GoHardDrive retailer (amazon / ebay) possibly forging SMART data, selling used HDDs as New ?

Discussion in 'Hard Drives and Solid State Drives' started by james23, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. james23

    james23 Active Member

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    I had seen the retailer GoHardDrive mentioned in good terms here on STH forums quite a few times ( one link ) so i figured ordering from them wouldn't be too risky. However my recent experience calls their reputation into question (i feel).

    I purchased this drive via amazon, new :

    HGST/Hitachi (HUA723020ALA641) Ultrastar 7K3000 2TB 64MB 7200RPM 3.5" (Enterprise Grade) SATA III 6.0Gb/s Hard Drive


    Amazon Link

    Its shipped direct from GoHardDrive , not fulfilled by amazon, and i was expecting a new drive. The first thing i noticed when i received my package was how poor the packaging was, especially for a HDD. They simply put the drive into an anti-static bag (good) and half/way sealed the anti-static bag (via those heat line things that fuse bags together, except only a small piece of the bag was sealed, no big deal though). then placed the drive/bag into a USPS free "small priority mail" box, and then shoved that into a free USPS priority padded bag ( the type that has thin bubble wrap as part of the bag).

    All of the above i can live with (not happy, but things happen). once i took the drive out i thought it was weird that the drive did look a bit used (a few scrapes and rub marks). The manufacture data and year appears to be intentionally rubbed out with an eraser or some type of white pen (but if you tilt the drive you can make out JUL - 2012).

    Once i hooked the drive up to my linux test machine (to run bad blocks), i noticed something pretty weird with the smart data, take a look below and let me know what you all think:

    why would the power on hours and the cycle count be at 0 (or 1 from me turning on the drive) but the SMART test history shows evidence of prior tests at up to 9000 hours?

    Ive also sent a message to the seller.. ill update when i hear back

    thanks

    smartctl -a /dev/sdc
    smartctl 5.43 2012-06-30 r3573 [x86_64-linux-2.6.32-431.el6.x86_64] (local build)
    Copyright (C) 2002-12 by Bruce Allen, smartmontools

    === START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
    Device Model: Hitachi HUA723020ALA641
    Serial Number: YGHYxxxxx ( i did the xxxxx)
    LU WWN Device Id: 5 000cca 224db7306
    Firmware Version: MK7OA840
    User Capacity: 2,000,398,934,016 bytes [2.00 TB]
    Sector Size: 512 bytes logical/physical
    Device is: Not in smartctl database [for details use: -P showall]
    ATA Version is: 8
    ATA Standard is: ATA-8-ACS revision 4
    Local Time is: Thu Jan 8 18:02:15 2015 CST
    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

    General SMART Values:
    Offline data collection status: (0x80) Offline data collection activity
    was never started.
    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: (19618) seconds.
    Offline data collection
    capabilities: (0x5b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
    Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
    Suspend Offline collection upon new
    command.
    Offline surface scan supported.
    Self-test supported.
    No 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: ( 327) minutes.
    SCT capabilities: (0x003d) SCT Status supported.
    SCT Error Recovery Control supported.
    SCT Feature Control supported.
    SCT Data Table supported.

    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 0x000b 100 100 016 Pre-fail Always - 0
    2 Throughput_Performance 0x0005 100 100 054 Pre-fail Offline - 0
    3 Spin_Up_Time 0x0007 100 100 024 Pre-fail Always - 0
    4 Start_Stop_Count 0x0012 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 1
    5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct 0x0033 100 100 005 Pre-fail Always - 0
    7 Seek_Error_Rate 0x000b 100 100 067 Pre-fail Always - 0
    8 Seek_Time_Performance 0x0005 100 100 020 Pre-fail Offline - 0
    9 Power_On_Hours 0x0012 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
    10 Spin_Retry_Count 0x0013 100 100 060 Pre-fail Always - 0
    12 Power_Cycle_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 1
    192 Power-Off_Retract_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 1
    193 Load_Cycle_Count 0x0012 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 1
    194 Temperature_Celsius 0x0002 240 240 000 Old_age Always - 25 (Min/Max 23/25)
    196 Reallocated_Event_Count 0x0032 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
    197 Current_Pending_Sector 0x0022 100 100 000 Old_age Always - 0
    198 Offline_Uncorrectable 0x0008 100 100 000 Old_age Offline - 0
    199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count 0x000a 200 200 000 Old_age Always - 0

    SMART Error Log Version: 1
    No Errors Logged


    (note below the 9607, 6072, 3133.... hour counts at test run)

    SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
    Num Test_Description Status Remaining LifeTime(hours) LBA_of_first_error
    # 1 Short offline Completed without error 00% 9607 -
    # 2 Short offline Completed without error 00% 6072 -
    # 3 Short offline Completed without error 00% 3133 -
    # 4 Short offline Completed without error 00% 2181 -
    # 5 Short offline Completed without error 00% 1 -

    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.
     
