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Three times over the past week or two my laptop (9-year-old Dell running Windows XP Home SP3) has auto-run chkdsk when I've turned it on. The process has taken about 2 hours to complete, after which Windows appears to boot up normally. The chkdsk scans have detected bad sectors on my hard drive. I've made an image of the hard drive and ordered a replacement, but I want to know more about bad sectors.
If the computer can still boot to Windows (which it can), does that just mean that the bad sectors are being marked, the data in those sectors is being relocated and all the files on the hard drive are still fully intact?
Or is it the case that these bad sectors mean that some files have already become corrupted? When I made the image of the hard drive (with Redo Backup & Recovery), it also gave warnings of encountering bad sectors. If I clone the image to my replacement hard drive and corrupted files get replicated to the new drive, I may be missing some critical data and suffer crashes in the future as a result, correct? If that's the case, am I wasting my time cloning the old hard drive to the new one?
Thanks for your insight.