Windows 10: Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?

Discus and support Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse? in Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware to solve the problem; Summary: Two of my external hard drives have both developed "Current Pending Sectors". 1TB-drive: 11 Currently Pending Sectors initially.... Discussion in 'Windows 10 Drivers and Hardware' started by HedgeToaster, May 4, 2021 at 7:52 AM.

  1. Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?


    Summary: Two of my external hard drives have both developed "Current Pending Sectors". 1TB-drive: 11 Currently Pending Sectors initially. Evacuation/Backup went mostly fine, but rose to 12 Current Pending Sectors while copying a folder containing the most recent data. Further rose to 15 when checking Rightclick->Properties of said folder to calculate total file size / file count. 8TB-drive: 8 Current Pending Sectors, 8 Unrecoverable Sectors. Drive had no Pending Sectors just a week prior. Also, this drive is where I had been backing up the 1TB drive to, and I suspect the folder "causing" those Pending Sectors may be the backup of the folder causing them on the 1TB drive. Coincidence? Obviously I'll have to evacuate my data at least temporarily (for which I'll need to buy a new hard drive first), but I have questions about that. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Details: The backup for one of the folders on the 1TB drive had failed. A check with Crystal Disk Info revealed 11 Current Pending Sectors initially, though this eventually increased while evacuating my data / updating my backup; Problems only arose on the folder with the most recent data, about ~200 GB that hadn't previously been in my backup at all, so rather than use the backup tool, I just drag'n'dropped the folder to my 8TB drive. Regular drag'n'drop copying worked fine - or at least I think it did, there was no obvious error message waiting for me when I checked if it was done copying, and the total file size / number of files count seems to match. *shrug* After copying that folder and all its subfolders (~200 GB), Current Pending Sectors count had gone up to 12. And just from checking the total combined file size / number of files for the folder via Rightclick>Properties to compare against the backup, within 40 minutes, the Current Pending Sector count shot up to 15. I've vaguely read about the distinction between "Current Pending Sectors on Write" and "Current Pending Sectors on Read". I'm guessing this is the latter. Probably some damaged files in there? I'm not fully satisfied with my backup yet, especially since I still want to run my backup tool (Synchredible) in "compare file contents" mode to verify the backup's consistency, but after seeing the Pending Sector Count go up I've shut the drive down until such a time I know better how to handle that without causing more damage. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ...And then, about a week later, the 8TB drive to which I had just backed up the 1TB drive also developed Current Pending Sectors... literally 4 days after the 2 year warranty ran out. -_- Crystal Disk Info didn't show any issues with the 8TB drive just one week prior. Now there were suddenly "8 Current Pending Sectors", "8 Uncorrectable Sectors". I then shut the drive down and haven't used it since. The only noteworthy things I did on that drive in that week were: a) Running a program which created 5000+ empty directories in a fairly short time as the by-product of a test. (I don't know if something like that can cause problems?) b) While I'm not fully happy with my 1TB's backup yet, I'd decided to treat at least part of what had originally been a Backup as the new Master instead, reversing the Backup/Master role, and added new files to it, which included adding files to the directory that corresponds to the troublesome folder on the 1TB drive. Which seems like too much of a coincidence to me. Dumb question: Drag'n'drop-copying a folder afflicted with "current pending sectors" from one drive to another can't somehow "infect" the other drive, right? Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse? o_O? I don't know if it is important, but for the sake of completion it may also be worth mentioning that, a few weeks prior to all this, I had moved a very large amount of files off of the 8TB drive (~2.1 TB) to make space for updating my backups - though this worked without any issues, and there were no pending sectors detected afterwards (yet). I also make use of hardlinking duplicate files to conserve space without breaking my file organization, just fyi in case that's somehow important. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ My current plan is to buy a new hard drive and evacuate all my data there. However, exactly what hard drive size I'll need, and if I have to buy a second hard drive as a new dedicated backup drive depends on the answers to my following questions. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Relevant Questions: 1) Asides from the one time my backup software failed to parse a folder and crashed, I didn't notice any obvious problems with either of the drives. If it wasn't for Crystal Disk Info telling me about the Pending Sector issue, I wouldn't even know anything was actually wrong. So, how bad it is? 2) How do I stop it from getting worse while evacuating my data elsewhere? I haven't run chkdsk yet, because I've heard that chkdsk will likely delete files. And since I no longer have a guarantied backup, I'd like to first make a new one - which will involve backing up the entire drive from scratch and re-copying every single file again (including a more thorough second pass in "compare file content" mode to verify the backup), which will also touch the same folder I suspect the Pending Sectors to be in again and thus may aggravate the issue; something I'd like to prevent from worsening the situation. 3) How likely is chkdsk to delete files during its repair attempt? Is there a way of running chkdsk (or similar) non-destructively to find that out in advance what would get deleted? 4) How can I find out which files exactly are damaged so I can make an informed judgement if anything important has been lost? If I know what's damaged, maybe I can restore it from backup? Maybe I can re-download it from somewhere? Obviously I'm guessing it's in that one troublesome folder with the most recent files (and its counterpart on the backup drive), but I can't be sure that's the only folder affected, and even if it is, that's still a few hundred subfolders with 200 GB of files. A full list of full file paths would be most useful here. 5) Even if I fix the Pending Sector issue, how reliable are these drives going to be in the future? Can I go right back to using them "normally"? If not, can I still use them as backup- (weekly, monthly?), or long-term storage devices? The answer to this question also will decide what new hard drive(s) I'll have to buy.

