0

I have a 1 TB hard drive on an old iMac 2011 that recently started making a repetitive clicking noise. It is similar to when CD-ROM tries to read a 'scratched' surface on a CD. Recently, the computer stopped booting into the OS and would keep trying to "load" the OS (show the Apple logo and the progress sign that normally appears during boot) but never succeeds and of course, I keep hearing the loud clicking noise in the drive.

I boot into Linux from a thumb drive and everything works fine (in fact, I am typing this from the live OS). So I am guessing the problem is the disk drive. I ran gparted and deleted all partitions on the hard drive and the entire 1 TB space is now unallocated free space.

Also, disks on Linux shows the following information for the /dev/sdc (the 1 TB hard disk):

Model: ST3100.....{snip}
Size: 1.0 TB
Partitioning: GUID Partition Table
Serial Number: {snip}
Assessment: Disk is OK, 193 bad sectors (41 C / 106 F)

fdisk /dev/sdc shows the following "partitions" for it:

Disk /dev/sdc: 931.5 GiB, 1000204886016 bytes, 1953525168 sectors
Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes
Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes
Disklabel type: gpt
Disk identifier: E6EC552A-CB25-4BA6-{snip}

Are there any Linux tools or techniques that I can use to make sure that the disk is beyond recovery before I chuck it into trash. I mean, I see that there are 193 bad sectors, does that mean that the disk is beyond repair? Could a software be used to format the drive such that bad sectors are fixed or not used anymore but the rest of the disk is still functional?

Additional info: I do not care about recovering any data from the drive. I can show output from any tools you might suggest here to check the disk status.

As requested, output from smartctl:

smartctl 6.6 2016-05-31 r4324 [x86_64-linux-4.9.0-kali3-amd64] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-16, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Seagate Barracuda 7200.12
Device Model:     ST31000528AS
Serial Number:    9VPCC73A
LU WWN Device Id: 5 000c50 0352fcbe7
Firmware Version: AP4C
User Capacity:    1,000,204,886,016 bytes [1.00 TB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Rotation Rate:    7200 rpm
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   ATA8-ACS T13/1699-D revision 4
SATA Version is:  SATA 2.6, 3.0 Gb/s
Local Time is:    Tue Nov  7 05:09:13 2017 UTC

==> WARNING: A firmware update for this drive may be available,
see the following Seagate web pages:
http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/207931en
http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/213891en

SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED
See vendor-specific Attribute list for marginal Attributes.

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82) Offline data collection activity
                    was completed without error.
                    Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0) The previous self-test routine completed
                    without error or no self-test has ever 
                    been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:        (  600) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:            (0x7b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                    Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                    Suspend Offline collection upon new
                    command.
                    Offline surface scan supported.
                    Self-test supported.
                    Conveyance Self-test supported.
                    Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                    power-saving mode.
                    Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                    General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:    (   1) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:    ( 168) minutes.
Conveyance self-test routine
recommended polling time:    (   2) minutes.
SCT capabilities:          (0x103f) SCT Status supported.
                    SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
                    SCT Feature Control supported.
                    SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 10
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000e   097   096   006    Old_age   Always       -       209127852
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0003   100   100   000    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   094   094   020    Old_age   Always       -       6487
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   100   100   036    Pre-fail  Always       -       21
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   081   060   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       134452477
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   080   080   000    Old_age   Always       -       17788
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   097    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0032   094   094   020    Old_age   Always       -       6155
184 End-to-End_Error        0x0032   100   100   099    Old_age   Always       -       0
187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x0032   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       180
188 Command_Timeout         0x0032   100   098   000    Old_age   Always       -       12885098501
189 High_Fly_Writes         0x003a   099   099   000    Old_age   Always       -       1
190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x0022   054   042   045    Old_age   Always   In_the_past 46 (Min/Max 31/49 #21)
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   046   058   000    Old_age   Always       -       46 (0 16 0 0 0)
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered  0x001a   042   027   000    Old_age   Always       -       209127852
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   096   096   000    Old_age   Always       -       172
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0010   096   096   000    Old_age   Offline      -       172
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x003e   200   200   000    Old_age   Always       -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
ATA Error Count: 1207 (device log contains only the most recent five errors)
    CR = Command Register [HEX]
    FR = Features Register [HEX]
    SC = Sector Count Register [HEX]
    SN = Sector Number Register [HEX]
    CL = Cylinder Low Register [HEX]
    CH = Cylinder High Register [HEX]
    DH = Device/Head Register [HEX]
    DC = Device Command Register [HEX]
    ER = Error register [HEX]
    ST = Status register [HEX]
Powered_Up_Time is measured from power on, and printed as
DDd+hh:mm:SS.sss where DD=days, hh=hours, mm=minutes,
SS=sec, and sss=millisec. It "wraps" after 49.710 days.

