Question Will pending/bad sectors turn my BitLocker encrypted HDD into a brick?

Jan 19, 2020
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Hey guys. I have recently got me a brandnew Seagate Exos 10TB Enterprise HDD and I have used over 80% of its free space. The Harddrive is 100% healthy right now. I'm taking this HDD to my office and I have to encrypt the whole disk to protect my sensitive data.

When harddrives get older, pending sectors and then bad sectors appear. I need to know, what happens if pending sectors show up on my BitLocker encrypted harddrive. Will I still be able to unlock it with the password as usual? or one pending/bad sector will turn my harddrive into a brick?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
The SECOND you start having bad sectors, it is IMMEDIATELY time to back up as much as you can, or all you can for that matter, IF you can, and replace the drive as soon as possible. If there are bad sectors being reported already then the drive is on it's way out and there is zero tolerance for assuming the drive is still in any way usable.

Yes, it is going to become a brick, and no, there is no way to know or determine WHEN that will be. It could be today, in five minutes, or next month, or in six weeks, but it will happen, and discarding it immediately is the only safe course of action. On top of which, you must ALWAYS have at least two copies of all data on any drive that contains data you care about. Anybody who only has their important data on a single drive, is simply asking for a giant boot to the tender area at some point, because that is exactly what they are going to get sooner or later. AT LEAST two locations, preferably three, with one of them being off-site at some other location so that if there is a fire or other catastrophe you don't lose every copy in the same instance.
 
Reactions: wasted1803
Jan 19, 2020
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The SECOND you start having bad sectors, it is IMMEDIATELY time to back up as much as you can, or all you can for that matter,
What I understand from this line, is that when pending and/or bad sectors appear, I'm still able to back up my data, which means I'm able to unlock my harddrive with the password and get a copy of my data.

As you know, most pending sectors are resolved after a read error check

Assuming I only have few pending sectors, and I only see a "warning" on my S.M.A.R.T. status.

Will I be able to unlock my harddrive with the password? or get get a copy of files stored in healthy sectors?

I'm worried a small change in harddrive sectors, will make my encrypted drive impossible to unlock.
 
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Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
What I understand from this line, is that when pending and/or bad sectors appear, I'm still able to back up my data,
No. Actually, you MIGHT be able to. But you just as easily might likely NOT be able to as well. You don't wait until the house is on fire to buy fire insurance or go buy a hose.

The bottom line is, it doesn't MATTER whether you can unlock the drive or not, the data should already be backed up elsewhere. Whether that is to an unencrypted drive, an external drive, optical discs, another encrypted drive or cloud storage, is entirely up to you. Doesn't even matter WHAT the data is, if it is important, there should NEVER, EVER, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever,......................be only one copy of it. Period.

If you have, or maintain, only a single copy of something important, and I don't mean just YOU, but anybody, then you deserve to lose it WHEN something happens to it. And I say when, not if, because it WILL happen and it is ONLY a question of when. ALL drives fail and usually, a lot more often than not, they DON'T give you any warning before doing so. Getting a warning due to bad sectors or other errors, isn't something that is guaranteed to happen in every case, or even often for that matter.

Besides which, that is only ONE way in which a drive might fail. There are MANY others.
 

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