14 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2008 8:10 PM by George Peters
comedy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I have a new 24" imac with 750 GB hard drive which has had problems out of the box (system crashing several times a day/unable to re-start/application crashes/general sluggishness).

Five re-installs of Leopard (upgrade/clean install/install and erase)in five weeks when I finally used the latest version of Drive Genius and TechTool Pro (4.6.1). Both claimed hard drive problems. Specifically, TechTool Pro reported smart drive failure (see report below, please).

This seemed to confirm my suspicions that something was flawed with my iMac from the start.

I have returned the computer for a new hard drive.

The Apple-approved repair shop says they've installed a new 750 GB had drive sent by Apple and when they run TechTool Pro, they get the same smart drive failure report. The techie claims this is either a glitch with TechTool Pro, or with the hard drive, but that I have nothing to worry about.

What's your opinion?

Many thanks for taking the time to read this.


Saturday, December 29, 2007 1:18:12 AM US/Pacific
S.M.A.R.T. Self-Checks <Failing!>

Model: ST3750640AS Q
Mount Point: /dev/disk0
Capacity: 698.64 GB
Writable: Yes
Ejectable: No
Removable: No
Bus: Serial ATA
Bus Location: Internal
Revision: 3.BTH
Serial Number: 5QD2JVNE
disk0s2: Ma
disk0s3: Pa
disk0s4: Peppi

S.M.A.R.T. stands for Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology. This test checks and reports on the status of the S.M.A.R.T. routines built into your drive. These routines monitor important drive parameters as your drive is operating. An examination and analysis of these parameters can aid in the prediction of drive failure. This will allow you to back up your data before your drive fails and the data becomes inaccessible.

S.M.A.R.T. Self-Checks

Attribute Normal Worst Threshold Status

1 Read Raw Error Rate
100 253 6 Okay
3 Spin Up Time
95 92 0 Okay
4 Start/Stop Count
100 100 20 Okay
5 Reallocated Sectors
100 100 36 Okay
7 Seek Error Rate
78 60 30 Okay
9 Power On Hours
100 100 0 Okay
10 Spin Retry Count
100 100 97 Okay
12 Power Cycle Count
100 100 20 Okay
187 Unknown
100 100 0 Okay
189 Unknown
100 100 0 Okay
190 Unknown
41 37 45 Failing!
194 Temperature
59 63 0 Okay
195 HW ECC Recovered
63 61 0 Okay
197 Current Pending Sector Count
100 100 0 Okay
198 Off-Line Scan Uncorrectable Sector Count
100 100 0 Okay
199 Ultra DMA CRC Error Count (Rate)
200 200 0 Okay
200 Write Error Count
100 253 0 Okay
202 DAM Error Count
100 253 0 Okay

S.M.A.R.T. Self-Checks <Failing!>

Tests Completed

Threshold levels are exceeded occasionally. You should consider backing up your data from the hard drive. You should continue to check the hard drive for failures.

S.M.A.R.T. Self-Checks <Failing!>


iMac, Mac OS X (10.5.1), 2.8 GHz 750 GB hard drive 4 GB RAM
  • The Looby Level 4 Level 4 (1,285 points)
    comedy wrote:

    The techie claims this is either a glitch with TechTool Pro, or with the hard drive,
    but that I have nothing to worry about.

    What's your opinion?

    I think Seagate, TechTool and S.M.A.R.T. are smarter than that techie.
    If nothing else, you've lost the drive's "impending-failure prediction"
    feature. Your drive is now D.U.M.B. I'd call AppleCare and demand a
    replacement iMac -- or an on-site repair. The machine is D.O.A.

    ...one hard drive "glitch" can ruin your whole day,


    P.S. If you're curious about the cause of failure, you could call Seagate's
    [technical support line|http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/about/contact_us>-- they've always been very helpful to me. Have
    the drive serial number handy. ...but don't let Apple off the hook.

  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Looby is right. There is absolutely nothing you can do with a drive that has a SMART status failure. How can the tech actually send the machine home with you knowing about this.

