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About uart

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  1. Ah, I just had a thought! Recently my two external HDDs have been packed away not being used, and I've had their USB3 cables disconnected and packed away as well. So today when I got out the "good" drive (the one that previously didn't seem to be suffering from these silent write errors) I may well have swapped over the USB cables between these two devices. If so, then that would make the usb cable the only common factor between that which gave me my errors today and the other hardware combination that had caused me grief in the past. I'm a bit busy at the moment, but as soon as I get the time I'm going do some tests with a bunch of large transfers, while interchanging the USB cables between tests, to try and isolate the cable as the cause. BTW. Just wondering if this issue has been noticed before by anyone here. Can a slightly dodgy cable cause totally silent usb write errors at rate of about 1 per 10^10 bytes?
  2. Thanks for the reply Continuum. Yeah I might have expected the possibility of an error when looking at multi PB data sets, but definitely not likely in a few tens of GB (typical backup sizes only 10 to 20 GB for me). At first I thought it was just faulty hardware, either the motherboard or the external drive, but even so I would have expected some kind of error message. But then today I got the same problem on a completely different motherboard and external drive, so now I'm really stumped??? I started to wonder if this type of error is a lot more common than people know about (with usb powered devices) but just going undetected because most people don't hash test their files, or if there is something else going on here that I'm overlooking. I'm really confused about this now. I just can see how I'm getting such low reliability (and especially bad because I get no indication of the failure) on two completely independent pieces of hardware. This just can't be right.
  3. Hi guys. It's a long time since I've posted here, but recently I've had a lot of silent errors when transferring backup image files to external USB hard drives (usb powered drives). The HDD media itself seems to be fine and the drives themselves in good condition (when viewing SMARTs etc), and the copy operation appears successful with no warning of the failure (from windows 7). However, when I run a checksum (hash) on the copied files there is sometimes an error. I first noticed this when I needed to restore an image and found it to be corrupt. I did some testing and found that several of my other image files were also corrupt. So then I started using sha type checksums to verify each time I copied, and an alarmingly high percentage (like several percent depending on the motherboard usb hardware and the usb drive combination) fail the checksum but report no error while copying. This is pretty surprising and alarming to me! At first I thought it was one particular hardware combination, a Gigabyte motherboard and a Seagate external (usb powered) HDD. Well that combination was probably the worst, with about a 5 to10 percent chance of one of these silent write errors per 2GB image file, but I've since noticed other combinations of motherboard and external usb drives giving the same issue (though with lower probability). For now I'm still using these drives to save my backup images, but I'm checksuming every file after every copy. Anyway, just wondering if any other users have had data integrity problems like this with external usb (usb powered) hard drives?
  4. Thanks Brian. To make it a little clearer, here are some examples of the smart values I'm referring to. With the Seagate drive in first image you can see that the current temperature is 28 hex which is 40C, and that the worst temperature on this drive has been 52C. With the WD drive in the second image however, you can only see that the current temperature is 1F hex, which is 31C.
  5. As far as I know, all hard drives report the current temperature (in hexadecimal) in low order byte of the temperature raw data. However some drives seem to also report the temperature (in decimal) in the "value" field, and what looks like the historical maximum temperature in the "worst" field. For example my seagate drives look like they report the actual temperature in the "value" and "worst" fields, but my WD and Hitachi drives seem to just use some kind of generic health value that counts down in those fields. So just wondering, is there a way to get the historical maximum operating temperature from smart for all drives. Or is it only certain drives (like some Seagates) that provide this smart info?
  6. No, not on a UPS. Like I said it's a pretty non critical application, basically just a glorified set top box.
  7. It's out of warranty so it's heading for the bin anyway. I was going to run the WD diags but I'm pretty sure I know what;s going on. The bad sectors have grown and they're literally all over the platter. Just for fun I had a go at making a 400G partition at various positions on the drive, and there wasn't one place I could put it that didn't have bad sectors. I think that there were some "brown outs" and other glitches with the power that night, so maybe it was just some type of freak occurrence.
  8. It was my understanding that modern hard drives were pretty tolerant to sudden power loss. I knew that logical disk corruption was always a possibility, but I thought that the heads retracted and parked fairly safely in the event of power loss these days. The thing that has me questioning that belief is that I just recently lost the hard drive in my HTPC after a bad storm that resulted in a number of sudden losses of power. My wife was watching the TV to get news about the storm, and the power kept on cutting out throughout the night. Normally I would turn off the PC and watch straight from the TV under these conditions, but of course the wife just kept restarting the PC after each event. Eventually we lost all power for nearly a week (yeah it was a cracker of a storm), but when I eventually got it up and running again I noticed that the smart status of the drive had gone from being perfectly healthy to crap. I first ran a "chkdsk /f" and noticed it seemed to run a little slow. So then I looked at the smart status and there was a whole butt load of re-allocated sectors. Then after doing a full surface scan there were a bunch of bad sectors. This is a pretty non critical application to me (no important data to lose) so I left the bad HDD in there for a while, and over the period of a few weeks it pretty much "fell apart", with new bad sectors popping up all over the place. The drive is pretty much toast now, that's for certain. So now wondering if this was just a coincidence, and the drive was just about to die anyway, or am I right to be suspicious that the multiple power outages was a factor in it's demise? BTW, the HDD was just an old WD green 1.5TB. It had been in service for about 3 years and I was pretty sure that it was in perfect health before this event.
