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How many bad sectors are too many?

Bad sector poll   47 members have voted

  1. 1. How many bad sectors are too many?

  2. 2. If spinrite has found and repaired 1 or more bad sectors would you continue to use the drive?

    • I would continue to use the drive
    • I would replace the drive as soon as possible.

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13 posts in this topic

How many bad sectors are too many?

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1 and I'd make sure to get my a** over to a new drive asap.

I hate data rot with a passion and I think it's time all filesystems become aware of this issue.

I'd adore Apple to start talking to Oracle again about ZFS.

Yes, you can buy a 3rd party implementation, but:

I won't let some 3rd party touch my holy grail (my data) via them implementing a filesystem through hoops on my otherwise unsupportive OS.

When things get messy, you don't get broad support.

(recovery tools for your OS, etc... At least not the same range to pick from...)

I'm actually shocked we're still in the medieval ages of data integrity here...

Glassed Silver:mac

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Bad sectors are unavoidable with hard drives. It's a physical problem with the technology. Further, it's not a problem that can't be "fixed" at least temporarily using a form of check disk, moving that data to another, good sector and marking the bad sector as such. It's nothing new and nothing that can really be avoided when dealing with hard drives.

A drive with bad sectors should be replaced as it is almost always a sign of impending doom.

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1....just 1...I mean I'd use the drive for some VM I didn't care for as soon as i ran some diagnostics and tried to replace the bad sector...but that's about all, as I wouldn't ever trust it. Ever.

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1!

I still remember my first 1TB drive, that went from 1 to 3 to 5 to 636 within a few weeks?

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This just happened on my work laptop - it suddenly got really slow, and SMART status reported a bad sector. I called help desk, and I had them replace it (had it expedited as they said it would take 3 business days, but that was unacceptable to me - so I had a replacement sent within an hour). Luckily I have most of my work backed up or on a network share or on sharepoint.

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How many bad sectors are too many?

1

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As soon as there's a single read error that makes it a pending sector, I try to remove all data and then proceed to calculate its location and repartition it. Then I continue to use such drives for stuff that isn't important, especially now when prices are so freaking inflated. Only once bad sectors have continued to spread and soon the drive was done. For the rest I even have one with bad mechanics - it frequently recalibrates while turned on. I'm still using it as external, for various trash.

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I had a customer bring me her computer, because she couldn't open any applications. So like always unless it's a known malware infection, I first scan the hard drive for bad sectors with Spinrite. 46% into the scan it found 3 bad sectors. Then at around 90% of the scan it found another 300 bad sectors. So I called her and told her what I found.

I HIGHLY recommend she replace the drive. I told her I had one here I could put in. The drive had been repaired good enough at this point to be cloned. She said she wanted to take her chances with the drive. I explained to her that the drive is cloneable right now. If she takes her chances, the next time she brings it to me, I would have to

A) repair all the old or new bad sectors all over again

B) The drive might be so bad I can't clone it and would have to change her for a reinstall of windows on the new drive.

She still wanted to "Take her chance". So before I gave the computer back to her I cloned the drive on to a new drive I had in my office, just in case. Well today she called me (1 1/2 days later) and said the computer had worked good for about a day and now it's doing the same thing all over again.

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Hmm... not more than a few, but pending reallocated sectors that doesn't change (eg, it can't move the data off of bad sectors) is bad news.

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I actually tell the customer that I would replace it but if you don't have any critical information on there, then just do a HAL, and use it till it fails Dave....

jf

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I actually tell the customer that I would replace it but if you don't have any critical information on there, then just do a HAL, and use it till it fails Dave....

jf

But then if it fails you'll have to reinstall the OS which would be an extra cost to the customer. When you could just clone the drive now and it would just be part of the current labor.

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Bad sectors are like cancer for hard drives. When you get one it's often a sign of a head crash, there is physical damage to the platter and possibly the head and there can be debris from the damage. Bad sectors will often spread to adjacent sectors and every time it does you lose more data. For me if a drive develops a bad sector that's it, it can no longer be trusted and I replace it asap.

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