HDD Bad sectors
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Thread: HDD Bad sectors

  1. #1
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    HDD Bad sectors

    Hi,

    I was wondering if any one can help me find an utility that will give me the list of the bad sectors. The HDD maintains the list of the bad sectors and also the list of spare sectors. What i am looking for is a tool that will give me from where these sectors start, i mean from what number to what number. I know of tools that will give me whether ther are any bad sectors present on my HDD and how many of them. But it doesnot give me the list of the start and end values.

    The HDD that I am using is Western digital and the OS is win XP.

    Thanks,
    MRG.
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  2. #2
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    I don't know the answer but maybe http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Mo...ing_Technology is helpful.
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  3. #3
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    I suggest you download helix from e-fense.com/helix. Boot to the linux side, and look at MFT entry 8. On the NTFS file system MFT entry 8 is reserved for $Badclus. $Badclus keeps track of bad sectors on the disk.
    Try the following: istat -f ntfs <disk> 8
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  4. #4
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    Scandisk was replaced with CHKDSK on XP and granted it may not give all the data you requested. However you can use that utility to check for and mark bad sectors on your hard disk so that data won't be written there. If you don't know where it is:

    My Computer > pick the local HDD you want to check.

    File menu > click Properties.

    Tools tab > Error-checking > click Check Now.

    Check disk options > Scan for - recovery of bad sectors > check box.

    Additionally, my last WD Disk came with a floppy with some great tools on it. You might want to check yours. If you don't have one, just download it from WD.

    ~cheers~
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    What exactly are you trying to achieve?

    $Badclus is not to be entirely trusted, depending upon what you want to use the information for. Consider, for example a RAID1 array?..................$Badclus is mirrored for both drives

    I personally prefer to rely on the information provided by independent specialist software.

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  6. #6
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    nihil, yes, and it loses the information after a format but in this case I don't think we have to worry about a raid(if only because it wasn't mentioned).

    As far as I have seen, there are very few products on the market that actually list the bad sectors. Most are only concerned with fixing the problem by marking them bad and unusable, or by writing zeroes to the disk.
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  7. #7
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Once the OS, or chkdsk/scandisk begins to report bad sectors, the drive
    is toast. It has already exhausted its secret stash of spares.
    If you are only curious about how the drive maps the spares,
    how many are there, and how many have been used etc.,
    you should start with the manufacturer. Maybe their proprietary
    utility will give you this info. There may be some general purpose
    programs that attempt to access this stuff, probably experimental
    utilities that run on Linux.
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  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies, but scandisk will not work for me, neither with the datalife guard tools from WD. They all report the bad sectors(total number but not the start and the end point). Also I am not using RAID.

    For Hogfly: if it gives the bad clusters list, then is that the list after the spare sectors are depleted or is it the list of the "growing" bad sectors.

    Thanks,
    MRG.
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  9. #9
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
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    Maybe we're assuming that you are only interested in free software.
    If you want to spend a little money there's Steve Gibson's Spinrite.
    I've heard that some people think Steve is a blowhard, but I've used
    Spinrite back in the day, and the newer version looks even better.
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  10. #10
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    Spinrite may do what you are looking to do.

    Generally speaking, it's a hit or miss regarding the spare sector lists. Vendors tend to keep that information proprietary for whatever reason, or they release it. Off the top of my head I can't think of any utility other than what a manufacturer would provide to show you the list of spare sectors that they use on their disks. Typically all you will be able to get is the spare sector count. Give WD a call. Keep us posted with your findings.

    $badclus keeps track of what has been identified as "bad", so it is probably not what you are looking for after all.
    Antionline in a nutshell
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