C5 Current Pending Sector Count & HDD Cloning


New Member
Feb 5, 2016
Hello guys,

as the title of the topic says, I was wondering, how risky is to clone a HDD, which has the "C5 error"?

Before saying, I should just throw away this damaged HDD and do a clean reinstall, which could be a straightforward solution, know, that I'm looking for an option to transfer 1:1 of all the data and settings, which are on this damaged HDD, so just replacing the drive and doing a clean install isn't really a solution for me, because I want to preserve all the applications, their settings, etc.

The question is: is there any software, which can skip the damaged sectors and transfer the rest of the data 1:1 and intact?

Secondary question: what happens, if I stick this damaged HDD into a cloning docking station and run a full 1:1 clone on it?

Many thanks for sharing your ideas or experience.

Best Regards,

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 8.1 64 bit


"Phelps Helps"
Oct 31, 2013
I would not clone the drive; I would do an image backup. An image backup will intelligently back up the files and applications themselves, whereas a clone will do a bit for bit copy of the drive. Hence, you are a lot less likely to get the drive errors in your backup.

After getting a good backup of the drive, install a new drive, then do a restore to the new drive. Then log into the computer and check everything out, to make sure that everything is in good working order. Once you know that all is well, put your old drive in the static bag that came with the new drive, and put it away in a safe place, just on the offchance that you missed a file or two from the old drive. Write down a description of why you removed the drive from the computer, and how you fixed the problem, as well as the date you removed the drive. Keep this note with the old drive for future reference, because one day you will find the old drive in the drawer, and you will wonder what is on it. The note will explain everything. (I have lots of old drives laying around; I have no idea what is on any of them, because I didn't write any notes about any of them.)

I suggest you use a name-brand aftermarket backup program, such as Macrium Reflect Free, rather than the built-in Windows backup program. And be sure to create the Macrium emergency boot disk. This disk will allow you to boot the computer with your new, blank drive installed. You can then successfully do a restore to the new drive. Without that boot disk, you won't have any way to boot the computer once you take out your old drive.

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (host OS) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (virtual machine)
    Computer type
    System Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Inspiron 3847
    12 GB
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Acer 23"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    Two hard drives, 1TB each: One for Linux, one for my data.
    IT Professional
    IBM Model M
    Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer
    Sophos (Linux), Windows Defender (Windows)
    Other Info
    I use Samba to share my data drive with the other computers at my house.
    Country Flag

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