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Hard Drive Peculiarities

Last response: in Storage
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April 30, 2007 8:00:08 PM

I've recently had something peculiar occur on one of the hard drives I work with, and I really don't know whether it's okay or bad. I have one hard drive that, when CHKDSK is run on it for surface scan, stays at 0% complete (on the file data scan step) for a very long time, then immediately jumps to 4%. The time it's at 0% is longer than the time it takes to make 4% progress at any point beyond that. This has been observed in the same place on the same drive in two computers.

SMART reports a raw reallocated sector count of 96 (is this the number of sectors, or some internal value that's meaningless to me?), threshold 5, value 100; raw reallocated event count of 135, threshold 0 (none); and CHKDSK and the manufacturer diagnostic tool report no problems.

Is this an indication that that part of the disk is failing, and must be reread repeatedly, or could a very large single file or some other thing cause this (i.e. CHKDSK only updating the progress after scanning each full file)? This is a bit urgent because the warranty expires tomorrow.
April 30, 2007 8:37:41 PM

You are seeing the beginning of the HD surface going south. If this is a new HD, run a surface scan utility to check the media and block the bad sectors. If the HD > 3 yrs time to backup your data and start looking for a new or replacement drive.

The 4% is a area on the HD that most all of the cat tables are located. I see 99% of HD fail in the 4-5% area.

If you have a copy of SpinRite, use it in maintance mode. It should be able to repair it. I have 1 seagate drive that used 50% of it's reserve sectors right out of the box, and has a bad seek times. I use SpinRite on all the HD I have in use.
April 30, 2007 11:40:46 PM

Next weird thing: I've got another hard drive that just "crashed". That is, while running CHKDSK surface scan on it, a large number of bad sectors were detected, in several dozen files. However, after CHKDSK finished, and CHKDSK was run again (this time in read-only, structure checking only mode), it said 0 KB in bad sectors. Furthermore, checking SMART data indicated no problems (no relocated sector counts, unrecoverable errors, etc.). What's going on here?
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April 30, 2007 11:59:34 PM

Are all of these on the same IDE controller?

If newly installed, verify that all of the jumpers are set correctly.

Check you power supply, part the 12v side.

If you have another IDE cable replace it, I've seen bad cables generate random errors.

SpinRite will tell you if you have cabling problems.

Run the MFG diagnostic utility.
May 3, 2007 1:51:23 PM

Is there a way to view the NTFS information about bad sectors on a drive?
May 3, 2007 5:35:02 PM

It requires a special program to read that info. I know that SpinRite can check bad sectors and blocks and only block out the actual block that is bad.
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