ST9500423AS: Test Drive from eBay

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  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

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ShadowMeow

Well-known member
Nov 3, 2023
97
11
I compared SpinRite 6.1 vs RapidSpar Disk Imager...

1. RapidSpar Disk Imager on Balanced Mode cloned the whole drive with just 81 sectors not recoverable.
2. SpinRite 6.1 on Level 2 scanned the whole drive with just 81 sectors not recoverable.

The same number of sectors that are not recoverable, were the same.

SpinRite Detailed Technical Log: https://pastebin.com/raw/UpvKSk2p
 

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I cloned the same drive again with the RapidSpar Disk Imager. The previous 81 unreadable blocks have gone, it's now zero, so somethings happened, hmm interesting.
 
SpinRite overwrote the bad sectors. If DynaStat is unable to ever recover any data from a sector, I believe it gets overwritten with all 0's.
 
The previous 81 unreadable blocks have gone, it's now zero, so somethings happened, hmm interesting.
Actually, these sectors were almost certainly NOT recovered. DynaStat 0 would have caused the drive's firmware to re-allocate these sectors using the drive's pool of spare sectors. Any data that was in these sectors is lost. That is the risk of using DynaStat 0 - no data recovery thus data loss. In this case, not a concern.

What is of concern, however, is the drive's health. That many unrecoverable sectors scattered as they were suggests the drive is damaged/degrading, Therefore, additional sectors will become unrecoverable over time, losing any data stored in them. Beware of using this drive for any data storage!

This drive is likely only suitable for SpinRite testing at this point. :(
 
Actually, these sectors were almost certainly NOT recovered. DynaStat 0 would have caused the drive's firmware to re-allocate these sectors using the drive's pool of spare sectors. Any data that was in these sectors is lost. That is the risk of using DynaStat 0 - no data recovery thus data loss. In this case, not a concern.

What is of concern, however, is the drive's health. That many unrecoverable sectors scattered as they were suggests the drive is damaged/degrading, Therefore, additional sectors will become unrecoverable over time, losing any data stored in them. Beware of using this drive for any data storage!

This drive is likely only suitable for SpinRite testing at this point. :(
Thanks for the advice. I've seen much much worse, drives with lots of bad sectors at the start and in the middle and at the end of the drive, forming nice lines like a vegetable garden. This drive is nothing on the scale of bad sectors. <grin>
 
Why is nothing reflected in SMART?

Code:
  |   uncorrectable  0 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 100/100 00000000000007 |
  |    write errors  -                                                       |
  | command timeout  0 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 100/100 00000300030022 |
  | pending sectors  0 :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: 100/100 00000000000007 |
I don't know. Maybe SMART didn't get updated yet?
 
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I don't know. Maybe SMART didn't get updated yet?
James:

The thing to understand and remember is that SMART was forced upon drive makers by their OEM customers at the time. Drive makers have very little interest in exposing anything about the "innards" of their drives. They want them to appear as "perfect little" black boxes that we all just trust completely. But COMPAQ and other large customers insisted that they obtain some visibility into the health of the drives they were purchasing in vast quantity. They used their purchasing power to FORCE SMART upon drive makers — against drive makers will. So "some" visibility was all they got.

Drive makers have largely begrudgingly "supported" SMART. And you can see this resistance since the SMART specs themselves (such as they are) are largely useless. They are nothing an engineer would create. For example, where do you read the temperature of a drive (if it even cares to share it?) ... oh, well "here" or "there" or if not then over "there". It's truly a horrific mess. Which SMART parameters are supported? "It depends." And tools that attempt to monitor and show SMART status are a chaotic mess of databases of special cases and exceptions.

The bottom line is... "you get what you get" (if you're lucky and ask nicely.) And that's why SpinRite does very little with the SMART data. It's happy to display what the drive says... but other than watching the drive's temperature (when it's published) and checking the drive's "go/no-go" health report, it does not depend upon anything that the SMART system does... because how could it? There's been ample evidence in the past that some drives simply lie about their SMART status to appear healthier than they are. That's not something SpinRite can base any of its decisions upon.

So when Joep asks “Why is nothing reflected in SMART?”, the truest answer is: "Because the drive didn't feel like sharing it."

The good news is that there are newer facilities than SMART which (may) provide logging of events. SR7 will be aware of and make use of those.
 
