - |
| pending sectors - |
| read retries - |
| total writes - |
| write failures - |
| wear leveling - |
| remaining life - |
| realloc space - |
|==========================================================================|
| SpinRite 6.1, level 3 operation completed at 3:57 pm on Jan 14th, 2024. |
+==========================================================================+


+==========================================================================+
| Drive's Current Measured Performance |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| WDC WD40PURX-64GVNY0 |
| WD-WCC4E7NJCYP3 |
|--------------------------------------------------------------------------|
| smart polling delay: 101.466 msec |
| random sectors time: 20.483 msec |
| front of drive rate: 106.332 MB/s |
| midpoint drive rate: 129.891 MB/s |
| end of drive rate: 76.372 MB/s |
+==========================================================================+
<<snip>>

<<snip>>

+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| ReadSpeed: Hyper-accurate mass storage read-performance benchmark. rel 1 |
| Benchmarked values are in megabytes read per second at five locations. |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------------+

Driv Size Drive Identity Location: 0 25% 50% 75% 100
---- ----- ---------------------------- ------- ------- ------- ------- -------
81 4.0TB WDC WD40PURX-64GVNY0 87.1 143.2 121.9 102.6 72.0

Benchmarked: Monday, 2024-01-15 at 16:45
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
See the ReadSpeed forums at forums.grc.com for help and community support.


<<snip>>
 
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Hmm . . . Interesting!

At this point I would say it is the drive. Something is causing poor performance at the very front of the drive. The ReadSpeed profiles indicate it is in the first 20% of the drive.

Some options come to mind if you wish to pursue them.

- You could move the drive to another machine and do a quick ReadSpeed run to see if the performance profile repeats; I suspect it would

OR

- Run a Level 5 scan from 0 to 20% and see what happens; then run RS for another profile

OR

Set the drive aside and try the next drive.

Two things: I see you are running release 5.04. Release 5.05 fixed a SMART error in 5.04 that results in no SMART data (as shown in the log you listed). There is also a release 5.06 that fixes a few edge cases and likely would not have any bearing on your drive's behavior.

And: The RS variation you noted at the end of the drive is normal.
 
Ahh, running level 5 shows the first character in the Graphic Status Display as 'B', where level 3 didn't catch this! I don't know how large that area is, but it could include the MBR, partition table, or something equally necessary, so I'll probably chuck this drive for safety's sake.

Thanks to you All!
 
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I expected Level 5 might catch something Level 3 did not as Level 5 exercises the drive much more rigorously than the other levels. :)

Since there is no data of any concern on this drive, you could do a DynaStat 0 run on the first 1% or so of the drive to force reallocation of the Bad sector, and then reformat the drive to regenerate the MBR, the partition table, etc. In "theory" you would then have a "repaired" drive.

However, this poses unanswerable questions regarding what is next: What caused that sector to go bad? Will the drive be fine now? Or will more sectors at the beginning of the drive go bad? If so, when? How trustworthy will this drive be?

It is best not to trust this drive for anything important/critical.