just brew it! wrote:If you had a drive that continued to work for many months after developing hundreds of bad sectors, congratulations -- you got very lucky.
In my experience, drives that develop more than a small number of new bad sectors (where "small number" is more like a dozen, NOT hundreds) tend to die within a few weeks or months. There's a physical reason for this: new persistent bad sectors (ones that don't go away when rewritten) typically indicate that there's been a minor head crash, possibly from the drive getting bumped while it was spinning. The head crash causes a microscopic nick in the magnetic coating of the platter. The debris from this then floats around inside the drive causing additional head crashes, and the bad sectors multiply.
Been there, done that. I used to try and keep using marginal drives too, for non-critical data. I think the most I ever got out of one was about 6 months, before it degraded to the point where it became completely unusable. Most died within a couple of weeks.
If a full format didn't mark the sectors out, then the drive itself is still reporting that the sectors are good, but is having a hard time accessing them. The slow access is due to retries being done by the drive firmware to recover the data. If you're dead set on continuing to use these drives, what you'll need to do is whenever you notice a particular file that is accessing very slow, rename the file, then copy the contents back to the original file name. DO NOT delete the original file after making the copy; just move it to a folder called "Bad Files" or something like that. In effect, you're manually marking out the marginal sectors.
You will need to keep doing this every time new marginal sectors show up (and they likely will, for reasons indicated in the first paragraph above). You will probably also lose files occasionally when the error is severe enough to overwhelm the drive's retry and error correction capabilities. And if the marginal sectors happen to hit file system meta-data (directories, MFT, etc.) instead of user data you're pretty much screwed.
IMO unless you don't place any value on your own time it is not worth the effort. Yes, that's your own judgement call to make; but getting annoyed at people here for questioning your decision to keep using these drives is like going on a car forum, posting that you've got an old beater car with a dead transmission, oil leaks, no brakes, rust holes in the floor pan, and bald tires; then getting bent out of shape when people suggest that maybe it is time to have it towed to the junkyard. "Why would I want to junk this car? The engine still starts when I turn the ignition key!"
Mr. Just Brew It, thank you very much for your reply. This is the kind which I wanted and was hoping for.
but getting annoyed at people here for questioning your decision to keep using these drives is like going on a car forum, posting that you've got an old beater car with a dead transmission, oil leaks, no brakes, rust holes in the floor pan, and bald tires; then getting bent out of shape when people suggest that maybe it is time to have it towed to the junkyard
That is true, but I anticipated that I will be advised to "tow it to the junkyard" so to speak and I specified from the very beginning that I will not discuss this matter. Simply because I do not see the point in getting into 1000 arguments about "junking the car", sidetracking the issue I asked about in the process.
Basically, I did not get annoyed just because Maxxcool told me the drives are going to die. I got annoyed because Maxxcool did that despite that I asked everyone not to approach this matter, as I specified I was perfectly aware of it myself
If you had a drive that continued to work for many months after developing hundreds of bad sectors, congratulations -- you got very lucky.
Two drives, actually. Basically, I had only 2 drives which developed bad sectors - both continued to work for at least 18 months after that. The most recent one (a Samsung G2 Portable) is still working, two years after it had developed the first bad sectors. It had quite a lot of them - I don't recall exactly how many because it's a long time since then, but there were at least several hundreds, perhaps more.
I have no suffered any data loss from it. When a second one went bad a week ago, I scanned all my externals and internals. The faulty Samsung G2 was pretty much in the same state as it was 2 years ago. HD Tune Pro (the tool I used for diagnostic) found 18 unstable sectors (approximate the same number as then) and ONE new bad sector, which I'm not even sure it wasn't there from 2 years ago.
The first drive I had which went bad was a 3'5 internal Samsung of 500 GB in an external enclosure. I think it developed at a certain moment at least 100 bad sectors. I checked it with HDD Regenerator (I did not have HD Tune Pro), don't recall if I also reformatted, and kept using that drive for about one year and half. Again, I experienced no data loss and I think there were no new bad sectors (don't recall this very well). I gave up on it only because I shifted to 2'5 drives, but I think it might still work (I still have it somewhere).
Over the mentioned time period, of 18-24 months, both those drives have been subjected to the kind of usage which would make even even a new drive scream. Basically, I was in a "if they are going to fail, I'm gonna turn them to dust first" kind of mood. They withstood all that abuse with no further "scratches", so to speak.
In these kind of circumstances, I think you can understand why I am reluctant to let them go.
Maybe Samsung models are just very resilient?