    #1
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
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  2. Biren78

    Biren78 Active Member

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    Something's off. Did you try contacting them?
     
    #2
  3. james23

    james23 Active Member

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    I did, they claimed that these drives come direct from the factory (which i dont think is correct as the shipping box didn't look like a pro setup and the return address is goharddrives)

    they did offer me 3 options:

    1) return the drive and they would send me a 3tb HUA (remember this was a 2tb) and offer a 3 yr warranty on it (their own warranty)

    2) return the drive and get a full refund (and they would provide return shipping label)

    3)keep the drive and they would credit me 40$ (i paid 79.99) and they would increase their warranty from 1yr to 3 years.

    I chose option 3.. they did reply really quickly and then replied to my choosing item 3 quickly as well (and said they had applied the credit, i haven't confirmed this yet though but will when i get my CC statement).

    I honestly still think they are wipeing SMART data SOMEHOW..(im not sure how you do that, but i would assume its possible) and selling used or refurb drives as new and most users wont even look at SMART data, and those that do most likely will only look at POH (power on hours) and think the drive is new.

    so far the drive has run good (no bad blocks, 140mb seq. r/w which is the correct real speed of this model), but these hitachi HUA drives are really great drives so even being used i would expect that.
    still...questionable tactics / ethics but such is what you get when dealing with ebay/non VARs..
     
    #3
  4. HellDiverUK

    HellDiverUK Active Member

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    Take SMART data with a pinch of salt. I've seen brand new retail boxed drives report hundreds of hours use in SMART. Coincidentally, it was a HGST drive.
     
    #4
  5. james23

    james23 Active Member

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    True , but this ones smart data is showing what it should, zero power own hours and there is physical evidence of them erasing the manufacture date to further make the case that this is a new drive (when in fact it's a used or refurbished Drive being sold as brand new)

    I have lots of Hitachi Drives (over 30+ currently running) and all of them seem to report accurate smart data especially for power on hours and power cycle count
     
    #5
  6. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Whatever came of this? I just bought 6 of the 2TB Hitachi drives from them on Amazon and am seeing the same exact thing in SMART. All the RAW data is 0 or 1 but SMART tests and even errors at up to about 19,000 hours.
     
    #6
  7. james23

    james23 Active Member

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    They gave me a partial refund such that the drive was a really good deal , and increased their "warranty" from 1 yr to 3 years, so i kept the drive and took the partial refund.

    they did offer to take it back and give a full refund (and pay return shipping). they were actually very nice to deal with, but it seems they knew what i was talking about (they didn't admit it, but it seems their policy is wipe smart data, if buyer figures it out, offer to make them happy so they keep quiet) <- this is just my opinion of the situation.

    in terms of the 2tb hitachi drive, so far its still running great (its been on 24/7 since). But i def. think they are up to some shadyness in terms of wiping SMART data, cleaning the drive up physically, and then selling the drives as new or "factory" refurb (but mainly sold as NEW, which the drives def. are NOT)..
     
    #7
  8. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    I've got 6 of these that I'm wanting to put into a RAIDZ2 and all of them have been obviously running for ~2 years already, some with errors and obvious reallocated sectors. I'm just not sure I'd trust them with my data.
     
    #8
  9. Chuckleb

    Chuckleb Moderator

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    I have a lot of them spinning and no failures yet. These are the WD RE4 drives... They seem to work fine. I run drives until they fail and the enterprise ones are rated for 5+ years... So I have some buffer room.

    I would probably say that you get what you pay for and you engineer for the risk that is acceptable. If I could get good NAS drives without warranty therefore cheap, that would be ideal for me. I would say that if you are uncomfortable, return them and get something else. Sadly, I would trust these drives over running Seagate desktop drives in arrays though others have good luck. It really is a cost/benefit and design problem...

    Though I agree they should not be labeled as new.
     
    #9
  10. smithse79

    smithse79 Active Member

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    Did you contact them directly or through Amazon?
     
