12 KB in bad sectors

Sky

Limp Gawd
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After a chkdsk it reported in the Event Viewer - Winlogon, 12 KB in bad sectors

Personally when I've seen a report of showing bad sectors like this I change the hard drive.

But now I'm wondering can a part go out, and possibly that is all there will ever be, and the drive will live on ok, or once you get bad sectors more are going to follow sooner or later?

I've been thinking in the meantime to use SpinRite to maybe help the life of the drive.

Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You
may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended
that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
Read failure with status 0xc0000185 at offset 0xb79619000 for 0x10000 bytes.
Read failure with status 0xc0000185 at offset 0xb7961a000 for 0x1000 bytes.
Read failure with status 0xc0000185 at offset 0xb7961b000 for 0x10000 bytes.
Read failure with status 0xc0000185 at offset 0xb7961b000 for 0x1000 bytes.
Windows replaced bad clusters in file 74413
of name \PROGRA~1\COMMON~1\MICROS~1\WEBCOM~1\11\1033\OWCDCH11.CHM.
File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
Free space verification is complete.
Adding 3 bad clusters to the Bad Clusters File.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

179767318 KB total disk space.
29762264 KB in 94790 files.
34144 KB in 9074 indexes.
12 KB in bad sectors.
223246 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
149747652 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
44941829 total allocation units on disk.
37436913 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
90 20 02 00 c3 95 01 00 3e 4d 02 00 00 00 00 00 . ......>M......
4a 12 00 00 00 00 00 00 2d 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 J.......-.......
fc f9 d8 08 00 00 00 00 4a bd 5a 48 00 00 00 00 ........J.ZH....
34 77 eb 0e 00 00 00 00 68 03 55 f2 01 00 00 00 4w......h.U.....
f2 00 45 e4 06 00 00 00 1c 3b 5c 3e 09 00 00 00 ..E......;\>....
99 9e 36 00 00 00 00 00 a8 39 07 00 46 72 01 00 ..6......9..Fr..
00 00 00 00 00 60 8b 18 07 00 00 00 72 23 00 00 .....`......r#..

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.
Checking file system on C:
The type of the file system is NTFS.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
Free space verification is complete.
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

179767318 KB total disk space.
29762268 KB in 94791 files.
34144 KB in 9074 indexes.
12 KB in bad sectors.
223246 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
149747648 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
44941829 total allocation units on disk.
37436912 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
90 20 02 00 c4 95 01 00 3f 4d 02 00 00 00 00 00 . ......?M......
4a 12 00 00 00 00 00 00 2d 01 00 00 00 00 00 00 J.......-.......
34 96 f5 08 00 00 00 00 f0 5a 58 48 00 00 00 00 4........ZXH....
da 14 e9 0e 00 00 00 00 e6 49 03 d0 01 00 00 00 .........I......
88 8c 1e df 06 00 00 00 58 4b a1 16 09 00 00 00 ........XK......
99 9e 36 00 00 00 00 00 a8 39 07 00 47 72 01 00 ..6......9..Gr..
00 00 00 00 00 70 8b 18 07 00 00 00 72 23 00 00 .....p......r#..

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.


For more information, see Help and Support Center at
 

JimmiG

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Sometimes the drive will keep working fine for years. Sometimes it's an indication that the drive is about to fail. Keep your data backed up and run a full scan every now and then to make sure the number isn't increasing. You can also try a low-level format using the HD setup tools available from the manufacturer of your harddrive and see if the bad sectors disappear. Also make sure SMART is enabled and run a SMART monitoring program in the background.
 

Ranma_Sao

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I'm of the opinion these days, buy a new drive, take the old one and shoot it. Bad Sectors these days are a sign the drive is going bad.

In theory, it might run forever, but why put your important data at risk to save 80 bucks?

