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Doug Harrison

Seagate SMART values

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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:

Attribute-Raw-Status-Value-Worst-Threshold

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.

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This is probably not what you want to hear but the ATA standard does not dictate what is stored in the RAW values, It could simply be a bit counter that resets to zero on every wrap. Every manufacturer does what they wish with the RAW values and they only share that information with customers behind iron clad non-disclosure agreements.

The current value, raw value, and threshold are the important items to watch. The worst value starts high and decreases as the drive worsens. A SMART trip occurs when the worst value is less than or equal to the threshold. Basically the worst value for the two attributes you listed need to drop to 6 before SMART will indicate impending failure of the drive.

On the warranty side of things, you could always return it to the store purchased from during their return period (30days? or is it 14?) and demand a newer drive with the longer warranty.

Free

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This is probably not what you want to hear...

Thanks, but what I really want to know is whether or not what I described in my original message is typical SMART behavior for Seagate drives, and I'm curious about the firmware revision. Hopefully, some other Seagate owners can respond to the questions posed at the end of my original post, and concerning the firmware revision, state approximately when they purchased their drives. Again, the model number is ST3160023A, the 160 GB 7200.7 PATA drive.

On the warranty side of things, you could always return it to the store purchased from during their return period (30days? or is it 14?) and demand a newer drive with the longer warranty.

Like I said, I can live with the shorter warranty on a $60 part. That's not reason enough by itself to return it. But if the SMART behavior is atypical, or they stopped using the firmware 3.01, say, a year ago, then I might want to return it.

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Yep those SMART values are about normal for that model drive. I usually get values about 60 to 70 for those parameters and have had some 7200.7's go as low as 50 (even while near new).

Same with the raw values, nobody's ever figured out what they correspond to (at least nobody ever explained it to me anyway.)

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Just reread my post, I need to spend more time proof reading. The things to watch are current value and worst value, compared to threshold.

Hopefully, you will find someone who may state what firmware revisions they have seen.

Free

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Yep those SMART values are about normal for that model drive. I usually get values about 60 to 70 for those parameters and have had some 7200.7's go as low as 50 (even while near new).

Thanks for the note. I suspected as much, but it's nice to be sure.

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I ordered the same drive from Comp USA but FedEx is RETARDED and isn't delivering it. It's just sitting in a delivery truck since last Wednesday and FedEx tells me it was put in the wrong truck and it should be delivered that day but it never comes. I'm getting pissed. And now I hear it only has a year warranty. Oh, stellar! :angry:

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I ordered the same drive from Comp USA but FedEx is RETARDED and isn't delivering it.  It's just sitting in a delivery truck since last Wednesday and FedEx tells me it was put in the wrong truck and it should be delivered that day but it never comes.  I'm getting pissed.  And now I hear it only has a year warranty.  Oh, stellar! :angry:

You may get lucky. It all depends on how long the drive has been sitting in a warehouse or on a CompUSA shelf. Seagate told me drives shipped after 1-Jun-2004 are eligible for the 5 year warranty. Their warranty support web form says my warranty is actually set to expire in Jun-2005, but when I called Seagate, they said my drive was manufactured in Apr-2004, and they'll honor the warranty for a full year from date of purchase regardless. I guess the web form figures most drives will be sold within a couple of months of manufacture date.

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Hopefully, some other Seagate owners can respond to the questions posed at the end of my original post, and concerning the firmware revision, state approximately when they purchased their drives.

2 days ago I bought a Seagate ST3200822A 200gb drive and I am noticing the same kinds of problems that you are describing. Raw Read Error Rate and the Hardware ECC Recovered counters are contiuiously chaging and the Seek Error Rate jumped down to 60 on my drive as well as i was backing up files of another drive. This concern me a bit to that htat would be changing like that. I found a review of the drive on tomshardware here and it seems to have a higher random access time which i am wondering if that is related to the the sek errorn rate mabey. I has SMART version 3.01 on it and I looked around some of a firmware upgrade but could not find anything on it.

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*sigh* As long as the drive does not emit any suspicious noises and does not reallocate sectors, don't worry too much. The access time of the PATA versions is higher (approx. 15 ms) because the 7200.7 does not feature AAM (hopefully 7200.8 will again) and Seagate chose to make PATA versions somewhat quieter but also slower in seek than the SATA versions (which is around 12.9 ms IIRC).

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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.

You might want to have a look at Seagate's 5-Year Warranty FAQ.

The most interesting part is:

4. Does the 5-year warranty apply to internal Retail Kit purchased after the new warranty date, even if the printed box indicates only a 3-year warranty?

Yes, if purchased after July 26, 2004 the internal products will have the 5-year warranty. Packaging reflecting the new warranty will soon be on Retail shelves. If Retail customers have questions about the warranty on their internal Retail products, the can access their warranty information at www.seagate.com.

Now the way I read this, it means that due to your purchase date, you should have a 5 year warranty.

