Question New Seagate 4TB Drive (ST4000DM004) Drive -Did I Get A Bad Drive ?

stonehedge99

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Jun 3, 2016
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Just got a new Seagate 4TB Drive (ST4000DM004) as my main data drive. OS runs on my exclusive OS drive which is a Samsung SSD.

Now this new drive has been plugged into the SATA3 port of my motherboard. I initialized and then partitioned using GPT (3 equal partitions).

1. Firstly I ran Crystal Disk Mark on the empty partitions. Only 2 times or so i heard the drive beep for a second. I know HDDS cant beep so it must be a head screech ? It was very short (about 1 second) so sounded like a beep. After the beep sound the entire disk vanished. A reboot brought it back. This happened twice. Then i pulled out the old cable and switched for a new one. After the cable switch i ran the same Crystal Disk Mark tests several times and the beep/screech has never come back neither has the disk dropped out requiring a reboot to see it.

2. Secondly the Crystal Disk Mark test shows seq read and write to have a gradual fall off on each partition in order of creation.
The test shows 190 MB/s read & 185 MB/s write for the first partition. 171 MB/s read & 168 MB/s write on the 2nd partition. And 152 MB/s read & 149 MB/s write on the 3rd partition.
Is this normal ? To have a gentle fall off in read/write speeds for each partition.

Given these 2 above factors is my disk basically ok or is it better to return it for a replacement ?
 
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1. You correctly diagnosed the problem. 98% of the time I've encountered a drive randomly disappearing, it's been due to a bad SATA cable. The rate I've experienced the problem dropped almost to zero after I switched to using SATA cables with clips.

2. That's normal. Data is written on the drive at a constant linear density. That is, every inch the read/write heads travel over the drive contain the same amount of data. That means the outer tracks, which are typically 2x the circumference of the inner-most tracks, can hold 2x as much data. Since all tracks on the drive rotate at the same speed, this means the drive can read/write data 2x as quickly on the outer tracks as on the inner tracks.

HDD manufacturers know this. So when you create partitions on the drive, it starts with the outermost track first. Subsequent partitions end up on tracks closer to the center, so are slower. An old trick to maximize speed was to create a small first partition for your OS, then a partition on the rest of your drive for data. That guaranteed the OS was always on the fastest outer-most tracks of the drive.

Edit: You can see the HDD speed dropoff in HD Tune's test graph. It's the blue line. Outermost track is on the left, innermost on the right. You can see how it drops off by almost exactly a 2:1 ratio. (The yellow dots are access times - also faster on the outer tracks since the read/write heads "rest" towards the outside. The time delta between the min and max access time for a track tells you the disk RPM.)

 
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stonehedge99

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Jun 3, 2016
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Hi Solandri,

So the initial screech that i heard for 2 times or so can be ignored ? It doesn't signify a faulty disk or anything right ?

Should i run SEATOOLS or something ? Which is the best way to check a disk and ensure its not faulty ?
 
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A "screech" is hard to diagnose from just a verbal description. Certain read/write head movements can sound like a screech. Unless you have a recording of it, it's impossible to guess what caused the noise.

If the disk is working fine now and isn't reporting any problems in the SMART stats, then I don't see any reason not to continue using it. SeaTools will work instead of CrystalDiskInfo. I was replying to a bunch of posts at the same time and forgot you had specified a Seagate drive.

But if you're feeling uncomfortable with it and the drive is still within the return period at the store you bought it from, you can always exchange it citing the noise as a reason. Your peace of mind is important, and the drive did act weirdly when you first got it.

As for the cache, numerous tests have shown a small benefit moving from 8 MB to 16 MB, and little to no benefit for cache sizes larger than 16 MB. The only reason drives have moved to bigger caches is because that's the smallest size memory module you can buy now. 128 MB modules would correspond to a 1 GB DIMM. I don't think those are made any more; the smallest is 2 GB (256MB modules). So SeaTools is probably reporting the cache wrong (maybe it was programmed when 32MB was the max and was never updated). But even if it's right, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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stonehedge99

Commendable
Jun 3, 2016
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It sounded almost beep like. Just like a bios beep. But this was on a running system when i clicked on the Crystal Diskmark sequential read write test.

Ive now opened SEATOOLS and in smart test it reports as passed. Theres a short self test and long self test. Do you have a suggestion as to which relevant ones i should run ?

Update : Downloaded the latest version of SEATOOLS and it now reports the drive as having 256mb cache !
 
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