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
 

Joe Average

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I wouldn't trust a chkdsk report any further than I could throw a so-called defective drive. Run the manufacturer's diagnostic on the drive, both the Quick/Short tests and the Advanced/Long/Thorough (every manufacturer seems to give the tests different names). When all of those tests are done (do the Quick first, then run the Advanced one anyway regardless of the Quick results, good or bad) and yes, run the Surface test also on the Advanced one. Yes, it takes a long damned time, but it is the single most reliable method of determining if the drive actually has problems or the chkdsk stuff was just a fluke.

chkdsk has a purpose, but for seriously testing hard drives or storage media, it's a joke. Use the proper tools for the job and get the real info you need to make the decision.

Then, if the drive is truly going bad, target practice might be in order... :D Depending on where the errors are, you might be able to partition around the area, effectively "roping off" the bad part so it's not even accessed anymore at all (far more effective than just remapping the bad sectors). But, as Ranma noted above, bad sectors are a problem and a sign that the drive has defects, which typically means the situation will get worse over time, not better.

I've used SpinRite to "save" over 2,500 drives in my entirely-too-long history of working with computers over the past 3.5 decades. It is a fine tool for extending the life of drives that are extendible but, it should be used as a way of extending that lifespan only as an opportunity to get the data off the drive and not as a way of simply bandaging the bigger problem which is a defective product. Shit happens, stuff goes bad. Use SpinRite to get the drive operational - or as operational as it can become - get the data off it, then run the manufacturer's diagnostic and go from there.
 

XOR != OR

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I'm of the opinion these days, buy a new drive, take the old one and shoot it. Bad Sectors these days are a sign the drive is going bad.

In theory, it might run forever, but why put your important data at risk to save 80 bucks?
What Ranma said. I wouldn't risk it.
 

Sky

Limp Gawd
Joined
Nov 26, 2006
Messages
434
SpinRite's support sent me this email:

Bad sectors are not a problem as long as they are (1) mapped out and
(2) do not start to multiple every time you check the drive.

SpinRite, will effectively do all of the pattern testing, surface
scrubbing, data relocation, DynaStat lost data analysis, mark out bad
sectors, etcetera, to make sure your drive is in proper condition to
store your data. SpinRite is mostly designed to be preventive
maintenance.




I work as a computer tech so I understand the basics here, but what I've always wanted to know is, when a hard drive shows signs of a bad sector does that always mean a problem, or it can just be an isolated problem and not go any further, or you should never see bad sectors, plain and simple?

For me personally on my own boxes, over the past 12 years I have never seen chkdsk report a problem ever, so I know drives can go on for many years and not see anything, so I have always personally just tossed the drives out or sent them back for RMA.

Also this begs the question of, do techs really want to bother spending all the time it takes to run the manufacturer's diagnostic on the drive, only to have spent all that time to find in the end you do need to replace the drive. I look at it like, especially when the drive is under warranty, which this one is, why bother with all the hassles, just RMA it back and get a new one...

THANKS


P.S. If chkdsk reports bad sectors there might not even be any, chkdsk, might be in error, it can't be trusted? I have always thought if it reported bad sectors then there were bad sectors, and a problem with the drive...
 

Joe Average

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The issue with most hard drives is that you can't RMA them back to the manufacturer without providing the disposition or status code the manufacturer's diagnostic creates for you after a Quick or Advanced test. Try it sometime, just fire off an RMA request to whatever manufacturer you want and I'll bet you the cost of a decent hard drive that they'll respond and say "Did you run our diagnostic on the drive, and if so, what's the disposition code the diagnostic gave you at the end of the tests?"

Without that info, the only other way to return the drive is if it's absolutely totally dead as a doornail and won't power up or function so you can run the diagnostic. But if it works, and you tell them it doesn't, when they get it for RMA they'll test it themselves, of course, and if they find out you returned it under bogus circumstances (making a dead drive claim when it's not), you're not going to get the RMA. Damaging the drive (like pulling off some SMD components) or whatever will be checked as well... so that's a no-go solution either.

That's the true purpose of the manufacturer's diagnostics, much to the chagrin of many people. They're not really designed for the end user just to check out their hardware; the primary purpose of those diagnostics is to get that disposition code for an RMA request for defective hardware.