I wonder how many other people are getting screwed because of the recent deals on Seagate drives. I personally got in on the 200GB for $60 at Outpost and I'll be extremely unhappy if they stick me with a 1-year warranty. Even for that price, I would not have bought the drive if I had known it would come with a 1-year warranty. I have never used a hard drive for less than a year...

-JoeTD

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You might want to have a look at Seagate's 5-Year Warranty FAQ.

The most interesting part is:

4. Does the 5-year warranty apply to internal Retail Kit purchased after the new warranty date, even if the printed box indicates only a 3-year warranty?

Yes, if purchased after July 26, 2004 the internal products will have the 5-year warranty. Packaging reflecting the new warranty will soon be on Retail shelves. If Retail customers have questions about the warranty on their internal Retail products, the can access their warranty information at www.seagate.com.

Now the way I read this, it means that due to your purchase date, you should have a 5 year warranty.

Except the retail box stated only a 1 year warranty. I found that FAQ really strange when I was researching this issue a couple of weeks ago. I'm not aware any Seagate retail boxes state a 3 year warranty. At least none currently in the local stores do, nor did the one I bought back near the beginning of the year. But now that you mention it, I think you're right. The "if purchased after" part would appear to supersede the "even if" part, and the latter bit doesn't say anything about 1-year warranties or Jun-1. On the other hand, the "5-year Warranty Press Release" document here (5-Year Warranty) says:

The new warranty applies retroactively to

applicable hard drives shipped since June 1, 2004.

So this document and the FAQ are in conflict. Maybe I'll give Seagate another call...

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Hopefully, some other Seagate owners can respond to the questions posed at the end of my original post, and concerning the firmware revision, state approximately when they purchased their drives.

2 days ago I bought a Seagate ST3200822A 200gb drive and I am noticing the same kinds of problems that you are describing. Raw Read Error Rate and the Hardware ECC Recovered counters are contiuiously chaging and the Seek Error Rate jumped down to 60 on my drive as well as i was backing up files of another drive. This concern me a bit to that htat would be changing like that. I found a review of the drive on tomshardware here and it seems to have a higher random access time which i am wondering if that is related to the the sek errorn rate mabey. I has SMART version 3.01 on it and I looked around some of a firmware upgrade but could not find anything on it.

my 80gb barracuda IV behaves the same way since the day i got it. It's already 2 yrs and 4 months old.

it's still working fine today.

Nice quiet drive. Never regretted buying it.

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my 80gb barracuda IV behaves the same way since the day i got it. It's already 2 yrs and 4 months old.

it's still working fine today.

Nice quiet drive. Never regretted buying it.

Yeah, I'm coming to the same conclusion. I'm almost regretting trying these SMART programs. :) I did so only because my 80 GB Seagate really has been dying on me, and SeaTools said it's fine. I wanted to see what the SMART values were, since my WinXP event log had been collecting occasional "bad block" errors for months, then a couple of weeks ago, a "failure prediction" error, something I had never seen before, which sounded a lot like a SMART warning. I had also been experiencing strange, occasional slowness I couldn't attribute to anything, and I recently had a BSOD during the WinRAR phase of my backup process. And I Don't Get BSODs. After all this, it was frustrating for SeaTools to pronounce the drive "OK". The SMART programs at least gave me the reallocated sector count, which was in the hundreds. All these problems have gone away since I replaced it with the new Seagate.

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my 80gb barracuda IV behaves the same way since the day i got it. It's already 2 yrs and 4 months old.

it's still working fine today.

Nice quiet drive. Never regretted buying it.

Well that’s good to hear. I guess I should have noting to worry about considering I bought my 200 GB hard drive to replace my Western Digital that I have not had for more then 2 moths that is having serious read/write errors with the SMART values tripping the bios warning.

After all this, it was frustrating for SeaTools to pronounce the drive "OK".

Yeah I was having the same thing happen with me I can see that the smart vales have gone below the threshold with SMART programs and it is defiantly having Read and write errors as well as CRC errors but yet Western Digital’s diagnostic program said it was fine after checking the SMART vales. It only discovered it was bad after it tried to read any data off of the drive. Pretty smart diagnostics tool, haha

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Yeah I was having the same thing happen with me I can see that the smart vales have gone below the threshold with SMART programs and it is defiantly having Read and write errors as well as CRC errors but yet Western Digital’s diagnostic program said it was fine after checking the SMART vales. It only discovered it was bad after it tried to read any data off of the drive. Pretty smart diagnostics tool, haha

Oh, I ran the full SeaTools surface scan. It took several hours to complete on my 80 GB drive, and at the end, it said something to the effect, "No problems found." And that was it. I've never used a terser diagnostics program.

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In the Seagate drives, the SMART values (error rates) are always fluctuating.

This happens in the BATA IV, and the 7200.7.

It is normal.

This doesn't happen in my Samsungs. In this case, the Spin Up time sometimes fluctuate.

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