I've been trying for few days to figure this out and eventually I need some help. All suggestion gathered by the software are like 'get new hard drive'. My 2nd HDD got some troubles runing normaly and the Dell tool (pc doctor or something) suggested me to check the hard drive - it had bad sectors. I rushed 'HDD Regenerator 2011' and my initial check showed 3 bad sectors (it never finished because it required to change the AHCI to IDE mode for this hard drive and this was not possible at the moment). My 2nd check using another option from the same tool (normal check and regenerate, the previous one was) showed 17 bad sectors, but it said it repaired them all

a proof for that was the S.M.A.R.T. data collected from the tool. Before the regeneration it was suggesting me to back my data quickly and now the status there is showing simply 'ok'

I ran again the Dell (pc doctor) tool to check the hard drive - waited 2-3 hours and it ended up with the same results

I uploaded the results here http://dwbc.hit.bg/

I am asking here for an advice. I know I have to eventually change this hard drive, but I have more urgent parts to change like my keyboard (half the num keys are not working) and get other stuff. Could this hard drive operate normally, is there any other software I can try without losing data ?

  • 1
    How old is the drive? If it is still under warranty, its better to take a backup and get it replaced. Bad sectors, AFAIK in most cases is something that would multiply over time as soon as you encounter the first one. Better to get a replacement (either through warranty or a new one) than risk your data by trying to fix it. – jjk_charles Aug 2 '14 at 15:32

I wouldn't use that drive.

First of all, bad sectors aren't "fixed", they're only marked as "bad" by the filesystem to avoid access. Second, bad sectors (not always, but often) tend to multiply rather rapidly, depending on the failure reason. Once bad sectors are found, a drive will often become unusable quickly.

I suggest backing up, and replacing the drive as soon as possible.

  • +1 on that. It may well be portions of the surface on a platter falling off - those parts will cause more damage with time. And note that 'time' here may be just seconds, minutes, days or anything. You simply cannot tell. – Hannu Aug 2 '14 at 15:41
  • But I've read it could be software reason like malware or something ? The hard drive came with my laptop, it will be 2 years this Dec. I am not overheating or something, it has it's own cooling pad - large and powerful 17", it's running win 8.1 weekly defragmented and checked. Isn't that a factor as well ? – dev Aug 2 '14 at 15:44
  • Bad sectors are physical failures of parts of a drive. Of course it can be "faked" by malware, but I wouldn't bet on it. Two year old hard drives can have a failure rate as high as 20% depending on the manufacturer (see blog.backblaze.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/…) – Malt Aug 2 '14 at 15:55
  • Overheating can cause damage to disks, but so can other things -- manufacturing defects, physical jarring, aging, power surges, etc. In my experience, if a disk reports bad sectors, it's time to replace it, even if SMART claims to have mapped them out. More often than not, you'll be seeing new bad sectors soon. Running without a backup is a VERY big risk. I'd rather deal with a keyboard on which half the number keys don't work than lose all the data on my hard disk! The latter is a very serious possibility for you! – Rod Smith Aug 2 '14 at 18:07

It is possible for a disk with 17 bad sectors to last for years, it is more likely that there will be more though.

When put in a situation like this , the first thing to do is to back-up the data on another drive, then the pain of the other one dying is not a problem.
Calculate the value of loosing the data vrses the cost of backing it up. for myself when the data starts failing , the pannic created can easily aquire a back-up, but then it is to late.

You said back-up is not possible at this time, so at the least you could Watch the bad sectors. or re-allocated sector count. If the ammount continues to grow, then it is likely to continue to get worse, and get worse faster.

If it is not possible to get a backup drive, then do anything to more cheaply store your most valuable data anyway. Write your most valuable small data to 2 CDs , and run a verification pass. Write your lesser valuable and larger data to 2 DVDs and verify the data.
Put important data on any flash devices that you have (and verify), or send data to the cloud even or to a friends computer.

You really had to have a backup Before you got a first problem. Regeneration is a mere fantasy, they can shift some things around test some things, avoid sectors or even whole areas, they cannot put spilled milk back.

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