Failing Hard Drive?

Hey Guys-

I'm trying to figure out if I need to replace my HD, and thought asking here might help.

I built a comp a while ago, using a samsung spinpoint F3 500GB HD. The computer ran perfectly until recently, when I started getting random stuttering in games. It seemed to come and go, and when it was happening, nothing in my system seemed to be overheating. I thought for a while that it was the processor, but it's temp was totally fine.

I more recently looked online for a solution, and discovered that it might be my hd. So I ran a DST test in SeaTools, and my drive failed the test. I believe that I had run this test previously and the drive had passed. I ran chkdsk yesterday, and it found and fixed 1 or 2 errors. I now am not getting any noticeable stuttering, but I am guessing this will only be temporary, as it has been before. I just ran the DST again, and the drive still failed.

I am okay with buying a new drive if I have to, but how can I be sure that the drive is failing? Should SeaTools be 100% reliable? If the drive is indeed failing (I wouldn't be surprised if it is) then is there any way I can find out how much time is left? Should I buy a new drive right now and transfer everything, or just keep a backup/system image and wait until the drive crashes?
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More about failing hard drive
  1. Use a utility like HDTune or DiskCheckup that can report the drive's SMART error counters. Look for "reallocated sectors" or "pending sectors" with raw values greater than 0. It's not all that unusual to have a drive with some reallocated sectors, but if the number is increasing then it's about time to replace the drive.

    "Pending sectors" are sectors that contain data which can't be recovered - they basically mean the drive has lost that data. If you have some of these then depending on which sectors were lost you may have to recover the data from some other source - and if the number is going up then it's bad news indeed.
  2. So HDTune gives me a warning for "Current Pending Sector", with a Data value of 24. I also did an error scan in HDTune, and it showed 1 error.
    Speedfan shows a "read failure"; DiskCheckup also says "The last self-test routine completed with a failure of the read element."

    I'm guessing there is indeed a problem with the HD since 4 programs all throw similar errors.

    I think I'll go ahead and order a new hard drive and transfer everything before it crashes. Maybe I can still keep it as a temporary storage device, just making sure I back it up and keep an eye on the readings...

    Here are screenshots of the reports, in case you're interested.

  3. Wel...I bought a new WD 500Gig HD, transferred everything via w7's system image, and...
    I'm still getting the problems. My old drive was definitely failing, but now I'm not sure it was causing the stuttering...
    I ran all the same tests on the new drive, and it's showing up totally clean.
    I just defragged the files on the new drive, and it didn't do anything noticeable in-game.
    Running memtest right now...
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