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Author Topic: Checking Bad sector in HDD and ExtHDD  (Read 6782 times)
hulkbuster
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« on: June 18, 2012, 11:52:06 AM »

Hello folks, i was trying to recover some deleted Wallpapers in my ExtHDD i was using Active Undelete for this, but Recuva too performs equally good at this, Undelete showes few bad sectors, so now i am realising that i do not have a Sector checking software for this, the one that can detect it and mark as red colour which later on the OS would detect it and avoid writing on that particular bad sector.

Hope my problem is understandable.....smiley

PS:Can someone suggests me some free as well as paid software for doing this job.
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Shades
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« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2012, 07:23:47 PM »

Microsoft's own CheckDisk should help you out with that. It is already included in every Windows version since Win 2000 (if not earlier).

If that one doesn't do it, there is an alternative called 'MHDD'. This is a tool for advanced users, so be warned! With that tool you have a lot of control, including marking bad sectors (so they will not be used anymore). However, to accomplish this it first has to "nuke" all the existing data in a way you will never get it back. MHDD I would recommend as last resort only.
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hulkbuster
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« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2012, 10:46:09 AM »

Microsoft's own CheckDisk should help you out with that. It is already included in every Windows version since Win 2000 (if not earlier).

If that one doesn't do it, there is an alternative called 'MHDD'. This is a tool for advanced users, so be warned! With that tool you have a lot of control, including marking bad sectors (so they will not be used anymore). However, to accomplish this it first has to "nuke" all the existing data in a way you will never get it back. MHDD I would recommend as last resort only.

Hello Shade  :)thanks for replying this query: you see i used once to perform a low level format on one of my HDD quite a long time ago.
You also mentioned first i h' to nuke the HDD first before markig bad sector so that they can't be used anymore.




I wanted a tool that would mark the bad sector so they can't be used, i ran Active Disk Monitor, it did show 54kb of bad sector as red(indicating a bad block) in my EXT HDD: but i dont know wheter it is marked it or not.
So anyother tool that can achieve this, you see i am storing a lot of data in my 320GB EXT HDD and i want to add more : is their anyother tool ,i would be happy if their was one that did the job.  Sad

Thank you:


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4wd
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2012, 10:08:42 PM »

Normally the controller on the drive will perform any remapping of hardware bad blocks, (eg. platter defects), to its spare area and add them to its Grown Defects List, (G-list), without any user intervention.

You can also have software bad blocks where the ECC data is no longer valid for the sectors affected, (probably a greatly simplified explanation but good enough for me).  You can attempt to 'repair' these by running a Low Level Format, (which isn't really), or by running MHDD in ERASE mode.

However, as Shades has said, they are destructive procedures so don't do them until you have a backup or don't require the data.

Apart from specific test hardware/software I don't know of anything that will let you insert sectors into the G or P list.

You could also try reading the S.M.A.R.T. data and see if there has been any sector remappings.

eg. Here's Hard Disk Sentinel on one of my drives:

« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 10:14:53 PM by 4wd » Logged

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tslim
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« Reply #4 on: June 20, 2012, 09:37:37 AM »

Hi,

Whether or not you can find a program to mark existing bad sectors, that does not matter. My very sincere advice is: Do not attempt to continue using a HDD once you find it start developing bad sector. Just grabs everything on it ASAP while you still can (So far, Norton Ghost is the best in claiming the most out of a bad HDD)

Regarding the wallpaper you try to recover, I would suggest you to find them back online (assuming you have found and download them online in the past), I think it will be easier and you stand a higher chance to success.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2012, 11:43:39 AM »

Whether or not you can find a program to mark existing bad sectors, that does not matter. My very sincere advice is: Do not attempt to continue using a HDD once you find it start developing bad sector. Just grabs everything on it ASAP while you still can (So far, Norton Ghost is the best in claiming the most out of a bad HDD)

+1 - Courting an undead/zombie drive is just too risky.
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4wd
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« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2012, 08:29:27 PM »

Whether or not you can find a program to mark existing bad sectors, that does not matter. My very sincere advice is: Do not attempt to continue using a HDD once you find it start developing bad sector.

While I'm not seeking an argument or trying to get overly pedantic, I think this comes down to what you are going to use the drive for and whether or not you're prepared to wear the consequences.

