Remove HD bad sectors?

By on July 11, 2013 6:21:52 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

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What is the simplest way to remove or recover bad sectors from my Seagate Hard disk?

I will prefer those tips that will work 100% because there are thousand of tips and tricks which are fake or have no better results...

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July 11, 2013 6:39:41 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

There are various causes for "bad sectors" on a hard drive. To find the reason, I'd suggest the following in the order I set them down. Using online scanners should be your first step in identifying and fixing the problem. There are several and they're free. I recommend using 4 or 5 of them as one might pick up something others miss.

Malware: Use a few online scanners to see if you have an infection. If you do, the solution is to clear it. Then do a chkdsk /f /r (right click on the cmd.exe and choose 'Run as Administrator') .

If that doesn't find the problem or if you're clean, and there are no mechanical/hardware problems your problem should be solved.

Improper shutdown of Windows. Best repair? chkdsk /f /r from the cmd prompt (run as Administrator).

Defects of the hard disk, including general surface wear, pollution of the air inside the unit, or the head touching the surface of the disk and other poor quality or aging hardware, including a bad processor fan, dodgy data cables, an overheated hard drive. In this case, the only real repair is identifying and fixing/replacing defective equipment.

If the problem was malware, then after the repair, you might have to restore various services/settings on your computer as cleaning the malware alone won't do that. There are various utilities which can do this. Search ghacks.net for reviews of some.

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July 11, 2013 7:24:45 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

For Seagate drives, use Seagate Seatools.  http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/seatools/

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July 11, 2013 7:57:55 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

BACKUP YOUR DATA FIRST!

 

All hard disk drives have defective sectors out of factory.... but normally those are invisible to the end user.

The drive electronic remappes such sectors internally and neither the operating system nor the end user does notice this in any way. 

Data is remapped to a special area of the disk. Only when that area is full.... the operating system does report a bad sector.

This area is comparable small..... but normally still large enough to survive years of operating without ever triggering a bad sector event to the OS. Many hard disk die without ever triggering such an error to the OS.

 

So when you have a bad sector report, it most likely means that the Hard Disk Drive has experienced significant wear and a failure may be imminent.

 

 

Dont run any more repair tools until you have done a backup of any important data on the drive.

 

A hard drive with bad sectors may continue to run for years..... but may just as well die within the hour.

 

When your data is secured, you can try chkdsk /b on the drive in question.... it does attempt to repair bad sectors..... if possible of course.

 

Any software related issues should be solved by running that.

 

Otherwise hardware failure is the most likely outcome, sooner or later.

 

 

Hope that helps.

 

 

 

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July 11, 2013 8:33:05 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting ARESIV,
So when you have a bad sector report, it most likely means that the Hard Disk Drive has experienced significant wear and a failure may be imminent.

Step one.

Transfer all important/relevant data to another drive.

Step Two.

Remove problem drive and save as first of pair of matching bookends.

If a drive is getting bad sectors it is God's way of telling you death is imminent.

If you'd prefer to play with a drive...excluding sectors, etc....feel free....but purely for your own entertainment.  Do NOT expect/rely on anything to remain recoverable later.

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July 11, 2013 9:21:23 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Backing up data/programs is always a good idea.

Before doing that though, I would definitely advise doing the anti malware screening.

After all, you would want a "clean" backup.

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July 11, 2013 10:32:53 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting Jafo,

Quoting ARESIV, reply 3So when you have a bad sector report, it most likely means that the Hard Disk Drive has experienced significant wear and a failure may be imminent.

Step one.

Transfer all important/relevant data to another drive.

Step Two.

Remove problem drive and save as first of pair of matching bookends.

If a drive is getting bad sectors it is God's way of telling you death is imminent.

If you'd prefer to play with a drive...excluding sectors, etc....feel free....but purely for your own entertainment.  Do NOT expect/rely on anything to remain recoverable later.

Having just lost a 1 TB Seagate drive that was 3/4 full, I'll have to go with Jafo on this.

Firstly, I bought it as a refurb.....mistake....then, about a year later, it starting having bad sectors.  I ran Seagate's Seatools to block off the bad sectors, this worked for a bit, but I eventually lost the drive and everything on it.

