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Review: So-So 500 GB HDD - Use HDTune To Test Not Just SeaTools

 Posted - 5/2/2009 10:40:58 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions
Title: So-So 500 GB HDD - Use HDTune To Test Not Just SeaTools

Item Resource Page: Seagate-Momentus5400.6SATA2.5HardDrive

Pros: - Fairly Quiet operation
- It's kept working for 4+ months now of heavy use in my system operating as part of my laptop PVR system

Cons: - Could be faster, but thats a problem with high capacity drives.
- Only 5400rpm, faster than 4200rpm but still slower than 7200rpm
- Will make loudish clicking noises sometimes when busy

Price Paid: $120 CAD

Overall Rating: 6/10

Other Info: SeaTools for Windows has problems. It marked my drive as defective - why? Because it was nearly full. At over 90% full the tool will report a perfectly functional drive as BAD and FAIL its various tests. Remember this, I almost ended up returning the drive or possibly having to pay cross-border shipping fees and wait some weeks to get a new drive because I thought the drive was bad because of these false failures.

Their tech support was somewhat clueless - I know you can play it safe by saying any confirmed failure of the software means you can RMA the drive but they should know of these issues with low disk space and ask about them before accepting the RMA.

I had been getting the failures, so I ran HD Tune and it came out fine - I then re-ran the tests after moving most of my data off the drive and it began to pass the SeaTools tests. I decided to reformat the drive and after that it ran perfectly. I'm very glad I never RMA'd and I've had many months of worry free operation since.

I got this from a local computer retailer for $120 on sale back in January after my old 250GB Western Digital started to fail SMART tests again. I can't recall the name of the retailer at the moment, but they gave me fairly good support and offered for me to give them my defective drive and get it swapped for a new one in the store from their current stock. I'll add their name here if I remember it, or if anyone asks for that information.


PJPeter

- Update June '09 - The drive has now failed on me after about 6 months, so I have adjusted my rating down a notch.

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 9/5/2009 11:47:26 PM


 Posted - 6/3/2009 11:39:13 PM  - Show Profile  Edit Message

PJPeter
Site Administrator
2019 Contributions

Update:

Recently, around 3am I left to get a snack, I came back and computer was giving me an unmountable message (Unable to mount boot volume) and displaying that for a fraction of a second, and then restarting (the only way I knew what the message was, was to take out my digital camera and take a vid of it at 30fps). I then did a chkdsk /r /p and fixboot repair, and that solved the original Unable to mount error. After that I was getting a "Stop c000021a {Fatal System Error}" error - I proceeded to copy over dlls from another computer using Knoppix and I'm now good. Will run further tests on the system to see if the hard drive was corrupting the data or if it was a fluke occurrence (ie. Windows Update screwed up)

I got the idea to try copying over the dlls from this article: http://healyourchurchwebsite.com/2008/03/14/how-i-fixed-my-stop-c000021a-fatal-system-error-with-knoppix/
- and I did use an old burned copy of Knoppix I had. Note that I needed to enable NTFS drive writing in order to copy the files over - I made sure to back everything up with NTFS read-only (the default) set first, just incase.

That did fix it - but this was all an emergency measure to get the system back up and running - it worked, but not without a cost. I was at first going to copy the entire System 32 folder rather than just the dlls, and I did overwrite some of those other files, and it may have been one of those extra files that is giving me problems I'm not sure, but my drag and drop doesn't work and many of my file associations have been reset to defaults. It's good enough to get my system back into shape, burn backups of the files and watch all the PVR recordings I don't have space to put on another drive while I arrange for a replacement drive. I wouldn't keep working with this drive as my primary though after this sort of corruption incident, and after the warning signs of some corrupt files coming up now.

After I had all the files backed up I found that when I run an HD Tune scan I now get multiple BAD sectors within the first 5%, where as previously I would not get any at all. The Seagate tests also now fail within the first minute, and sometimes refuse to run. My Seagate drive is now toast really - it works mostly but I just can't trust it. Luckily where I bought it, PCV Online, has a 1 year instore warranty policy, so they will ship it back for me without having to worry about extra costs or customs fees (Though I just found out Canadians can send their drives to Burlington Ontario to save on postage/customs fees). Either way, I now have an extra back up of everything and I only lost about 2 files to corruption (outside of those replaceable Windows system files, of course).

Note that if you have a Seagate or Western Digital Warranty they will never give you a new drive past 30 days on the warranty - only Recertified ones. Hopefully though your experience will be better and they will last longer. For me, I'm giving Samsung/Lacie drives a try instead.

PJPeter

P.S. To make sure your drive is good, I also recommend running the 'Hitachi Drive Test' application. I plan to run that just before I swap out this drive and I plan to post the results. It is a pretty reliable application for finding out the actual health of a drive.

Last Edited By - PJPeter on 6/3/2009 11:40:42 PM
 

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