After my problems with the 1.5TB Seagate 7200.11, I did some investigating and just kept finding other people with problems of increasing amounts of reallocated sectors. Seemed like enough reason to stay away from them permanently.

The WD 1TB black seemed like a good alternative, but in the end I somehow ended up deciding to buy a Samsung 32GB SLC SSD. It was the best price/performance compromise for an SSD, as the cheaper MLC ones seem to just suck. (Don't ask me how I decided that a 32GB drive would do instead of a 1.5TB one!)

The drive came, I installed it and booted up to my existing Windows Vista install and opened up disk management. From all the other hard drives I had had recently I was expecting it to prompt me to initialise the drive. It did not, strange I thought. It did not have any partitions but my suspicions were aroused. How it decides to prompt for this I am not sure - maybe it looks at the boot sector.

I used some S.M.A.R.T. software to check the power on hours and count of the drive and was surprised to see the drive had already had a few hours uptime and a bit over 10 power-ons. Could it be from the manufacturer? No, surely they would reset the data if they did even do any tests that would alter them.

So I proceeded to make an image of the drive and use some data recovery software. I discovered someone had installed Windows XP, some Custom PC benchmark program, Crysis and GIMP. Their Windows user name was SSDTESTS!

The dates on the files where long after the drive was made so clearly someone has decided to use the drive shortly to run some benchmarks. I suspect it may have been someone at the store I ordered from - it doesn't really seem like typical customer behaviour!

My problem is now that I have too much information. Does it really matter someone used it for a few hours? Do my principles outweigh the hassle of returning the drive and getting another one? Arrrgghhh!!!