My external HDD which is a 250GB WD (powered by USB) seems to have problem! Whenever i try to copy some files, it stuck while copying. I decided to format it. So I used windows tool and performed the format (not quickly) however at nearly 70% it stuck.

Then I decided to perform a low level format with lowlevel. Again it stuck at 70%.

I endup that the HDD has bad sector. So is there any tool that mark the bad sectors and bypass them? It is not very reasonable to through 250GB because of some bad sectors!

P.S: I saw a similar topic but there were no conclusion there either. The smart data is

Attribute,         raw value, value, threshold, status
Read Error Rate,       50,     200,    51,        OK
Spin-Up Time,         3275,    154,    21,        OK
Start/Stop Count,     2729,     98,     0,        OK
Reallocated Sectors Count,0,    200,    140,      OK
Seek Error Rate,        0,      100,    51,       OK
Power-On Hours (POH),  1057,     99,     0,       OK
Spin Retry Count,       0,     100,     51,       OK
Recalibration Retries  ,0,     100,     51 ,      OK
Power Cycle Count,    1385,    99,      0,        OK
Power-off Retract Count, 425,   200,    0,        OK
Load /Unload Cycle Count,12974, 196,     0,       OK
Temperature,          43,       43,     0,        OK
Reallocation Event Count,0,    200,      0,       OK
Current Pending Sector Count,23,200,    0,      Degradation
Uncorrectable Sector Count, 0,  100,    0,        OK
UltraDMA CRC Error Count,6,   200,      0,        OK
Write Error Rate/Multi-Zone Error Rate,0,100,51,  OK

It seems that the most important thing is this line

Current Pending Sector Count,23,200,    0,      Degradation

Any idea on that?


In this instance, I would make three suggestions.

  1. Immediately back up your data on that drive. Immediately.

  2. How much power does your drive use? A USB port only delivers 500 ma of power at 5 VDC and many drives need more power. If it needs more than 0.5A or 500 ma, then obtain a double-headed cable and power it from two USB ports to get all the power needed. I've seen quite a few users with erratic external; drive behavior which cleared up when they got enough power to the external drive.

  3. More important, though, is the 30% unusable space. I would strongly suggest, once you've made sure you have adequate power to the drive, that you obtain the manufacturer's drive utility and use that to inspect the drive after making sure you have the current firmware for its controller. Here, for example, are links to Western Digital's Passport utilities http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=218&sid=171&lang=en as well as a wider list of utilities for drives http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?level1=6 if you did not buy the external drive from Western Digital. Other manufacturers have similar pages. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_sector should also be instructive here.

  4. And, if the aforementioned utilities don't resolve it, well, return it to the manufacturer for warranty replacement, as Hardware Fails.

  • I don't think about power problems. I used for nearly 3 years with usb on different laptops and dekstops – mahmood Nov 1 '13 at 21:36
  • Wouldn't hurt to check. Just find what the model number is, and then check its power consumption at the manufacturer's website. If it uses less than a total of 0.5A or 500ma at 5VDC, you're fine. If it uses more, well, then give it more and it may behave better. – K7AAY Nov 1 '13 at 22:40

If u have not tried the following, give it a shot.

  1. perform a disk defragmentation.
  2. try to format the HDD from command prompt. ( format i: ). "Helped me all the time".
  3. try some bad sector repair tools from the following http://softadvice.informer.com/Bad_Sector_Repair_Tool.html

Gnerally, If you have some badblocks, you should backup your data and stop relying on disk, because usually it's the first sign that your disk is going to silicon heaven.

You may try to use format /p:1 <yourdisk:>, this will rewrite every sector of your disk with zero, which in some cases triggers HDD firmware to automatically reallocate bad blocks.

note: this procedure may take several hours so be prepared

I've always done this with dd command in linux, so I'm not 100% sure if it'll work with format. But I think it's worth a try. Good luck.

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