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Old March 26, 2011, 04:50 PM
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Default Raw Read Error Rate SMART attribute

I just got two new Samsung HD204UI hard drives and after one day of use both show raw read errors on the SMART report (7 errors on one, 4 on the other). I've Googled around for info on this SMART attribute and it seems to be bad news, however it seems statistically improbable to me that both new drives would be faulty. Does it really mean something is wrong or is there another possible explanation? I'm trying to determine if I need to attempt RMA of these drives.

Another thing to note, neither HD Tune nor CrystalDiskInfo were able to read the SMART data from either drive. Everest is the only tool I've found that can read it. Not sure if this might be relevant in determining if the drives are faulty.

I don't think it's an issue with the SATA cables. I've used both of the cables in question for years without incident, but I nonetheless swapped them out just in case. I'll watch to see if this slows or stops the increase of raw read errors, but in the mean time I wanted to ask if anyone had other insights on this issue.

If it helps to see the entire SMART reports, here they are as reported by Everest:

Code:
ID	Attribute Description	Threshold	Value	Worst	Data	Status
01	Raw Read Error Rate	51	100	100	7	OK: Value is normal
02	Throughput Performance	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
03	Spinup Time	25	66	66	10318	OK: Value is normal
04	Start/Stop Count	0	100	100	6	OK: Always passes
05	Reallocated Sector Count	10	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
07	Seek Error Rate	51	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
08	Seek Time Performance	15	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
09	Power-On Time Count	0	100	100	20	OK: Always passes
0A	Spinup Retry Count	51	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
0B	Calibration Retry Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
0C	Power Cycle Count	0	100	100	6	OK: Always passes
B5	<vendor-specific>	0	100	100	54017	OK: Always passes
BF	Mechanical Shock	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C0	Power-Off Retract Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C2	Temperature	0	64	64	14, 20	OK: Always passes
C3	Hardware ECC Recovered	0	100	100	0	OK: Always passes
C4	Reallocation Event Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C5	Current Pending Sector Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C6	Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C7	Ultra ATA CRC Error Rate	0	200	200	0	OK: Always passes
C8	Write Error Rate	0	100	100	0	OK: Always passes
DF	Load/Unload Retry Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
E1	Load/Unload Cycle Count	0	100	100	6	OK: Always passes
Code:
ID	Attribute Description	Threshold	Value	Worst	Data	Status
01	Raw Read Error Rate	51	100	100	4	OK: Value is normal
02	Throughput Performance	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
03	Spinup Time	25	67	67	10199	OK: Value is normal
04	Start/Stop Count	0	100	100	7	OK: Always passes
05	Reallocated Sector Count	10	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
07	Seek Error Rate	51	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
08	Seek Time Performance	15	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
09	Power-On Time Count	0	100	100	20	OK: Always passes
0A	Spinup Retry Count	51	252	252	0	OK: Value is normal
0B	Calibration Retry Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
0C	Power Cycle Count	0	100	100	8	OK: Always passes
B5	<vendor-specific>	0	100	100	1652	OK: Always passes
BF	Mechanical Shock	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C0	Power-Off Retract Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C2	Temperature	0	64	64	14, 22	OK: Always passes
C3	Hardware ECC Recovered	0	100	100	0	OK: Always passes
C4	Reallocation Event Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C5	Current Pending Sector Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C6	Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
C7	Ultra ATA CRC Error Rate	0	200	200	0	OK: Always passes
C8	Write Error Rate	0	100	100	0	OK: Always passes
DF	Load/Unload Retry Count	0	252	252	0	OK: Always passes
E1	Load/Unload Cycle Count	0	100	100	8	OK: Always passes
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Old March 26, 2011, 04:53 PM
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hmm, swap controller?

also try the sammy tool, if that says the same, and you can verify in another puter(different cables) then i guess it is like that

funny as hdtune didnt read it.
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Old March 26, 2011, 05:33 PM
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Raw reads, like ECC recovery rate means you (probably) have a couple bad bits/sectors/etc on the hdd. Most hdds have extra "over and above" their rated capacity. Its not a big deal if its only a couple. Personally, the first thing I do with ANY new HDD is do a hard format on them. Yes it takes hours..but afterwords when you look at the SMART data you know the status of the drive..as a lot of SMART errors dont show up until the physically bad sectors/cluster/etc is accessed. GREAT way to catch physical defects BEFORE you use the drive with actual data.

In you case do a hard format. See if this number goes up. If it doesnt, a couple is not "terrible"...but not great either. Run the mfg tool. See if it fails. If it does RMA it. If it doesnt the reallocated sectors will be a bit slower on access (as the reallocated ones are far, far away from the sectors "around" them) but unless its your OS drive this wont really matter much. KEEP an eye on the SMART data. IF it starts going up....yank the drive. RMA it if you can, sell it if you cant as its a drive that will die on you sooner rather than later and you should not trust it.

