Help! Current pending sector count warning

Hello, suddenly one of my MyBook exposes SMART warning C5 Current Pending Sector Count - 200 / 200 / 0 / 1

Is this dangerous warning?

Is the drive going to die soon?

Can I fix it somehow?

What program is issuing that warning?

If you’re getting a SMART warning with pending sectors, that typically means your disk can’t (or isn’t) reallocating sectors correctly. This disk can probably fail hard at anytime.

It’s reported by CrystalDiskInfo

And by HD Tune Pro too.

Confusing that WD Data LifeGuard doesnot report any pending sectors for that drive ie. reads SMART status as OK.

I’m running extended test now to see if it can do something to sort out the problem.

Anyway I’d like to know if that problem is fixable so that it will show again SMART status OK in CrystalDiskInfo…

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Looks like there is a problem with 1 sector that hasn’t been reallocated yet. Sometimes a zero-write to the whole disk will force that 1 sector to be re-mapped. And then your Reallocated Sectors Count will go up by 1. Doing CHKDSK with scan for bad sectors might also “encourage” the disk to remap the failed sector. So would a complete long format.

Of course, zeroing means you will need to backup your data. Which is a good idea anyways.

Then CrystalDisk will consider the Reallocated sector count to be bad and *STILL* flag your disk as bad.
You can “null” out or set CrystalDisk’s Reallocated sector count to allow for the 1 bad sector. It would then flag the disk as good again.

You can also wait and see if the internal “data lifeguard” background scans get around to remapping this faulted sector, all by itself.

Normally all this happens behind the scenes, sometimes it doesn’t. So you have to give it a swift kick in the — from time to time.

I would say this disk is still quite healthy otherwise. It’s when the smart values keep increasing rapidly on their own over a short time; that’s when you’ve got a bad disk.

A few bad sectors doesn’t mean the drive is toast. All the other values look fine. And I’ve personally got a disk with 3 reallocated sectors that I fully trust. They kinda popped up “just like that” but not all at once. So no big deal.

I ran chkdsk h: /f /r, it taken almost a day but discovered more bad sectors alongside whole second partition. The SMART info for that drive now looks this:

The current pending sectors increased significantly although chkdsk said that it replaced bad sectors.

I’m curious if this drive is really going to **bleep** or the situation settles at this point.

Just noticed the drive always even new taken quite long to connect and get ready (more than half a minute), much longer than another Mybook that I use concurrently. It might already be a sign on new disk this is a bad serie.

Then it’s a question if native low level disk diagnostics from WD has any usability if it finds no problem on so highly damaged drive, even after extensive test.

Ohh dear… according to that, you’ve got 561 unstable sectors. Where did they come from and why? The disk has not re-mapped them yet, and probably won’t until some write operations are done on them. Then the reallocated count will go up and the pending count will go down.

Chkdsk remapped sectors on the logical partition level, not the disk low-level. In “doing stuff” chkdsk found more bad sectors and is telling the o/s, via the metafiles, to not use those. The disk’s firmware has yet to even start dealing with these. There needs to be write activity to those sectors. But checkdisk has now remapped them on a high level. NTFS is aware of these and will not make use of them. So they will sit in limbo until we call enough attention to them,

We will need to kill the partition and long-format it. We need to make the disk’s firmware put these in the G-list (grown defect list) by itself.

These 561 bad sectors may have been here before, or they may have developed in the past day or two. I think they were there before, from day one. And these “diagnostics” and digging around are first now exposing them.

Right this moment I wouldn’t trust the disk till they are mapped out by the disk & firmware itself. You either need pro tools to do it, or you can keep trying stuff to trigger writes to them to get the firmware to handle it. Once the firmware deals with it it and no more show up, then, I might trust it. But I’d be watching it like a hawk and be sure that whatever is on the disk that there’s a backup copy of it.

If I was telling this to like a user/customer or photographer for example I’d say RMA the drive and call it a night. But if you want to mess with this more, then try killing the partition, and long-formatting and see what happens.

Look at it this way. Chkdsk hasn’t used those sectors enough, and now it has them “locked out” on a volume/partition level. We need to get below that. Zero-writes, create new partion, and long format, should hit them hard enough so the firmware remaps them.

The firmware is hesitant to do the remapping because it believes there is still readable data there. We need to convince it that this isn’t the case. And we have to generate some write activity there and see if it errors out. Better safe than sorry.

Regarding crystal disk. I don’t believe it will say the disk is good. No, not with this many, you can null out up to 255 Disk Health Status counts for the 3 major attributes each.

I personally do a lot of mission critical work, and if this was my personal disk I would relegate it to holding movies or other non-critical data. I may use it to transport data or something…

I’m running the long chkdsk check now and surprisingly it discovers bad sectors in files not trigerred in previous run. So I guess it’s on it’s last way. The partition only contains movies that are not so important for me but I still don’t want to lose them at once and there’s no space for backup. Any suggestion for a tool that can rewrite all the data back to drive without discarding them?

I have heard about HD Tune Pro, HDD regenerator, not sure if they’re able to sort this out. Anyway the constantly growing of pending sector count signals something odd (568 now)


Stop using this disk and consider getting a 2nd disk to transfer data to. HDD regen or any other sector re-writer *could* put the disk in an un-usable state till a low-level zero write is done…I wouldn’t trust the disk, and there’s no reason for you to do so either.

You can experiment and play with it later.

Yep, the first run should have shown everything. If it is continuing to come up with new bad sectors, well then, all bets are off. Congratulations! You have a new paperweight!

I am facing a similar issue, and didn’t want to start a new thread.

HD Tune Pro: WDC WD3200BEVT-75A23     Health

ID                                  Current  Worst    ThresholdData        Status  
(01) Raw Read Error Rate            200      200      51       1735        ok      
(03) Spin Up Time                   154      151      21       1291        ok      
(04) Start/Stop Count               97       97       0        3211        ok      
(05) Reallocated Sector Count       200      200      140      0           ok      
(07) Seek Error Rate                100      253      0        0           ok      
(09) Power On Hours Count           94       94       0        4860        ok      
(0A) Spin Retry Count               100      100      0        0           ok      
(0B) Calibration Retry Count        100      100      0        0           ok      
(0C) Power Cycle Count              97       97       0        3157        ok      
(BF) G-sense Error Rate             1        1        0        16152       ok      
(C0) Unsafe Shutdown Count          200      200      0        148         ok      
(C1) Load Cycle Count               52       52       0        445917      ok      
(C2) Temperature                    113      79       0        30          ok      
(C4) Reallocated Event Count        200      200      0        0           ok      
(C5) Current Pending Sector         200      200      0        10          warning  
(C6) Offline Uncorrectable          100      253      0        0           ok      
(C7) Ultra DMA CRC Error Count      200      200      0        0           ok      
(C8) Write Error Rate               100      253      0        0           ok      
(F0) Head Flying Hours              94       94       0        4617        ok      
(F1) LifeTime Writes from Host      200      200      0        1613061749  ok      
(F2) LifeTime Reads from Host       200      200      0        1085036650  ok      
(FE) (unknown attribute)            200      200      0        0           ok      

Health Status         : warning

that was today morning. Since then, another pending sector has turned up.

It’s a gonner. especially when you see the counts going up.