@4wd: Would you still recommend that:
...You can run a Low Level Format a couple of times to see if the sectors get remapped, (what I usually do when a HDD starts getting flakey), or use something like MHDD. Fill up the HDD with big files a few times, at some point it may trigger the remap if the sector gets hit enough times and produces errors.Is that worth the time/effort, especially when the disk is no longer necessarily reliable?
Depends what you mean by reliable - that particular drive is still working fine in my main computer, on for 8+ hours a day, (although not atm since I'm overseas), so it's ~8+ years old.
I regard all
data on any
medium as ephemeral since you have absolutely no idea when that medium is going to fail, whether the 1st or the 10,000th time it's used/switched on ... hence afaiac, every medium is unreliable.
All I can do is ensure I have spread the risk by backing up my important data across a variety of medium.
I am asking because one of my drives got it's first #187 on 2016-06-06 and a second one on 2017-07-10, with a warning that the hard disk status had "degraded", yet it still says its Performance and Health are 100%.
Only you can make that determination, I use a drive until it stops working.
You have to weigh up time vs money, I'll always spend the time since I have a lot of it ... money, not so much
You also have to consider what computer you're talking about here, mine are desktops with multiple drives ... system and data reside on different drives.
If you're talking about a laptop where you only have one drive generally, if it were me I'd image it, backup the data (not OS), then probably wipe the drive a couple of times, restore the image and see what happens ... but like I said, I have the time to do it and other machines I can use in the meantime.