I have a 1TB drive that developed, as it happened, software bad blocks - I LLF'd it and it's been happily running with constant use every day without any further errors for the last 2 years - well past even the 1 year warranty they provide.

Be that as it may, it carries no data that I'm not prepared to lose and none of it is backed up....but then I have a fatalistic approach to computers, "Shit happens, get over it."

Of course, if the drive in question is your only source of backups or that you deem your data is your life then what you and SJ have said x 2.

The fact that manufacturers provide spare blocks shows that they expect there to be sector failures over the life of the drive - it's whether or not the number of those is excessive, in what circumstances, (time frame), they occurred and the life of the drive that would be of more interest to me in determining whether or not the drive is still suitable for my purposes.

One sector fail does automatically consign the drive to the dustbin in my circumstances - hell, you only have to look at the screen grab above and this one* to see that smiley

All the OP wanted was a way to mark the sector as bad, to me that shows willingness to continue using the drive, beyond that...


* Yes, both those drives are still happily working.
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« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2012, 10:11:20 PM »

I had repeatedly excellent experiences with the DRevitalize. I successfully managed to recover several HDs that were already trashed, and they still serve well since then. This all without any data loss. After using those undelete programs it's probably too late, though. Anyway, you can try it, even the demo works well (you just have to wait a bit).
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hulkbuster
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« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2012, 04:14:19 AM »

I had repeatedly excellent experiences with the DRevitalize. I successfully managed to recover several HDs that were already trashed, and they still serve well since then. This all without any data loss. After using those undelete programs it's probably too late, though. Anyway, you can try it, even the demo works well (you just have to wait a bit).

Thank you all for your post,i took a long time to understand all the info, any way thank you yksyks: DRevitalize did it for , it found a single sector and went to repair it, check the snapshot, later i will try by Active Hard Disk Monitor to find that  bad sector is gone or not.



Just making sure that it not a fake output by DRevitalize: but all in all this little tool did what i wanted and it ran in Demo version.
It took almost 3frs just to scan a 320 GB EXT HDD, their were a lot of data their, i'll not lie it did fell to the ground and had few band here and their , may be that to contrbuted to bad sectors. Cause my PC 320 WD HDD doen't  have a single bad sector.

But thank you again for showing your interest and time to this post, thank you again " Donation Coder"   rocks.


 cheesy cheesy cheesy
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2012, 07:02:24 AM »

While I'm not seeking an argument or trying to get overly pedantic, I think this comes down to what you are going to use the drive for and whether or not you're prepared to wear the consequences.

Understood (as true), I'm just erroring on the side of caution. It's a (reflex/) side effect of primarily dealing with business systems where everything is hyper critical.

 cheesy
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yksyks
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« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2012, 12:20:18 PM »

DRevitalize works on a physical level, so now you don't have any bad physical sectors, but there still might be some logical sectors marked as bad. There are some utilities for it, somebody here will for sure know. Unfortunately DRevitalize should have been run first, I'm afraid that the previous attempts to recover the data destroyed them for good. At least you now have healthy drive... Also pay attention to the Slow sectors and try to refresh them (read the tutorial first), they might be symptoms of sectors that are going to fail soon or later. On the other hand, under Windows you never know if this is not caused by the system being busy during the test. For a serious work it's better to run the DRevitalize for DOS, or boot another system, like BartPE and run DRevitalize for Windows from there. This is the must for the system disk.
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tslim
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« Reply #11 on: June 25, 2012, 11:58:24 AM »


I have a 1TB drive that developed, as it happened, software bad blocks - I LLF'd it and it's been happily running with constant use every day without any further errors for the last 2 years - well past even the 1 year warranty they provide.

Software bad blocks is different from physical/hardware bad sector.
I have experienced sort of virus which maliciously marks bad clusters on HDD... it is relatively easier to be rectified than problem like file cross-linked in FAT32 or MFT corruption on NTFS HDD.

My advice is about REAL bad cluster(s) which can be easily and accurately discover using small and simple program like HDTune. Just one red block shows up, that is it, you can give up all hope on that HDD.

No offence, but I think it is very inappropriate to advocate the idea that HDD with bad sectors (or clusters) can still be healed ... by whatever program, you named it.

