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Windows 7: One Little Bad Sector

31 Jul 2013   #21
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi,

This seems like a good thread to comment now.

I have this friend's PC. It's an old laptop. It has a single drive, a Hitachi DK23FA. It's IDE, 80GB.

I formatted the drive with NTFS, installed WinXP, and then created another partition. When aligning there was an error:



Then I did a surface scan with Partition Wizard and found ONE bad sector:





I tried finding Hitachi tools with a link provided but it seems there are not since it's old.

So right now I'm running DRevitalize (attached image). I will let it finish, but I believe there will be just that one bad sector.

Should I tell my friend to replace the drive?
It won't be used for any personal or valuable information, just the OS.
I used to believe that once there's one bad sector I should replace the drive. If it were MINE I'd replace it, since I store valuable info. But this is not the case.
It also made a strange noise randomly when writing data.


Any opinion?
Thanks in advance.




Attached Thumbnails
One Little Bad Sector-sam_0002.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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31 Jul 2013   #22
gregrocker

 

I use the maker's Hard Drive Diagnostic Procedure extended CD scan to determine with certainty the condition of the HD.

Then Disk Check will determine the condition of the file system residing on the HD.

The two tests should be considered determinative. However with the HD noise you report in your other thread I think that needs to be considered in spite of only one bad sector.

Glad you found this thread as I'd forgotten it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #23
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Hi,

Thank you for replying.
Didn't realize it was you!

Well, after running the tool I said, it looks like a happy ending.
I even finished installing Win7! That's right, not XP, 7. And it's working smoothly (as smooth as it can go with this old PC, which is quite good).

Now I can run the tool you suggested, inside of Windows.

One way or another, I might be buying a small IDE drive and give it as a present. This computer belongs to someone I owe many favors to, that's why I'm doing this.
So I think I'll just finish installing Win7 and run the HD tool. Tomorrow I'll clone the disk with DriveImage XML to the new one and that will be it.


Thanks a lot for your help.


Now I don't even know what happened to that bad sector, but I'm curious. So I'll be learning about that and storage in the next few days.


Attached Thumbnails
One Little Bad Sector-sam_0003.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Aug 2013   #24
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

I don't really know WHY a wipe works when it does. In my experience testing old hard drives it works to correct bad sectors about one out every 5 hard drives that have only one, two, or three bad sectors.
Some guesses would be:
  • a spec of dust or grit that moves (blows away) eventually
  • an electrical glitch during a write process
  • an electrical glitch during a disk check
Once a system marks a sector as bad it will stay that way until the file system is reset. So if the sectors gets marked bad due to some random anomaly it could be revived.


There is also the real possibility that the anomaly is in the testing software (Partition Wizard). It is possible that it misreads a bad sector the first time but not the second.

That's why it is always a good idea to check the drives with the manufacturer's drive diagnostic.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #25
jumanji

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

As the theory goes, the HDD controller is continuously monitoring for soft bad sectors and remaps any to one in the reserved category. ( The Windows check disk does the same but on user command). So in theory one should not see any bad sectors. If it is seen then what it means is that all reserved sectors are already exhausted and the ones seen have no place to go.

The HDD controller does not always do a good job and it may so happen that it may decide the reserved sectors are already exhausted a little prematurely even when a few are left. By contrast the manufacturer's diagnostic Utility is more precise. That would explain why in one of five cases it successfully remaps a few leftovers by the HDD Controller.

But as far as the user is concerned, even if one bad sector is seen, it is a red flag. It can only mean the beginning of the end of the hard drive. Soon more and more bad sectors will crop up with no place to go. In rare cases where all of a sudden massive bad sectors are created, the controller may write-protect the HDD. (This is seen more often in flash drives because of the limited capacity and limited number of reserved sectors.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #26
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

Hi RonAshman. Does the hard drive still make the noise?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Aug 2013   #27
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
As the theory goes, the HDD controller is continuously monitoring for soft bad sectors and remaps any to one in the reserved category. ( The Windows check disk does the same but on user command). So in theory one should not see any bad sectors. If it is seen then what it means is that all reserved sectors are already exhausted and the ones seen have no place to go.

The HDD controller does not always do a good job and it may so happen that it may decide the reserved sectors are already exhausted a little prematurely even when a few are left. By contrast the manufacturer's diagnostic Utility is more precise. That would explain why in one of five cases it successfully remaps a few leftovers by the HDD Controller.

But as far as the user is concerned, even if one bad sector is seen, it is a red flag. It can only mean the beginning of the end of the hard drive. Soon more and more bad sectors will crop up with no place to go. In rare cases where all of a sudden massive bad sectors are created, the controller may write-protect the HDD. (This is seen more often in flash drives because of the limited capacity and limited number of reserved sectors.)
Thanks for that explanation jumanji. Very helpful.
I'd give you more rep, but I gotta spread some more love around first!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Aug 2013   #28
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

TVeblen: Well, taking into account what I read in the last few days I could say you couldn't be more right about this. It could have been a temporary anomaly, but I've already got another drive just in case.


jumanji: Well that's what I was afraid of, and I don't want this PC back so I replaced the disk.


Layback Bear: Apparently it does not. I haven't heard it anymore and I used the PC to play music and install software (MS Office and accounting software) and just normal noise, not the weird thing from the other day.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2013   #29
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I'm not sure how scanning a hard drive can fix a mechanical sounding noise.
I would be very watchful of a hard drive that these noises come and go.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Aug 2013   #30
RonAshman

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I don't understand either.
One way or another after trying 2 used discs I had it replaced.

I didn't get any new one. Only second hand discs.
Laptop IDE discs really scarce.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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