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Last post Author Topic: Third Party Check Disk replacement?  (Read 14028 times)

Deozaan

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Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« on: October 14, 2008, 09:44:41 PM »
I've been experimenting with TrueCrypt, or at least attempting to, but it keeps telling me that my hard drive has a bad block. I've run check disk twice and it never finds any problems. TrueCrypt specifically mentions that check disk may not even see the bad block and I should try to find a third party solution.

Any tips or suggestions for such a solution?


f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2008, 10:00:15 PM »
Did you run chkdsk with the /R parameter?

I don't think there's any alternatives for NTFS, really.
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 10:10:29 PM »
Did you run chkdsk with the /R parameter?

I ran it from the Windows GUI. I clicked both check boxes (one of which was to repair bad sectors). It made me reboot my computer and ran a series of tests before booting back into Windows.

Is that the same thing as running it from the command line with the /r parameter?


f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 11:09:03 PM »
I should think so - especially if it took a loooong time to complete. Perhaps try /B?
Quote
NTFS only: Re-evaluates bad clusters on the volume (implies /R)
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 11:30:54 PM »
It says

Quote
Invalid parameter - /B


f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 11:36:13 PM »
Perhaps you need the full /F /R /B, or perhaps /B is a Vista-only feature? I'm on the laptop right now.
- carpe noctem

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2008, 11:41:15 PM »
Must be Vista only. I get the same result when typing "chkdsk /F /R /B"


PhilB66

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 02:32:04 AM »
See if CHKDSK Assist AutoHotkey Script could locate and fix the errors.

2008-10-15_153010.jpg

f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2008, 06:44:38 AM »
Philb666: I fail to see how that tool can do anything that the regular commandline can't? The "Locate and recover bad sectors" should be the same as the /R switch, or clicking the "scan for and repair bad sectors" checkbox in the driver properties checkdisk thingy.
- carpe noctem

thorazine74

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2008, 08:05:23 AM »
Just an idea, maybe the bad block TrueCrypt is complaining about is in the boot sector or the mbr because of some boot manager installation?
I'm not sure if chkdsk tests that area, it checks only partitions I think...
I believe all windows disk checkers have to rely on chkdsk to do the job on ntfs.
The only third party solution I can think of would be using some Linux distro with ntfs-3g support and check the volume from there but I'm not sure if thats safe (well for read-only checks it should do, but I would not do any corrections from linux just in case...)

Carol Haynes

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2008, 08:11:48 AM »
You could try the disc manufacturer's website ... some manufacturers have boot time utilities that can do a full surface scan (not just  the partitions).

cmpm

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2008, 08:48:49 AM »
The bad block could be in your unallocated space which TrueCrypt is or may be reading as well.

Is there a way to tell if it is reading this?
Is there an option to have TrueCrypt not read the entire drive, leaving out the standard unallocated space which is designed in part to house bad sectors.

Or if you make the unallocated space it's own partition and/or format it. TrueCrypt may ignore it. If that is where the problem is, these solutions may work.

city_zen

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2008, 09:28:58 AM »
Any tips or suggestions for such a solution?

Two programs worth mentioning are HDD regenerator and Spinrite

I have NOT tried either of them so I can't really comment on their performance. Both programs seem to have their share of supporters and detractors (f0dder being one of them  :D ), so you may want to investigate a bit further before trying either.

What I definitely DO advise you to do is to take a look at the S.M.A.R.T. info from that drive (Speedfan is a great program for that), particularly at the "Reallocated Sector Count" value


Update: the free HD Tune also has an Error Scan section


I'll have what she's having
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 09:37:13 AM by city_zen »

40hz

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2008, 10:03:36 AM »
You could try DiskFixer. It's part of the Avanquest Fix-it Utilities package. There is a trial version available for download at:

http://www.avanquest..._8_Professional.html

Might be worth a try.

Couple of other things:

1. Most times TrueCrypt gave me stones, it was because of some other app (usually an antivirus utility) was interfering. Try to boot Windows with a minimal set of startup apps and see if the problem goes away.

