If you are a computer user, you might have come across the term ‘reallocated sector count’ or ‘hard drive failure’ warning at some point in your computing journey. Reallocated sector count warning is a common issue that computer users face. It is a warning message that appears on your screen, indicating that your hard drive is about to fail.
When you get a warning message like this, it’s important to take action immediately to prevent data loss. In this article, we’ll discuss what a reallocated sector count warning is, the causes of the warning, and most importantly, how to fix it.
What is a Reallocated Sector Count Warning?
Reallocated sector count warning is a message that appears on your computer screen when your hard drive is about to fail. This warning message is an indication that the hard drive has used up all its spare sectors and is now reallocating the sectors from bad sectors to good sectors.
The reallocated sector count is an attribute that is stored on the hard drive. It keeps track of the number of sectors that have been reallocated from bad to good. Once the reallocated sector count reaches a certain threshold, the hard drive will issue a warning message to the user.
Causes of Reallocation Sector Count Warning
There are several causes of reallocated sector count warnings. Here are some of the most common causes:
Physical damage to the hard drive is one of the leading causes of reallocated sector count warnings. When the hard drive is dropped or subjected to other forms of physical abuse, it can result in damaged sectors, which will need to be reallocated.
Overheating is another common cause of reallocated sector count warnings. When a computer’s hard drive overheats, it can result in bad sectors that will need to be reallocated.
Power outages or sudden power loss can cause reallocated sector count warnings. When a computer loses power suddenly, it can result in bad sectors on the hard drive, which will need to be reallocated.
How to Fix Reallocated Sector Count Warning
If you have received a reallocated sector count warnings, it’s essential to act immediately to prevent data loss. Here are some of the steps you can take to fix the issue:
Step 1: Backup Your Data
The first thing you need to do when you get a reallocated sector count warning is to back up your data. This will help you to prevent data loss if your hard drive fails.
Step 2: Check Your Hard Drive Health
The next step is to check your hard drive’s health. You can use software tools like CrystalDiskInfo, HD Tune, or HDTune to check the health of your hard drive.
Step 3: Repair Bad Sectors
Once you have checked your hard drive’s health and identified the bad sectors, you can use software tools like HDAT2, Victoria, or MHDD to repair the bad sectors. These tools will scan the hard drive for bad sectors and repair them.
Step 4: Replace Your Hard Drive
If your hard drive has a significant number of bad sectors or is about to fail, you may need to replace it. You can purchase a new hard drive and clone your old hard drive to the new one using software like Clonezilla.
How Many Reallocated Sectors Are Bad?
To see the Reallocated Sector Count for your HDD, you need to install S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tools. There is a dedicated field called, you guessed it, “Reallocated Sector Count,” that lets you know the number of reallocated sectors on your disk.
Here’s how to properly read the Reallocated Sector Count field and the associated values:
- Open Crystaldiskinfo or any other S.M.A.R.T. monitoring tool and look for the “Reallocated Sector Count” value.
- The Reallocated Sector Count’s Current and Worst values should ideally be 100, 200, or 253, depending on the drive’s manufacturer. The Reallocated Sector Count Threshold value will typically be 10 or 36. Regardless, it is the minimum acceptable value, i.e., the Current and Worst values should be more than the Threshold value.
- Lastly, take a look at the Raw values section. Ideally, it should be 0. This indicates that 100% of the spare sectors are available for use, and you have nothing to worry about. However, if the value exceeds zero, you need to be cautious and back up all important data.
When it comes to the Reallocated Sector Count, the exact numbers do not tell the whole story. The number of spare sectors differs across hard disk drives. In some drives, 20 reallocated sectors could signal trouble, whereas some disks get by just fine with a reallocated sector count of over 1000. The thing you need to look for is a consistent increase in the Raw values of the Reallocated Sector Count field, over a short period of time.
It’s also a good idea to take a look at the Current Pending Sector Count and Reported Uncorrectable Errors S.M.A.R.T. values as well. This will help you to create a more comprehensive view of the drive. If the Raw values for these fields are more than zero, your drive could be on the fast lane to failure.
How to Fix the Reallocated Sectors Count Warning
Once a sector has been reallocated, the hard drive won’t store any information about the original one. Therefore, there’s no way to fix reallocated sectors on your drive.
Reallocated sector count warnings are typically not a cause for immediate concern unless the count goes up substantially and other critical S.M.A.R.T. values have also gone up. But, if you notice any of the aforementioned issues, you must migrate your data to a new drive as soon as possible, if you want to keep your data intact.
It’s recommended that you create a disk image of the drive, rather than copying the contents of the drive manually to the other drive. This prevents partial data loss because a failing drive could have trouble copying and moving files. If you already lost some data, you can use data recovery programs to scan the disk for recoverable data.
Reallocated sector count warning is a common issue that computer users face. However, with the steps we have outlined in this article, you can fix the issue and prevent data loss. Remember to back up your data regularly and check your hard drive’s health periodically to avoid any unexpected issues.
Q1. What is the reallocated sector count?
A1. The reallocated sector count is an attribute that is stored on a hard drive. It keeps track of the number of sectors that have been reallocated from bad to good. Once the reallocated sector count reaches a certain threshold, the hard drive will issue a warning message to the user.
Q2. What are the symptoms of a failing hard drive?
A2. Some of the symptoms of a failing hard drive include slow performance, clicking or grinding noises, frequent crashes or freezes, and the appearance of error messages such as the reallocated sector count warnings.
Q3. How can I prevent a reallocated sector count warning?
A3. To prevent reallocated sector count warnings, you should keep your computer in a cool, dry place, use a high-quality power supply, and avoid dropping or physically damaging your hard drive. You should also back up your data regularly and check your hard drive’s health periodically.
Q4. Can I fix a reallocated sector count warning myself?
A4. Yes, you can fix reallocated sector count warnings yourself by following the steps outlined in this article. However, if you are not comfortable working with computer hardware, you may want to seek the assistance of a professional technician.
Q5. What should I do if my hard drive fails?
A5. If your hard drive fails, you should contact a data recovery specialist as soon as possible. They can help you to recover your data and minimize any potential data loss.