Hard Drive Bad Sector?


C

ColTom2

Hi:

I have a friend who has a Dell desktop with SATA 250GB HD (7200RPM) that
will not boot up. It hangs when Windows XP screen and progress bar starts up
and just continues to flash across.

Could not restore computer back to last known good configuration or put in
Safe Mode. Ran hardware diagnostics and apparently has one bad sector in
hard drive. Tried to run CHKDSK /R, but never could find a way to
successfully run it and repair the bad sector.

Dell says the only alternative is to replace the hard drive, as they
could not figure how to repair without replacing the hard drive. My friend
has nothing backed up and Dell's recovery is from the old days, which has no
Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition. Their recovery requires Windows XP
installation with separate CD's for drivers, applications etc like years
ago.`Hard to believe they do not have at least a Recovery CD.

So my question is to anyone that might possibly know how to fix or
correct the bad hard drive sector to prevent this laborious process of
reformatting and reinstalling everything as described. Hopefully someone has
an answer.......

Thanks,

ColTom2
 
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M

Malke

ColTom2 said:
Hi:

I have a friend who has a Dell desktop with SATA 250GB HD (7200RPM) that
will not boot up. It hangs when Windows XP screen and progress bar starts up
and just continues to flash across.

Could not restore computer back to last known good configuration or put in
Safe Mode. Ran hardware diagnostics and apparently has one bad sector in
hard drive. Tried to run CHKDSK /R, but never could find a way to
successfully run it and repair the bad sector.

Dell says the only alternative is to replace the hard drive, as they
could not figure how to repair without replacing the hard drive. My friend
has nothing backed up and Dell's recovery is from the old days, which has no
Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition. Their recovery requires Windows XP
installation with separate CD's for drivers, applications etc like years
ago.`Hard to believe they do not have at least a Recovery CD.

So my question is to anyone that might possibly know how to fix or
correct the bad hard drive sector to prevent this laborious process of
reformatting and reinstalling everything as described. Hopefully someone has
an answer.......

Your friend might try SpinRite or HD Tune but if the drive is bad, the
drive is bad and there's no getting around it. This is why backups are
so important. If the drive is physically damaged (and that's what it
sounds like), the only way to retrieve the data is to send the drive to
a professional data recovery company like Drive Savers (my preference)
or Seagate Data Recovery. General prices run from $500USD on up. Drive
Savers recovered all the data on a failed laptop drive for one of my
clients and it cost $2,700. He thought it was worth the money; only your
friend knows what his data is worth. I understand that some insurance
companies are now covering data recovery charges so he could check with his.


Malke
 
J

Jupiter Jones [MVP]

Bad sectors?
Prepare now for the inevitable, catastrophic hard drive failure.
Back up all essential data and get a replacement drive.

"with separate CD's for drivers, applications etc like years ago"
You seem to not like what is really better.
You have more options than those with basic recovery media/partitions.

When done, consider getting an imaging program so the reinstallation
process is much quicker.
 
C

createwindow

Hi ColTom2,

If you can bring up that drive as a slave or additional volume on
another PC then you should easily be able to copy off the data to a
safe place. I have done this often. Also, on a machine I rescued
recently I was able to order a chkdsk /r for the slave drive and it
repaired the sector linkage. The bad sectors (in this case) were
locked out and the drive booted fine in the original PC.

I then imaged the drive for the client and restored that to a new
drive.

That was a sucess story tho - in your case, ymmv.

Good luck,

CreateWindow
http://mymessagetaker.com
The while-you-were-out message program you have been looking for!
 
C

ColTom2

Hi:

One important item that I forgot to mention was the hard drive diagnostics
indicated the sector to be "non correctable".
That said do you still think it would be possible to add his HD as a slave
on my computer and do as you indicated ordering a chkdsk /r and repair the
linkage.

Also I not nothing about hooking up a HD to my computer as a slave drive
and what all would it entail. I assume that I would need additioanl cables
etc. If you have any good info on how to do this I would very much
appreciate it.

The recovery of his data is a mute point, as he had nothing of real
importance.

Thanks,

ColTom2
 
C

createwindow

ColTom2, It's mostly harmless if you take care not to wreck your PC!

Locate a free non-raid SATA connector on your main board. Plug in the
suspect drive using the correct cable - note SATA-2 connectors are
different - if it does not plug in properly - dont push!

Power to the drive of course.

Now, boot your machine and make sure your OS comes up - (I assume its
XP).

In Control Panel / Administrative Tools / Computer Management - select
"Disk Management" and see if it shows the additional drive. If it
does, just right click the graphic and select "Change drive letter or
paths" - then Add a drive letter... like K or whatever is free...

Exit Computer Management and the K drive should show in windows
explorer. From a command prompt you can issue a chkdsk K: /r

Or copy off the important files like email (.pst files if using
outllok) are worth recovering - and any pictures / documents first.


CreateWindow
 
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H

HeyBub

ColTom2 said:
Hi:

One important item that I forgot to mention was the hard drive
diagnostics indicated the sector to be "non correctable".
That said do you still think it would be possible to add his HD as a
slave on my computer and do as you indicated ordering a chkdsk /r and
repair the linkage.

