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I had a Seagate Expansion 2TB(1,862.64514923095703125GiB) external HDD, about a week and half ago my computer freezes at random intervals, it becomes completely irresponsive to keyboard and mouse inputs, screen freezes(onscreen clock doesn't change), power button malfunctions, but I can do hard resets by pressing "reset button" found on the case(I don't know what it is called).

I then ran some tests using Seatools and DiskGenius on my disks, the internal disk was fine, the external disk failed Seatools tests SMART, Short DST and Short Generic, and DiskGenius reports random bad sectors located in different cylinders each time I ran the test; But about 2.5 weeks ago when I ran the same tests, my external HDD had passed all of them, and nothing can physically harm my external HDD had happened...

I thought the USB convertor(I don't know its name) must have had malfunctioned, I opened the case of the disk, and bought a SATA data cable after finding out there was no spare SATA cable in my computer, plugged in and made the disk internal;

I then ran some more tests, this time, things were very different; The 2TB disk passed SMART, Short DST and Short Generic every time I use Seatools to test it, never failed, and it passed the tests faster than the boot disk...But DiskGenius reports a total of 163 bad cylinders with cylinder numbers fixed, and I can't get SMART data; The errors were mostly I/O Device Timeout, others were Data Error;

I know I/O Device Timeout means the bad sector is physical, I tried using DiskGenius to fix the bad sectors to no avail;

I then used this batch file and made it run over night:

diskpart /s %userprofile%\desktop\wipedisk.txt

File wipedisk.txt

select disk 1
clean all
create partition primary
format fs=ntfs
assign letter=G
quit

The script had succeeded, I then used DiskGenius to fix the bad sectors and all bad sectors were fixed successfully, and there is SMART data again, I then checked the areas where there were bad sectors and had confirmed the bad sectors were indeed fixed, the "Damaged" cylinders are now "Good" cylinders, the bad sectors were really fixed, but then comes the question: Can this disk be trusted?

Edit:

OK, this is the SMART information of said drive; There are a total of 10319 reallocated sectors(bad sectors), rated 81 in a total of 100, there are 3097029168 sectors, bad sectors/total sectors is 0.00000333190274945450562188570256307, how close is the countdown? enter image description here

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  • I had run chkdsk numerous times on that disk, and every time it says no filesystem corruption detected even when there were confirmed bad sectors, and I had succeeded copying files from that disk without errors and I had checked hashes of iso files stored in that disk against hashes found online: (get-filehash -path $file).hash -eq $hash and all True... Can I use the disk for a few more years? Dec 24, 2020 at 5:55
  • 2TB storage is really hard to discard, the bad space takes way less than 1% of the total capacity, and they are fixed/remapped/whatever, the point is buying another takes a substantial amount of money to me, and I would like to avoid spending money whenever possible, only spend money if absolutely necessary. Dec 24, 2020 at 7:15
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    I would not use a disk with 10,000+ bad sectors. I guess the determining factor is how frequently new bad sectors appear. Also monitor how frequently the ECC Corrected field increases over time.
    – cybernard
    Dec 25, 2020 at 5:04
  • @cybernard Please help me identify which one in the list is what you talked about:Get-Disk | Get-StorageReliabilityCounter | Select-Object -Property "*" Dec 25, 2020 at 6:53
  • code 195 and/or 199 in smart. You should probably download smartctl and use that even in windows. When brand new the value will be 0 and stay there for months/years. If new ones appear monthly not great, but manageable. If new ones appear every few minutes, REPLACE the drive. Eventually the number will run into the billions, and roll over.
    – cybernard
    Dec 25, 2020 at 17:30

1 Answer 1

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To my knowledge bad sectors are usually not fixed, but mapped out from the space. So basically your disk should shrink to the number of bytes of bad sectors after the fix.

For me, the fact itself that the bad sectors started to arise, would alert me that my HDD is old enough and I wouldln't put too much trust on that drive and backup the most important data somewhere else.

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  • But the HDD's may have bad sectors when they were in factory, there is a possibilty the disks are built with defects, and the manufacturers do a remapping before the disks are shipped... Dec 24, 2020 at 5:37
  • @XeнεiΞэnвϵς If that is the case, then you are safe. If you just recently bought your drive and it was brand new, then you don't need to be worried I guess.
    – LPVOID
    Dec 24, 2020 at 5:46
  • I had upvoted your answer, though I will not accept it... Dec 25, 2020 at 5:47
  • What do you mean by "your disk should shrink"? A bad sector gets remapped to a spare sector never used before. The former becomes unavailable and the latter becomes available in its place; thus the total number of sectors the OS sees does not change. Even after the pool of spare sectors is depleted, the disk doesn't formally shrink. If the pool is depleted, a new bad sector will simply not be remapped (and then there is no doubt the disk cannot be trusted). Dec 25, 2020 at 10:58

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