Bad Sectors on old Drive, failure apparently imminent.

About 10min ago Windows interrupted my peaceful browsing with a warning one of my HDD's (a Seagate ST31000528AS, at least 4yrs old) is on the brink of collapse, and that I should back it up immediately. Luckily its an old drive I had in a previous rig, so its loss isn't really that bad or unexpected. Unfortunately I have been using it as my secondary storage drive and it has accumulated quite bit, more than my primary could handle if I copied everything over into that. I'm currently copying over anything important over to my primary (a much newer Barracuda drive), but that may take some time.

Crystal Disk Info says it has 36 Reallocated Sectors, out of a threshold of 36. That seems to be the only thing that's throwing up warnings.

So I'm asking how severe my problem actually is, while I realize such things can be tricky to guess, how long would you estimate I roughly have or is this not a big issue at all?
Can provide images of what Crystal Disk is saying if that will help.
6 answers Last reply
More about sectors drive failure apparently imminent
  1. Re-allocated sectors means sectors are failing so the data from them has been moved for safety. The problem will only get worse, more sectors will go bad and very quickly in my experience.

    It is a big deal - it could fail completely at any time so get a new hard drive and copy everything over as soon as possible.
  2. @manofchalk, you appear to be confusing the normalised and raw values of the SMART attributes. The raw value is the actual number of bad sectors, probably close to 2500 in your case. The normalised value is more like a health score. It starts out at 100 then loses one point for every 40 or so bad sectors. When a critical SMART attribute reaches the threshold, as yours appears to have done, then the drive is considered to have failed.
  3. Ahh, was confused why my newer drive appeared to have 200 reallocated sectors out of a threshold of 140. That explains a bit, thanks.

    I'v moved everything of importance over to my primary storage drive, mainly just music and movies.

    I notice that in Drive Properties and under Disk Checking one of the options is to attempt recovery of bad sectors, guessing that wont really do anything?

    Also one of my other drives, another old Seagate 1TB actually, is sitting in my rig with an old Windows install on it. Crystal Disk is giving it a "Current Pending Sector Count" warning. How would I go about carrying out that count, as I cant seem to find any options anywhere for it.
    Just if it turns out to be fine, could quickly reformat and chuck it in RAID1 with the failing drive and get everything to copy over, while still having the same effective amount of storage.
  4. My 2 cents are, once you have noticeable performance or crashing issues with a HDD, it escalates quite quickly. From errors being thrown with no actual symptoms this can sometimes be slow or quick as well, but once you start to have issues on either speed or some crashes, its going to go down hill quick.
  5. Half to test the drive and half to let it die in some kind of blaze of glory I have music running off the drive whenever I am at my computer. Not noticing any hiccups or anything, so hopefully it will take a while to properly die.

    Though I am under no illusion it will just keep running indefinitely, everything has been backed up.
  6. on a failing hdd, using it for purely data, like music or doc files, will last the longest, since the bad sectors as they grow will slowly take out some files from working, (if drive isnt close to full it may not for awhile) if it was a hdd with programs or an OS installed on it, thats when a bad sector could take out a small system file and then not boot, but since its just data files, youll slowly lose access to some music, or one day no access to anything, but like you said files are backed up, then go right ahead and keep using it as a data drive.
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