*

Author Topic: Hard drives and sector remaps  (Read 4805 times)

Offline Zantor

  • Silver
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Hard drives and sector remaps
« on: December 21, 2009, 10:36:26 PM »
Hey folks. I have two hard drives with either pending sectors or offline uncorrectable sectors. I did a little research online and one place I read suggested replacing the drive under warranty if possible if either values in SMART were above 0.

I have a WD Caviar RE 160GB in my main rig with 4 offline uncorrectable sectors; I'm not sure when they showed, but they did, yet since then the drive has been performing fine without data loss or any sort of failure.

In my laptop I have a WD Scorpio 80GB with 2 pending sectors. In truth I dropped it and I think the drive took some damage, but to my surprise it's minor, and after getting the sectors remapped, it performs fine.

For either of these drives, would a warranty replacement be worthwhile? This can be a lot of hassle because of how much data I have on my desktop system. The laptop isn't an issue. Thoughts, ideas, input? I'm still learning about SMART and finer points of hard drive troubleshooting, so I'm looking for additional opinions.

Offline TechPro

  • Lt. Commander
  • Platinum
  • ****
  • Posts: 1107
  • Where was I?
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2009, 11:10:10 PM »
If bad sectors are showing, or have begun to show ... it's my experience that the drive is showing that it's now on a decreasing amount of usable life left to it.  In other words, it's data medium is degrading and it will only get worse.

I recommend replacement.  Under Warranty if possible, it not ... cross your fingers until you can replace it (the sooner the better).  It has been rare that I've seen a drive keep working for a while after bad sectors start showing.

Offline akula65

  • Silver
  • **
  • Posts: 10
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2009, 03:42:31 AM »
My experience has been similar to TechPro's, so I would recommend replacement.

However, I have had one 120 GB drive that developed an extraordinary number of errors toward the innermost part of the cylinder, within the first 5 GB.  All of the errors on the drive were confined to this particular area.  I created a primary partition of 6 GB to encompass the problematic area (and then some), and then I created additional partitions for actual use further out in the cylinder.  I then deleted the partition with the problematic area, and I have been using the drive without problems or errors for about five years now.  So if your errors are confined to the innermost or outermost sectors, you might give this approach a try, otherwise I would suggest replacement.

Offline -<WillyP>-

  • Lt. Commander
  • Purple Heart
  • ****
  • Posts: 2375
  • I can haz personal text?
    • My photo gallery
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2009, 04:33:11 AM »
If you do use it, make sure you keep back-ups of any data that you value.

Back in the day, I used to buy all sorts of crap at the flea market. Used drives with all kinds of bad sectors. I'd format them and never had one fail beyond what was already bad. I still have some but they are too small to be worthwhile.
Smart people look like crazy people to stupid people.

Offline Zantor

  • Silver
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2009, 09:42:53 AM »
The interesting thing with my 160GB is that these sectors have sat like that for over a year and I haven't had any problems. After the trauma the 80GB saw, it's holding together fine, too. WD makes amazing drives.

Both drives are under warranty, so I can replace them without having to buy a new one. I am keeping an eye on both to see if any additional bad sectors appear.

I took another look at my 160GB's SMART status with HDTune, and to my surprise those uncorrectable sectors somehow went away:



« Last Edit: December 22, 2009, 03:06:27 PM by Zantor »

Offline -<WillyP>-

  • Lt. Commander
  • Purple Heart
  • ****
  • Posts: 2375
  • I can haz personal text?
    • My photo gallery
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2009, 06:01:02 PM »
Must be a self repairing machine. Nanobots, you know...  ;)
Smart people look like crazy people to stupid people.

Offline Zantor

  • Silver
  • **
  • Posts: 83
Re: Hard drives and sector remaps
« Reply #6 on: December 25, 2009, 02:07:48 AM »
here is a screenie of my laptop drive's SMART status in HDTune:


 

An Error Has Occurred!

Cannot create references to/from string offsets