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Thanks Steve. That clears up a lot. We know the sectors have been swapped out but SMART doesn't feel like sharing it. So we have to scan the drive again to check.
 
Code:
Health Status: CAUTION
Temperature: 30 °C
Power on Hours: 43226 hour
Power on Count: 42 count
Rotation Rate: 7200 RPM
Standard: ATA8-ACS | ATA8-ACS version 4
Features: S.M.A.R.T., APM, 48bit LBA, NCQ

         ID  Attribute Name                 Current  Worst  Threshold  Raw Values
Good     01  Read Error Rate                116      78     6          000006F2B008
Good     03  Spin-Up Time                   98       98     85         000000000000
Good     04  Start/Stop Count               100      100    20         00000000005E
Good     05  Reallocated Sectors Count      100      100    36         000000000000
Good     07  Seek Error Rate                78       60     30         000003CE6F44
Good     09  Power-On Hours                 51       51     0          00000000A8DA
Good     0A  Spin Retry Count               100      100    97         000000000000
Good     0C  Power Cycle Count              100      100    20         00000000002A
Good     B8  End-to-End Error               100      100    99         000000000000
Good     BB  Reported Uncorrectable Errors  1        1      0          000000005E9D
Good     BC  Command Timeout                100      69     0          000300030022
Good     BD  High Fly Writes                100      100    0          000000000000
Good     BE  Airflow Temperature            70       49     45         00001E1E001E
Good     BF  G-Sense Error Rate             100      100    0          000000000000
Good     C0  Power-off Retract Count        100      100    0          000000000011
Good     C1  Load/Unload Cycle Count        1        1      0          00000012A06A
Good     C2  Temperature                    30       51     0          00110000001E
Good     C3  Hardware ECC recovered         116      99     0          000006F2B008
Caution  C5  Current Pending Sector Count   100      97     0          000000000007
Caution  C6  Uncorrectable Sector Count     100      97     0          000000000007
Good     C7  UltraDMA CRC Error Count       200      200    0          000000000000
Good     F0  Head Flying Hours              100      253    0          7CC7000034D5
Good     F1  Total Host Writes              100      253    0          0000D9BB2241
Good     F2  Total Host Reads               100      253    0          0000CD9110A8
Good     FE  Free Fall Protection           100      100    0          000000000000
 
". . . I compared SpinRite 6.1 vs RapidSpar Disk Imager . . . 1. RapidSpar Disk Imager on Balanced Mode cloned the whole drive with just 81 sectors not recoverable.
2. SpinRite 6.1 on Level 2 scanned the whole drive with just 81 sectors not recoverable. Appears to be an even tie. SpinRite Detailed Technical Log:
https://pastebin.com/UpvKSk2p . . ."

How about a SPINRITE 6.1 LEVEL 5, then re-run and compare other tests, including comparing before and after S.M.A.R.T. reports, perhaps from free GSmartControl https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/

Thanks.
 
How about a SPINRITE 6.1 LEVEL 5, then re-run and compare other tests, including comparing before and after S.M.A.R.T. reports, perhaps from free GSmartControl https://gsmartcontrol.sourceforge.io/

Thanks.
The condition of the drive is all defects were reallocated, so until I find a way to force SMART to update, I'm not worrying too much about the number of pending sectors shown in SMART. The only thing that could work is writing random data to the whole drive then reading it back, if that doesn't work then nothing will, with regards to SMART.
 
". . . The condition of the drive is all defects were reallocated, so until I find a way to force SMART to update, I'm not worrying too much about the number of pending sectors shown in SMART. The only thing that could work is writing random data to the whole drive then reading it back, if that doesn't work then nothing will, with regards to SMART . . ."

Ahh, that's exactly what a SpinRite 6.1 LEVEL 5 does, write 'random' data to the whole drive - good point.

Actually, you have not presented any S.M.A.R.T. data saying that any sectors have been reallocated.

There's nothing we outside the drive can do with S.M.A.R.T. information, it only has meaning to the programmers of the drive's internal firmware.

Looking at before and after S.M.A.R.T. reports from GSmartControl might be educational, but not determinant in any way, and might help disabuse us from thinking that S.M.A.R.T. means anything to us.

Let us know how it works for you.

Thanks.
 
After writing random data to the drive, then reading it back. The only thing that makes sense now is either SMART didn't track those 81 bad sectors getting reallocated, or they never got reallocated but actually fixed. The 7 pending don't make any sense at all and could be false data. <shrugs>