 

I was able to freeze the drive in my freezer and then was able to save a small fraction of what was on it.

 

Needless to say, I'm the dummy who didn't have a backup for the data.

It was a storage drive, but the data is now lost.

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July 11, 2013 11:39:20 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums
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July 11, 2013 1:07:02 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

A last ditch effort if you're having sector issues is an old program called Spinrite.  It will test each sector of your Hard Drive for bad blocks and move whatever data it finds in a bad sector to a good sector.  This is NOT a data recovery app, but it may retrieve enough data from bad sectors to bring some files back to life.  It also takes forever to finish (days)

As Jafo said, if you're starting to get numerous bad blocks, plan on replacing that drive ASAP.

https://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

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July 11, 2013 1:14:00 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BernieTime,
As Jafo said, if you're starting to get numerous bad blocks, plan on replacing that drive ASAP.

Wish I had done that. My local PC repair shop guy said that there are some security companies that could save my data, but it would be very costly. They could do nothing for me.

 

Easeus Data Recovery couldn't save anything. The PC couldn't even see the drive. I would get the dreaded "You Must Format This Drive Before You Can Use It" message, and when I tried, up came the "Windows Cannot Format The Drive) message...lol.

 

Good side is that this prompted me to get a new drive and I found a Toshiba 2 TB external for $79.00.

 

 

Backup, backup, backup......

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July 11, 2013 1:25:22 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BernieTime,
A last ditch effort if you're having sector issues is an old program called Spinrite. 

Before accepting that the disk has a physical problem, one should definitely test/clean malware.

I'd recommend chkdsk /f /r  which will find problems and fix them (if possible).

If the disk is bad, make sure it's virus free and back up what you can.

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July 11, 2013 1:38:50 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

I have a local partner that has the equipment to do physical drive recovery (disassemble the drive, pull data directly from the platters), and it's not cheap.  Usually starting around $400 and goes up depending on the type of work needed for recovery.  Not bad considering the national services start around $2000 and go up from there..

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July 11, 2013 1:59:42 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
Before doing that though, I would definitely advise doing the anti malware screening.

 

 

I highly recommend against that!

 

Doing a malware scan puts significant stress on a hard disk drive. It could be the last thing that HDD ever does.

 

Backup your data first..... you can run endless malware scans on the BACKUP later without playing russian roulette with your data.

 

 

If you are feeling lucky.... you might consider doing a NORMAL checkdisk only..... (chkdsk / f )

 

That will only check the file system integrity and as such will have lower (but still significant) stress values for the disk.

 

chkdsk /r should only be considered after you secured your data.

 

And make sure to move it to an different hard disk drive... not just a different partition!

 

 

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July 11, 2013 2:52:16 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

http://www.dposoft.net/hdd.html

It really worked for me.

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July 11, 2013 9:06:43 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting BernieTime,
I have a local partner that has the equipment to do physical drive recovery (disassemble the drive, pull data directly from the platters), and it's not cheap. Usually starting around $400 and goes up depending on the type of work needed for recovery. Not bad considering the national services start around $2000 and go up from there..

I researched the potential for mechanically salvaging a drive for a friend....had centuries of family tree on it...and was now 'invisible' to the OS.

The likeliest option was to swap out the IC ... and hope whatever firmware was on the replacement accessed the platter in the same sequence.  [Russian roulette would be safer].  It appears no two ICs are the same....even when the drive models are identical.

Re checking for malware or disk integrity....do that AFTER you have copied whatever data you can.

It doesn't matter if the second drive becomes dirty [virii] as the important point is that the drive is mechanically sound.

You can clean it later....

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July 11, 2013 9:28:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting RedneckDude,
I was able to freeze the drive
  If you try this this at home, just put the drive in there, not your entire rig and yourself. They tossed Jim out of the ice cream section at Walmart, but not before he got frostbite on his floppy.

Oh, and good luck.

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July 12, 2013 7:37:52 AM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I recommend reading this article: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/hard-drive-failure-recovery

It not "The Bible" but does say,

"If you can access parts of your hard disk, you can probably run CHKDSK to scan and recover corrupt partitions. Read about using CHKDSK in Windows operating system.

