DriveDx shows "Advanced S.M.A.R.T. status: FAILING (2 issues) - will AppleCare change my hard drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lars666, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. lars666 macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #1
    Hello everybody,

    maybe somebody can help me with this: AppleCare on my almost three-year old iMac with Fusion drive ends in about a month, at the end of October. Two days ago, I got a DriveDx warning that the 3.0TB HDD part of my fusion drive is dying ("Advanced S.M.A.R.T. status: FAILING (2 issues)". However when using the Apple hardware test (booting with "D" key pressed), looking up About This Mac – System Report - SATA/SATA Express - S.M.A.R.T. status and using "First Aid" on Disc Utility, I don't get any errors/warnings (yet).

    As my AppleCare is about to expire soon: Will Apple replace my hard drive based on the Advanced S.M.A.R.T. status failures read out by DriveDx (and probably other third-party apps, too) - or won't they accept to replace the drive as long as their own diagnostic program (which I guess isn't more detailled at the Genius bar) gives a red alert or I already experience "physical" HDD problems? Any tips for a good argumentation here?

    I would really hate to have my HDD crashed only some weeks after AppleCare expires, especially in this case with "announcement". Would be some other thing if I was able to replace it myself, but built in my iMac, it's a different thing ...

    Thanks in advance for any help, highly appreciated!
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors G3

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    They should replace the drive if they're worth their salt. SMART errors on a mechanical drive means it'll soon be dead. No amount of reformatting will solve that.

    Show them the data and I'm sure they'll replace it. They don't use the AHT in store and I can't see why they'd refute your evidence.
     
  3. lars666, Sep 25, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2017

    lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Thanks for the answer, keysofanxiety. I'll definitely give it a try and my experiences with AppleCare are very good - however in this case, I'm a bit afraid that they are strictly using their their OWN diagnostic tool as reference. I had a similar case with a failing battery on my only one year old MacBook a few months ago which already was lower than 80% on Coconut Battery (which makes it eliable to change under Apple Care), but still 80,01% on their diagnostic tool (and therefore labeled as "good"). The battery wasn't changed at this time (it now is) as they claimed that they aren't able to initiate the free repair in their computers - even if it is only 0,1% above.

    In any case, I'll try my luck.
     
  4. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    Takamatsu, Japan
    #4
    I had a HDD report in DriveDX as failing on my Late 2013 iMac and Apple confirmed and replaced it under AppleCare with no problems. Apple's utilities do check SMART data. Do a screenshot and print out the DriveDX errors just in case.

    Unfortunately in my case, Apple replaced the HDD component of the Fusion Drive and then 6 months later after I sold it the buyer sent it in to Apple to get the screen hinge replaced on a recall and Apple advised that the replacement HDD was failing according to their diagnostics, now several months out of AppleCare. Thanks to unforeseen delays on their part they ended up doing the repair for free but otherwise they were going to charge about $400.

    Definitely get it in to Apple ASAP.
     
  5. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Hi SaSaSushi, thanks a lot for the reply and sharing your experiences – will definitely take my iMac to the Genius Bar.
     
  6. gian8989 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 23, 2015
    #6
    This is an interesting experience to know. I really wonder if they will change your hdd.
    Good luck. I will be waiting for good news.

    Also money well used for DriveDx.
     
  7. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #7
    I am curious, too. I guess it will depend on how they handle the "PRE-fail status" (see my attached screenshots - maybe somebody with more technical knowledge has an opinion on this?) – I am not sure myself what this exactly means and if this qualifies in Apple Care terms as already eligible for a replacement. I surely hope so.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #8
    All I can relate is my own successful experience with AppleCare here in Japan. YMMV in different countries, although it shouldn't when dealing with the same company. If DriveDX reports the drive as FAILING you almost certainly have a HDD with numbered days.

    That is not a Pre-fail, that is a Failing HDD with bad sectors. Back up your data immediately. There is no question Apple will replace that drive and I am surprised that Disk Utility and the Apple Hardware Test aren't reporting it as failing. Be that as it may, back it up and get in for replacement ASAP.
     
  9. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    Thanks SaSaSushi - that's good to know and makes me more glad than a pre-failed status as this should make the replacement discussion more easy. I am always using Time Machine on two drives so my data should be save. (I guess even if the bad sectors get worse and hit some data, I will be able to go back in my TM backups for these files to an earlier version?)

    Apple Hardware Test etc. still shows S.M.A.R.T. status as "Verified" though. :(
     
  10. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #10
    I wouldn't worry about that. Now that I think of it, I don't think I even ran the Apple Hardware Test on my failed iMac HDD. Print out the Smart Utility result as well. Better yet, if you're bringing it in just run it for them. :)

    The HDD had bad sectors. It is only going to get worse.
     
  11. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    I'll definitely do so, already put the Smart Utility and DriveDX screenshots on my iPad to show them – looks better with yellow/red warning color than printed out in black/white on my laser printer ... ;) When turning on the iMac in the store, we can run the tests again "live", of course. I'm positive that I will get the hard drive replaced. Thanks again for your input!
     
  12. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #12
    By the way, I really recommend Carbon Copy Cloner from Bombich Software over Time Machine if you have an external drive with enough space for an image. You can download and use it for 30 days for free. The advantage is that you can boot to the image on the external drive and then restore to your iMac's replacement drive when it comes home from Apple.

    It's quick, easy and effective.
     
  13. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #13
    Thanks for the tip - already used Carbon Copy Cloner in the past and probably should do this again. Relied on Time Machine backups for the last years, but I agree that it is better to have a Time Machine AND a CCC backup.
     
  14. rweed macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #14
    Apple Disk Utility is crap...Verified LOL.

