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Found 1 bad sector on Internal hard drive; safe anymore to write data on this disk?

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August 18, 2014 11:05:43 AM

Hi,

I'm using a Sony Vaio with a Fujitsu MHZ2250BH G1 on Windows Vista Home Premium, nearly 5 years old now. Earlier today, HD Sentinel popped a message in the system tray after quite a bit of grating and trashing sounds from the HDD:

"There is 1 bad sector on the disk surface. The contents of this sector were moved to the spare area."

And the Health of the HDD went down from 100% to 98%. Checked the S.M.A.R.T attributes to find this:



I'm in a quandary now. Is it safe to continue using this HDD anymore? Or should I start backing up data immediately expecting the drive to fail anytime soon?

For what it's worth, I've tried to take good care of this HDD (atleast in the last 3 years), by regularly using Diskeeper to defrag the HDD.

Thanks.

Addendum: I, sadly, have been very poor at maintaining a decent amount of free space on the HDD. Curious to know - has that played any part in the bad sectors being caused? Thanks again.
a b G Storage
August 18, 2014 11:21:03 AM

It's likely still safe. I'd recommend backups, though, due to the age. A couple bad sectors could be taken as a warning of an impending failure.

Casey
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August 18, 2014 11:25:26 AM

Thanks a lot for the timely response, Casey.
I'm just too afraid to download any data on this HDD now. Additionally, I encode films on this laptop - each film takes about 5 hours to encode, some even more. Do you reckon it'd be wise to continue encoding and let the laptop run for such long hours at one shot, at this point in time?

Thanks.

Edit: What do I make of the Reallocated Sector Count of 65537 from the S.M.A.R.T table? Thanks again.
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a b G Storage
August 18, 2014 11:27:58 AM

Time to upgrade to a SSD, hope you made a set of recovery DVD's from the rescue partition. Should be utility installed to do this for you.
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a b G Storage
August 18, 2014 11:31:56 AM

I'd keep an eye on the bad sectors as you use the laptop, but just be ready for a hard drive failure. Like das_stig said, make sure you have a good set of recovery DVD's. Now would be a good idea to make sure they work. You might need them soon.

Casey
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August 18, 2014 11:33:04 AM

das_stig said:
Time to upgrade to a SSD, hope you made a set of recovery DVD's from the rescue partition. Should be utility installed to do this for you.


das_stig, thanks for your response. Yes, I'm mulling over buying a SSD now. Um...utility-installed? I don't think I have come across a Recovery utility in my laptop. How do I find if it's on there?

Thanks.
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August 18, 2014 11:36:18 AM

cklaubur said:
I'd keep an eye on the bad sectors as you use the laptop, but just be ready for a hard drive failure. Like das_stig said, make sure you have a good set of recovery DVD's. Now would be a good idea to make sure they work. You might need them soon.

Casey


Yeah, I've been checking frantically every now and then to see if any more bad sectors have popped up. I'm a bit uninformed about Recovery DVDs, as I have never had to use them though. Would they be any different than me merely backing up select data onto DVDs using Nero?

Thanks again.
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a b G Storage
August 18, 2014 11:41:07 AM

Most laptop manufacturers have a program installed on their laptops that allows you to create recovery discs to put the laptop back to a fresh, out of the box state. I'm not sure what your specific laptop model will have, but if you have the manuals, those should either include a recovery disc or tell you how to create a set.

Casey
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August 18, 2014 11:48:10 AM

cklaubur said:
Most laptop manufacturers have a program installed on their laptops that allows you to create recovery discs to put the laptop back to a fresh, out of the box state. I'm not sure what your specific laptop model will have, but if you have the manuals, those should either include a recovery disc or tell you how to create a set.

Casey


Right. I think I know what you're talking about. I think it's gone, 'cause I had to do a clean reinstall in 2010. Guess it's going to be the old select-and-burn onto DVDs' backup.

I cannot thank you and das_stig enough for your help though :)  Life-savers, and you've provided me clarity.

One last question, what SSD should I choose to replace this existing Fujitsu?
My laptop has Intel Core2Duo @ 2.53 GHz, 4GB DDR2 RAM

Thanks.
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a b G Storage
August 18, 2014 11:58:11 AM

Most any SSD that supports your laptop's disk interface should work, however I'll avoid making a suggestion on a specific one. I'm not certain what a good SSD is. Your laptop is about the same age as mine, so it likely supports Serial ATA (SATA).

Your "select and burn" method would work for backing up any videos you have encoded or need to encode, but you would not be able to back up Windows or any software that way. Disk imaging programs should help with that, but you will likely need an external hard drive to have enough space for that. On the other hand, a disk image will make recovering a lot easier. If you image the entire disk, you should be able to recover the image onto a new drive and not have to reinstall Windows or any other software.

Casey
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August 18, 2014 12:08:04 PM

cklaubur said:
Most any SSD that supports your laptop's disk interface should work, however I'll avoid making a suggestion on a specific one. I'm not certain what a good SSD is. Your laptop is about the same age as mine, so it likely supports Serial ATA (SATA).

Your "select and burn" method would work for backing up any videos you have encoded or need to encode, but you would not be able to back up Windows or any software that way. Disk imaging programs should help with that, but you will likely need an external hard drive to have enough space for that. On the other hand, a disk image will make recovering a lot easier. If you image the entire disk, you should be able to recover the image onto a new drive and not have to reinstall Windows or any other software.

Casey


Ah, that would actually save so much time and energy. And I do have a couple of 1 TB Seagate External HDDs, with some free space in each. This would avoid the hassles of remembering my custom configurations for so many apps. Thank you so much for that, Casey :) 

Yeah, I was looking, and the Samsung EVO does look good - 2.5" SATA, likely compatible with my laptop. Do you reckon it's a good one?
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