I have a Seagate ST380013A 7200.7 80 GB drive, which has started to go bad. I'm going to have it replaced under warranty, but in the meantime, I decided to take advantage of the CompUSA sale last week and bought a new ST3160023A 160 GB 7200.7 for $60. I thought I'd be getting one with the new 5 year warranty, but according to the Seagate website, this drive isn't eligible. I spoke to a support person, and she said the drive was shipped in Apr-2004, and only drives shipped after 1-Jun-2004 are covered. Oh well.
I can live with the shorter warranty, but while investigating the old, failing drive, I became familiar with several SMART monitoring programs. I know you can't necessarily take SMART values at face value, but Seagates appear to be oddballs compared to Maxtors and WDs I have. For example, the new drive reported the following shortly after I copied partitions from old to new:
Raw Read Error Rate-25,711,572-OK-77-75-6
Seek Error Rate-25,112-OK-100-253-30
A couple of days later, I observed:
Raw Read Error Rate-187,680,935-OK-75-71-6
Seek Error Rate-2,303,555-OK-63-60-30
Notice the big change in the computed values of the Seek Error Rate. I thought I had determined the raw values of these two attributes are always increasing, like a counter of plain old reads and seeks would, not necessarily errors, as the drive appears to be working great, but now I find these values:
Raw Read Error Rate-162,377,476-OK-78-71-6
Seek Error Rate-2,743,601-OK-64-60-30
Notice the Raw Read Error Rate raw value has gone down, and the computed value has increased. Then again, the Seek Error Rate has increased, but the computed value has improved.
So, I can't make any sense out of these numbers, and while I know I'm not necessarily intended to make sense out of them, I'm a little concerned with the Seek Error Rate going from 100 to 60. In addition, the Seagate values seem to vary much more dynamically than my other drives, albeit drives from other manufacturers. I'm just wondering what other people observe their Seagates to do using programs like HDD Health and Disk Checkup.
Finally, my new ST3160023A has firmware revision 3.01. I've seen people talk about firmware 3.06 and later, but only a couple of references to 3.01. Is this any reason for concern? I mean, I don't want to settle for an old drive with outdated firmware with flaky SMART behavior, if that's in fact what this is, on top of getting the 1 year warranty, though the drive is currently working great.