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Bad sector help

Old 08-02-05, 10:06 PM
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Bad sector help

I think I've got a bad sector on my hard drive. Everything crawls to a halt or I get system errors when trying to access some files. I defragged everything and ran the error-checking utility under XP Pro. I made sure it automatically fixed any errors and also searched for bad sectors. I don't think it did anything. I still can't access a couple files and when I deleted them and copy other files instead, they then can't be access either.

So I have two questions, does the WinXP error-checking utility write a log anywhere? I couldn't find it. And second, are there any other programs people use or recommend to detect and mark sectors are unusable to that future files won't try to write on them? Thanks.
Old 08-03-05, 11:03 AM
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it'll cost you....but i highly recommend spinrite.

i am constantly amazed at what this little application can do with a hard drive.

http://grc.com/spinrite.htm
Old 08-03-05, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by crankyman
it'll cost you....but i highly recommend spinrite.

i am constantly amazed at what this little application can do with a hard drive.

http://grc.com/spinrite.htm

$89.00? Is it worth it? It's going to have to come out of my DVD budget.
Old 08-03-05, 01:16 PM
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i've had it 'repair' hard drives that i thought were lost.

only one so far that it couldn't do anything with....out of about 10 or so.
Old 08-03-05, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by crankyman
i've had it 'repair' hard drives that i thought were lost.

only one so far that it couldn't do anything with....out of about 10 or so.

Okay, I bit. I don't think I've ever spent $89 for a 170 KB (yes, KB) file before. I've got it running overnight so hopefully I'll have something good to report.

crankyman, which operation level do you normally run? I decided to start out with level 2 (Recover unreadable data) and see what it reports. I'll probably have to run level 4 (Locate surface defects) eventually anyway but I didn't know if that was okay to run on a drive that already contained data.

On a side note, if I got paid a little over $0.50 per kilobyte for some of the programs I wrote in college, I wouldn't be worrying about getting enough sleep before work tomorrow.
Old 08-04-05, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by crankyman
it'll cost you....but i highly recommend spinrite.

i am constantly amazed at what this little application can do with a hard drive.

http://grc.com/spinrite.htm
Wow, this could be the program i've been needing for years....


Every, and I mean every friggin' drive I've ever had has either failed, or was on it's way to failling with bad sectors as factor in the failure. In fact, the computer I'm posting this message on right now claims my drive needs replacing and I only bought it(the system) 2 years ago. I didn't think it was always me killing these drives. Perhaps this program can help.


yashan, please keep us posted on your results!

Last edited by Giantrobo; 08-04-05 at 07:31 AM.
Old 08-04-05, 11:54 AM
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Update....

Originally Posted by yashan

crankyman, which operation level do you normally run? I decided to start out with level 2 (Recover unreadable data) and see what it reports. I'll probably have to run level 4 (Locate surface defects) eventually anyway but I didn't know if that was okay to run on a drive that already contained data.
I ran the Level 2 (Recover unreadable data) scan last night and it marked 3 sectors unrecoverable. Since the scan took only two hours and ended before I went to bed, I decided to immediately start a Level 4 (Locate surface defects) scan before booting up the OS again. This second scan is estimated to take 16 hours. I'll post my results after it finishes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...
Old 08-04-05, 12:02 PM
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Ive run alot of different drive recovery software, with different success rates.. but there are alot out there that do a really good job..

the thing about harddrives that most people dont understand.. is that when you buy a 10gb harddrive.. there is probably 10 times that much space actually on there, its just in reserve sectors.. your harddrive gets bad sectors constantly, and those sectors are swept under the rug and replaced with some from the reserve.. Once you use up all your reserve sectors, then your drive is at risk of crashing.. Some manufacturers put more in reserve than others. And some have their bad sector handling much more advanced.. Alot of them also can determine when your running low on reserve sectors and will give a warning on bootup that you are at the risk of failure..

On the same note.. This is how people have developed software that allows you to get 2,3,4,5,10 times that size of your drives capability out of it.. Its just using up all your reserve for actual storage. While this increases your amount of data you can store, it also destroys all your protection (which you need more than you realize)..

I have run drive recovery software before that allowed me access to data from 6 or 7 years BEFORE i even owned the drive.. Most recently, I found stuff from 1999, that we supposably bought NEW just last year. of course, while you can see the structure and some of those files.. Many of the older crap is will inaccessible once you actual try to recover the specific file.
Old 08-04-05, 12:02 PM
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i usually do a level 2. shoulda warned you.....the process can take up to 24 hours depeding upon drive size and machine.

someone recommended this program to me on a forum as well....i was skeptical but tried it. fixed my hard drive in my tivo. that drive i'm still using....because it isn't terribly critical. just a pain to redo...

since, we've used it at work to recover a few drives to get data off of them before replacing. i'm not sure how long i would trust a drive that had to be 'fixed'...ya know?

but that's me and i'm paranoid......

let us know how it goes for you.....
Old 08-04-05, 12:04 PM
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btw.. on a related note.. a few months ago.. a friend needed a recovery tool for a cdrom that was no longer accessible.. and we found a nice tool that allowed him to recover everything off it as well

he had actually stored all family pictures and financial data on a cd as protection.. and didnt make dupe copies or have any backup of it on his harddrive.. so when the cd became unreadable, he freaked..
the tool was like 29.95, and he was happy to pay.
Old 08-04-05, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by twikoff
Ive run alot of different drive recovery software, with different success rates.. but there are alot out there that do a really good job..