    :)
     
    HedgeToaster, May 4, 2021 at 7:52 AM
    #1
  2. jumanji Win User

    Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?

    Hi @HedgeToaster

    Just google "Current Pending Sector counts" and you get all info on it.

    The short answer is if the Current Pending Sectors count keeps increasing, it would mean that those are not getting remapped and drive failure is imminent sooner or later ( which no one can predict) alongwith complete data loss.

    The backups you do on such a drive are no longer relliable.

    Bad sectors cannot be repaired. Stop using those HDDs and do fresh backups on the new HDD. There is no two ways about it. ( A true backup means that you have all the data on two different drives so that in case one fails you still have it on another drive.)
     
  3. Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?

    Summary:

    Two of my external hard drives have both developed "Current Pending Sectors".

    1TB-drive: 11 Currently Pending Sectors initially. Evacuation/Backup went mostly fine, but rose to 12 Current Pending Sectors while copying a folder containing the most recent data. Further rose to 15 when checking Rightclick->Properties of said folder to calculate total file size / file count.

    8TB-drive: 8 Current Pending Sectors, 8 Unrecoverable Sectors. Drive had no Pending Sectors just a week prior. Also, this drive is where I had been backing up the 1TB drive to, and I suspect the folder "causing" those Pending Sectors may be the backup of the folder causing them on the 1TB drive. Coincidence? *Huh


    Obviously I'll have to evacuate my data at least temporarily (for which I'll need to buy a new hard drive first), but I have questions about that. *Wink

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Details:

    The backup for one of the folders on the 1TB drive had failed. A check with Crystal Disk Info revealed 11 Current Pending Sectors initially, though this eventually increased while evacuating my data / updating my backup;

    Problems only arose on the folder with the most recent data, about ~200 GB that hadn't previously been in my backup at all, so rather than use the backup tool, I just drag'n'dropped the folder to my 8TB drive.

    Regular drag'n'drop copying worked fine - or at least I think it did, there was no obvious error message waiting for me when I checked if it was done copying, and the total file size / number of files count seems to match. *shrug*

    After copying that folder and all its subfolders (~200 GB), Current Pending Sectors count had gone up to 12.

    And just from checking the total combined file size / number of files for the folder via Rightclick>Properties to compare against the backup, within 40 minutes, the Current Pending Sector count shot up to 15.

    I've vaguely read about the distinction between "Current Pending Sectors on Write" and "Current Pending Sectors on Read". I'm guessing this is the latter. Probably some damaged files in there?



    Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse? [​IMG]



    I'm not fully satisfied with my backup yet, especially since I still want to run my backup tool (Synchredible) in "compare file contents" mode to verify the backup's consistency, but after seeing the Pending Sector Count go up I've shut the drive down until such a time I know better how to handle that without causing more damage.



    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ...And then, about a week later, the 8TB drive to which I had just backed up the 1TB drive also developed Current Pending Sectors... literally 4 days after the 2 year warranty ran out. -_-

    Crystal Disk Info didn't show any issues with the 8TB drive just one week prior. Now there were suddenly "8 Current Pending Sectors", "8 Uncorrectable Sectors". I then shut the drive down and haven't used it since.


    Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse? [​IMG]



    The only noteworthy things I did on that drive in that week were:

    a) Running a program which created 5000+ empty directories in a fairly short time as the by-product of a test. (I don't know if something like that can cause problems?)

    b) While I'm not fully happy with my 1TB's backup yet, I'd decided to treat at least part of what had originally been a Backup as the new Master instead, reversing the Backup/Master role, and added new files to it, which included adding files to the directory that corresponds to the troublesome folder on the 1TB drive. Which seems like too much of a coincidence to me. *Huh

    Dumb question: Drag'n'drop-copying a folder afflicted with "current pending sectors" from one drive to another can't somehow "infect" the other drive, right? Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse? o_O?



    I don't know if it is important, but for the sake of completion it may also be worth mentioning that, a few weeks prior to all this, I had moved a very large amount of files off of the 8TB drive (~2.1 TB) to make space for updating my backups - though this worked without any issues, and there were no pending sectors detected afterwards (yet).

    I also make use of hardlinking duplicate files to conserve space without breaking my file organization, just fyi in case that's somehow important.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    My current plan is to buy a new hard drive and evacuate all my data there.

    However, exactly what hard drive size I'll need, and if I have to buy a second hard drive as a new dedicated backup drive depends on the answers to my following questions.


    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Relevant Questions:



    1) Asides from the one time my backup software failed to parse a folder and crashed, I didn't notice any obvious problems with either of the drives.

    If it wasn't for Crystal Disk Info telling me about the Pending Sector issue, I wouldn't even know anything was actually wrong.

    So, how bad it is?




    2) How do I stop it from getting worse while evacuating my data elsewhere?

    I haven't run chkdsk yet, because I've heard that chkdsk will likely delete files. And since I no longer have a guarantied backup, I'd like to first make a new one - which will involve backing up the entire drive from scratch and re-copying every single file again (including a more thorough second pass in "compare file content" mode to verify the backup), which will also touch the same folder I suspect the Pending Sectors to be in again and thus may aggravate the issue; something I'd like to prevent from worsening the situation. *Huh



    3) How likely is chkdsk to delete files during its repair attempt?

    Is there a way of running chkdsk (or similar) non-destructively to find that out in advance what would get deleted?




    4) How can I find out which files exactly are damaged so I can make an informed judgement if anything important has been lost?

    If I know what's damaged, maybe I can restore it from backup? Maybe I can re-download it from somewhere?

    Obviously I'm guessing it's in that one troublesome folder with the most recent files (and its counterpart on the backup drive), but I can't be sure that's the only folder affected, and even if it is, that's still a few hundred subfolders with 200 GB of files.

    A full list of full file paths would be most useful here. *Wink





    5) Even if I fix the Pending Sector issue, how reliable are these drives going to be in the future?

    Can I go right back to using them "normally"?

    If not, can I still use them as backup- (weekly, monthly?), or long-term storage devices?

    The answer to this question also will decide what new hard drive(s) I'll have to buy.
     
    HedgeToaster, May 4, 2021 at 10:41 PM
    #3
  4. Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?

    HDD Bad Sector

    Hi Nataniel!

    I am not sure what your question is exactly, but one thing I'd recommend for sure will be to look for a replacement drive since there is already a bad sector on your current one.

    Basically there are two kinds of bad sectors - hardware and software:

    • Hardware ones are caused by physical damage or becoming magnetically fixed, and they are unrepairable. In short, once they appear it's only a matter of time (no way to say how long) until the HDD fails.
    • Software bad sectors on the other hand occur when something called an Error Correction Code (ECC) doesn't match the contents of the hard drive. These can be repaired by overwriting the data on the drive with zeroes (a.k.a. low level formatting) and sometimes
      by running a **chkdsk [write the letter of the drive:] /r** in the CMD.

    As for getting the information from the drive if one of the partitions fail, most likely you won't be able to, which is why I'd suggest to make a regular backup of your most important data.

    Hope this helps and feel free to ask any questions you may have.
     
    MightyMiro_WD, May 4, 2021 at 10:41 PM
    #4
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Current Pending Sectors: How bad is it? How to stop it getting worse?

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