How to Fix Reallocated Sector Count Warning in Hard Drive

There are certain error messages that you never want to see and a reallocated sector count warning is one of them. However, understanding exactly what that means and how to potentially fix it, is critical to saving your data.

Hello folks! My name is Lavelle and for several decades I have been using technology extensively in my career. As a professional photographer, videographer, and filmmaker, hard drives have been at the center of my inventory for many years. I am also a computer engineering technology graduate and have continued to learn as much as I can about all things technology-related.

In this article, I will explain the reallocated sector count warning on a hard drive and offer possible reasons for this warning message. Additionally, I will go over how to check your reallocated sector count and what to do if you get a reallocated sector count warning.

Key Takeaways

  • One of the most important things you can do regularly is to back up your data.
  • Pay close attention to the indicators that your drive may be failing.
  • Keep your device clean of dirt, debris, and malware/viruses.

What is the Reallocated Sector Count Warning on a Hard Drive?

A reallocated sector count is what is known as a critical SMART attribute. This indicates the count of reallocated sectors on your hard drive. What usually happens is when a read or write error occurs your drive automatically marks this error as reallocated.

Then it will transfer the data to a spare area of your drive. In simple terms, reallocated sectors are bad sectors on your drive that have been relocated to another place. As your hard drive detects more and more bad sectors, the read/write speed of the drive will decrease dramatically.

If the SMART data for your hard drive gives a number above zero next to the sector count, then attention is warranted. An increasing number of reallocated sectors are a sign that your hard drive is failing. You should immediately backup your data in this instance.

Reallocated Sector Count Warning: 6 Reasons

Here are six possible reasons why you may get a reallocated sector count warning.

1. Bad Sectors

Bad sectors are typically a result of either logical damage or physical damage to a hard drive. These damages usually occur during the drive’s normal usage. However, you may notice warning signs that appear faster on your drive because of intense use for longer periods or when a force shuts down.

2. Hard Drive Overheating

If your drive overheats or you hear a clicking sound from the drive, this may indicate that there is a reallocation of sector counts occurring.

3. Physical Damage

Physical damage may cause a reallocation sector count warning to occur as well. When a hard drive is physically damaged it can cause hard bad sectors to develop.

4. Intense Usage

If the hard drive is used heavily and for long periods, this may also cause bad sectors to develop. 

5. Aging Hard Drive

Another reason for this warning could be because your hard drive is aging or is old or outdated. Hard drives have a relatively short lifespan of between 2 and 5 years and depending on the use aging can be a main contributor to the increasing number of reallocated sectors.

6. Corrupt Files

Corruption can come from malware, viruses, and other such attacks on the integrity of your system. When this happens, you may get a reallocated sector count warning.

How to Check Your Reallocated Sector Count

If you suspect that your hard drive is failing, you can check the value of the reallocated sector count. On a Windows operating system, you can install the HDD/SSD utility, CrystalDiskInfo, and it will provide you with a complete report about your computer’s SMART information and show you the current health status of your hard drive.

There are also some other SMART parameters that you should pay attention to when you get the sector count warning. Some of these parameters include:

  • The current pending sector count. Is the current count of unstable sectors on your hard drive that are waiting to be reallocated to another area on your drive.
  • The reallocation event count. Is a count of the number of times the system attempted to transfer data from a bad sector to a designated area in your system.
  • The uncorrectable sector count. Is the total number of uncorrectable errors that occurred during the read/write process of a sector.

How to Fix Reallocated Sector Count Warning

Unfortunately, there is no way to fix the reallocated sector count warning. However, here are some steps that you can take to mitigate the problem.

Backup Your Data

First and foremost, back up your data immediately! You do this by following these steps:

I recommend that you use a professional tool to back up your data. The MiniTool Partition Wizard is my top choice for a professional tool to use. There is also a free partition manager that you can use to resize partitions, extend them, check your file system, align partitions, and perform other tasks of this nature.

Nonetheless, here are the steps to take:

  • Step 1. Click on the install button to install this program on your computer. 
  • Step 2. Once you are on the primary interface, select the disk with the Reallocated Sector Count warning. 
  • Step 3. Choose Copy Disk from the left side of the menu.
  • Step 4. Select your destination and click Next
  • Step 5: Choose Copy Disk from the left side of the menu.
  • Step 6. Ensure there is no important file on the target disk.
  • Step 7. Choose a copy method, then click the Next button.
  • Step 8. Click Finish.
  • Step 9. Click Apply in the upper left corner to complete the action.

Restore Data from a Corrupted Hard Drive

You may be able to recover lost data from your hard drive by using some third-party data recovery software.

The software allows you to recover various files such as documents, photos, music, audio files, videos, emails, etc. from different types of media such as SSDs, HDDs, USBs, SD cards, and memory sticks.

Monitor the Disk Usage

Another thing that you want to do is monitor the disk usage. By doing this, you may protect yourself against the sector warning ever occurring by checking the disk usage and backing up your data often and regularly.


Here are answers to a couple of frequently asked questions.

How Many Reallocated Sectors Are Acceptable?

An acceptable count of 200 is the normal value. If the count drops below 140, then this is an indication that the disk is failing.

Should I Replace a Drive with Bad Sectors?

Yes, that is one option to consider and while it may be a relatively costly option, it also may be your best option.

Final Thoughts

If you have experienced the reallocated sector count warning, remember to immediately back up your data. If you happen to lose data, try to use professional software to recover the lost information. The reallocated sector count warning does indicate a failing hard drive, which unfortunately can’t be fixed.

Do you have any questions regarding the reallocated sector count warning? Leave your questions in the comments below.

Until next time, protect your data and enjoy your technology!

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