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4wd
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« Reply #12 on: June 25, 2012, 09:19:42 PM »

No offence, but I think it is very inappropriate to advocate the idea that HDD with bad sectors (or clusters) can still be healed ... by whatever program, you named it.

None taken, (and I hope I don't cause any), but my point was: until you know what you're dealing with, (software or hardware, temporary or permanent), then just saying the drive is terminal, (for me anyway), goes against all the years I spent as a technician.

But I also understand the point you and SJ make where you're dealing with business/critical systems, which is why I said it depends on the circumstances.

How much is your data worth?
How much time do you want to spend on it?
How much money do you want to spend?
Can you live with the potential failure or worry about it constantly?

It's a purely subjective decision.

The OP has now said the drive was dropped, (it's like getting blood from a stone with some people smiley ), if it was me, I wouldn't be using it any more - most likely the heads would have bounced which won't have done them any good.
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Stoic Joker
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2012, 06:53:00 AM »

The OP has now said the drive was dropped, (it's like getting blood from a stone with some people smiley ), if it was me, I wouldn't be using it any more - most likely the heads would have bounced which won't have done them any good.

...You gotta watch those pesky details.  wallbash

 cheesy
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2012, 07:08:15 AM »

No offence, but I think it is very inappropriate to advocate the idea that HDD with bad sectors (or clusters) can still be healed ... by whatever program, you named it.

It's quite easy to condemn a program you apparently never tried. Never mind, I'm not connected to its author, and—sorry to say—I'm still using it in the demo mode. Okay, don't use it, don't believe me. I just wanted to share my experience. I simply cannot afford to purchase a new HD at the very first symptom of its failing—and even the best ones do fail. All my critical data are well backed-up regularly, and I'm repairing failing disks when necessary. Also, it's not a bad practice to refresh the slow sectors from time to time, even on a healthy drive. This approach saves me from this sort of problems for years now. Hope that helps someone else as well.

Of course, a dropped drive is something different, and I'd trash it as well after recovering the data, if possible.
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4wd
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2012, 07:16:33 AM »

The OP has now said the drive was dropped, (it's like getting blood from a stone with some people smiley ), if it was me, I wouldn't be using it any more - most likely the heads would have bounced which won't have done them any good.

...You gotta watch those pesky details.  wallbash


You got that right, I slammed my fist down on my desk a few months ago - a month later a 1.5TB suffered head detachment.

Coincidence ?  I'd like to say so but.......  

embarassed
« Last Edit: June 27, 2012, 03:15:48 AM by 4wd; Reason: Stupid error.... » Logged

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tslim
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2012, 11:24:26 AM »


How much is your data worth?
How much time do you want to spend on it?
How much money do you want to spend?
Can you live with the potential failure or worry about it constantly?

It's a purely subjective decision.


Lets say you have a HDD that starts developing bad clusters and by the time you find out the problem there is N bad clusters:

1. The number N increases rapidly. It won't wait.
2. If a a newly develop bad cluster take place on a spot where one of your Window component files or a driver - you get Blue Screen. Yes there is a chance you can run in safe mode, mark that spot bad, replace the corrupted crucial file and continue using that HDD.
3. Even when a newly bad spot corrupts a non-crucial data file, say cache file, cookies etc. You will soon find more and more program to response slower and slower... simply because quite often, an attempt to read something on a bad spot will take minutes if not hours before the system decides it is bad.

In brief, no matter what, it is not worth the trouble.
As soon as REAL bad cluster is found, trashing the HDD is a matter of affirmative and securing as much as possible data on it is an urgency... remember this:
Restoring backup to a new HDD is always easier and take much shorter time than rebuilding it from scratch.

The longer one make his/her final decision the more data will be lost and the more he/she suffers. I really can't figure out why this matter can become purely subjective?

Make it this way, even if I enjoy torturing myself, I won't choose to secure a HDD with bad sectors. I rather go with SM sex... smiley
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4wd
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2012, 08:08:17 PM »

Lets say you have a HDD that starts developing bad clusters and by the time you find out the problem there is N bad clusters:

.....

The longer one make his/her final decision the more data will be lost and the more he/she suffers. I really can't figure out why this matter can become purely subjective?

I don't know if you realise it but you are arguing for my case smiley

Different circumstances = Different decision

As I've said all along.