2. If you've been experimenting a lot, TrucCrypt sometimes seems to get confused. It might be looking (on startup) for a container that's either been corrupted or deleted. Try uninstalling TrueCrypt and get rid of any containers you may have created before reinstalling. I'd suggest using Revo Uninstaller. Run it under the 'Moderate" setting to be sure you also get any legacy configuration files that remain after the app itself gets uninstalled.

I had that happen to me when I first started using TrueCrypt. Somewhere along the line, while I was willy-nilly creating and deleting containers, and generally seeing what it could do, something glitched big time. Somehow, two of the containers wound up cross referencing each other and TrueCrypt locked up. Then I made the mistake of just deleting one of the containers, and the real fun began. What finally fixed it was a complete removal and clean reinstall of TrueCrypt. Fortunately this happened while I was playing with TrueCrypt. I would have been very annoyed if I had lost actual data.

luck :Thmbsup:

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2008, 12:52:39 PM »
Thanks for everyone's suggestions since my last post in this thread. I haven't had time to try out the suggestions yet, but thought I'd clarify some information while I have a minute:

TrueCrypt gives me this error along with the following information:

Screenshot - 10_15_2008 , 10_12_23 AM.pngThird Party Check Disk replacement?

Screenshot - 10_15_2008 , 10_12_29 AM.pngThird Party Check Disk replacement?

It can't be just TrueCrypt because in preparation for this I was trying to split my single partitioned 120GB hard drive into two partitions using Acronis Disk Director Suite but it told me it couldn't make a partition because of a bad block.

I've run the really long pre-boot chkdsk /r at least 3 times now and every time it says nothing is wrong.

I'll try out some of the free suggestions. SpinRite for example is $90, and I'm not sure it would solve my problem--Not worth it just to try out TrueCrypt.

« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 01:15:54 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2008, 01:14:22 PM »
What I definitely DO advise you to do is to take a look at the S.M.A.R.T. info from that drive (Speedfan is a great program for that), particularly at the "Reallocated Sector Count" value

SpeedFan has this to say about my S.M.A.R.T. Data

Quote
NOTE : your hard disk has 1 pending sectors. Those are sectors that couldn't be properly read and that the hard disk logic is waiting for a write operation to try to remap to a spare sector (if available). According to the Reallocated Sector Count attribute, your hard disk seems to have available spare sectors. A simple disk surface scan won't be enough to force the remap operation. You need a read/write surface scan to remap the sector. The best option should be a tool that knows about what should be read from that sector so that it has some option to apply the best fix to the missing data.

NOTE : your hard disk has 1 offline uncorrectable sectors. Those are sectors that an offline scanning found as unreadable. Offline scanning is a process that can be automatically started by the hard disk logic when a long enough idle period is detected or that can be forced by some tool. Those unreadable sectors are identified and the hard disk logic is waiting for a write command that will overwrite them to try to remap them to spare sectors (if available). According to the Reallocated Sector Count attribute, your hard disk seems to have available spare sectors. A simple disk surface scan won't be enough to force the remap operation. You need a read/write surface scan to remap the sector. The best option should be a tool that knows about what should be read from that sector so that it has some option to apply the best fix to the missing data.


Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2008, 02:13:40 PM »
Update: the free HD Tune also has an Error Scan section

Here are my results from HD Tune:

Screenshot - 10_15_2008 , 1_10_09 PM.pngThird Party Check Disk replacement?

Screenshot - 10_15_2008 , 1_11_13 PM.pngThird Party Check Disk replacement?


Carol Haynes

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2008, 04:46:00 PM »
Looks like you have a bad block that doesn't want to get fixed or mapped out for some reason ;)

At least you know!

How to handle the situation?

Two approaches - replace the drive or do a full backup of what you can and then use the manufacturers drive prep tools to low level format it before you set up the partitions again.

I would say the latter approach looks appropriate given your overall SMART stats.

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2008, 05:54:18 PM »
You could try DiskFixer. It's part of the Avanquest Fix-it Utilities package. There is a trial version available for download

DiskFixer found no problems with the drive.

Two approaches - replace the drive or do a full backup of what you can and then use the manufacturers drive prep tools to low level format it before you set up the partitions again.

I would say the latter approach looks appropriate given your overall SMART stats.

The drive is a Seagate Barracuda ST3120022A. I'm currently downloading SeaTools and DiscWizard (Which is an Acronis tool) to try this out.

