Question HDD SMART errors 197 and 198 count went from 20 to 0 (zero) after wipe and reformatting. Can I use the drive?

May 6, 2021
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I have a Seagate Barracuda 8T drive (ST8000DM004 ).
Yesterday I got a warning from CrystalDiskInfo regarding the SMART parameters:
  • 197 (Current Pending Sector Count)
  • 198 (Uncorrectable Sector Count)
It reported a RAW count of 8 for both these parameters.

I unmounted the drive and ran chkdsk to see what it could tell me. It found errors and when I checked the disk with CrystalDiskInfo the RAW count of parameter 197 and 198 had risen to 20. From what I've understood, these SMART parameters are a sign of a drive's imminent failure. So i RMA'd the drive.

Before sending the drive I needed to backup and erase the drive. So I did the following:
  • Cloned the faulty drive to another (healthy) drive.
  • Erased the partition.
  • Wiped the drive by filling all sectors with zeros.
  • Created a new empty partition.
After having gone through this rather lengthy procedure I ran CrystalDiskInfo again just to see if the error persisted. This time the SMART errors 197 and 198 were back to zero. So now CrystalDiskInfo reports the health status of the drive as "Good" (when it previously it was "Caution").

Does this mean that the drive has repaired itself and is safe to use again? Or does this mean that it's still a bad drive but the wipe and reformatting of the drive somehow masks this and it will start reporting errors again as soon I start storing data on it?
Should I still RMA it even though a check at the reseller/manufacturer using the same kind of software probably will report no SMART errors?
 
Pending sectors mean - drive at some point for some reason could not read the sector.
It doesn't mean, the sector is bad.
Pending sectors get resolved by overwriting them. Pending status gets cleared and if overwrite result is bad, sector gets relocated to spare area and relocated sector count is increased.

TLDR - if pending sectors is back to 0 and relocated sector count didn't increase, then drive health is considered good. No reason to RMA it.
 
May 6, 2021
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Thanks!
The raw value for reallocated sectors count is zero as well which I interpret as no sectors were reallocated?

Posting the latest report from CrystalDiskInfo:

 
The Command Timeout attribute is telling you that the drive has encountered 4 "slow" sectors, one of which exceeded 7 seconds.

GSmartControl reports the drive's SMART logs. These may identify the unreliable sector(s).

BTW, a raw value of 8 corresponds to 1 physical sector (1 physical sector = 8 logical sectors).
 
May 6, 2021
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GSmartControl reports the drive's SMART logs. These may identify the unreliable sector(s).
Thanks for the tip regarding GSmartControl!
I installed it and it presented the following error log:



It looks like four errors but judging from the details it seems like there are two double log entries(?)

I ran a short self-test on the drive using GSmartControl which completed without errors.
Now I'm running an extended self test, just out of curiosity. It will take 16 hours though so I don't know if I will have the patience to see it through. :)
 

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