Also I not nothing about hooking up a HD to my computer as a slave
drive and what all would it entail. I assume that I would need
additioanl cables etc. If you have any good info on how to do this I
would very much appreciate it.

The recovery of his data is a mute point, as he had nothing of real
importance.

Easiest way is to purchase an external drive case with USB connections.

If you're lucky, the bad sector will be in the Master Boot Record and the
directory will be intact. The drive can then be read, you just can't boot
from it.

If the directory is hosed, there are software solutions that can recover
just about anything from the drive, absent a catastrophic mechanical
failure.
 
P

philo

ColTom2 said:
Hi:

I have a friend who has a Dell desktop with SATA 250GB HD (7200RPM) that
will not boot up. It hangs when Windows XP screen and progress bar starts up
and just continues to flash across.

Could not restore computer back to last known good configuration or put in
Safe Mode. Ran hardware diagnostics and apparently has one bad sector in
hard drive. Tried to run CHKDSK /R, but never could find a way to
successfully run it and repair the bad sector.

Dell says the only alternative is to replace the hard drive, as they
could not figure how to repair without replacing the hard drive. My friend
has nothing backed up and Dell's recovery is from the old days, which has no
Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition. Their recovery requires Windows XP
installation with separate CD's for drivers, applications etc like years
ago.`Hard to believe they do not have at least a Recovery CD.

So my question is to anyone that might possibly know how to fix or
correct the bad hard drive sector to prevent this laborious process of
reformatting and reinstalling everything as described. Hopefully someone has
an answer.......



There would be NO reliable way to repair the HD...
it simply must be replaced!

Once it's replaced and the OS reloaded...
you can slave the old drive to the system and retrieve your data.

Any data that's within a profile may require you to take ownership...
Just read windows help to see how to do that
 
D

Don Phillipson

One important item that I forgot to mention was the hard drive diagnostics
indicated the sector to be "non correctable".
That said do you still think it would be possible to add his HD as a slave
on my computer and do as you indicated ordering a chkdsk /r and repair the
linkage. . . .
The recovery of his data is a moot point, as he had nothing of real
importance.

You may have not caught the gist of the suggestion
which was that (even now, just as in MS-DOS 20 years
ago) we should when seeking to rescue a disk drive:
1. Copy elsewhere all the data: not necessary in your case.
2. Tinker/tamper not with the damaged source drive but with a
clone of it, whenever possible.
 
G

Gerry

HeyBub

"Easiest way is to purchase an external drive case with USB
connections."

Why is this necessary?


~~~~


Gerry
~~~~
FCA
Stourport, England
Enquire, plan and execute
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
C

ColTom2

Hi:

What you are saying in effect is by purchasing an external hard drive case
then this would make the internal hard drive an external hard drive with USB
connection?

I am not so much worried about the recovery of data per se, but the repair
possibly of the hard drive with the bad sector. If I did the above couldn't
I run chkdsk /r and repair the bad sector and thus hopefully restoring the
original system without hard drive replacement? Or is the hard drive beyond
blocking out or repairing this bad sector etc? Apparently this sector has
data stored in it and if you were able to repair or block that sector what
effect would it have on your current operating system. As you can tell I am
into an area that I know very little about.

Another item that I thought of as a possibility is to try and use Knoppix
to run chkdsk /r, but I do not know that much about Knoppix and how I would
go about doing this with their bootable CD.

Thanks again for any and all help....

ColTom2
 
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H

HeyBub

ColTom2 said:
Hi:

What you are saying in effect is by purchasing an external hard
drive case then this would make the internal hard drive an external
hard drive with USB connection?
Yes


I am not so much worried about the recovery of data per se, but the
repair possibly of the hard drive with the bad sector. If I did the
above couldn't I run chkdsk /r and repair the bad sector and thus
hopefully restoring the original system without hard drive
replacement? Or is the hard drive beyond blocking out or repairing
this bad sector etc? Apparently this sector has data stored in it and
if you were able to repair or block that sector what effect would it
have on your current operating system. As you can tell I am into an
area that I know very little about.

Ah, okay, you don't need the data. For a bit more than an external drive
holder you can get a new drive altogether. I see 250G drives for less than
$120.

Chkdsk may or may not be able to repair the error. If the error is a simple
bit-rot parity error caused by a random streaming neutrino in the Solar
Wind, Chkdsk might be able to fix it. If the oxide has flaked off the disk
platter leaving a spot of raw Aluminium, there's no hope.

No matter what happens, I wouldn't trust the drive for anything critical. In
our experience, IDE drives last about three years when on 24/7. I think
they're getting better, but they certainly don't last as long as, say,
doorknobs or garden gnomes.
Another item that I thought of as a possibility is to try and use
Knoppix to run chkdsk /r, but I do not know that much about Knoppix
and how I would go about doing this with their bootable CD.

Thanks again for any and all help....

Sticking the drive in another computer as a secondary (slave) drive is
easier than fiddling with Knoppix. You simply move the shorting-strap to the
'slave' position, connect two cables, and power up the computer. No, you
don't have to mount the drive - just let it dangle 'til you're through.
 