    #10
  11. james23

    james23 Active Member

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    I agree with this 1000% - a 2 year old (or even older) GOOD enterprise drive, that has a proven track-record is way more reliable than a brand new consumer / common drive. Drives like WD RE3, RE4 and most hitachi (before they were bought out is what i have alot of experience with, not so much post buy out), and a few toshibas - in my experience will run great for many years (even years past their warranty / rated life time), where as your cheaper, consumer SATA drives will fail inside of 2 years (if not in the first few weeks).

    Always keep in mind the risk of a URE or otherwise drive failure during a raid rebuild as well when you design your system and its backup scheme.
     
    #11
  12. odditory

    odditory Moderator

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    GoHardDrive are counterfeiters, pure and simple. Same as a used car dealer zeroing out odometers and selling the cars as "new" but with the condition that they service the "warranty". Ofcourse there are laws against doing that to car odometers, but since we're talking harddisks here its legal grey area.

    They take used drives and refurbs decommissioned from datacenters and from liquidations, wipe SMART (takes a fraction of a second), and masquerade them as "new" to the unsuspecting, then play dumb on the rare occasion a technically savvy customer smells something fishy. These operations are springing up like roaches and the manufacturers are aware. The SMART stats in the OP tell me they aren't that sophisticated - there are subtle differences between a hamfisted regen of the SMART data via the serial interface and a drive that's just come from the factory.

    As far as their "warranty", its only as good as their likelihood to be around for any length of time to service it. And if at some point they end up incurring too much overhead in servicing those pseudo-warranties, expect them to disappear in the middle of the night and re-emerge under a different name.

    Its fine that some people here have had okay experiences with their drives, but its greymarket, you're taking your chances. And just because a drive from them shows up without any visible physical wear & tear has no relevance on their high mileage internally. . Drives installed in datacenter scenarios are typically handled more carefully than Joe Sixpack installing a drive in his PC case.
     
    #12
    Last edited: May 10, 2015
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  13. ADC

    ADC New Member

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    Gentlemen,

    I'm posting to this forum simply because I encountered the exact same issue with this seller. I'm also providing the transcript of my conversation with them. Check your drives if you buy from them. I must admit though, they seem to be reasonable about refunds. Its kind of a bummer though, my office file server was on its last leg with a compromised raid 6, now I'm sweating bullets that the thing doesn't fail with these used drives they sent me. I'm ordering two more from them with the expectation that I'll be receiving two new drives and no bs. Good luck to you all.

    Goharddrive.Com:
    Hello, thank you for visiting. Can I help you in any way?

    Me: yes

    Goharddrive.Com: how can I help you?

    Me: I just received my order [*****] of two new hard disks. However, upon inspection, both hard disks are reporting significant usage. The strange part is that they also indicate they are new because the power on hours report 0. I believe I may have been sent refurbished units but I paid for new units.

    Goharddrive.Com: Thank you. Let me check
    These drives are the new old stock, it's never been used. It
    It's not the refurbished units
    We can have you to return the product back to us for a replacement or you can have a refund

    Me: Both drives report over 19 thousand hours of usage. The last self-test on these drives report success at over 19 thousand hours, that's a little over 2 years. I'm also in great need for replacements and was really depending on these two drives. Can you offer me a partial refund on each drive or potentially send me two more units in the event that these fail? I need these for my business and I've got to install them today.

    Goharddrive.Com: We will need you to return the product back to us in order for us to ship out the replacement

    Me: May I speak to an account manager ? I can call if you provide me with a number to speak with someone. I really cannot pack these up and wait for replacements, it puts my assets in danger. I would prefer you send me replacements and I send these back at your expense. After all, I purchased new drives and got used ones.

    Goharddrive.Com: We can offer a discount for you at $20 for each drives and you could keep the drives or we will need to go for the RMA process?

    Me: Well, I'll still need to turn around and buy two more. Can you simply send me two more at a discount and I'll pay the difference?
    Can you also please check the units before they are shipped? I dont want to have to bother you all with this again.

    Goharddrive.Com: You could place the order directly on our website. And you will still need to pay for the same price for the new order . We will only offer $20 for your return product.
    Me: I'm lost, are you saying that I still have to return the units and I'll only get a partial refund if I did?

    Goharddrive.Com: Let us go for one by one. We will offer a $20 discount for your current order, would you like to accept it or you would like to return it?
    Me: Let me explain, perhaps the details got lost here. I desperately needed two replacement drives. I purchased two new drives and installed them. My system is now reliant the drives I installed, I cannot remove them. I noticed the drives were not new, I am therefore asking to be refunded an amount for each drive so I can order two more to mitigate the risk of the current [used] units failing unexpectedly. Does that make sense?

