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Windows 7: How to maintain NTFS filesystem while writing zeroes to a partition?

17 May 2015   #1
zetret

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 
How to maintain NTFS filesystem while writing zeroes to a partition?

I want to format a partition because it's got too many bad sectors and it's not accessible via the Command Prompt (on System Recovery) and is not mountable on Parted Magic.

I ran chkdsk /r on this partition for about 5 days. When I was NOT observing, it had restarted my laptop. So, I am not sure if chkdsk completed fully.

MY question is, WOULD THIS EXISTING NTFS FILESYSTEM BE preserved if I FORMAT this drive using "Erase Disk" in Parted Magic, to write zeroes everywhere?

Please explain!

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 May 2015   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

As far as I know, the file system would be preserved. You're just writing data to it.

But I don't really follow your last sentence. Formatting the drive and writing zeroes to it are two different things. It's not clear which you want to do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #3
zetret

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Hi, There's an option in "Erase Disk" to write zeroes to a selected partition using 'dd'. Isn't this a method of formatting the drive? That's what I meant. Here's the link about this feature - Fixing Disks with Parted Magic Linux Magazine.
So, are you confirming that using this feature, will preserve the NTFS filesystem of my disk?
Thank you.
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17 May 2015   #4
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Writing zeroes is not formatting. It's writing zeroes.

If you want to format the drive, go ahead. You can stay with NTFS or change to some other file system if you want.

You'd normally write zeroes to a drive if you were going to sell it to someone and wanted to be sure it had no remnants of your own data on it. It's a security measure. The new owner of the drive would then format it and use whatever file system they wanted.

You'd normally format the drive if you were going to continue to use it and possibly reinstall an operating system.

If your drive has a bunch of bad sectors, you ought to think about getting rid of it entirely.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #5
zetret

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Thank you for the reply. I have a bad partition (~890GB) and I would like to only format this partition and not the entire drive.
This is because there are other partitions in the drive, that have a recovery software. This recovery software does not load and throws an error (This Application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000006). Click Ok to close the application.). I've found that this is possibly because of bad sectors. However, only the 890GB partition is non-readable but the other are.
So, can you point me to a way of formatting this partition (maintaining the NTFS filesystem), and not touching the others? If this is successful, I could try the recovery again. Is this possible? Thanks. What would happen if I write zeroes to this partition? HOW can I rebuild the NTFS filesystem on this partition on this, using Partition Magic? Please help, thanks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 May 2015   #6
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

You format partitions, not drives.

If a drive has 3 partitions, you can format any of them separately or all of them.

You say you have a "bad partition" of 890 GB. I don't know what you mean by "bad", but if it's a partition, you can certainly try to format it without touching any other partition on that drive.

You'd format that 890 GB partition just like you'd format any other. Select it and format it. Or you could delete the partition, make a new partition from the same space, and then format that new partition.

As far as I know, you CANNOT have more than 1 file system on a drive. So it's all NTFS or no NTFS. But the partitions can be formatted separately. If the partitions are now NTFS, they would remain NTFS unless you deliberately deleted all partitions and established a new file system.

Your recovery partition should not be affected by formatting the 890 GB partition, but if it is throwing an error now it may continue to throw errors regardless of what you do with the 890 GB partition. Recovery partitions are just testy and subject to not doing what you expect.

Try Partition Wizard bootable disk. You can also format data partitions from within Windows. Or you can format from Diskpart, a command line tool available from a Window installation disc. May as well use Partition Wizard.

Again, if you have bad sectors, all of this fiddling you have in mind may be to no avail. The drive may be giving up the ghost.

You mention both "Partition Magic" and "Parted Magic". Partition Magic is an old tool that isn't the best for a Windows system and I have no experience with Parted Magic (whatever that is).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2015   #7
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

Also, there are 2 kinds of Bad sectors, hard and soft, a hard bad sector is a physically damaged part of the platter of the drive, and cannot be fixed.

Data just never gets written there.

If I discover I have a drive with hard bad sectors I check to see if it`s under warranty and can be replaced for free, if not it goes in the trash

Bad Sectors Explained: Why Hard Drives Get Bad Sectors and What You Can Do About It

https://www.davescomputers.com/hard-drive-bad-sectors/
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18 May 2015   #8
zetret

Windows 7 64 bit
 
 

Hello AddRam, I only have logical bad sectors which is why I need to try this. No warranty and I'd rather try this rather than blindly throw it away.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2015   #9
AddRAM

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64
 
 

So then, delete the volume or partition, create a new partition out of the unallocated space, and format it NTFS, then run check disk on it.

There`s no reason to write zeroes to it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 May 2015   #10
Anshad Edavana

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
Hello AddRam, I only have logical bad sectors which is why I need to try this.
How do you know that ?. Windows or any other user level softwares won't differentiate between logical and physical bad sectors. In addition to that, modern hard drive's are prone to develop physical bad sectors due to their high sector density ( a newer 500 GB HDD has the same platter size of an old 40 GB HDD and hence it has 10x larger sector density).

Most HDD manufacturers has their own diagnostic tools which can run a full surface scan and determine whether there are physical defects with the drive. If the bad sectors are repairable, the tool may either provide an option to fix ( some tool maay auto repair the drive ).

I can see that your disk is a Seagate one from your system spec so you should run a "Long Test" with "Seatools for DOS" : SeaTools for DOS and Windows - How to Use
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