I already made a full backup of the drive using Acronis TrueImage before doing anything with TrueCrypt. But wouldn't restoring the image restore the bad sector again?

« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 06:03:32 PM by Deozaan »

Deozaan

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2008, 06:09:11 PM »
DiscWizard was useless because it wouldn't let me install, saying a newer version was already installed (Acronis TrueImage).

SeaTools appears to be useless, as it tells me the drive fails the self tests but doesn't offer any method of repairing it.

Any other suggestions aside from replacing the drive?


f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2008, 06:20:22 PM »
1) friends don't let friends use SpinRite. Just thought I'd have to add it since it was mentioned.

2) this is the first time I've seen S.M.A.R.T report useful data (apart from reallocated sector count) - usually when a drive has failed on me, it has been a head crash with no SMART warnings (but at least I've known because of the noises the drive tends to start making weeks/months/years before the actual head crash :)).

3) the drive *is* damaged. If you can get it replaced under warranty, do so. If you want to get the bad block reallocated, it needs to be written to. A full format of the disk should handle this - even restoring a full disk image should reallocate the sector. But this doesn't fix the problem, you'll likely see more bad sectors later on, and remapped sectors afaik slow things down (because, again afaik, the drive has to seek to it's spare sector pool when serving a request for a reallocated sector - and we all know seeking slows things down).

Ironically, SpinRite would """fix""" this because it's reads and rewrites sectors - but it's no better than formatting the drive, it results in the same old sector remapping... and puts a lot more stress on the drive than a simple format does.
- carpe noctem

4wd

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #21 on: October 15, 2008, 07:01:17 PM »
1) friends don't let friends use SpinRite. Just thought I'd have to add it since it was mentioned.

I'll second this.  From the play around I've had with SpinRite it's a seriously large waste of time IMHO, (and money).

Quote
3) the drive *is* damaged. If you can get it replaced under warranty, do so. If you want to get the bad block reallocated, it needs to be written to. A full format of the disk should handle this - even restoring a full disk image should reallocate the sector. But this doesn't fix the problem, you'll likely see more bad sectors later on, and remapped sectors afaik slow things down (because, again afaik, the drive has to seek to it's spare sector pool when serving a request for a reallocated sector - and we all know seeking slows things down).

This would be the first option to try.

But if you want to get down and dirty then you could try the free Russian tool Victoria, which can do all kinds of wonderful things, (including trashing any data on the drive if you don't know what you're doing - Consider yourself warned).  eg. Remap sectors, read S.M.A.R.T., temperature reading, defect scanning, AAM adjustment, etc, etc.

Here is the translated documentation.

And a link to the page with the download, (download doesn't work through Google Translate - just click on the filename up the top Victoria 4.46b currently), for the (English) Windows version.

There's also a DOS version, which is in Russian, and a self-booting version which I saw on there but can't seem to find again  :huh:  Found it, Russian only, second last link on this page.

No matter, you can always use the Windows version from a BartPE.

EDIT: Oh yeah, it does more than HDDs:

Quote
...for testing HDD, FDD, CD / DVD, USB / Flash / SCSI drives under Windows through the API and ports...
« Last Edit: October 15, 2008, 07:15:29 PM by 4wd »

f0dder

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #22 on: October 15, 2008, 07:08:55 PM »
1) friends don't let friends use SpinRite. Just thought I'd have to add it since it was mentioned.

I'll second this.  From the play around I've had with SpinRite it's a seriously large waste of time IMHO, (and money).
Waste of time and money is the least of my concerns.

If somebody starts using SpinRite on a drive with bad sectors and an upcoming head-crash... well... :rip:
- carpe noctem

PhilB66

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2008, 02:51:32 AM »
Philb666: I fail to see how that tool can do anything that the regular commandline can't?

You are correct, f0dder.

y0himba

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Re: Third Party Check Disk replacement?
« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2008, 06:18:38 AM »
open a command prompt, type "chkdsk /f /v /r" and hit enter, then type 'y' to allow it to run at next restart.  Then go through the proper shutdown and power the computer off.  Unplug it for 60 seconds.  plug in and start up, depending on the size of the drive the tests may take a while.

Try it and see if it works.
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