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Community Manager

increasing "reallocated sector count" and "program fail count" attributes

I recently purchased a 160GB 320 series SSD (brand new). It was manufactured in August 2011, and had firmware 302. I upgraded the drive firmware to version 362 and the upgrade process worked successfully.

So far the drive has working fine from an OS perspective, however I have some concerns regarding increasing SMART attribute values for the drive as reported by the Intel SSD Toolbox 3.0 -- specifically the "reallocated sector count" and the "program fail count" values.

Since I've been using the drive, both of these values have been increasing -- in fact, they even increase over time, when I am not writing anything to the drive. It's almost like the drive is doing some sort of self-test/self-management pass, and is discovering bad flash blocks or something (?).

Currently -- after just six hours of power on time (according to SMART) -- the "reallocated sector count" value is at 74, and the "program fail count" is at 39. I've been waiting for these to stabilize and stop increasing, but this hasn't happened yet (but it may still -- I've only had the drive powered on for six hours).

Here are the current values for these:

05 Reallocated Sector Count 74 100 0

AB Program Fail Count 39 99 0


Now I know that there is probably 10-12GB of spare flash space in the drive, so these values are most likely not a cause for concern yet (?) -- but I was wondering if this behavior is expected in some Intel SSD drives?

I also bought a 120GB 320 series SSD at the same time as the 160GB drive, and it is fine -- zero reallocated sectors, and zero program fails.

What should I do, simply keep watching this and see if these stop increasing? Or should I contact support? Or...?

Any advice is appreciated...


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2 Replies
Community Manager

Hello dvdrw,

The issue that you describe is not any known issue, and this many reallocated sectors is not normal after just 6 hours of use. In this case we the only other thing you can test running a Secure Erase on the drive, then format it again, and check if the error count increases. But from your description it appears that this Solid State Drive needs to be replaced.

To set up a replacement, if the drive is under 30 days old you would set it up with the place of purchase, if it is more than 30 days since you bought it refer to the links below to contact us:

You may contact us by phone; see the phone numbers word wide at the link below

or you may also contact us through chat or email with the link below:

Community Manager

Hi Nathalie,

OK, thank you very much for the help -- the drive is brand new so I will return it to the place of purchase for an exchange.

Thanks again!