Bad sector on the HDD unrepairable?...or something else?
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15

Thread: Bad sector on the HDD unrepairable?...or something else?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Ouroboros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Superior, WI USA
    Posts
    628

    Bad sector on the HDD unrepairable?...or something else?

    Here's the situation...

    The Vista defrag 'analysis' catches a HDD surface problem and hangs during defrag. My Iolo Professional detects it also and tells me that it can't perform a defrag due to a fault in the disk.

    Here's what chapping my ass, though...

    I perform a CHKDSK during startup (scheduled, obviously), and it works it's way through 80% of the final stage of the check (free space) and then it jumps to 100% suddenly and restarts my computer.


    I can only assume that it's a physical problem with the HDD, but why is CHKDSK not isolating it and fixing/ignoring it?

    Did I miss a memo or something?

    Here's the genesis of the problem...

    I was trying to upgrade to Vista Ultimate and the upgrade ultimately failed due to the absence of my Winlogin/on (i forget which it was). Not corruption...just absence. Yet when I rolled the upgrade back, everything works fine. WTF?

    Any ideas?

    O
    "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"

    "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity."

    -Occam's Razor


  2. #2
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,178
    Hi there O~

    Sounds like you need a new HDD.

    OK, what I would suggest is that you go to the HDD manufacturer's site and get their diagnostic toolkit. Use that to perform a detailed scan, and see what it says. Don't run the quick scan, it will probably still pass that.

    I am afraid that the Windows tools are not the sharpest in the box

    The manufacturer's toolkit is more likely to be able to fix the problem, and if it can't, it will give you the error code you will need if the drive is still under warranty. Also, these tools run off external media rather than the possibly damaged drive itself.

    They also tend to have a tool for interpreting the S.M.A.R.T. logs, although that system isn't as clever as it might be I guess it only spots around 60% of problems, and it is really only intended to give a pre-emptive warning.

    When you get a drive, it has a certain amount of space reserved for error recovery. Once that is filled up, you start to get drive error messages. This does not necessarily mean that the drive is actually damaged.

    Problems can arise with the magnetic writing of data such that the drive only "looks" as if it is damaged. This situation can be recovered, but the software (HDD Regenerator) costs as much as a decent new HDD, so I only recommend it for support engineers or departments.

    Try these:

    http://www.auslogics.com/disk-defrag/index.php

    http://sourceforge.net/project/platf..._platform=4745

    Two free defragmenters that should work with Vista.

    This is the link to "HDD Regenerator"

    http://www.dposoft.net/

    It costs 60 bucks (USD 60), but there is a trial which should at least tell you if it would work?

    Last edited by nihil; October 11th, 2007 at 09:30 AM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  3. #3
    Senior Member tripstone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Bemidji, Minnesota
    Posts
    228
    Windows tools are like retards...you try really hard to involve them...to not make fun of them...but then they start drooling, raving and pooping their pants...thats when you quit and go home
    You can kiss my 127.0.0.1


    I\'m a loser baby...so why doncha kill me?

  4. #4
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,178
    Well,

    Windows tools are like retards...you try really hard to involve them...to not make fun of them...but then they start drooling, raving and pooping their pants...thats when you quit and go home
    I look on them more as "politicians"........... like they are fair weather friends. When everything is OK they work just fine, when it isn't, they don't.

    Just look at the toolsets used by people with serious support involvement...... they are all third party and preferably boot and run outside of Windows.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    168

    DFT

    Hitachi has a nice tool called DFT. It will scan your hdd and tell you if its bad and give you an error code. If it detects an error, the screen turns red and depending on the problem may give you an option to try and fix the problem.

    DFT is a free download from http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT
    <chsh> I've read more interesting technical discussion on the wall of a public bathroom than I have at AO at times

  6. #6
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    Posts
    17,178
    I would be rather wary of using a tool from one HDD manufacturer on a drive made by another.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  7. #7
    Disgruntled Postal Worker fourdc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Vermont, USA
    Posts
    797
    Replace the drive.

    If you have the media for the previous version of Windows you can do a raw fresh install with Vista on a new drive. Then hook up the other drive to get the data off of it and deep six it. Hard drives are PFM (pure F-ing magic) and it sounds like yours is just starting to lose its.

    Replace it before you lose your stuff. The new drive will probably be less $ than the copy of Vista
    ddddc

    "Somehow saying I told you so just doesn't cover it" Will Smith in I, Robot

  8. #8
    Just Another Geek
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Rotterdam, Netherlands
    Posts
    3,403
    If a drive starts showing bad sectors replace it asap.

    With SCSI drives you could mark them as bad and move on.. IDE (and S-ATA) drives have a spare bit of space on them. The marking and mapping of bad sectors happens automagicly within the drive's firmware. If bad sectors start showing up it means that spare bit of space on the drive is full. Time for a replacement.
    Oliver's Law:
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Ouroboros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Superior, WI USA
    Posts
    628
    Thanks, guys. Not exactly what I wanted to hear, but it's what I expected. It's a Western Digital HDD, BTW. I've never had issues with their drives before, but I guess a bad apple here and there is to be expected. I do have a backup drive and can image the important stuff to that one and retransfer after I get the new one that I will have to buy (the damaged one is beyond warranty). I'm going to try the tools that Nihil suggested, but I fear that they won't help (Better to expect the worst in case a miracle happens).

    Just as a side-thought, could it be possible to identify the bad sector(s) of the disk and create a partition around it, kind of like a physical quarantine? Or does it not quite work that way?

    Also, why would the upgrade tell me that there is a bad MBR and it can't continue, but the upgrade rollback returns me to working order? I thought the MBR was in a fixed area on the HDD. Doesn't make sense to me, unless I am misunderstanding the whole thing.

    O
    "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"

    "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity."

    -Occam's Razor


  10. #10
    Senior Member Ouroboros's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Superior, WI USA
    Posts
    628
    Oops, forgot to mention that Scandisk doesn't report any bad sectors, it just skips over 20% of the free space.

    That's a bad thing, isn't it?

    Crap

    O
    "entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem"

    "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity."

    -Occam's Razor


Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

 Security News

     Patches

       Security Trends

         How-To

           Buying Guides