I have a drive that has exactly 96 reallocated sectors for 3 years, since its purchase. It has not increased at all in number, and it has been in use constantly. I'm fairly confident it is not going to deteriorate, in that department at least, and in any case I'm willing to risk it since it holds heavily backed up data anyway.
However, the only problem is that, I assume due to to those sectors, it keeps thrashing its head back and forth for 3-4 seconds every 5-10 minutes. It does not produce any bad reading but, I assume, due to those reallocations it occasionally goes there and it results in reading the reallocation replacements from a distant part of the disk (I heard it's in the very beginning, which would explain it). This also means that it's possible it has reallocated important parts of the structure or the software run to be doing it frequently.
So, I wonder, is there a way to make that drive take those sectors that has reallocated, those 96 sectors so it never reads them, even in a logical way? I heard a simple change of partitioning would do it but it didn't fix it by simply shrinking the volume a bit in windows 8. Could it be done with a more drastic repartitioning? For example, a deletion of all partitions and a repartitioning? Though I would want to avoid that since the data is a lot.
I'd also like to avoid going directly to another drive since the laptop has no slot for a second disk so if the problem turns out to be a controller issue (the problem appears in linux and 2 versions of windows so it's most probably hardware related) I would have wasted a disk.
I'm currently thinking that, say those sectors are in the middle of the disk, physically. So, if you make one big partition is going to inevitably use them, in a logical way, and hence it might trigger that thrashing in order to use the actual good sectors in the beginning the disk in order to avoid the bad ones in the middle. Though since it does thrash relatively frequently, I wonder if they are in a relatively important or early part of the disk.
e.g. where the system holds some basic system files or where a journal is. Even in that case though I wonder if it's a simple case of just "moving" the partition to a latter part of the disk (it currently has a few other small recovery/system partitions at the back and front of it).
But in general, please try not to suggest new hardware since as I said the reallocations are stable since purchase, the data is not critical and it appears it could at least be useful as bad latency low importance storage (e.g. videos that can be deleted but it also pauses applications depended on that reading for the seconds of thrashing).
And I may buy new hardware anyway, but I still wonder if that reallocation technique is possible.