Besides, I've RMAed drives with disposition codes that allowed for such things only to receive a drive as an exchange that ended up dying even faster than the one I first RMAed... "new" doesn't mean it works, yanno. :D
 

Catweazle

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I work as a computer tech so I understand the basics here, but what I've always wanted to know is, when a hard drive shows signs of a bad sector does that always mean a problem, or it can just be an isolated problem and not go any further, or you should never see bad sectors, plain and simple?


Joe Average is pretty much correct on all counts here.

Yes, erroneous 'bad sector' reports can get generated by chkdsk, particularly in circumstances where the Windows install has become corrupted as a result of power related problems during startup and/or shutdown. Failing or inadequate PSU, poor mains supply, too liberal use of the physical power switch to resolve lockups, rather than wiping/reinstalling to correct the problems being experienced. Whatever. And if those erroneous reports do show up more likely than not they'll multiply, just like genuine 'bad sector' issues do.

And if RMA is part of the plan, you might as well run those manufacturer diagnostics right up front, because sure as eggs you're gonna be expected to anyways.


That's not to say, of course, that if you see 'bad sector' reports they'll likely be false. More often than not, they'll indicate genuine problems. It's just that it's something which needs to be checked before firm conclusions are drawn. If fate has lumped an erroneous report in your lap RMA isn't what you need to do. Nuking the drive and starting over with freshly created partition(s) and a fresh, new install is about the only response worth considering, in that particular circumstance.

The only response worth considering, that is, if for some reason or other you're a user for whom simply grabbing another hard drive would cause the world to rotate backwards on its axis. I simply wouldn't bother. I'd right up front go grab a new hard drive, bung Windows on it, and migrate my data across to the thing if that was needed. Then, if the original drive did by some twist of fate prove to be a recycle candidate rather than an RMA candidate I'd simply recycle the thing as some form or other of archive storage. You can NEVER have enough archive storage space!



/OT

By the way. I had a 'drive consistency' reader question lumped in my lap quite a long time back now, and had myself some fun writing up a response to it. I've a sneaky suspicion that article might still remain the only tech article ever written in rap!
 

swatbat

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Joe Average is pretty much correct on all counts here.

Yes, erroneous 'bad sector' reports can get generated by chkdsk, particularly in circumstances where the Windows install has become corrupted as a result of power related problems during startup and/or shutdown. Failing or inadequate PSU, poor mains supply, too liberal use of the physical power switch to resolve lockups, rather than wiping/reinstalling to correct the problems being experienced. Whatever. And if those erroneous reports do show up more likely than not they'll multiply, just like genuine 'bad sector' issues do.

And if RMA is part of the plan, you might as well run those manufacturer diagnostics right up front, because sure as eggs you're gonna be expected to anyways.

Yea generally speaking if chkdsk finds bad sectors then the drive has bad sectors that it hasn't been able to map away. By default drives have extra unused sectors that they can map to as sectors go bad.

Personally if I see bad sectors on a drive it is a replacement. In my line of work time is usually worth a lot more then the price of the drive. If we have reason to suspect the drive is going we are replacing it and either cloning the drive to a new one or rebuilding the system. Same thing goes for a drive reporting smart errors. Smart errors do not always mean a drive is failing. I've seen them give false errors before. Guess what the drive is getting swapped out.

I will say I almost never rma a drive for warranty coverage. A few years as a notebook tech showed me how bad rma drives could be. I went through 6 drives in a row one time that were bad(ordered one then the rest were reorder doa). Watched desktop techs go through the same shit. Price of the drive to me is not worth the hassle. Also when you get into business systems the question of letting the drive out of you hands becomes an issue. We destroy all old drives to make sure the data can not be recovered. With the data on the drives a lot of are clients prefer it this way. Use to drill them. Last 30 or 40 old drives(some dead others pulls) where used for targets.


To whoever mentioned spinrite. That program rocks. I've used it a few times to clean up a drive enough to pull some data off it.
 

Joe Average

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You can NEVER have enough archive storage space!

