Question Is my storage HDD dying?

Zeipher

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Mar 23, 2016
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Hey there,

So suddenly I experienced weird stuff with my storage HDD. Windows takes a lot of time to load and when it finally loads I get a message regarding page file.



My boot SSD seems to be working fine, I can run programs, games without problems, but accessing my storage HDD is super slow, opening files (e.g. images, pdfs etc.) may take like a minute or so. I tried switching up cables, but nothing changed. I tried running smart scan and I guess it doesn't look:




Is my HDD dying and should be replaced ASAP? Or are there other things at fault here/

Thanks!
 
Jul 28, 2020
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Yes, your hdd has a lot of failing smart attributes.

You should already have backup, even when drive does not seem damaged. If you want to do it properly now get 2 new drives. One to be your "main" one and the another being your backup, then leave your current one as is. Your current drive can be second local backup but not the only one if your data is important. I recommend you using ddrescue if your data is important it avoids wearing faulty drive to get more data out of it(and avoids bad sectors at the first stage to get good sectors saved first). When you have done backup relax if it crashes just move to the backup. Keep in mind that ideally you should also have one copy (or more) in geographically different location (cloud, external hdd outside of your house etc.) to protect your data from fire, flood, natural disasters and so on.
 
Jul 28, 2020
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Didn't you have realized yet when sector became bad you do not only lose storage but all data that is saved to that sector. Should failing sectors hold the "file allocation table" and then become unreadable? This may cause all your data inaccessible to operationg system as it can't know where your files are stored on the hdd. If that has already happened it it possible to recover some files with for example photorec and all files with hex editor combined to special data recovery skills, but it is a lot easier to backup now.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Is my HDD dying and should be replaced ASAP? Or are there other things at fault here/

Thanks!
From the moment you open the box and install a storage device, it is "dying".
Some (very few) may last a week.
Some (very few) may last several decades.
Most are somewhere in between.

You should ALWAYS operate on the principle that your drive may die in the next 0.25 sec.
Or you get a nasty virus/ransomware/malware.
Or accidentally format the wrong drive or partition.

You should always have a backup. Unless you really don't care about what is on it.
 

Zeipher

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Mar 23, 2016
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Thanks for the replies, I'm not too worried about stuff on it, the important stuff is backed up, its mostly cluttered with random downloaded files, steam game backups, movies etc.

Was more curious if its a bad drive that causes the slowdowns or something else.
 
Jul 28, 2020
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In shorter answer if you are okay with losing all data stored on that hard drive why do you even care.

longer answer:Keep in mind that any sector may became unreadable any time. When it comes to compressed information this may mean in worst case everything becomes unusable and in best case few seconds of random movie become unplayable. In most cases any given one file became unusable. If you are familiar with linux and want to test your data use ddrescue. The two commands above copy all your data into /dev/null (black hole) and logs process to file "badsectormapfile" then you can read this file to discover any unreadable areas then use diskview for example to see what have you lost.

Code:
apt install gddrescue
ddrescue --force --no-scrape --no-trim /dev/devicetotest of=/dev/null badsectormapfile
If your hdd is only having bad sectors because its old and it's magnetic field is fading you can format it in full format that erases all your data and writes every sector so the magnetic field will be restored. If you want to keep your data while doing this there are some harder options (wiping the drive in parts and then rewrite the data back) but normal full format (not quick format) is a lot easier.
 
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