1 TB WD Black WD1001FALS suddenly extremely slow. Trying to backup important data, need help!

Hi, I have and internal hard drive disk, 1TB Western Digital WD Black WD1001FALS, that suddenly got really slow. It just happened as I was using my computer normally for daily tasks, with no sign of problem whatsoever before. The drive is around 5 or 6 years old, I think, and was working great until now.

Everytime I try to access it, the computer just gets really slow, and takes 10 seconds to 30 seconds to list a folder. Sensing that the drive was failing, I’ve tried a multitude of things:

Running chkdsk /r - Passes the first 3 phases without any problem, gets to 194th sector of the 4th phase and just hangs there for hours and hours.

Boot on Ubuntu Live CD and tried to copy the files to another drive. The speeds are extremely slow, so I just gave up (only 25GB in 12 hours).

While in Ubuntu, run TestDisk, dd_rescue or just dd. All of them ended up with the same result, super slow speeds.

I’m currently using Acronis True Image WD Edition to create a drive image. It’s faster than the previous tools, but it’s still very slow. I have 750 GB of data that is very important - work related, personal family photos - and I can’t lose it, so I really can’t give up on the drive yet.

Is there anything I can do to speed up the process? I think the problem is that the sectors aren’t marked as bad, so the data can still be read but takes huge amounts of time to do so. I wish I could just skip the problematic sectors automatically, but even using the above tools with settings to skip bad sectors, they keep being read and so the process is exhausting. Should I wait and see if Acronis can finish the backup or try something like a recovery service? I’ve heard they charge you quite a bit, and I’m afraid I can’t pay that expense at the moment if that’s true.

Here is a screenshot of the SMART data: http://puu.sh/5fnkz.png

My motherboard is an ASUS P6T Deluxe, running the drives in AHCI mode, using Intel RST 9.6 drivers, everything else is up to date. I’m backing up to a new 3TB WD Green HDD.

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Yes, that SMART report will definitely cause the problems you’re experiencing.

It shows 73 reallocated sectors (bad sectors it has swapped out with the spares) and 1332 more pending sectors (ones it thinks are probably bad). The problem with these pending sectors is that the disk will spend up to 2 minutes trying to recover the data from each sector, and this is what is causing your lags and freezes.

With this degree of degradation and high value data on the disk I really don’t know what advice to give but to send to a data recovery outfit, a good one. I would expect that with that level of platter damage you’ve got a bunch of contaminants floating around inside the disk by now and continuing to try and read data the way you have been will just cause more platter damage.

Either way, you are going to suffer some degree of data corruption. I think that drives probably old enough that you could enable TLER and set the bad sector error recovery to like 1s, instead of 2 minutes. That way you might be able to make a not-so-ridiculously-long pass over the disk and recover the data that isn’t already corrupted. Are you comfortable making a bootable DOS drive? (USB flash drive is best)

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Hi, i have the same problem with WD Black., and it has been like that ever since i bought it. Im runing Win7.

Ofther PC fails to start. takes me to a recovery manager or just gives me BSD and reboot. After a while i learned that when i boot WD tool diagnostics over Hirens Boot CD and run the quick test,then maybe chkdsk from windows,  then everything fixes, and for a while its all good. And then after 4-5 days same thing all over. I did one clean reinstall of the system deleting every partition. And it was actualy all god for a few months. I tried asking arround in shops and friends and i got an answer that every WD Black does that, its like a missed series. That cant be right!

So  this is first time im asking about the problem.Aany experts here for help or should i just burn the disk with high voltage and send it under warranty to the shop that sold it to me and get me a SSD? 

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If your drive also has similar or higher Pending and Reallocated sector counts then it is eligible for warranty. It is not advised to deliberately damage the drive as you will void your warranty :smiley:

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