Should I RMA this drive?

patanjalimuni

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May 29, 2012
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I have gotten the opinion of one very knowledgeable person on this question (forum on another site), but would love to see if other knowledgeable people agree.

Just bought a new Western Digital 2.5 inch drive, 1TB.
As described below, diagnostic software logged 125 warnings for this drive, and I'm wondering whether I should RMA it.

The last 5-10 drives I've bought I've 'burned in' & tested by doing several passes of a secure erase (i.e. writing to the entire drive), then running a utility like Victoria to do a surface scan, which also gives response times for each block, then checking SMART values. Part of the idea is that any serious problems may show up as a change in the SMART values after exercising the drive.

Not sure if 'response time' is the correct terminology, but this version of Victoria displays a sort of histogram of block response times, logging a warning for any that are over 160ms (flagged in yellow), and a more severe warning for those over 600ms (flagged in red).

In the past I have almost never gotten any warnings on a new drive, and if so there was only one.

This time there were 125 warnings, with times ranging from 194ms up to 349ms, uniformly distributed throughout the drive. Normally roughly 98% of the values are less than 5ms, about 2% between that and 15ms, and the remaining very few between that and 120ms.

The crucial SMART values are all OK.

What do you think? Should I RMA the drive?
Your insights are much appreciated.
 

patanjalimuni

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May 29, 2012
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Thanks for your comment, Rolli59!
I suspect that the WD diagnostics may not show anything (no SMART errors), but it's not too late to return to Newegg.

Maybe I should try more diagnostics, and see if things get worse...
 

patanjalimuni

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May 29, 2012
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Thanks, fantastik250, for your reply.

It was worthwhile doing further tests. I'm inclined to think now that the drive is probably ok, but some connections may be flaky.

Partly from laziness, and partly to test on different equipment, I tested the drive in its enclosure via USB (which is how it will be used). Previously, I had put the drive inside an unused laptop.

1. For comparison, tested another drive (Toshiba 320g) in it's own enclosure. Max block access time < 50 ms--pretty happy with that.
2. Tested the WD in the same enclosure. Not quite as good as the Toshiba, but no warnings.
3. Tested the WD in its enclosure, which is the same model as the Toshiba's. Got over 100 warnings.
4. Testing the WD now with a cable--have done 20% of the drive, and the max time for any block is 83ms (good).

I would still welcome any comments.
It seems, though, that the poor performance may be due to flakey connections, both in the laptop used originaly and in one of the enclosures. Maybe I should exchange that enclosure...

Again, thanks for your comments!