One defective, One Unrecovered and some ECC

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rakosnik

Member
Dec 15, 2021
10
1
I'm almost done running SpinRite on level 5 on a large spinning drive. So far it has found one defective spot, one unrecovered spot and most of the time it has been running SpinRite has shown that the ECC corrected has been somewhere around 70 out of 94.

Does running SpinRite tell the drive to swap out the defective and unrecovered area for spare tracks? If I were to run SpinRite again on those areas would it likely say the same thing or would it not because those areas were swapped out with spare tracks? Is there a log from SpinRite somewhere that tells me precisely where the defective and unrecovered areas are?

Is 70 out of 94 ECC corrected concerning?

Assuming SpinRite doesn't find anything else, should I continue use this drive?
 
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Drive makers have attempted to make drive "install, go and forget" — so there's no explicit external means to induce them to relocate defective sectors. All anything can do is what SpinRite does: keep showing the drive that there's a problem by inducing the drive to read THROUGH the problem... Then it will autonomously perform the sector sparing (swap out) when it's been "shown" the problem.

That "70 out of 94" is the ECC SMART health score. It would have been accompanied by the red squares as the "bar chart" is pushed down to the left. What that's telling you is that the work SpinRite is asking the drive to do (just reading, which it's supposed to be able to do with its eyes closed) has been causing it some stress because it's needing to correct more and more often than it expects to.

But a Level 5 pass will have freshly rewritten everything. So it might be that another similar pass (you could just do a much faster Level 1 or 2) would NOT depress the ECC health reading to the same degree.
 
Tools that do give you some binary result (keep drive / get rid of drive) are basically best guessing and could be plain wrong (including manufacturer provided diagnostic tools). So in my mind you want a tool that provides you with the best information/data that allows you to reach a conclusion. The yes/no type tools tend to keep this information from you.
I know I'm not going to get an absolute binary answer about a drive. But I do value the advice of the combined experience with SpinRite of people in this forum and of course Steve's opinion too.

Thanks to the Pre-release of 6.1 I'm running SpinRite on drives that I either haven't been able to run it on for years and drives that were too big for 6.0, so I was never able to run SpinRite on them before. Now I'm getting the kind of results I'm not used to seeing. I regularly ran SpinRite on my other drives, so I usually didn't get even questionable results.
 
I'm almost done running the same drive on level 2. The defective and unrecovered regions did not show up this time. So maybe the drive swapped out those tracks. However, the ECC count is about the same as it was when I ran the drive on level 5.
 
Thanks to the Pre-release of 6.1 I'm running SpinRite on drives that I either haven't been able to run it on for years and drives that were too big for 6.0, so I was never able to run SpinRite on them before.
That's music to my ears after this 3+ year project to make exactly that happen!
I'm almost done running the same drive on level 2. The defective and unrecovered regions did not show up this time. So maybe the drive swapped out those tracks. However, the ECC count is about the same as it was when I ran the drive on level 5.
It's great that those initial problems are no longer appearing. Many things other than a permanent flaw in the disc surface can cause data to be unreadable. If the drive was bumped while writing, or if power fluctuated, etc. what the drive intended to write may be messed up. This is why simply rewriting a drive can eliminate previous problems. They really can be previous problems. :)

Thanks for your report!
 
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That's music to my ears after this 3+ year project to make exactly that happen!

It's great that those initial problems are no longer appearing. Many things other than a permanent flaw in the disc surface can cause data to be unreadable. If the drive was bumped while writing, or if power fluctuated, etc. what the drive intended to write may be messed up. This is why simply rewriting a drive can eliminate previous problems. They really can be previous problems. :)

Thanks for your report!

I am experiencing the same thing. After having received a ZimaBoard a few days ago, I could finally let SpinRite 6.1 work on some drives that I was not able to before.

One of them is a Seagate 4TB IronWolf, manufactured in December 2017, that I used in a NAS before. As the NAS reported "the number of bad sectors on the drive has increased", followed by "the drive has failed" during a S.M.A.R.T. extended test a day later (November 2022), I decided to replace the drive in the NAS. I always wanted to see what SpinRite would make of it so it was patiently waiting on a shelf until now! During the first Level 3 there were 7 consecutive unrecoverable errors reported somewhere at the beginning of the drive. After this scan I decided to do another Level 5 scan on the drive. It has not yet finished that but it has well passed the area were the troubles were before. And I too see the those ECC counts going up and down during the scans.

So maybe I will just keep the drive as a spare now until the next drive in the NAS shows troubles. And probably do an extra scan just before putting it back in, just to be sure.

EDIT: after 50+ hours the Level 5 has finished without any further problems reported.
 
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