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Windows 7: How to locate a suitable area of a damaged HDD for a new partition?

23 Oct 2017   #1

How to locate a suitable area of a damaged HDD for a new partition?

This might sound like a wacky question but there's a method in my madness

A pal's W7\1TB computer crashed big-time and wouldn't boot.

It was difficult to even see files on the drive when I slaved it into a working PC, but I was able to offload small amounts of essential data, albeit intermittently.

After that I ran Hard Drive Regenerator 1.71 and it found, and reportedly repaired, 427 bad sectors.

My plan now is to create a new partition on the drive, around 100GB, say, and re-install Windows there, hopefully allowing me to trawl the drive for any remaining useful files.

My question: How to locate a 100GB contiguous chunk of the drive that's clean and undamaged?

BTW: To create the new partition I'll likely use AOMEI or EASEUS.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2017   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

You could use pguru. Top left of main window, select disk >verify/repair bad sectors.

Identify where they are by mousing over a square

How to locate a suitable area of a damaged HDD for a new partition?-pgurudiskcheckjpg.jpg

The free (unregistered) version will be fine

Free partition manager, file recovery tool and Windows backup software - PartitionGuru Free

My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Oct 2017   #3

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Vista x64 / 7 X64

My System SpecsSystem Spec

23 Oct 2017   #4


SIW2, thanks, I'll check it out.

Later: Ok, got the app. A question, if you would:
What do you think is the best way to run PGuru on this HDD?
Slaved, the way it's sitting now in another PC?
Or in DOS in the original machine, after booting with a WinPE disk of some kind?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
26 Oct 2017   #5


Heads-Up: Ignore my last question, I did a PGuru scan of the drive while slaved in another machine and it revealed 700-800 duff sectors, ranging from not-so-good to very-bad.

I'm not concerned about this, because I only want to identify a fairly clean section of the drive where I can install another Windows, so that I can boot from it and more easily find useful data and files.

However, I was interested to see what PGuru could repair, so I kicked it off. It's been running 20 hours now and has done 5% so it's going to be a long job .
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2017   #6

Linux Mint 18.2 xfce 64-bit (VMWare host) / Windows 8.1 Pro 32-bit (VMWare guest)

If the only thing you want to do is recover the files off of the drive, then the safest way to do it would be to boot the computer from a Linux CD, in order to run Linux from the CD. You will then be able to browse the drive and copy your files from the drive to a flash drive or an external hard drive.

Most Linux distros will let you create a CD so as to run Linux from the CD rather than installing it to the hard drive. For example, you could use Linux Mint for that:

I suggest that you not install Windows to this drive, because you might inadvertently overwrite your files in the process. Also, since the drive is going bad, the process of installing Windows to the drive might make the drive die in the process, causing your files to be lost.

Doing a partition operation of any sort on this drive could result in your files being lost.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Oct 2017   #7


Thanks for the comment.
I think the drive is now almost totally useless.
I've run PGuru a number of times and each time the number of damaged sectors seems to increase.
Fortunately the drive's owner isn't concerned - I'd managed to recover the most important files just after it failed, using an old ERD Commander disk.
I'd also run Hard Drive Regenerator early in the piece, and that operation had reported 'fixing' only 487 bad sectors.
So the deterioration has been progressive. I'm guessing that the scanning heads must be touching the drive's surfaces every time I run it.
Anyway, once I knew that data recovery was no longer important, I only carried on out of curiosity to see if sector recovery was possible.
Obviously there's a limit to this.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 How to locate a suitable area of a damaged HDD for a new partition?

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