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Is my HDD verging on failure? Answered

I decided to check my HDD's S.M.A.R.T status, and I was a bit alarmed to see my reallocated sector count at 32 and my pending reallocation count at 24. This hard drive has been running for about 2 years and a half, and I haven't had any noticeable trouble with it. But, what should I do (besides backing my stuff up)?



2 years ago

another note, almost every toshiba 750gb I have tested comes up with a caution on cystal disk info for some reason, we (I run a computer shop) had to actually make a rule that if it is one of the 750gb toshiba hard drives dont automatically replace if it brings up a caution in crystal disk. I would just check on it like the other guy said. I have had drives that have ran for 5 years with a caution flag (mine, not a customers) and I have had them only last 5 minutes. Just back up regularly and check it every once in a while. If you start to notice your computer slowing down. just replace the drive and Image it over before it completely dies


Reply 2 years ago

Nice piece of info on the Toshiba drive!
But I would like to add something for hard drives in general:
It is next to impossible to produce the actual disks totally error free.
The higher the capacity per disk given the material is the same the higher the standard rate of errors.
This is as true today as it was at the times when a 100mb drive was something to consider if you already had enough cars in your garage.
The controller stores not only info on the physical stuff in terms of drive and sector layout but also about the status of drive (disk) areas.
So not only your data is there but also info on the health status.
These days all drives come formatted at a low level and already tested.
So all existing bad sector and similar are already written off so to say.
Your check software takes this into consideration if it was synced by the manufacturer with a corresponding signature to read on the drive.
Meaning bad sectors from the time of productions should not show up.
Sadly this information often gets lost or is simply not added onto the drive during the preformatting and testing.
So even on a brand new drive you can see a bunch of errors.
Some programs allow you to hide the errors found so at the next start you will only see new problems and would have to enable the old errors to them - very helpful feature if you have it.

To make it very short:
Either way track the bad sectors, if in doubt use screenshots and compare them if you are notified there are more.
One or two every few months on a drive that has daily use is no big deal and can be considered aging.
If problems accumulate in close areas or the numbers increase drastically it is time to act on your backup strategy and to prepare a new drive.
The old drive as said can be checked again after a low level format.
There are free tools that do the testing for you by filling drive with bogus and then reading if the bogus still makes sense - if not bad sectors are reported back.
The first run will show quite a few and if they keep increasing after each run the drive is done and dusted.
If after 3 or 4 tests no new errors show up you can risk using the drive for uncritial stuff like storing movies for your home cinema that already have a backup.


2 years ago

Problems with some sectors on a HDD are quite common.
The drive will take care of it.
Proper backups of vital data are essential anyway, so do it ;)
To keep track of the status just run the tool once ever three months and write down how many problems there are.
Once they start to increases drastically in numbers consider replacing the drive.
A short term fix after this for a bit more use can be to do a low level format.
Follow up with a complete disk check after formatting into the file system you need.
If lucky the "dead" drive will work for another 6 to 12 month before the errors atart to accumulate again.