YMMV
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Old March 26, 2011, 06:05 PM
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I actually did do a full format beforehand which didn't reveal any errors. There was nothing unusual in the SMART report until I started copying data onto it. The error rates seem to increase the more data I copy. In the time since my original post the read error on one of the drives has increased to 9, and the other one now reports a write error rate of 3 in addition to the read errors. I wasn't even doing anything to the one that increased in read errors, it was just idling in the background.

I'm about to start up Samsung's own diagnostic tool. It reportedly takes hours to run so I'll post my findings in a while.

---

Edited to add, I've determined that the problem where HD Tune couldn't detect the SMART info is tied to those SATA ports themselves, not the drive or cables. The drives themselves are still undergoing the full scan in Samsung's ESTool.

---

Edited again to update, in case anyone with similar problems was monitoring the thread:

Both drives passed the full scan in Samsung's diagnostic tool (ESTool). Nonetheless the raw read errors and write errors have continued to accumulate the more the drives are used. I have swapped cables and connected the drives to a different SATA controller to no avail.

I decided to attempt RMA. The drives are from Newegg and the RMA request was automatically accepted, so I'll see how it goes after I ship them out.

---

Double posting is frowned upon, so edited once again. I wanted to keep this up to date in case anyone else has the same problem. I received replacements from Newegg and they are also showing the same errors. Read errors, write errors, and now g-sense errors as well. And of course I'm not mishandling the drives in any way, so I don't know where those g-sense errors came from. After roughly 24 hours of use I'm seeing 7 read errors, 4 write errors and 3 g-sense errors on one of the drives, and 5 read errors, 2 write errors and 2 g-sense errors on the other.

So to sum up I've gone through 4 of these drives, all of which have had an increasing number of read errors and write errors the longer they were in use. All were treated carefully - not dropped or mishandled and only run when properly mounted in my case. I tried different SATA cables and different SATA controllers to no avail. Considering that these drives get good reviews and I've had 4 in a row that were bad you might think that I misused them, but if that's so then I have no idea what I did wrong. I'm aware there is a firmware update for these drives - I applied it but it made no difference with regard to the steadily increasing number of read and write errors.

So I think my end decision is that I'll request a refund and stay away from HD204UI drives for now. I'll just have to accept the return shipping and restocking fees.
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Old July 14, 2011, 05:13 PM
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Arundor, I'm getting the same issue as you. RMA'd the drive twice and both times the drive is fine in all tests right uptil the point I start copying data to it, and then the read error rate starts going up. I've tried changing cables, updating SATA drivers as well but to no avail. I think there is a compatibility issue with the mobo. Which motherboard are you using? ASRock? Btw, which replacement drive did you get? is that working fine now? Please let me know asap!
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:21 PM
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The motherboard is a GA-X58A-UD3R (rev 1).

I ended up getting Hitachi 5K3000 2TB drives instead. I've had them for about 2 months now with no observable problems so far. They passed Hitachi's diagnostic tool, although that's not really saying much since the problematic Samsung drives also passed Samsung's diagnostics. The SMART report on these drives actually doesn't show the write error rate, but the raw read errors and all other SMART attributes it reports are doing fine.
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:25 PM
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idk about samsung drives but I know all of my Seagate 7200 drives have huuuuuuge raw read error rates as I recall.. It is just something that they seem to do, while some other brands do not.
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:36 PM
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As far as I was able to determine, Samsung isn't one of those where raw read errors are part of normal operation. When I originally had those Samsung HD204UI drives and was trying to research the problem, I came across various forum postings in which people who had those drives had posted their SMART reports. Many of the reports showed the drives having hundreds of hours of operation time without any raw read errors. The only conclusion I could reach was that something on my end was wrong, whether it was the drives themselves or some other component in my computer.
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Old July 14, 2011, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MacJunky View Post
idk about samsung drives but I know all of my Seagate 7200 drives have huuuuuuge raw read error rates as I recall.. It is just something that they seem to do, while some other brands do not.

right on,normal operation. have a bunch of 7200.12's in use and they seem fine with that
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Old July 15, 2011, 05:04 PM
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Thumbs up SOLUTION FOUND!

Finally found a solution!

While trying to find a fix/answer, I remembered that when I initially got the drive it was running fine and not reporting any errors - even during hours of disk tests that I ran. However, once I had setup windows on it and started using it, thats when I started getting the errors.

So I opened up the back of my case to check cabling for the millionth time and noticed that the SATA data & power cables were overlapping/crossing each other. I understand that these wires are supposed to be shielded but I decided to give it a chance, so I re-wired the hard-drive ensuring that the data cable and power cable were not even close. Booted up my computer and its been running for past 24 hours with NO increase in read error rate. During that period, I've run uTorrent for hours, run disk check, played HD videos, and did regular browsing etc as well.

In short, the issue is caused by interference between SATA data cable and any other cable (power, audio etc). So just make sure to properly install the SATA cable and keep it separate from other cables. It was hard to do on my Fractal Design R3 case, as it allows wiring on the back-side, but I've done so and my Samsung HD-204UI hard drive has Not reported any more Raw Read Error Rates.

PS. I had checked connectors several times so it wasn't a loose connection issue. Also, I'm still using the same cable, so its not a bad-cable issue either.
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