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Windows 7: One Little Bad Sector

09 Apr 2013   #11
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

My rule is: one bad sector is too many. That does not mean it has to be thrown out, but it is suspect. And not to be trusted with sensitive/important data. If any additional bad sectors start popping up then that is the end (at least for me).

That said, sometimes bad sectors happen for other reasons than a bad disk drive. What I will do is do a complete wipe of the drive (writing all zeros or all ones) using Diskpart or PW. This is very different than a format, as it actually writes data to every sector. If the bad sector goes away after a wipe then it is just an anomaly. But if it stays, and in the same place, then start digging the hole.


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09 Apr 2013   #12
gregrocker

 

I hadn't heard that zeroing the drive could recoup bad sectors, just formatting to quarantine them from having data written there. I didn't even Clean the drive since as I said in first post I wanted to preserved the bootable OEM Diagnostics partition. However this seems important enough that I'd like to test it by running Clean All on the drive now and reinstalling.
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09 Apr 2013   #13
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Can you image that OEM Partition?

Also: this procedure will not fix a truly bad sector. It will only recover it if it was an anomaly.
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09 Apr 2013   #14
King Arthur

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by TVeblen View Post
My rule is: one bad sector is too many. That does not mean it has to be thrown out, but it is suspect. And not to be trusted with sensitive/important data. If any additional bad sectors start popping up then that is the end (at least for me).
That is my philosophy as well, if an HDD starts having bad sectors then it's getting replaced and the data cloned out ASAP! I've so far had around 3~4 HDDs of mine develop bad sectors over the years, but I've never experienced data loss because I always replace/clone at the first sight of bad sectors.

I recently had one of my WD Caviar Black 1TB internal SATA HDDs develop bad sectors and a whole buttload of "pending" sectors (aka "weak" sectors) such that the SMART value for "Current Pending Sector Count" was an eye-popping 1 out of 200. Needless to say I had an "oshi--" moment and that was replaced and cloned the very next day which was the earliest I could procure a replacement HDD.

With ~5400 bad sectors and ~1400 pending sectors on your drive, I'd just grab a replacement HDD if the choice is available to you and clone the data off to deal with it once and for all.
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09 Apr 2013   #15
gregrocker

 

The combination of Clean All and full format via Diskpart should give me everything that can be done prior to reinstall, right? Doing that now. I'll then run the SMART tools again. Do you trust HDD Sentinel? Seems it always report bad sectors quarantined in trial version.

This is a reinstall I'm doing for a friend who doesn't have anything on it he cares about losing. It was given to him with Dell BIOS locked which took a good part of yesterday to get past, to find the HD also locked, then a Windows password.
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09 Apr 2013   #16
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Yikes! That sounds like a "fun" project!

I only trust the major HDD diagnostic Utilities. I have more faith in ChkDsk than a lot of anything else. And I have found that Seatools works pretty well with almost any brand of HDD.
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09 Apr 2013   #17
gregrocker

 

Check Disk came back clean twice.

Seatools Long Test said One Bad Sector.

Seatools Short Test then said not a Seagate HD.
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09 Apr 2013   #18
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
The combination of Clean All and full format via Diskpart should give me everything that can be done prior to reinstall, right? Doing that now. I'll then run the SMART tools again. Do you trust HDD Sentinel? Seems it always report bad sectors quarantined in trial version.

This is a reinstall I'm doing for a friend who doesn't have anything on it he cares about losing. It was given to him with Dell BIOS locked which took a good part of yesterday to get past, to find the HD also locked, then a Windows password.
I think he should take whoever gave it to him off his Christmas card list.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Apr 2013   #19
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by gregrocker View Post
just formatting to quarantine them from having data written there
Greg,

If the bad sector/s are contiguous, could you not created an unallocated space across these sectors, sitting between two partitions, preventing data being written to them?

In other words, create a partition eitherside of the bade sctors?

Regards,
Golden
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09 Apr 2013   #20
gregrocker

 

Just finished writing zeroes and full format.

Same readings as before. I'll warn the owner.
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