Error 1207 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17785 hours (741 days + 1 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 ff ff ff 0f  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x0fffffff = 268435455

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 20 ff ff ff ef 00      00:00:07.936  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:00:03.967  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 20 02 00 00 e0 00      00:00:03.966  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 01 00 00 e0 00      00:00:03.966  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:03.965  READ DMA EXT

Error 1206 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17785 hours (741 days + 1 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 ff ff ff 0f  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x0fffffff = 268435455

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:00:07.331  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 02 00 00 e0 00      00:00:07.330  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:07.320  READ DMA EXT
  ef 03 46 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:07.310  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ef 03 0a 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:07.310  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]

Error 1205 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17785 hours (741 days + 1 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 ff ff ff 0f  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x0fffffff = 268435455

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 20 ff ff ff ef 00      00:01:44.372  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:01:43.782  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 01 00 00 e0 00      00:01:43.781  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 00 00 00 e0 00      00:01:41.711  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:01:40.898  READ DMA EXT

Error 1204 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17785 hours (741 days + 1 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 ff ff ff 0f  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x0fffffff = 268435455

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:01:36.868  READ DMA EXT
  00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ff      00:01:31.569  NOP [Abort queued commands]
  ea 00 00 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:08.220  FLUSH CACHE EXT
  35 00 20 ff ff ff ef 00      00:00:08.220  WRITE DMA EXT
  25 00 20 02 00 00 e0 00      00:00:08.119  READ DMA EXT

Error 1203 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 17785 hours (741 days + 1 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 ff ff ff 0f  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x0fffffff = 268435455

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 01 ff ff ff ef 00      00:00:05.290  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 02 00 00 e0 00      00:00:05.289  READ DMA EXT
  25 00 01 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:05.283  READ DMA EXT
  ef 03 46 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:05.273  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ef 03 0a 00 00 00 e0 00      00:00:05.273  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
No self-tests have been logged.  [To run self-tests, use: smartctl -t]

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
 SPAN  MIN_LBA  MAX_LBA  CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.
  • Add the output of smartctl -a /dev/sdc or smartctl -t long /dev/sdc just to make sure it is completely useless. – Hunter.S.Thompson Nov 7 '17 at 4:52
  • @Hunter.S.Thompson added the output. Does the drive look useless? – learnerX Nov 7 '17 at 5:13
  • Did you upgrade your disc's firmware? smartctl suggest's you do, I can't read the output, but 1200 ATA error's + multiple error's, anyone can make out your drive is not in good condition. Give it a long test to be sure, and try correcting the bad sectors. – Hunter.S.Thompson Nov 7 '17 at 5:25
8

The "repetitive clicking noise" is the drive trying to reposition the read-write head, because it can't read a particular block. The CD-ROM does this for the same reason with a scratched CD: It can't read a particular part, so it repositions the laser head.

Let's interpret some of the SMART values. They are normalized to 100, and lower is worse.

  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   081   060   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       134452477

You are getting quite a few seek errors (80), the worst value was 60.

190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x0022   054   042   045    Old_age   Always   In_the_past 46 (Min/Max 31/49 #21)
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0022   046   058   000    Old_age   Always       -       46 (0 16 0 0 0)

The drive gets too hot (54), and has been over threshold (42 < 45) at some time in the past.

195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered  0x001a   042   027   000    Old_age   Always       -       209127852

The drive already needs to do a lot of error recovery.

So, the drive has aged and gone bad. As you already have wiped the drive and apparently don't need the data, throw it away and get a new one. If you keep using this drive, you are going to lose some of your data for sure.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.