While I might tend to agree, you can have too much in one place or on one piece of media/one particular device. :D

Hell man, I've still got this old Maxtor SATA I 250GB 7200 rpm 16MB drive I've been using for 4 years now, I see no reason to dump it as it works great. Yes, I'd love to have a WD 640GB right now, perhaps even one of those Patriot 32GB SSD drives for my system partition, but... if I "acquire" something I burn it, seriously. I just don't trust big freakin' hard drives, period, and I've had to do data recovery jobs the past 2 years on 500GB and larger ones that paid well but were so frustrating to deal with that I simply will not buy a big-ass drive for myself.

No need for that much space at one time, but that's me personally. I've got 2 shoeboxes with 900 DVDs in 'em, all alphabetized and safe sitting here beside me. I wanna watch a movie, it takes ~10 seconds to reach down, find it, unsleeve it (paper sleeves ftw!), insert it into the Lite-On, run WinDVD, done. Data DVDs in another shoebox, categorized and organized just the same with WhereIsIt to find whatever I want.

Bleh, I'm going off on a tangent... hehe But I personally say yes, you can have too much stuff stashed, if it's all on one device, very bad, very bad indeed.

</off_topic>
 

Sky

Limp Gawd
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Before the OS had a lot of malware, some viruses and some rootkits too, then I had the system lockup a few times while I was working on it trying to fix it, and I had to hard power it down with the power switch, so all these things can cause some errors on the drive that chkdsk is reporting as bad when it's not.

I think I'll do a low level format on it, then run the seagate diagnostic tools on it, and see how it goes...

THANKS
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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replace the drive, it's not like they are mega expensive.....usually when a drive starts getting bad sectors, more follow. back up and replace asap. I have yet to see a drive that failed chkdsk and pass a manufacturer's test
 

Joe Average

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Before the OS had a lot of malware, some viruses and some rootkits too, then I had the system lockup a few times while I was working on it trying to fix it, and I had to hard power it down with the power switch, so all these things can cause some errors on the drive that chkdsk is reporting as bad when it's not.

I think I'll do a low level format on it, then run the seagate diagnostic tools on it, and see how it goes...

THANKS

True low-level formatting should only be done once in the lifespan of a drive. Run SpinRite on the drive, level 5, and then run the Advanced/Long/Thorough manufacturer's diagnostic on it - if that doesn't resolve the bad sector issue, get ready to RMA it and get it exchanged.

There is one other hope if you wish to continue using the drive (aside from partitioning around the area where the bad sectors are as already noted, if they're clumped together);

There's an application out called HDD Regenerator, and while it's dog-fucking-slow just like SpinRite is at level 5, it performs effectively the same exact thing: it will read a sector of data, then erase the sector, write the data back to the sector, read it again, compare the data with a checksum, and then repeat the process, up to 100 times per sector, over the complete surface (the available user-space of the drive) or you can specify a starting point (comes in handy when you know where the bad sectors are).

It's not a free app, as SpinRite isn't, but I have had great success with it in situations where I didn't have SpinRite handy but was able to use HDD Regenerator. As stated, they do basically the same things by reading/erasing/writing/repeat on a sector by sector basis (all physical sectors on a hard drive are 512 bytes, regardless of OS file systems and this is how they're handled) - the file system in place is irrelevant so it doesn't matter if it's NTFS, FAT32, HPFS, Ext2/3, Reiser, etc.

SpinRite does work with the file system whereas HDD Regenerator doesn't, so that in some respects makes it (HDD Regenerator) far more useful for drive "recovery" or life extension than SpinRite.

Worth checking into, at least. Get more info at:

http://store6.esellerate.net/store/ProductInfo.aspx?StoreIDC=STR793615240&SkuIDC=SKU9923428806&pc=

Note that the author is Russian, also, and the description on that page sounds more like Russian that's been converted to English and a lot has been lost in the translation, but as I said, I've used the program a multitude of times in the past few years and it's actually proven to be more useful than SpinRite because of the ability to work on drives regardless of the file system - or even if they're formatted or partitioned at all, actually.
 

