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HDD Failing?

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HDD Failing?

Unread postby Alander » March 28th, 2012, 9:02 am

Hi,

Recently, my desktop computer is acting up, there was a few BSODs a couples of days ago..

In addition, explorer.exe, regedit,exe, control panel fails to start. I thought my OS was corrupted since it BSOD and had a couple of write access violation on some of the processes

I went ahead to reformat (As system restore didn't work, everytime I did a system restore, the next day I boot up all my essential process fails again and I have to do another restore which was really getting annoying

After I formatted, i encountered another BSOD with something cache manager and then it restarted

I checked my RAM with the diagnostic tool in windows 7 recovery console and it appears to be fine

I also ran chkdsk /F which fixed a couple of errors

What I want to know is, how do I check for bad sectors on my HDD.. I think its dying but I am unsure and I need sufficient proof before I can send it for a warranty repair..

Thanks
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Gary R » March 28th, 2012, 3:29 pm

Depending on the type and manufacturer of your hard drive, you might be able to try running one of the tools on the following page .... http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofth ... hddiag.htm .... I've not had occasion to use them myself, but I've heard good reports of the Seagate tool .... http://pcsupport.about.com/gi/o.htm?zi= ... s/seatools
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Alander » March 28th, 2012, 10:55 pm

Hi Gary,

Thanks for the heads up.. I am using a seagate hard drive so it will be useful (will run it later)

I googled and ran chkdsk with the /r switch and i have various Windows replaced bad clusters ...

are bad clusters equivalent to bad sectors?
Last edited by Alander on March 29th, 2012, 5:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Gary R » March 29th, 2012, 1:12 am

Clusters are the "logical" unit of file storage on a disk (the way the software/processor organises things), sectors are the actual "physical" units of storage (the way they're actually arranged on the disk). They do not usually coincide.

http://searchexchange.techtarget.com/definition/cluster

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/DiskTerms.htm
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Alander » March 29th, 2012, 5:26 am

Hi Gary, It seems that Bad Clusters means Bad Sectors to ChkDsk,

Phase 4: Checking sectors
If the /R switch is in effect, CHKDSK runs a fourth pass to look for bad sectors in the volume's free space. CHKDSK attempts to read every sector on the volume to confirm that the sector is usable. Even without the /R switch, CHKDSK always reads sectors that are associated with metadata. Sectors that are associated with user data are read during earlier phases of CHKDSK if the /R switch is specified.

When CHKDSK finds an unreadable sector, NTFS adds the cluster that contains that sector to its list of bad clusters. If the bad cluster is in use, CHKDSK allocates a new cluster to do the job of the bad cluster. If you are using a fault-tolerant disk, NTFS recovers the bad cluster's data and writes the data to the newly allocated cluster. Otherwise, the new cluster is filled with a pattern of 0xFF bytes.

If NTFS encounters unreadable sectors during the course of normal operation, NTFS remaps the sectors in the same way that it does when CHKDSK runs. Therefore, using the /R switch is usually not essential. However, using the /R switch is a convenient way to scan the entire volume if you suspect that a disk might have bad sectors.


http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314835/EN-US/

Looks like what Microsoft thinks of bad cluster doesnt equate to what it means in real life (as usual)
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Gary R » March 29th, 2012, 7:37 am

Looks like what Microsoft thinks of bad cluster doesn't equate to what it means in real life (as usual)


Not really. What it's saying is it reads the disk and looks for bad sectors (physical damage) and if it finds them, then it adds the clusters of data that are logically associated with those sectors to the list of damaged data. It will also where possible attempt to recover the damaged data and write it to a new undamaged disk sector.

It will then usually mark the damaged sectors in the partition table, so data is not written to them in future, and so programs looking for data that was on them will look for it in the correct place.

If you think of the disk as a book, then the sectors are the pages of the book, the data clusters are the writing on those pages.

Let's say for example that page 7 is damaged, then the writing for page 7 is transferred to say page 120, and the index for the book is altered to tell you to read the pages in the order .... 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 120, 8, 9 etc.
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby askey127 » March 29th, 2012, 7:43 am

The problem is that when you begin to create new bad clusters or new bad sectors, the hard drive is not at its best.
This is often a sign of failure to come.
That's what I have seen in most of these cases. (You tag them/fix them and more come back).
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Gary R » March 29th, 2012, 8:05 am

Since your disk is a Seagate disk, if the Seagate tool finds your disk is damaged, it allows you to generate a warranty exchange.

http://support.seagate.com/rightnow/Fla ... ranty.html .... read/follow the "Sea Tools for Windows Installation and Tutorial" for advice on how to do this.

My disk is not Seagate so I can't step you all the way through the process, since the facilities enabled for other drives are not as comprehensive.
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Alander » March 29th, 2012, 12:20 pm

Thanks Gary and askey for the information

I have ran seagate tools and my HDD indeed failed the Short DST Test..

I have created a warranty request and will be sending it back to them
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Re: HDD Failing?

Unread postby Gary R » March 29th, 2012, 3:07 pm

You're welcome. :)

Good luck getting your drive replaced :thumbright:
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