Current Pending Sector Count: All to Know & How to Deal With It

Don’t know how to deal with the current pending sector count caution? You can read this article for more details to fix this issue.


By Clytze Updated on December 27, 2022

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Need to repair current pending sector count

Hello, suddenly one of my MyBook exposes SMART warning C5 Current Pending Sector Count - 200 / 100 / 0 / 1. Is this a dangerous warning? Is the drive going to die soon? Can I fix it somehow?

- Question from WD Community

Current Pending Sector Count

Things you should learn about current pending sector count

"Current Pending Sector Count" is a critical S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) parameter that indicates the number of unstable sectors on the disk drive that are yet to be remapped or reallocated.

If you’re getting a SMART warning with pending sectors, that typically means your disk can’t (or isn’t) reallocating sectors correctly. This disk can probably fail hard at any time.

How to check the health status of your hard drive?

CrystalDiskInfo is a tool that is used to monitor the hard drive and show the health status of the hard drive. You can download the CrystalMark website and use the free software on Windows to check your current pending sector count.

Should you replace your hard drive if it has pending sectors?

It really depends on how much you value your data and how promptly you can respond to a disk failure situation. Typically, a drive with pending sectors is no longer suitable for continuous use. If you are using this drive for non-critical purposes and have backed up all of the data on the drive (or the data is not critical), you can continue to use this drive until it dies.

If your primary boot drive or media storage drive has hung sectors, I strongly recommend replacing it as soon as possible in case a random failure occurs at any time, causing unnecessary trouble and damage.

The value of current pending sector count could be 1, 2, 8…100, 200, etc. Regardless of the value, Current Pending Sector Count repair should be your priority. Continue reading, and you can find the most effective methods to get rid of this trouble.

Learn 2 effective current pending sector count fixes

If you receive Current Pending Sector Count caution, what you immediately need do is to keep the data on the hard drive safe. Before you try the following methods, you would better backup your important data on the affected hard drive immediately to prevent further data loss. Then you can try to run CHKDSK command to check the disk, make the disk wiped with zero, and replace the affected hard drive with a new one.

Run CHKDSK command to scan all sectors

The chkdsk command can inspect all sectors on the hard drive for the read/write operations. If some sectors don’t respond to the request made by scan, the chkdsk command can mark them as bad sectors and reallocate them. You can run this scan to see if it can work to fix this issue. Here are the detailed operations.

1. On your Windows 11/10 PC, Open Command Prompt by typing cmd in the Windows search box, can select Run as administrator.

2. When the command prompt window appears, type the command chkdsk e: /f /r X and hit Enter to continue. (e: refers to the letter of the drive you wish to scan.)

Run Chkdsk

3. Then type Y to continue the process.

4. When the operation is completed, restart your PC, and run CrystalDiskInfo again to check if the current pending sector count 100 caution still exists.

However, using CHKDSK utility is a temporary fix and it is better for you to change the storage drive to avoid severe data loss disasters. Before you change a new hard drive with the failed one, you need to do a disk wipe first.

Securely wipe the affected drive with best disk eraser

A rise in "Current Pending Sector Count" may indicate unstable sectors on the disk drive. If this value increases over time, or you receive a caution from a S.M.A.R.T. scan, you should stop using the affected disk to prevent further data corruption and continue using it only after you have repaired the damaged sectors by secure erase it.

To achieve this goal, you may need a professional disk wiper. Thankfully, there is one can be your worth-trying choice that called AOMEI Backupper Professional. As an all-in-one program, it has clear interface and is easy to operate. With its Disk Wipe feature, you can fill the disk sectors with zero and make the data unable to recover. And you can benefit a lot from its outstanding features listed below.

👣 It supports erasing partition, unallocated space, the entire disk, or wipe free space on Windows 11 according to your different needs. 
👣 It allows you to wipe any USB flash drive, internal/external hard drive, SSD/HDD (WD, Crucial, Samsung, Seagate, etc.), as well as SD card, etc. 
👣 It offers you with 4 professional wiping methods, they are Fill sectors with zero, Fill sectors with random data, DoD 52220.22-M (with 7 passes), Gutmann (with 35 passes).

Now, you can have this powerful disk wiper downloaded on your PC to have a try.

Download DemoWin11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

How to completely wipe a hard disk with AOMEI Backupper on Windows 11/10/8/7/Vista/XP:

Step 1. Once open this software, click Tools from the left menu, and then choose Disk Wipe from the right side.

Tools Disk Wipe

Step 2. Select your desired wiping type. You will be offered 2 types: Wipe partitions or unallocated space and Wipe disk. Choose the latter one and then click Next.

Choose Wipe Disk

Step 3. Select the disk you want to wipe and click Next to continue.

Wipe Data Select Disk

Step 4. Choose the wiping method and hit Start to begin the wiping process.

Wipe Method

 Fill sectors with Zero (Safe, Quick)
 Fill sectors with random data (Safe, Quick)
 DoD 52220.22-M (Very safe, Slow)
 Gutmann (35 passes, Very Safe, Very Slow)

Step 5. Then you will enter the wiping process page. If you want to stop this process, you can click Cancel.


How to create a new simple volume on the wiped drive:

To reuse the erased disk, you need to create a new partition/volume in order to continue using it. Here are the specific steps.

1. Right-click on the Start button, then select Disk Management from the list. 

2. Find the wiped drive, right-click the unallocated space on your hard disk, and then click New Simple Volume. The New Simple Volume Wizard will open.

New Simple Volume

3. Follow the on-sreen instructions to determine volume size, assign driver letter, choose file system, allocate unit size, and name volume label. 

4. Click Next. Then review your configurations, click Finish.

Format Volume Settings


Now you know what does current pending sector count mean and how to deal with this caution. If you’ve tried the fixes and the pending sectors are still increasing, then you’d better backup the critical data on that drive and completely wipe the affected hard drive for further use.

AOMEI Backupper, as the best disk eraser, can help you wipe the hard drive with zero or other wiping methods. Hence, if your drive is an SSD, it can achieve to restore SSD performance after the wiping process.

If you want to make an exact copy of your hard drive, HDD, or SSD, you can also apply for its clone feature to migrate all your data on your hard drive, HDD/SSD to another one, or clone HDD/SSD to WD SSD or other SSDs easily.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.