J

Jim

ColTom2 said:
Hi:

I have a friend who has a Dell desktop with SATA 250GB HD (7200RPM) that
will not boot up. It hangs when Windows XP screen and progress bar starts
up and just continues to flash across.

Could not restore computer back to last known good configuration or put
in Safe Mode. Ran hardware diagnostics and apparently has one bad sector
in hard drive. Tried to run CHKDSK /R, but never could find a way to
successfully run it and repair the bad sector.

Dell says the only alternative is to replace the hard drive, as they
could not figure how to repair without replacing the hard drive. My friend
has nothing backed up and Dell's recovery is from the old days, which has
no Recovery Disk or Recovery Partition. Their recovery requires Windows XP
installation with separate CD's for drivers, applications etc like years
ago.`Hard to believe they do not have at least a Recovery CD.

So my question is to anyone that might possibly know how to fix or
correct the bad hard drive sector to prevent this laborious process of
reformatting and reinstalling everything as described. Hopefully someone
has an answer.......

Thanks,

ColTom2

No, bad sectors cannot be repaired. In fact, if chkdsk is seeing any bad
sectors, the drive is near toast anyway.
Since it is impossible to make drives which are error free, it is customary
to create more sectors than are actually needed.
Then, during the test phase of the manufacturing process, a list of bad
sectors is created, and the drive electronics maps the bad sectors out of
sight.
As time goes by, more sectors go bad, and these are mapped out of sight
using the spare sectors.
Eventually, the drive runs out of spare sectors and then reports bad sectors
to XP. This is where you are now.
In fact, quite a few sectors have already been replaced.

I should mention that the drive electronics reports sectors as bad when the
signal is below the minimum. The sector is not completely unreadable, but
it cannot be read reliably.
For only lots of money, someone with more powerful drive electronics can
read the bad sectors. But drives are wearout devices.

Jim
 
C

ColTom2

Hi:

The HD is only about a year old with approx 500 hours max time on it and
this is one of the reasons that I find it sorta hard to believe it failed
like this. But, as we know anything electronic can fail at any time.

ColTom2
 
M

mherges

Hi:

The HD is only about a year old with approx 500 hours max time on it and
this is one of the reasons that I find it sorta hard to believe it failed
like this. But, as we know anything electronic can fail at any time.

ColTom2
Hey ColTom2,
Just wanted to let you know that the first reply to you had about
SpinRite 6 is important. If you go to www.grc.com you'll be able to
buy a copy. It's $89.00 US, and I know that might seem like a lot,
but it saved my butt once with the same problem. If your read the
hundreds of testimonials at grc you'll see why this is probably the
only tool that can save your data. It won't make your drive brand
new, but if it is a bad sector SpinRite will do a statistical analysis
of the sector and attempt to recover the data to a new sector, then
your HD will lock that sector so that it can't be used again.
SpinRite can run for a long time sometimes, if the drive is really
bad, but in most cases I've heard and seen, it fixes the problem so
that you can retrieve the data. Be sure that you back the data up
once you can boot, and maybe think about getting a new drive. Too,
SpinRite has a neat feature that if you run it once a month or so it
can detect a possible bad sectors before your drive crashes. ;) It
does this by formatting your drive with out deleting any data. It
does a sector by sector write, by flipping the bits from 1 or 0 to 0
or 1 and then back again. If it has trouble during this process with
any sector it will move the data and lock the sector. Good Luck and I
hope that his has helped.

mherges
 
D

DanS

The recovery of his data is a mute point, as he had nothing of real
importance.

Then why waste more money trying to get this HD working that should be
replaced anyway ?

Sh*t-can it and move on.
 
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F

FeMaster

Hey ColTom2,
Just wanted to let you know that the first reply to you had about
SpinRite 6 is important. If you go to www.grc.com you'll be able to
buy a copy. It's $89.00 US, and I know that might seem like a lot,
but it saved my butt once with the same problem. If your read the
hundreds of testimonials at grc you'll see why this is probably the
only tool that can save your data. It won't make your drive brand
new, but if it is a bad sector SpinRite will do a statistical analysis
of the sector and attempt to recover the data to a new sector, then
your HD will lock that sector so that it can't be used again.
SpinRite can run for a long time sometimes, if the drive is really
bad, but in most cases I've heard and seen, it fixes the problem so
that you can retrieve the data. Be sure that you back the data up
once you can boot, and maybe think about getting a new drive. Too,
SpinRite has a neat feature that if you run it once a month or so it
can detect a possible bad sectors before your drive crashes. ;) It
does this by formatting your drive with out deleting any data. It
does a sector by sector write, by flipping the bits from 1 or 0 to 0
or 1 and then back again. If it has trouble during this process with
any sector it will move the data and lock the sector. Good Luck and I
hope that his has helped.

I'll second this... I recommend SpinRite anytime there is an issue like
this. I've used this program on MANY MANY hard drives, and only 1 drive has
ever been "unfixable". I later disassembled the drive to save the magnets
out of it, and found that the surface of the platters were physically
damaged, thus the reason it was unfixable.

Good luck, and definitely consider SpinRite!
 

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