An objective decision would be made if the drive stopped working completely, (eg. apply power and nothing happened)....but it hasn't so the choice is still up to the individual, (ie. subjective).

Quote
As soon as REAL bad cluster is found, trashing the HDD is a matter of affirmative and securing as much as possible data on it is an urgency... remember this:
Restoring backup to a new HDD is always easier and take much shorter time than rebuilding it from scratch.

The fact that manufacturers provide spare blocks shows that they expect there to be sector failures over the life of the drive - it's whether or not the number of those is excessive, in what circumstances, (time frame), they occurred and the life of the drive that would be of more interest to me in determining whether or not the drive is still suitable for my purposes.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2012, 09:25:00 PM by 4wd » Logged

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x16wda
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2012, 08:24:50 PM »

Just ran across this thread, nobody mentioned Steve Gibson's Spinrite?
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4wd
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« Reply #19 on: June 26, 2012, 08:44:17 PM »

Just ran across this thread, nobody mentioned Steve Gibson's Spinrite?

1) friends don't let friends use SpinRite. Just thought I'd have to add it since it was mentioned.

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

DRevitalize, Chkdsk, MHDD, etc could probably also fall into this category, since they both stress the drive to some extent you'd be well advised to recover as much data as possible before running any surface testing program over a marginal drive.
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barney
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« Reply #20 on: June 26, 2012, 10:12:47 PM »

Just ran across this thread, nobody mentioned Steve Gibson's Spinrite?
Hm-m-m ... haven't tried SpinRite for many a year.  But I'm doubtful that it'd do anything more than the tools mentioned.  It was developed for an older HD technology, when software could actually have an effect on the hardware.

However.

Recently, the HD in a Dell laptop started giving problems (different thread, hardly worth quoting here).  I tried several HDD assurance/measurement/analysis utilities, some free, some paid.  All gave different results save for one (1) thing:  each predicted the imminent death of that drive.

I pulled the drive, plugged it into a USB to IDE & SATA connector.  I reran each of those tools.  Every one (1) gave the drive a clean bill of health, predicting a longer life-span than I'm likely to have.

Do you see a problem here?  The analysis software reported differently according to the environment.  That same drive is sitting on my desktop unenclosed, has been churning merrily along ever since.  Nary a hiccough.  Haven't had glitch one (1) with it. 

(There's another drive, a 3.5", that I housed for desktop usage ~seven (7) years ago.  It failed in a tower case.  I removed it, housed it (USB1), re-housed it (USB2) a couple of years later, and it has been running ever since, well beyond the projected lifespan.  However it is beginning to get noisy - I think bearings are about to die, and that will be terminal  tongue.)

For my money, none of these analysis programs are worth more than a fortune cookie.  Change the environment, and they give totally different results.  I have no idea if the failing is in their reading of the S.M.A.R.T. data, or mayhap with the S.M.A.R.T. data itself, or even with the general concept/implementation.

Ditching hardware because of analytics is usually quite wasteful, often unwarranted, and very unsatisfying.  And it's very seldom educational in the process - frustrating, but not educational.

Point of all this is that, barring known physical damage, e.g. gravitational stress, .357 magnum, or the like  tongue, it borders on foolishness to discard a drive based upon any diagnostic:  reallocate, yes; discard, no.
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4wd
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2012, 03:27:39 AM »

Just ran across this thread, nobody mentioned Steve Gibson's Spinrite?
Hm-m-m ... haven't tried SpinRite for many a year.  But I'm doubtful that it'd do anything more than the tools mentioned.  It was developed for an older HD technology, when software could actually have an effect on the hardware.

I tried it once a while ago, (on an RLL based drive IIRC).  I was trying to see if it would sufficiently "rejuvenate" a drive to recover some files - I stopped it when the sector count reached a point that was four times the number of sectors on the drive.

After that I decided those types of programs weren't worth the trouble - zero fill & verify will be the most I do for a suspect drive now.
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4wd
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« Reply #22 on: August 30, 2012, 09:26:05 PM »

You got that right, I slammed my fist down on my desk a few months ago - a month later a 1.5TB suffered head detachment.

And this is why it's not a good idea to get extremely annoyed while the drives are spinning:



All three platters were the same on both sides.
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