the thing about harddrives that most people dont understand.. is that when you buy a 10gb harddrive.. there is probably 10 times that much space actually on there, its just in reserve sectors.. your harddrive gets bad sectors constantly, and those sectors are swept under the rug and replaced with some from the reserve.. Once you use up all your reserve sectors, then your drive is at risk of crashing.. Some manufacturers put more in reserve than others. And some have their bad sector handling much more advanced.. Alot of them also can determine when your running low on reserve sectors and will give a warning on bootup that you are at the risk of failure..

On the same note.. This is how people have developed software that allows you to get 2,3,4,5,10 times that size of your drives capability out of it.. Its just using up all your reserve for actual storage. While this increases your amount of data you can store, it also destroys all your protection (which you need more than you realize)..

I have run drive recovery software before that allowed me access to data from 6 or 7 years BEFORE i even owned the drive.. Most recently, I found stuff from 1999, that we supposably bought NEW just last year. of course, while you can see the structure and some of those files.. Many of the older crap is will inaccessible once you actual try to recover the specific file.
what do you use...? i haven't found anything i liked so far.
Old 08-04-05, 12:09 PM
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EasyRecovery Pro v6.03 works pretty good for me.. that was recommended here awhile back, and Ive had alot of success with it..

for files that were just recently deleted.. Restoration.exe Version 2.5.14 has done an OK job.. its nothing special, but gets the job done for stuff that hasnt been gone long
Old 08-04-05, 12:23 PM
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oof. that's expensive.
Old 08-04-05, 12:27 PM
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how much is it? I've never actually looked at the price before

uhhhh... i mean, i plead the fifth
Old 08-04-05, 12:58 PM
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hahaha.

looks like $1500 for single workstation.
Old 08-04-05, 04:24 PM
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holy crap
that is steep for such a small (30mb) file
Old 08-04-05, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by twikoff
your harddrive gets bad sectors constantly, and those sectors are swept under the rug and replaced with some from the reserve..

Where is this information kept? The SpinRite program runs in DOS mode. When it marks three sectors on my hard disk as bad, how can I be sure that WinXP won't try to continue writing data there later? Does a reformat remove the bad sector information?
Old 08-04-05, 09:46 PM
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everything should be automatic
you cant really control that
Old 08-04-05, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by yashan
Where is this information kept? The SpinRite program runs in DOS mode. When it marks three sectors on my hard disk as bad, how can I be sure that WinXP won't try to continue writing data there later? Does a reformat remove the bad sector information?
No matter whether it's in DOS or Windows, when a sector is marked as bad it shouldn't be used again by any OS.

I would hope and expect the sector is marked bad at the hardware level (as a low-level format does) so a reformat wouldn't try to use it again.
Old 08-04-05, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
Every, and I mean every friggin' drive I've ever had has either failed, or was on it's way to failling with bad sectors as factor in the failure. In fact, the computer I'm posting this message on right now claims my drive needs replacing and I only bought it(the system) 2 years ago. I didn't think it was always me killing these drives.
Maybe your computer has poor cooling especially if it's used for heavy gaming or reading really large files like for video editing. I've also heard that letting drives fill up too much (like more than 60%) can wear it down. Otherwise, you're just unlucky.
Old 08-04-05, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Ranger
Maybe your computer has poor cooling especially if it's used for heavy gaming or reading really large files like for video editing. I've also heard that letting drives fill up too much (like more than 60%) can wear it down. Otherwise, you're just unlucky.

Man, that's what I'm doing on my drive. My summer project has been digitizing old home movies and then burning them on DVD. Besides the huge video files, I'm also constantly defragging the drive in order to keep the drive organized. I guess I wore it down...


20 hours and still running... I hope it'll be done by morning.
Old 08-04-05, 11:06 PM
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Originally Posted by yashan
Man, that's what I'm doing on my drive. My summer project has been digitizing old home movies and then burning them on DVD. Besides the huge video files, I'm also constantly defragging the drive in order to keep the drive organized. I guess I wore it down...
Probably. Defragging a bad drive only makes it worse.

What I try to do to keep my drives healthy is not to use more than 30% of its space and make sure the computer has good cooling - you could try checking this with a temp program. And for gaming and heavy video editing, it's a good idea to invest in more ram and a separate drive.
Old 08-05-05, 04:30 PM
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Sigh...

Originally Posted by yashan
20 hours and still running... I hope it'll be done by morning.
37 hours and still running... I hope it'll be done by Monday.

Old 08-08-05, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by yashan
37 hours and still running... I hope it'll be done by Monday.


Well, I cut it loose after 65 hours because I really needed to get to some files on another drive. The program will still running, albeit slowly over the troublesome parts. It marked more than a few sectors bad. You can resume exactly where the program last left off, so I'll guess I'll start churning away again in a couple days...
Old 08-08-05, 05:37 PM
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Well, of course it found bad sectors. You had the drive running continually for 65 hours. The whole thing's probably bad now.

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