HDD intermittent high error seek rates which self correct, 2 months left on warranty - HELP


Jan 5, 2017

I have a Toshiba 3tb DT01ACA300 HDD as D: data gaming, [C: boot = sandisk ultra ssd]

Soon after I bought the Toshiba, it used to click a little bit, then I changed drive power options to power down after 1 hour and this fixed the clicking. I thought it was the heads trying to park themselves when powering down.

I have always used Cystral Disk Info and it reports all drives as good.

About 1 week ago whilst gaming the game would start pausing/stuttering and the hdd would be clicking alot, This peaked 2 days ago when the game became unplayable and the computer unresponsive, a reset took about 5 minutes before everything became ok again (resets normally take less than 30 seconds with ssd boot drive).

Cyrstal Disk info was still showing HDD as good. I uninstalled and installed the lastest version (my other version was only 1 old). and for the next few hours it reported as good, then during a bit of clicking it suddenly went to BAD and the seek error rate info went from 100 (perfect) down to 62 (67 is the threshold).
So I backed up the entire drive (nothing critical had i lost it) and for the first 1/3 of the backup there was more clicking leading to large pauses in the copying.... But then everything went smoothly and then crystal disk the seek error rate improved itself and by the end of the backup it was back to 100 (perfect) and for the last 1 & 1/2 days its been fluctuating between 87 and 100, currently at 97, with a bit of clicking but less than before.

Several chkdsk both from properties and from command prompt show no errors (even when the drive was clicking)

The HDD still has 2 months of warranty. If I take it back now testing will show the drive is good and waste everyone's time.

Is there a way to stress the drive back into a BAD high error rate so I can return the drive ? obviously this is a drive that cannot be trusted. Any other options ?

Thanks for your help :)

current smart data Crystal Disk Info v7.6.1 x64
-- S.M.A.R.T. --------------------------------------------------------------
ID Cur Wor Thr RawValues(6) Attribute Name
01 100 100 _16 000000000000 Read Error Rate
02 142 142 _54 00000000003F Throughput Performance
03 253 253 _24 0002006B0053 Spin-Up Time
04 _99 _99 __0 0000000010E1 Start/Stop Count
05 100 100 __5 000000000000 Reallocated Sectors Count
07 _97 _97 _67 000000010002 Seek Error Rate
08 124 124 _20 000000000021 Seek Time Performance
09 100 100 __0 000000000D52 Power-On Hours
0A 100 100 _60 000000000000 Spin Retry Count
0C 100 100 __0 000000000292 Power Cycle Count
C0 _97 _97 __0 000000001199 Power-off Retract Count
C1 _97 _97 __0 000000001199 Load/Unload Cycle Count
C2 171 171 __0 002B00100023 Temperature
C4 100 100 __0 000000000000 Reallocation Event Count
C5 100 100 __0 000000000000 Current Pending Sector Count
C6 100 100 __0 000000000000 Uncorrectable Sector Count
C7 200 200 __0 0000000000A9 UltraDMA CRC Error Count


Try Toshiba's diagnostic tool:


Problem may be heat related - all okay cool. Then gets warm (for whatever reasons), components expand, and the drive malfunctions.

Do not try to stress the drive into BAD high error rates. Likely to end up voiding the remaining warranty.

Just run the tool and capture the results. Contact Toshiba. They may already know that that drive model has problems.


Jan 5, 2017

Hi Ralston18, thanks for the suggestion, I did try this and it passed the test, also this utility is from 2003.
Question from eHammer : "need link for firmware downloads discontinued 3tb Toshiba hdd"

It is extremely rare for a hard drive to need a firmware upgrade to work properly. Before doing anything, I'd run a drive integrity program to check to make sure your drive is not failing. And yes, generally, drives do not need specific drivers to function properly. They either work and are recognized by Windows or they don't.


Jan 5, 2017

Can you please recommend a diagnostic tool which is much more powerful than crystaldiskinfo or chkdsk ? Thanks.
For diagnostics, generally it's best to use the manufacturer's diagnostic tool as it is tailored to their drives. That said, you can try others like HDDScan and DiskCheckup. Both are freeware and work with any maker of a hard drive. Also, Windows 10 has a built in drive tester called WinDFT (Windows Drive Fitness Test). I've never used that however so I'm not sure where it is located or how you access it. A quick search should make it pop up (I'm not on a Win10 machine right now).

I would also use a hardware monitoring tool like HWiNFO64 to check your drive's temp to make sure it's not an overheating problem as the other guy here pointed out. That's another rarity, but certainly not unheard of. This is all assuming you are not hearing any mechanical noises past normal for a hard drive.