  • capkirk Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
    I just returned a 1 day old 24" iMac with the Seagate 500 GB HD. Right out of the box it was giving me fits. Shortly after updating to 10.5.1 and getting lots of errors, things went downhill quickly. I couldn't reinstall system software from the restore disks because of errors. The drive was making an awful muffled ringing noise. I ran the Apple hardware test and it came back with an Alert! of 4HDD/11/40000004. The tech assumed either the drive was failing or the sata cable was bad. These Seagate drives that Apple is using have a high failure rate. I googled the model number of this drive and looked at some of the reviews on Newegg.com and almost every other reviewer was having serious problems with this drive. My advise to anybody would be to startup the computer holding down the "D" key with disk 1 and check your hardware. Make sure and check the box to do a thorough check, it takes much longer but it'll save you a headache down the road.
  • The Looby Level 4 Level 4 (1,285 points)
    capkirk wrote:
    I just returned a 1 day old 24" iMac with the Seagate 500 GB HD.

    Just curious, do you know the model number (and possibly, the firmware rev)?

    I've been a huge Seagate fan for years, but they've had problems with several
    products, lately -- both hardware reliability and one or two firmware SNAFUs.
    I still prefer Seagate to WD, but Hitachi and Samsung are starting to look very

  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Could be the same drive I have ST3500630AS I don't have any problems with mine but the reviews look pretty grim. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822148136

  • capkirk Level 2 Level 2 (165 points)
    That is the drive I had. Seagate ST3500630AS. The specs on these drives are impressive but customers who are purchasing these are having some serious problems. Hopefully it's just a bad run.
  • Will : Hi ! Level 5 Level 5 (4,305 points)
    comedy, Mac OS X's Disk Utility (found in /Applications/Utilities) can also check a drive's S.M.A.R.T. status.

    If you open Disk Utility and select your drive in the left pane (the drive itself, not Macintosh HD or other volumes), what does it say about your drive (under S.M.A.R.T. Status, obviously)? Does it also report it as failing?
  • mcssales Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Me, my two brothers, and at least six other people we know have had DOA or junk drives from New Egg. I know they have been around for a long time but I am in business so I know a thing or two about seconds and defect. Seconds and defects do NOT go in the trash 99% of the time. We get seconds and defect items in our business at lower prices and can and DO sell them. In our business items come without a box or a brand name on it. Hard drives should not be sold with defects but many believe they are sold. We sell our items at a lower price and the customers are HAPPY with seconds and defects.

    What I am saying is the brown box stuff New Egg is shipping could be defects. Everytime me, my two brothers, and at least six of our friends buy a drive in a retail box from a real store like best buy or what ever the drive works perfect and last years. Just about everytime we got something from new egg it was either dead out of the box and failed within days, weeks or months. One time one went a year.

    New Egg is very easy about returns.....almost TOO easy and take this from someone in business.

    Any hard drive can fail but keep in mine fail rate is under 1/2% almost always.
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    When Newegg sells returned items they are listed as Opened Box items. Everything else should be new. The thing that I wish more people understood is that one reason Newegg has such good deals is because of their OEM sales. These OEM items do not come in a retail box. This means that they were shipped to Newegg in bulk and re-packaged when sent to the consumer. Many hard drives that I have received had re-used bubble wrap and the bare hard drive was sitting flat on the bottom of a box full of pop corn. I do believe that the majority of hard drive failures are damaged during shipping rather than manufacture defect. We in return get a good price but a poorly packaged product. So long as you understand the risk of failure is higher when purchasing an OEM drive.

  • comedy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Greetings, all!

    This has been my first posting, despite having owned 5 Macs over twelve years - which goes to show you how reliable they are, most of the time.

    I am very impressed with the thoughtful responses, and I really, really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

    Here's an update since my last posting. I picked up my repaired(?) iMac from the Apple-approved repair shop. The technician's report said (referring to the original hard drive Seagate ST3750640AS Q) "The drive has passed and boots into the OS without issue. Confirmed the smart status of the hard drive shows failed, but this is for an unknown attribute. This may not really indicate the drive is failing, but could be a possibility. Since all of the other tests have passed, I feel it is best to replace the drive under warranty for the customer.