There are some free and paid tools too. The free ones are good if your hard disk drive is not damaged much. If it is heavily crushed, you might have to call a professional who’ll analyze each plate of your hard disk using their own methods. But that is recommended only after you tried on your own – using software and not manually – to recover data from the damaged disk. For more details, read our article on freeware to recover data from damaged hard disks." - TWC

This is a good article about using the command line chkdsk here: http://www.thewindowsclub.com/command-line-check-disk-windows-7

However, if you've had the problem for some time (not hearing sounds) then you could probably get away with doing a chkdsk. If you are hearing sounds (like clicking) then that says there is a mechanical problem with your hard disk. In this case, backup ASAP, and do the malware scanning subsequently.

 

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July 12, 2013 5:55:28 PM from Stardock Forums Stardock Forums

Quoting Jafo,
It appears no two ICs are the same....even when the drive models are identical.

Pulling that off generally requires not just the same model, but the same production batch. There can be variations from batch to batch that don't merit a change in model number. Better to just use RAID redundancy from the start...

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July 12, 2013 6:01:49 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

but as good to BACKUP all the data you want to keep and do NOT assume that the problem is caused by VIRII/malware, it is more likely to be hardware failure.

harpo

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July 12, 2013 8:46:11 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting kryo,
Pulling that off generally requires not just the same model, but the same production batch.

Yes, kryo ...that was the concensus....you had to be lucky to strike 2 ICs that would access the disk exactly the same and therefore retrieve the data.

The ONLY true cure is prevention.  Always have a backup process in place...and preferably a redundancy one too....ie. a backup of the backup ....total physical drive requirement = 3. ....

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July 12, 2013 10:54:26 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Right on Jafo.  I sometimes have a bit of trouble explaining to my clients that just because we now have your hard drive in a mirrored Raid, that it only helps protect you against hardware failure.  It's not a solution to Fire, Theft, or Data Corruption.  If you're working with any application that uses a Database, you still need to back up files because once a database is corrupted it may be impossible to recover/restore without access to a backup.

People also don't seem to know that CD's/DVD's have a shelf life.  Last manufacturer data I looked at (per my recollection) was on average 8-10 years before degradation.

There are some free Cloud Backup solutions
http://lifehacker.com/five-best-cloud-storage-providers-614393607

I have my clients using Crashplan+
http://www.crashplan.com/consumer/crashplan-plus.html

So there's really little excuse for not having a backup of critical files.

 

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August 1, 2013 12:11:40 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,

There are various causes for "bad sectors" on a hard drive.

This is actually an incorrect statement. There are various reasons for file system errors, but the term "bad sector" is reserved for a portion of the disk that has permanently lost its capability to store and retrieve data, see the following definition:

bad sector is a sector on a computer's disk or flash memory that cannot be used due to permanent damage (or an OS inability to successfully access it), such as physical damage to the disk surface (or sometimes sectors being stuck in a magnetic or digital state that cannot be reversed) or failed flash memory transistors.

Therefore, while you may be able to repair file system errors via various in-build mechanisms (mirror RAID, journals, checksums, fsck, checkdisk, etc.), it is by definition impossible to "remove" bad sectors.

If you care about your data, make regular backups. There is no way around it. There are various techniques used to improve the robustness of your data storage, either buy local or remote mirroring, etc., but even the most robust storage system may fail as a whole and then it's time to reach for your backups.

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August 1, 2013 1:07:42 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Causes of "Bad sectors":

1. Jarring.

2. Heat, moisture.

3. Head crashes.

4. Aging.

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August 1, 2013 7:04:39 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting DrJBHL,
There are various causes for "bad sectors" on a hard drive.

Quoting Kamamura_CZ,
A bad sector is a sector on a computer's disk or flash memory that cannot be used due to permanent damage (or an OS inability to successfully access it), such as physical damage to the disk surface (or sometimes sectors being stuck in a magnetic or digital state that cannot be reversed) or failed flash memory transistors.

Quoting Kamamura_CZ,
This is actually an incorrect statement.

You demonstrated infact that DrJBHL is correct and your 'actually' statement was not .... Spell checker

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