    You have that same crappy 3TB Seagate I had...2012 was a bad year for 3TB drives. I had one fail in an external Seagate and also the internal one in my iMac (they were both the same model drive). Make an appt at Apple and bring in your machine. When they run the diag tool, it will immediately say the drive is bad due to those errors.

    If you're not under warranty, I think you're looking at around $400US.

    I also bought another 3TB external and used CCC to clone my drive and then cloned it back when I got my iMac back. I highly recommend doing it that way.

    Good luck!
     
  15. lars666, Sep 27, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017

    lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Luckily still under Apple Care warranty - although only a month left. Therefore I see this from the positive side - better now than in two months or so. Not a big fan of Seagates in general, by the way, preferring WD when buying drives by myself.

    Already made a CCC backup – the errors are now already increasing on my internal hard drive. It is definitely dying. Having an appointment tomorrow at the Genius Bar - always sucks to get the iMac to the store without a car (only downside of my iMac), but it has to be.
     
  16. chscag macrumors 68040

    chscag

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    #16
    It's never any fun lugging an iMac especially a 27" model to the Apple store. Should be lots of fun without a car. :eek: Apple does not need your keyboard, mouse, or power cord so don't bother bringing that along.
     
  17. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    It has to be – luckily I still have the original box. Always seeing the positive side, that - if this has happened two months later or so - I would have been stuck with a 400$ repair or so. (If I even wanted to still invest this in my Late 2014 iMac – would probably just have used the 128GB SSD as a standalone internal drive and keep the HDD dead.)
     
  18. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #18
    I mentioned this before in here but it's too bad Apple requires users to bring in their iMacs for service in some countries. Here in Japan they will send a courier to the door with a specially designed shipping container and you just hand them the machine. They then overnight it to the service center in Tokyo and overnight it back when repairs are completed.
     
  19. lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I think picking up the iMac from home existed here too in the past - unfortunately not anymore ... :(
     
  20. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #20
    Sorry to hear that. Do post back after your appointment.
     
  21. lars666, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

    lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Just coming back from the Apple Store - what a ride. Explained the problem, showed the "S.M.A.R.T status: Failing" from my two third-party programs, bad sectors and even data loss on unrepairable bad sectors (which CCC couldn't copy and recreate because of this) - but the Apple diagnostic test said: Everything fine. The genius told me that there is nothing they can do in this case as they have to rely on their own diagnostic program and can't accept third-party app error messages (which I would understand if the Apple diagnostic would be as accurate as those). He already wanted to send me back, then ran another specific hard drive test, claiming: "but this will give the same result". While the test was running, he went talking to the manager if Apple was willing to pay chaging the hard drive although the diagnostic doesn't justify that. They both came back and the manager already started explaining to me why they can't do that when suddenly the second test gave an error on the hard drive. "Never saw something like that", the Apple genius said. "But in this case, we'll change it."

    They are now ordering the new 3TB hard drive. Changing it will take another two or three weeks (!) after delivery as they are very busy at the moment.

    Definitly my worst Apple Care experience by now – especially as the genius wanted to get rid of me by telling that some bad sectors are normal and that reading out the S.M.A.R.T. status by DriveDX does nothing else than wearing out the drive even faster. I'm glad that the HDD gets replaced though.

    Thanks again for all the input!
     
  22. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    Spain
    #22
    Quite a thriller! This story is a nightmare, with a happy ending... at least.
    Very odd to me that a diagnosis app could harm the disk.
    And yes, verified: Disk Utility is baad... but, it has some humanity!
    It seems the moto at Apple lately: “It just works. It just works”. Say twice. :-(
     
  23. SaSaSushi macrumors 601

    SaSaSushi

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    #23
    What a ridiculous run-around you got! I am very glad to hear the happy ending. Here's what happens if they had sent you away. A week or two later you're back again with the machine crashing as it fills with bad sectors or unable to boot up at all and then they replace it.

    Oh well. All's well that ends well. :)
     
  24. lars666, Sep 28, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2017

    lars666 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #24
    He simply didn't know what he was talking about and that was the only thing - together with "some bad sectors are normal" comment - which made me angry. I know that they are a lot of people coming to the genius bar which absolutely have NO clue, but feel unbelievable smart and demand ridiculous fixes for their own faults – my Genius had a guy just before me who wanted to get his money back for his six-month (!) old one without ANY technical problems (he claimed that he has heard that Apple does this and that you can just give it back, even after months.). Another customer on my left demanded to open his MacBook himself right at the bar. They always have to keep calm and friendly even with those idiots. However, I knew what I was talking about and explained to him that all DriveDX does it my case is to read the S.M.A.R.T. data from my hard drive every 12 hours and I am starting to experience serious data lost which is a complete other thing than "some bad sectors are normal" ... (I don't even believe that his claim is valid at all, but I am not TOO deep into spinning hard drive technology so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt here.) He simply thought that a program like DriveDX let the drive permanently spin like hell, writes on it or whatever. He simply didn't know what this is. Another thing: He seriously thought that I can't install High Sierra at all on my Mac because of the Fusion Drive – not realizing that it is only the new filesystem I have to live without. Maybe he really is just very new in this job, whatever.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 28, 2017 ---
    That's EXACTLY what I thought, too, and therefore definitely didn't want to have to carry this 27" monster back to the Apple Store ANOTHER time. :)
     
  25. J.Gallardo macrumors regular

    J.Gallardo

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    Location:
    Spain
    #25
    Yes. All’s well that ends well. I’m glad for you.
    But there’s a mystery here...! That failed second check! I’m not a believer, but seems old Steve watches over you!
    (...man... just would love to had seen that on video. You still look nervous... Relax, truth won!)
     

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