TechMike’s Quality Check: What Are the Metrics We Use for Our Refurbis – TechMikeNY

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TechMike’s Quality Check: What Are the Metrics We Use for Our Refurbished Hard Drives?

 

We often are asked by our customers for more details on our refurbished hard drives.  “How long have they been running?  How many bytes have been written?  Are there any bad sectors?”  Since we already covered the myths and misconceptions about refurbished hard drives in a previous blog post, we thought it would be helpful to share the objective metrics we use to quantify our drives before we put them on the resale market.  

So, let’s take a step into the TechMikeNY Hard Drive Kitchen to see the tools we use and the steps we take to make sure a hard drive is ready for resale.  

DATA POINTS: Because of our quality metrics and testing, our RMA Rate (“Return Merchant Authorization,” or the rate that a return is requested from a customer) on hard drives is extremely low, holding steady at <1% for the past couple of years.   

S.M.A.R.T. Data

If you’ve never heard of it, virtually all hard drives manufactured within the past couple of years have an embedded monitoring system called S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology).  S.M.A.R.T. (or often written as SMART) provides a report of a drive’s status, specifically any failed components or components at risk of imminent failure. 

Every drive that passes through TechMikeNY undergoes a SMART test.

The table below shows the data thresholds and error alerts from the SMART test to determine if a drive can be re-sold.  A FAIL on any of these metrics means the hard drive doesn’t meet our standards for resale (and will be scheduled for in-house destruction and proper disposal and recycling).

Interface/Drive

SMART Threshold

Result

All

SMART status is not pass

FAIL

 

 

 

SATA

Reallocated Count >10*

FAIL

 

 

 

SAS/SATA

Elements in Growing Defects =1 or above

FAIL

SAS/SATA

Elements in Growing Defects =1 or above

FAIL

SAS/SATA

Any Uncorrected Errors Present**

FAIL

 

 

 

SSD

Elements in Growing Defects =1 or above

FAIL

SSD

Elements in Growing Defects =1 or above

FAIL

SSD

Any Uncorrected Errors Present**

FAIL

SSD

Reallocated Count >10*

FAIL

SSD

TEMPERATURE ERROR

FAIL

  • *Reallocated Count is defined as a “bad” sector of the disk; or a sector where the drive cannot perform any reading or writing functions to that sector.  Drive manufacturers have a significantly higher threshold for allotted reallocated sectors; however, our threshold is <10.  
  • **Any Uncorrected Errors represent the second most important criteria after the drive’s Smart Status since this means the drive cannot correct errors, and it can expect to see errors increase. 

In addition to the above thresholds:

  • We only accept hard drives that have 512/512e/4Kn block sizes (natively). For example, a drive with a 520-block size will not pass.
  • Every drive installed into a TechMikeNY server has an additional Smart Health test to ensure nothing has changed since its initial test to enter our inventory.
  • On the rare occasion that we receive an RMA for a hard drive, we look more in-depth to research the issue. Specifically, we look at the brand, the lot they were received in, and then pull them from sale until more internal testing data provides a conclusion.

Finally, in our contracts with our hard drive vendors, we reserve the right to reject any drives based on the above thresholds and criteria.  If it’s not good enough for us, it won’t be good enough for you!

RESOURCES!  You can check your hard drive’s health and SMART metrics on your own through Windows or even macOS.  Here is a handy link from PC Mag that walks you through it.

Final Thoughts

At TechMikeNY, we have a rigorous Quality Check system in place.  In addition to the thresholds on hard drives, every RAM module, processor – any parts designated for resale – are thoroughly tested.  Considering that we just implemented a One Year Warranty on all TechMikeNY servers, it behooves us to make sure it works before we ship it out to our valued customers!

Do you have more questions on our metrics for hard drives?  Do you feel like we missed something?  Let us know!  Email us at info@techmikeny.com – we love hearing from our customers, and I don’t mind a lively debate!

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