How common are Retired Sectors on a NEW drive??

I just got my drive at the end of November 2012 (Thanksgiving / Black Friday sale). SanDisk Extreme 240GB.

I brought it home, updated the firmware, and started using it with Windows.

After some time, I went and then booted into Linux - I got a SMART error that said the drive may be failing, as SMART had recorded Reallocated Sectors.

When I booted back to Windows, I loaded the SanDisk SSD Toolbox, and sure enough it said I had 1 Retired Block already.

It lists the threshold for retired blocks as 3, and I already have 1. I went back to the store, but it was already past the 30 day exchange window. They told me to contact SanDisk if I think there’s an issue with it.

So, is this a BAD sign? Does SanDisk do RMAs for drives like this?

I mean, it seems to work fine, but a 1/3rd of allowed retired blocks have failed already in the first month of use.

retired blocks are not all that common but they do occur. as long as you have not reached the threshhold which for this drive is 3 it will not be a problem. The drive has a 3 year warranty so if I were you I would just keep a check on it. If you see anotherone you should probably call sandisk support for warranty replacement. 

A few bad blocks early on in the SSD’s life is generally not a serious problem.

As long as this number doesn’t continue progressing over the next few weeks, it is simply the controller weeding out a few weak NAND blocks.

One of my Sandisk Extreme 240gig drives has a reallocated block with no ill effects.

A Sandisk Extreme 120gig I endurance tested, recorded a few bad blocks with around 20TiB Host Writes, but then went on to write almost 1PiB host writes before dying.