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Moving Damaged Sectors on HDD

Last response: in Storage
March 11, 2010 6:59:25 AM

Hi, I have recently done a scan on my 320gb SATA WD HDD and have found that 20% of the disk has damaged Sectors. I used HDD Regenerator prior to this scan and managed to recover the disk enough that it can be recognised by windows and zero'd the drive with killdisk.

I was wandering if there is a software that I can use to manually select these specific damaged blocks/sectors and either move them to the end of the drive as a seperate partition (the majority of the bad sectors are already located at the end of the drive it would seem on HD Tune Pro) or set them as unallocated space even if this were to shrink the total volume of the drive? Cant seem to find a software that can do this, maybe there is a partitioning software with these capabilities?
a c 127 G Storage
March 11, 2010 11:13:22 AM

20% lol let me see that? That can't be right. You know many sectors 20% is?

If you zero-write the drive, the HDD will swap and hide the bad sectors; until this reserve pool runs out and the HDD should not be used anymore; then its at the end of its lifecycle.

Post the smart output (health tab in HDTune) to determine if there are still bad sectors. Can you do this?
a c 342 G Storage
March 11, 2010 12:59:39 PM

As sub mesa said, go to the WD website and download their diagnostic suite, Data Lifegard. Especially for your situation I prefer the version that has you burn your own diagnostic disk to a CD-R. You boot from that optical drive to run the tests independently of any OS or hard drive.

Using that, run the Zero-Fill option. It will force the HDD's own built-in testing process to check every sector and substitute hidden good spares for the real faulty ones. If there really are that many bad sectors, it will run out of spares and the task will fail. If you get to that point, THROW IT OUT! If it has lots of bad sectors it may complete the task but then warn you via the SMART system (be sure to use the diagnostic tools to look at the SMART data output) that so many good spares have been used that there are not enough left to keep running reliably. In that case also, THROW IT OUT!

IF doing this work ends up with a HDD that the diagnostics says is in really good condition, THEN you can Partition and Format it just like any other good disk. Do the Full Format option and you probably will find very few if any faulty sectors by Windows' assessment. If that all happens, it suggests that the original Windows tools that said you had 20% bad sectors was grossly wrong.

You cannot move bad sectors around on a disk. It is nearly impossible to arrange to have all the bad sectors in one Partition you never use. A Partition is simply an area of physical space on the drive platter surface that MUST be one contiguous block, and it is used as one logical "drive". So hypothetically it might be possible to have a whole chunk of disk space in one block damaged by some event. And in that case, with a LOT of fancy diagnostics you might be able to determine exactly where that block is and create a Partition there that you don't Format or use. It is very unlikely, but possible. Of course, what that also means is that you then would have to create separate other Partitions before and after that useless block of space, and use those other two good Partitions as separate drives. But then you'd still start to worry: why did one block get damaged? Will it happen again? Did the catastrophe damage some other internal part that is waiting to fail, too?
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March 11, 2010 1:14:49 PM

Thanks for the replies on this, will post HDTune Smart output later when i get back home. I didn't think this was possible but I had found a website with some idiot saying that there was software that could do this (without actually stating which software it was), then had a good search on google but could not find anything - so needed to clarify.
Its not a major problem as I have 2 other HDD that work fine but will have a go with the WD diagnostics tools later on anyway.

Thanks again,
a c 127 G Storage
March 11, 2010 3:16:16 PM

Software to do what, exactly?