    About the new hard drive, the technician wrote: I have run a third-party smart utility on the (new, replaced) hard drive again and I have found that it is failing with the same error. The Apple test shows the smart status as OK.

    I have researched this error and I have found that this attribute appears to be for temperature. Since both drives showed the exact same error, this attribute can be safely ignored for smart status. I was not able to replicate any issues with this machine other than the smart status failure so I do not think there is any other hardware failing in this machine.

    If the customer continues to have issues, I would recommend reinstalling the OS one more time. If the issue still persists after this, then the customer should bring in the computer when issues are still happening so we can try to determine the cause of the problem better.

    At first, my iMac was performing much better, but as I began to migrate data from back-up, I was not able to connect/re-establish my iphoto library, or re-establish my Apple mail accounts( both of which I have done countless times in the past without hassle).

    I decided to run Apple's Disk utility which reports it cannot repair the new drive.

    Just prior to my original posting, I had sent a copy of my posting to Micromat (TechTool Pro) asking for their opinion/advice.

    Their response was: The SMART routines are built into the hard drive by the drive manufacturer. They are proprietary and different for each drive manufacturer. TechTool Pro just reads the status of the built-in SMART parameters and reports their status. Basically, a threshold exceeded indicates that the drive has exceeded what the manufacturer thinks are proper operating parameters for it and it may be getting close to failing. For an interpretation of the seriousness of a specific attribute failure you would need to contact the drive manufacturer. A failure is a warning to be sure to keep good backups and consider replacing the drive. If you get a SMART failure on a drive that is under warranty, the drive manufacturer will typically replace the drive.

    Following are two links that might be of interest:



    I also took your (Looby) advice and called Seagate. (I also visited their web site, which recommends replacement of their hard drive under these circumstances!)

    Within a couple of minutes, the tech person agreed that this is a serious concern and I should replace the drive.

    Regarding Wiil's post, Apple's Disk utility says: smart status verified.

    The SmartReporter utility reports the smart status is OK.

    The SmartUtility application says:smart status failed. ID: #190 Unknown attribute.

    For all other posters, this was not a New Egg purchase, which was not relevant to my post. Thank you just the same.

    I've left a message for the Apple-approved store and will ask for another drive, and that, if possible, it be tested before I bring my iMac in to reduce the inconvenience.

    I'm also wondering if I should switch to a 500 GB hard drive, although that would defeat the purpose of buying the larger drive for all the video I work with ( I have another 2 Terabytes storage with external drives).

    Any further comments welcome - and thank you all again for taking the time!
  • ashleyhoop Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have nearly the same prob with my 20" imac W/Dig 250Gb SATA - just stoped working crashed, and wouldn't boot up. Ran the Apple Hardware Test got this error; 4HDD/11/40000004:SATA(0,0)

    Eventually managed to restart to normal OSX albeit very very slow, copied my data off. Then tried to re-install OSX. After about 10 goes at restarting, it worked and I could install OSX again.

    Ran the Apple Hardware Test. No errors, all good????? Were has this 4HDD SATA Error gone?

    Machine seems fine now, operating for a couple of hours, but will take it to the Apple Centre for service tomorrow as it's only 4months old, and obviously there was/is something wrong.

    Anyone else had this error; 4HDD/11/40000004:SATA(0,0)
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Sometimes errors like that can be intermittent. Rest assured if it failed once it will happen again. The other thing is it could possibly be the SATA interface that is failing rather than the hard drive itself. Either way Apple will have to diagnose it for you.

  • Þór Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I can attest for that Seagate drives in any size over 320GB SHOULD report "FAIL" on sensor register 190. This sensor register is currently only in use by Seagate, and not read or used by Apple.

    I have personally serviced numerous iMacs with ST drives all reporting the same "failure". Only if some other counter starts acting weird (some known SMART register) should you worry.
  • George Peters Level 4 Level 4 (3,165 points)
    Thank you good catch. After re-reading this I originally thought that he meant Disk Utility was reporting a SMART error. As long as DU is not reading a SMART error then it may not be an issue like I thought. In fact with a third party SMART reporter I also receive the same SMART status error on my drive while DU reports the Status is Verified.