    Goharddrive.Com: I understand what you mean. So, you would like to accept the $20 discount and apply to your new order, and you will keep the current drives, is that what you mean?
    Me: I would like you to discount me $20 per drive because both units are over 2 years old. I admit they do work and seem to be working well, but I would prefer to get what I paid for and somehow be compensated for the inconvenience. I would like you to give me a $20.00 discount per drive on my next order, which I'll be placing today. I would also ask that you expedite the shipping at your own expense. Its only fair.

    Goharddrive.Com: I'm really sorry that we are only able to give you the discount for your current order. We are unable to provide an additional discount for your new orders.

    Me: Maybe I'm just not understanding you, I apologize. Are you offering to refund me $20.00 x 2 = $40.00 on my current order ? If that's the case we are talking about the same thing.

    Goharddrive.Com: Yes, it's $20 for each drive, so the total is $40
    Me: OK, lets proceed with that. Do you have what you need to make that happen? Do I need to call and provide my card number?

    Goharddrive.Com: We will just issue the refund to your current orders of $40. And you could make a new purchase directly from our website if you would like to.
    Me: OK, I'll take that. May I ask that my next order be inspected, I really need two new drives and these specific brand and model drives are difficult to find.

    Goharddrive.Com: Yes, we will have them to check before ship out
    And you could put a note when you place the order

    Me: Thank you. I look forward to our next transaction.

    Goharddrive.Com: no problem, thank you so much for your patient with us
     
    #13
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  14. RyC

    RyC Active Member

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    They do seem pretty reasonable with returns/refunds, they've offered to refund every time I've asked.

    But see my post here where they seemed to be trying to sell "Red" drives as "RE" drives: https://forums.servethehome.com/ind...white-label-4tb-drives.3559/page-6#post-53637

    I'm not surprised really, you have to make sure you're getting the right thing with these people, which I'm willing to do at these prices so far...
     
    #14
  15. ADC

    ADC New Member

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    I didn't even know it was possible to clear or forge SMART data, that's just plain scary when you consider how many drives get sold online. The funny part is that the drives looked so new, no scratches, no scuff marks or anything. If they came in the original box I wouldn't of questioned their authenticity. The only reason I even went with this vendor is because a colleague of mine suggested I try them out. Anyhow, we'll see what happens with my next order. I suppose at the end of the day its not all that bad, most of my locations use ultrastars and have rarely ever encountered failures. Actually, I only know of one failure and it was probably due to environment, the ac unit died in the server room. The units I'm replacing now aren't even failing due to mechanical failure, some intern idiot pulled them from our server thinking they were hot spares and then managed to drop them on a tiled floor. What a complete dolt.

    Anyhow thanks for reading, hopefully people visit this form before they buy from this vendor.
     
    #15
  16. canta

    canta Well-Known Member

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    as long as they have access on the tools directly to reset.

    I bought 2 refurbished Hitachi Drives last year. SMART shows only 1 hour. and everything is perfect as a brand new one.
    one failed during testing in day one. I need to return and they ship back another one. that was a hassle.
    but.. newegg mentioned "refurbished" on the item description.


    lesson learn. I stay away from refurbished or "new"( is that new after reseting SMART?).
    I would buy for non critical aka testing or playing around
     
    #16
  17. MikeAdams7

    MikeAdams7 New Member

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    GoHardDrive is a scumbag company. They sent me a "new" drive that was 3 years old and had scratches all over it. obviously a refurb. I sent it back for a refund. I told them please send me a new drive. They sent me another refurb. I threw it in the garbage and didn't pay for it
     
    #17
  18. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    For me it all boils down to cost. If the price is low enough I'll take a chance, if it's not I won't. But when I do take a chance I accept the risks and lick my wounds when I get burned. The last drive I bought from them, a 5TB WL died during initial formatting. They refunded my money and sent me a replacement. I thought I had a free drive but alas, it was bad out the box.
     
    #18
  19. PersonalJ

    PersonalJ Member

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    I bought a couple of these drives over a year and a half ago, they are running fine. I can't remember SMART showing anything out of the ordinary and the drives themselves looked like clean pulls.
     
    #19
  20. JasonR

    JasonR New Member

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    I created an account here just to share my similar experience with them.

    I got a batch of 6 ATA HDD's a few months ago, through NewEgg, and one failed 2 days after installing it. Checking the SMART data I saw that there was over 60,000 power on hrs on this HDD. I had two left which both tested fine and showed 0 hours in SMART data.

    How does a HDD with 60k+ hrs get sealed in a static bag if not intentionally?
     
    #20

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