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Windows 7: Current Pending Sector Count

08 Apr 2016   #1
Roman5

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
 
 
Current Pending Sector Count

Hi all.

I had a failed backup on my laptop with Acronis True Image today. Tried a second time, and same thing.




I then loaded Crystal Disk and it shows a warning with current pending sector count in yellow.



Same with HDD Tune



I then did a chkdsk and it replaced some bad clusters to do with a game iso.




I uninstalled the game and deleted the game iso. Then ran Acronis backup again and it successfully backed it up this time.


Checked Crystal Disk again but still the same warning.


So I'm wondering what the implications are of the current pending sectors and if it's repairable? I also don't know if the backup failing was due to those bad clusters that were later replaced. Thanks for any advice


Oh,I should mention that this backup was after an Acronis restore, and I had used killdisk to wipe the drive before restoring. In fact, I've used killdisk a lot on this drive, could that have created the issue?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Apr 2016   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

The pending sector count warning doesn't necessarily mean the drive is dying but you should continue to monitor the situation. If it starts to increase, this could indicate an internal problem and the drive would need to be replaced.

The drive shipped with a certain fixed number of "spare" sectors. The warning presumably is telling you that you are seriously dipping into that stockpile of spares.

You could always run Western Digital's drive utility on the drive to get another opinion.

I'd just make sure I had backups and keep an eye on any changes in those SMART numbers. Nothing wrong with replacing the drive right now if the expense is not a big issue for you.

I don't know anything about killdisk.
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08 Apr 2016   #3
Roman5

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks for the reply, ignatzatsonic. I'll keep my eye on it for sure and I could buy a new hard. My main concern is whether I fixed the acronis backup or got lucky. If the unstable sector is responsible for it and if future backups are likely to fail. I'll need to post in the backups forum I guess. If I replace the hard drive, from what I understand, it would need to be the same size, ie 500GB, to allow my Acronis backups to go straight on it and restore everything.
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08 Apr 2016   #4
LMiller7

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
 
 

When the drive does a write operation and it fails it will silently replace the bad sector with one reserved for the purpose. The immediate problem is solved with no loss of data.

When a bad sector is detected during a read operation the situation is more difficult. The bad sector cannot be replaced because the data contained in the sector is unknown and may be very important. If the sector were replaced this would fix the error but the data would be lost with no possibility of recovery. What the drive does do is make note of the sector with the error and report the problem. This is the "Current Pending sector" error. The drive can later fix the error if either of these situations occur.

1. The sector is later read successfully. The drive will then replace the bad sector and write the now known data. Of course there is no guarantee this will ever happen.
2. The sector is later written to with known data. Of course the original data in the sector is lost.
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08 Apr 2016   #5
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Roman5 View Post
I'll need to post in the backups forum I guess. If I replace the hard drive, from what I understand, it would need to be the same size, ie 500GB, to allow my Acronis backups to go straight on it and restore everything.
I'm reasonably sure the new drive does NOT have to be the same size, but I stand to be corrected. I use Macrium rather than Acronis. You can change partition sizes as needed AFTER the Acronis restore if necessary.

But, yeah, I'd be wondering if your backups are still valid considering the hard drive errors.
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09 Apr 2016   #6
Roman5

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
 
 

Thanks for the info LMiller and ignatzatsonic. And yes, I made a mistake about HDD size for a restore, I can use any size. It's apparently if I buy a new laptop, correct me if I'm wrong, that the restores won't work or won't work properly because of different hardware.

I did a validation on the backup last night using Acronis to validate it and it said successful, so that means it will restore fine.

I just visited the Western Digital site where I registered my hard drive and another hard drive for my desktop pc. Both still in warranty! This one I bought end of 2012 and it's under warranty till the start of 2018. So I'm going to RMA this drive.

Now, I presume I can wipe the drive before sending to them, i.e, send it with no OS or any of my files?
Do they normally send a new drive or a refurbished drive? Can I ask them to send me a new drive in advance before I return mine?
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09 Apr 2016   #7
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

see comments in bold

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Roman5 View Post

I did a validation on the backup last night using Acronis to validate it and it said successful, so that means it will restore fine.


I wouldn't bet a lot of money on that. Validation does not necessarily mean you can restore successfully. You'll never know for sure till you try it. We've seen failed restores here for unknown reasons.


I presume I can wipe the drive before sending to them, i.e, send it with no OS or any of my files?
Do they normally send a new drive or a refurbished drive? Can I ask them to send me a new drive in advance before I return mine?

If you are making a warranty claim, I seriously doubt you have to wipe it.

Personally, I would wipe it as I would not want to be wondering whether or not some twit at WD decided to see what's on the drive. They will tell you repeatedly that they have no interest in that and will just verify that it's failing and destroy it. Believe that if you want to or if you don't care if they look at it.

I don't ever return hard drives and therefore don't know current procedures at WD. My guess would be that an ordinary customer like you cannot expect to get a drive shipped in advanced and I certainly have heard that you quite possibly will get a refurb. You can drill into their web site, call, or email them for details.

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09 Apr 2016   #8
Roman5

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
 
 

Yeah I would also be wondering if they would want to look at my stuff or try a recover of data even after me using killdisk to find embedded old porn or something.

Alternatively, I could spend 120 and buy a 500GB SSD?
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06 Jun 2016   #9
Roman5

Windows 7 HP x64 SP1
 
 

Hi guys. Some good news by the looks of things. I decided to do an Acronis restore today and I used Killdisk first to completely wipe the drive before restoring. Interestingly, Crystal Disk Info now doesn't show a current pending sector count error anymore. The drive appears to be perfect again?


Attached Thumbnails
Current Pending Sector Count-capture.jpg  
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08 Jun 2016   #10
MightyMiroWD

Windows 7
 
 

Hi @Roman5!

Yes, the drive appears in pretty good condition and healthy - it seems that this solution worked! I'm glad the drive doesn't appear as caution on the test anymore!

Just in case you can run an additional quick test on it with the manufacturers tool Data Lifeguard Diagnostics as another source, but IMO it's perfectly fine now. Here's a link where you can download the program:

Support Answers

Cheers!
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