Does this SMART selftest indicate a failing drive?

Jeff Welling asked:

I’m wondering if the results of this SMART selftest indicate a failing drive, this is the only drive that comes up with ‘completed: read failure’ in the results.

# smartctl -l selftest /dev/sde
smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)   LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Extended offline    Completed: read failure       90%      8981         976642822
# 2  Extended offline    Aborted by host               90%      8981         -
# 3  Extended offline    Completed: read failure       90%      8981         976642822
# 4  Extended offline    Interrupted (host reset)      90%      8977         -
# 5  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%       410         -

The drive doesn’t yet show any signs of failure, aside from the output from that SMART selftest. This is the output from a different drive in the same system which is currently running a SMART selftest

# smartctl -l selftest /dev/sdc
smartctl version 5.38 [i686-pc-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-8 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Extended offline    Self-test routine in progress 30%     15859         -
# 2  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%      9431         -
# 3  Extended offline    Completed without error       00%      8368         -


SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 16
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x002f   200   200   051    Pre-fail  Always       -       1
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0027   176   175   021    Pre-fail  Always       -       4183
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       48
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   200   200   140    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x002e   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   088   088   000    Old_age   Always       -       8982
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0032   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 11 Calibration_Retry_Count 0x0032   100   253   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       46
192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       34
193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       13
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   111   101   000    Old_age   Always       -       36
196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       1
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0030   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0032   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       1
200 Multi_Zone_Error_Rate   0x0008   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       2

My answer:


Hopefully you’ve long since replaced the drive, but since no one has yet directly answered the question…

You ran two tests, both of which failed to read the same logical sector of the disk, as indicated by Completed: read failure and the same LBA in both tests. This does indeed indicate the disk has a defect, and you should be able to have it replaced under warranty. Attempting to store data in this sector may or may not cause the drive to notice it’s defective during the write process and remap the sector, but if the drive doesn’t notice, and can’t read the data later on, you’ve lost it.


View the full question and answer on Server Fault.

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