  9. I wouldn't be surprised if this has been discussed ad nauseam in the past, so apologies in advanced about dredging up old news if that is the case. However, returning here recently after many years of absence, it really struck me as to just how quiet these forums are these days. I've noticed similar trends in some other computer hardware forums as well. Is this related to a general down turn in forum usage in favour of things like facebook and the like. Or is it merely a reflection of the rise of the mobile device and a consequent loss of interest in "home builds" and upgrades that were so popular back when the desktop computer reigned a decade or more back?
  10. All brands of hard drive are subject to random failure, it's just the nature of the beast. I've used just about every major brand of HDD over the past 25 years and believe me that any brand can fail unexpectedly. At different times I've had a very good run with one brand (say WD) and a poor run with another (say seagate for example), and then at other times those fortunes have been reversed. The main problem is that good information about the reliability of any particular brand/model is rarely available until many units have been in operation for many years, by which time that particular model is obsolete anyway. Yes I've certainly had a few seagate drives fail early on me, but I've also had many still in perfect health after 5+ years of daily use. Averaged over many years I'd say I've had very similar experiences with Seagate as I've had with WD and Samsung. As you've apparently just now discovered, the hardware is relatively inexpensive but data recovery not necessarily so. No manufacter warranty covers data recovery, warranties are always limited to the hardware itself. The key of course is to have a good backup strategy in place before disaster happens. And to be honest this has never been easier or more affordable, with the low cost per GB of external drives these days. Sorry to be the one to say it, but there really is no good reason for you failing to backup your data.
  11. I ended up exchanging it for a Seagate Expansion drive, (model STBX1000301), as it was the only other option they had in stock. So far this drive is working flawlessly, and even seems to work correctly on my sometimes troublesome front usb ports. Here are the SMART values of the new drive: BTW. If you notice how the "fitness" value on the above drive is 100% in speedfan, that read zero on the previous Toshiba drive with all the reallocated sectors. I'm really glad I exchanged the drive now.
  12. Thanks Mighty. Yeah it's been nagging away at me since I got it. So today I'd had enough and took it back to the store and exchanged it for a "seagate expansion". I know what reallocated sectors are, and in my opinion that is the single most important smart value for predicting drive failure. I just couldn't understand how two brand new drives could have that many reallocated sectors straight out of the box, so I thought it might have just been something anomalous about how toshiba were handling the raw data on that attribute. To be honest, I'm starting to think that slyphnier might have been on the right track re the usb error thing. You know I'm starting to think that something dicky with the usb connection might be the common factor here. Both "failed" drives came with their own (new) cables, so I don't think that was the common factor. I did however test each drive on one of the front USB ports of my (desktop) computer, and I know that these are a little suspect with usb powered drives. (My very old and well used WD passport wont even power up properly when plugged into either of these!) So one of the first tests I did on each drive (to test how good was its usb compatibility) was to test it on one of these front ports. For the record, both drives powered up and detected correctly, but both had some degree of difficulty transferring files and on one or more occasions hung up and I had to abort the transfer. So perhaps this is where the offending smart anomalies occurred?
  13. Thanks for your input slyphnier. I'm going to try returning the drive today and see if I can swap it out for another brand. I don't know what the issue is, but two out of two is not a good sign.
  14. BTW. Here is the screenshot from Crystal Disk Info.
  15. Ok, I know that the raw data reported by SMART is essentially proprietary, and so we should really only pay attention to the "Current", "Worst" and "Threshold" fields. However I've never come across a HDD that didn't report the actual number of reallocated sectors in the SMART raw data. I just bought a "Toshiba Canvio Simple 3.0", which is a 1TB external USB powered usb3 drive, and I was a bit alarmed to see the raw data for reallocated sectors count was "...00F0" straight out of the box! I returned the drive to the shop and they gave me a replacement, which initially reported zero reallocated sectors on the first usage. However after I got home and ran a "chkdsk /r" that blew out to "...001658" in the raw data, and the "Crystal Disk Info" software I'm using reports an "Amber Warning" on the drive. The thing is, the "current" and "worst" fields still read 100 (with threshold = 50), so I know that the drive must actually be healthy. Also chkdsk /r found no bad sectors. So I tend to think that the drive is actually ok and that this is just something weird about how Toshiba handles the raw data for realloc sector count. Anyway, just wondering if anyone else has noticed this anomaly with the SMART data from Toshiba drives lately. BTW, Crystal Disk Info reports the drive as being a "TOSHIBA MQ01ABD100" if that means anything.