Catweazle

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True low-level formatting should only be done once in the lifespan of a drive.

Yep. What some drive manufacturer diagnostic tools call their 'low level format' item is really a 'zero fill' tool. 'True' low level formatting is a procedure which really relates to times long ago and very dofferent hard drive technology. Nowadays that function is basically performed at the factory, as part of the manufacturing process, rather than as a separate 'task' to be performed.
 

Joe Average

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I actually have a true low-level formatter, from Maxtor, that works on any hard drive but, that is my "Hail Mary" tool for "fixing" drives that are still mechanically functional yet still have issues with bad sectors in various locations that don't seem to remap like they should. Used it a handful of times with 100% success, but... even so, I only use it in the most dire of circumstances.
 

Sky

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Well this is time consuming stuff, and then at the end of it all, I don't want to be faced with the possibility of bad, afterall, what we're talking here is a 50/50 chance it is bad, those aren't good odds.

All I really wanted to know was if chkdsk is reporting bad sectors, should I just trust that?

Personally it's what I've always done, but then maybe this hasn't always been the right thing to do, and I should of been always using the manufacturers diagnostic tools.

For now out of curosity I'll grab Seagate's Sea Tools:

http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools/
 

Joe Average

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I would say no, but that comes from decades of experience dealing with Windows and even MS-DOS based disk checking tools like chkdsk, ScanDisk, and the like. They're just not reliable enough for me, but that's my own opinion.

Think of it this way: it's better to go through the diagnostics on the drive right now while it is functional and get a clean bill of health (or not) than having it choke and die after you load it up with data and possibly lose every bit of it.

Right?
 

Sky

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I redited my post above, I'll grab Seagate's Sea Tools and run the tests on it, and see what it says...
 

Sky

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I ran Seagate's Sea Tools on it and it came back with 4 errors but gave me the option to repair them, and the Test Results said, 'Passed after Repair'.

So now what the drive might be ok?

THANKS

P.S. Maybe I should run SpinRite on this thing too...
 
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Harddrives can swap bad sectors for reserve sectors, when writing to that bad sector. If it can still read the data but detects the medium is weak, it will also swap out the sector. But if the data is 'beyond autonomous repair' you need to write to it. If you write to a bad sector, the disk things hey now i don't need that bad sector anymore. I can just use a reserve sector and never use the bad sector anymore. So that's what it will do.

On linux, a simple drive refresh may cause the drive to fix all errors:
dd if=/dev/hd0 of=/dev/hd0 bs=1M
That's all =)
 

Joe Average

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S.M.A.R.T. status is not a reliable indicator of hard drive issues. There is only one true way to know if a drive is having problems and that's to run the manufacturer's full diagnostic on the drive, start to finish, and get the results. No other tools will offer more reliable information...
 

YeuEmMaiMai

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lol OK whatever.......

if you regularly run a smart utility and look at the data and you see parameters starting to change for the worse, I guess it means nothing, right?

I had one drive that was in a sony viao that repeatedly passed the manufacturer's test but the smart utility was detecting long pauses in the data read rate due to excessive read errors......
 

Sky

Limp Gawd
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I've heard issues over the years that SMART isn't reliable, but, saying your drive passed Sony diagnostics, but failing diskcheckup, I'd be more inclined to trust Sony's tools.

SpinRite has more of a background and reputation over this diskcheckup that I'd personally trust.
 

XOR != OR

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lol OK whatever.......

if you regularly run a smart utility and look at the data and you see parameters starting to change for the worse, I guess it means nothing, right?

I had one drive that was in a sony viao that repeatedly passed the manufacturer's test but the smart utility was detecting long pauses in the data read rate due to excessive read errors......
Which doesn't exclude what Joe said.

Listen carefully to what he's saying; it's not a truly reliable tool for testing drives. So while in your case it seems to have worked out, in others Smart may not report any problems, up to the point the drive finally kicks it. Or it might report false positives ( although given how often I've run into this, I can't say that's likely ).
 
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