Determinng how old a hard drive is

Posted on 2009-02-11
Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have a hard drive that was donated to me from a client's old computer. I'm trying to determine how old it is, and how much it has been used.

Do hard drives keep track of statistics about their use? E.g. how many hours they've been running for in their lifetime? How many times they've been power cycled?

I found a few utilities that gave me "statistics" about the hard drive from it's S.M.A.R.T data, but the figures are confusing. How come 99% of them are "253"? The warnings are opposite of what I would expect. Apparantly my power cycles rating is LOWER than expected and this is a bad thing? Doesn't make sense

Can somebody explain these statistics to me?
Or point me at a better way of determining usage information about a hard drive?

Attached is the SMART data analysis:
Your hard disk is a Maxtor 6E040L0 with firmware NAR61HA0.

The average temperature for this hard disk is 33C (MIN=21C MAX=46C) and yours is 43C.

Spin Up Time			222		8928 		Normal

Start/Stop Count		252		2069 		Watch

   Warning: Start/Stop Count is below the average limits (253-253).

Reallocated Sector Count	253		0 		Very good

Read Channel Margin		253		0 		Very good

Seek Error Rate			253		0 		Very good

Seek Time Performance		244		55465 		Watch

   Warning: Seek Time Performance is below the average limits (246-253).

Power On Hours Count		232		63318 		Normal

Spin Retry Count		253		0 		Very good

Calibration Retry Count		253		0 		Very good

Power Cycle Count		248		2074 		Watch

   Warning: Power Cycle Count is below the average limits (249-253).

Power Off Retract Count		251		2033 		Watch

   Warning: Power Off Retract Count is below the average limits (252-253).

Load Cycle Count		251		8737 		Watch

   Warning: Load Cycle Count is below the average limits (252-253).

Hardware ECC Recovered		253		8194 		Very good

Reallocated Event Count		253		0 		Very good

Current Pending Sector		253		0 		Very good

Offline Uncorrectable Sector Count		253		0 		Very good

Ultra DMA CRC Error Rate	199		1 		Very good

Write Error Rate		253		0 		Very good

Soft Read Error Rate		253		1 		Very good

TA Increase Count		253		0 		Very good

Run Out Cancel			253		0 		Very good

Shock Count Write Opern		253		0 		Very good

Shock Rate Write Opern		253		0 		Very good

Spin High Current		253		0 		Very good

Spin Buzz			253		0 		Very good

Offline Seek Performance	186		0 		Normal

Unknown attribute 99		253		0 		Very good

Unknown attribute 100		253		0 		Very good

Unknown attribute 101		253		0 		Very good

NOTE: not all warnings are reflected on fitness and performance overall values as relevancy is based upon the settings from the hard disk manufacturer who is the best entity deputed to define such relationships.

NOTE : your hard disk Power Cycle Count attribute current value (248) is below the normal range (249 - 253) reported for your specific hard disk model. Basically your hard disk was power cycled more times than the maximum number the average hard disk was. Power cycles put some stress on the hard disk mechanic. Sometimes power cycles can be caused by a loose hard disk power connector. Make sure it is properly fastened.

The overall fitness for this drive is 87%.

The overall performance for this drive is 87%.

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Question by:Frosty555
    LVL 9

    Accepted Solution

    Here is the explanation about what the number means

    Each drive manufacturer defines a set of attributes, and sets threshold values beyond which attributes should not pass under normal operation. Each attribute has a raw value, whose meaning is entirely up to the drive manufacturer (but often corresponds to counts or a physical unit, such degrees Celsius or seconds), and a normalized value, which ranges from 1 to 253 (with 1 representing the worst case and 253 representing the best). Depending on the manufacturer, a value of 100 or 200 will often be chosen as the "normal" value.

    199       C7       UltraDMA CRC Error Count       
          The number of errors in data transfer via the interface cable as determined by ICRC (Interface Cyclic Redundancy Check).

    230       E6       GMR Head Amplitude             Amplitude of "thrashing" (distance of repetitive forward/reverse head motion)[citation needed]
    231       E7       Temperature       
          Drive Temperature
    240       F0       Head Flying Hours             Time while head is positioning[citation needed]
    250       FA       Read Error Retry Rate       
          Number of errors while reading from a disk
    254       FE       Free Fall Protection       
          Number of "Free Fall Events" detected [18]

    So this means that current entry you have of 253 certainly means that drive is good.

    Check for more details


    LVL 7

    Assisted Solution

    From what I found, the drive was manufactured in 2003.  So its about 6 years old.  Most hard drives have a rediculous Mean Time Before Failure of about 1.5 million hours.  I would say as long as the drive will pass a CHKDSK or any sort of disk utilitie that will scan all sectors of the drive and not find any bad clusters, then its a good drive.

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