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Windows 7: HELP, bad sectors found

24 Aug 2011   #21
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

I'd like for you to open disk management and take a look at how your hard drive is set up. A 15GB hidden partition sounds about right for the recovery. And it would be accessed by the Samsung Recovery Solution.

Disk Management Windows 7 - How To Access Disk Management in Windows 7

The BIOS is on the motherboard so shouldn't be affected by what's happening to the hard drive. I would get an external hard drive of suitable size. I would use a different free imaging tool called Macrium Reflect only because I have no knowledge of how the SRS works and if you can make a copy of individual partitions. (Macrium will let me make individual partition copies.) You'll probably see three partitions in disk management. 1. System Reserved, about 100MB. 2. Recovery, about 15GB. 3. The ( C: ) partition containing the operating system, and whatever else you might have saved there like other programs, photos, music, etc. You need to get those partitions off the failing hard drive. But as I said before, there's really no way to know where the bad sectors are located. All three of those partitions could have bad sectors and not be usable. That's why I'm kinda pushing for a set of recovery disks from Samsung.

If you're a gambler you could try to restore your machine to factory specs by using the SRS (here's a help guide for SRS 4 ... it should be very similar for 5.) Depending on how many bad sectors you have, it's possible that the restore will just ignore them and you'll be back in business minus maybe just a few bad sectors. But if you have too many bad sectors (and I have no idea how many is too many) you run the risk of turning your laptop into an expensive door stop.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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24 Aug 2011   #22
Zyrandiel

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

SRS works outside windows. when I make a backup copy of a drive it shuts down the system after I select the drive that needs to be backed up then it goes to its interface and just click next to start the backup. also, when you boot your unit you can find the button to restore your system with the SETUP button for BIOS just at the start of the system boot. SRS 4 was preinstalled in my unit.

The DOS LONG TEST discovered 9 errors on my HDD. I think its all in drive C since I scanned drive D and all was well.

So basically, you're saying that when the new HDD's are placed then what needs to be done is just install the OS on the drive? that's it? Im also planning to use windows 7 ultimate 32-bit. is it good?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Aug 2011   #23
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Ryan, my apologies for not getting back to you sooner. I've been at work and typing during my breaks.

If you're going to upgrade to Ultimate you might want to read these tutorials. You can do an upgrade install or a clean install. Most folks say there's fewer problems with a clean install because you're not transferring over any garbage from the original install. Doing an upgrade can be done in one of three ways: with an Anytime Upgrade, an upgrade using a full install DVD (AKA: clean install), or an upgrade using an upgrade DVD. As I understand it, you have to have an OS already on the drive in order to use the Anytime Upgrade. Putting a new drive in your laptop wouldn't "qualify" for this type of upgrade.

Windows Anytime Upgrade - How to

Clean Install Windows 7

Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version

If you remove the failing hard drive and install a brand new bare drive, you have to have a way to mount (access) that drive so it can be partitioned and formatted. Your existing backup(s) or system image(s) may or may not have been created after you got those bad sectors. I don't know for sure if that would have an adverse effect if you try to install a "damaged" backup/image to a new drive. If you still have your very original backup/image (the guaranteed good one with no bad sectors - assuming your laptop didn't ship with bad sectors to begin with) you have to have a way to get that image from the original/failing HD to the new one. If you just put the operating system on the new drive using one of the tutorial methods above, you should have a good install but none of your other programs, data, etc will be there.They'd have to be installed separately.

I hope I'm not confusing the issue. Again, my apologies for the delay in getting back to you. I'm starting my weekend in a few hours and won't be back online until Friday morning CST.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Aug 2011   #24
Zyrandiel

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

It's okay Lee. I think I won't be using the old backup image that I made from the old drive with bad sectors, I don't wanna risk it with the new drive that I'm getting. I'll just do a clean install. How about windows 7 Pro? I have no problems with windows 7 home premium whatsoever, I'm just wondering what's the advantage of having a higher level of windows 7 OS. By the way, I removed the erroneous program last night and did a "chkdsk/r" on an elevated command prompt. I attached the result with this post.

The result said that there was "12kb in bad sectors" and that "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems", what does that mean?
Does it mean that my system is alright? How badly do I need to change my HDD at the moment? Is a bad sector like a spreading disease that contaminates other good sectors?


Attached Files
File Type: txt Chkdsk result.txt (2.8 KB, 13 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Aug 2011   #25
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

That's good news that chkdsk found only 12KB. A sector is 512 bytes. Two sectors is 1KB. Your 12KB is only 24 bad sectors. A minuscule amount. Many "experts" say not to worry until 5-10% of a HD is bad. 5% of a 500GB drive is 25GB. Even if you take a super conservative approach and allow only 1%, that's still 5GB worth of bad sectors. That Windows says there are no problems means your HD should be within normal parameters. Bad sectors don't spread in the usual sense. Modern drives have extra tracks/sectors. But if you start to get frequent bad sector warnings or error messages, back up your data and get a new drive because you may have used up those extra sectors.

What Is a Bad Sector and How Can I Repair It?

The main difference between 7 Ultimate and 7 Pro is Ultimate lets you switch between 35 different languages and it has an encryption tool built in. If you don't need 35 languages and if you need encryption and are willing to use a free tool called TrueCrypt, I'd stick with 7 Pro. Pro has a feature that I find invaluable called Group Policy Editor which is not available in Home Premium, Basic or Starter. It let's you work with your computer configuration settings in case you need to troubleshoot things. To me it's invaluable.

Compare Windows - Microsoft Windows
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #26
Zyrandiel

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Thanks Lee. I think I'll go pro. By the way, I have 1 free slot for RAM. What's the criteria for increasing your RAM? I know it must be 64-bit so that it'll utilize the extra RAM. is it dependent on the motherboard too?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Aug 2011   #27
Bill2

Windows 7 x64 pro/ Windows 7 x86 Pro/ XP SP3 x86
 
 

Hello again. R580 supports max 8 gb RAM. Its best to have identical pairs of sticks, go to RAM Memory Upgrade: Dell, Mac, Apple, HP, Compaq. USB drives, SSD at Crucial.com and run their memory advisor. It'll tell you you everything you need to know. But unless you have cash to play with, assess your memory requirements first- 4 gigs suffices for most users.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2011   #28
Zyrandiel

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

Thanks for this site Bill2, it's very helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2011   #29
marsmimar

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

 
 

Hope everything is working out, Ryan.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Aug 2011   #30
Zyrandiel

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
 
 

I hope so too Lee. I'll hold on to my current HDD atm. I'll just monitor it monthly. When the time comes I'll go get a new HDD. Thanks a lot for the info's Lee and all you guys, I really appreciate it. Now I'm not that worried about the existing bad sectors in my drive. Also, I'm watching out for softwares that makes my unit hang up, will remove them right away If they're not that important.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 HELP, bad sectors found




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