Seagate Barracuda suddenly getting lots of bad sectors.

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Seagate Barracuda suddenly getting lots of bad sectors.

Postby Kali » 2016.02.07. 22:41

I bought this hard drive about two months ago. I've had no issues untill yesterday, when my PC froze for a few minutes during the day, and then discovered that a folder I frequently use had corrupted and that I had bad sectors later that evening.

I decided to leave it and run chkdsk with /r in the morning. This morning, I woke to find I had more bad sectors, and immediately ran chkdsk. I got my folder back with no apparrent data loss, but I've been watching the bad sector count climb and the 'health' status dropping all day.

The number of weak/bad sectors is slowly going up. It started at 24 and has risen to 56. The health keeps dropping, climbing back up, then dropping further. The lowest it's gone is 27% (it's climbed back up to 42%), and if it goes below 25% I'm RMAing it. The log also lists that the numbers of "off-line uncorrectable sectors" and "current pending sectors" keep going down and up.

Is this likely just due to a fault with the drive, or am i likelt to have caused/exacerbated the problem at all?

I've thankfully never encountered much trouble with hard drives before, so I don't know if it's usual for this kind of thing to happen. I've had no issues over the past 2 months and then in less than 24 hours, my bad sector count has shot up.
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Re: Seagate Barracuda suddenly getting lots of bad sectors.

Postby hdsentinel » 2016.02.08. 17:23

Please check:

http://www.hdsentinel.com/hard_disk_case_bad_sectors.php

which describes a very similar situation. Yes, I'm afraid this is relatively common.

Usually problems start this way: everything seems fine for long time, for weeks, months or even years - until the hard disk starts to read/write problematic areas. Then you may expect slower access, random freezes, blue-screen-of-death, data corruption / data loss, and so.

This is exactly why it is always recommended to check the hard disk intensively, test it to
- reveal any kind of problems before the drive is filled with important data and the issues can lead to data corruption / data loss or
- confirm if the hard disk is perfect and it can be safely used without problems

This is exactly recommended at http://www.hdsentinel.com/faq.php#tests

Please note that chkdsk is a wrong way to diagnose hard disks, especially if the drive is having physical problems like these. This is not really recommended (especially if the drive may still hold sensitive data, as chkdsk can reduce the success of a possible data recovery).

Even if this may sounds surprising, chkdsk does not check/verify/repair the hard disk itself, but verifies (and try to repair) the logical drive, the partition itself. Chkdsk is good way to repair the logical drive - which may be damaged even by a power loss / reset - but should not be used to diagnose the real status of the hard disk drive, even with the /R switch.

I'd much more recommend to use Disk menu -> Surface test -> Read test of Hard Disk Sentinel, which tests the complete hard disk intensively but carefully. As it works independently from the actual partition(s), tests at a lower level, it can diagnose and report real problems related to the hard disk and can be used on both partitioned and unpartitioned drives and/or drives with no partitions (or partitions unreadable under Windows) too.

The Disk menu -> Surface test detects errors and shows any performance degradations, slower / slowly accessible areas, damaged but still usable blocks, possible retry count on errors, real location of problems / damaged disk surface areas, changes in self-monitoring data, etc. So it's generally more sensitive to problems than other methods (especially chkdsk) and can be more effectively used to diagnose problems with not only the hard disk itself but the whole storage subsystem: may reveal problems related to other components (cables, connections, drivers, controller, chipset, etc.)
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