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Bad blocks on HDD

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May 14, 2011 7:21:04 PM

Hi,
(My PC’s specs are below)

I've been reading different threads on TH, and different links found on Google on this topic. I'd like to get some help untangling the info, and some advice on the best ways to proceed. I'd appreciate any input, as this is an area I'm not too familiar with.

Here's the problem:
5 days ago, while restarting my pc, I saw that Windows had scheduled a chkdsk to run at startup. That worried me, so I ran the Western Digital Diagnostic tool. The results came back that no bad sectors were found. I thought I was out of the woods.
Then today, another chkdsk was scheduled... After it completed, when the computer booted, I went to Windows' Event Viewer, and saw that 42 bad sector warnings have been recorded since the last 7 days.

From what I've been reading, this is not good news, and I should hurry in doing something.

My very important files are backed up, but I'd hate having to format and start from scratch again: Lose my data, my configs and everything. (As it stands, 700 go out of my 1t hdd are filled. Not all of it is essential, but there are a lot of multimedia files I'm working on, movies, games and other stuff I'd hate to lose...)

Here are my questions:

1) Am I correct in thinking that this is a HDD replacement scenario, or could those 42 warnings mean something else? How can I verify and be sure about what’s really going on. (I don’t have time right now, but I’ll run a new WD Diagnostic this evening.)

2) Do I have any measure of how fast I should get moving? Is there an impending risk of losing data; or worse, of total HDD failure?

3) If I have to replace, I guess the smartest way to go about it would be to buy a new identical HDD (I'd planned on buying one anyway for backups), clone my existing installation, then bring the defective one for the warranty. Would you agree this is the best procedure?

4) How can I prevent this from happening again?
When I bought this system, last August, the original HDD went completely corrupt within 1-2 weeks. I exchanged it, and now, 9 months later, it looks like this one is starting to malfunction!!!
Apparently, this HDD model is supposed to be very reliable. Am I doing something wrong, or am I simply unlucky? Should I check for heat, or what else? (My case is supposed to be good for ventilation. But I have 2 other, smaller HDDs stacked with the main one... Maybe I should move them away?)


If you have any suggestion – diagnostics, warnings, better use, anything – I’d greatly appreciate.

...
My specs
cpu : Phenom 2 555 x2 3.2Ghz 7MB Black
Motherboard : GIGABYTE GA-890GPA-UD3H
ram : Kingston KHX1600C9D3K2/4GX Hyper X
Fan : 600w
Graphics : SAPPHIRE HD5770 1GIG
HDD : WD Black 1T
Case : Antec Three Hundred mini tower
OS : W7 (32)

More about : bad blocks hdd

May 14, 2011 8:14:06 PM

Quick update :

-I've just opened the case to check for heat. Everything is really cool.

-Looking at the Event Viewer reports again, I noticed something odd: all the warnings occur roughly around the same time of the day... Does this mean anything?
A lot of them occur around 6:00-6:30 am. Nothing much happens at that time with the PC, except an AVG virus check... As for the ones that occur around 14:00, not sure.

Erreur 2011-05-14 06:30:49 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-13 06:03:13 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-13 06:03:10 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-13 06:03:07 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-12 06:03:44 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-10 06:03:00 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-10 06:02:57 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:25 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:22 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:17 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:14 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:11 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:03:08 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-09 14:02:57 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-09 14:02:37 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-09 14:02:23 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-09 14:02:15 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:01:43 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-09 14:01:26 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-08 06:54:33 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-08 06:45:32 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-08 06:44:47 Disk 7 Aucun
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Erreur 2011-05-06 06:03:13 Disk 7 Aucun
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a b G Storage
May 14, 2011 10:32:54 PM

Run the WD tool. If errors are found you dont need to buy the exact drive for replacement you may want to get a bigger one.
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May 14, 2011 10:51:33 PM

anonymous1 said:
Run the WD tool. If errors are found you dont need to buy the exact drive for replacement you may want to get a bigger one.


The diagnostic is running as I write. I'll post the results.

I was thinking of buying a similar drive so I can have them run in parallel, and mirror each other. (I don't recall the exact term for that.)
That way, I hear I should be able to prevent future data loss.
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May 14, 2011 11:14:20 PM

The WD Diagnostic Tool just completed its extended test. Verdict: "No errors found".

Now, I'm even more baffled... I could really use a clue.
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a c 415 G Storage
May 15, 2011 2:04:53 AM

I'd check the SMART data for the drive using a utility such as DiskCheckup. If you have "Reallocated" sectors that means the drive found some problems and moved your data to alternate sectors to protect it. If you have "Pending" sectors that means the drive is unable to read the data from those sectors and that data may be lost.

If these counts are increasing over time then it's a bad sign and it likely means you should copy your data to a new drive as soon as possible.
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May 15, 2011 8:41:12 AM

sminlal said:
I'd check the SMART data for the drive using a utility such as DiskCheckup. If you have "Reallocated" sectors that means the drive found some problems and moved your data to alternate sectors to protect it. If you have "Pending" sectors that means the drive is unable to read the data from those sectors and that data may be lost.

If these counts are increasing over time then it's a bad sign and it likely means you should copy your data to a new drive as soon as possible.


Thanks for this input, sminlal,

I just installed DiskCheckup, but I'm not sure what to make of the results. Here's what it tells me :

*** DiskCheckup V3.0 Build: 1007 Report ***

SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1012
Time of export: 04:39:02 15-mai-2011

Device information:
Device ID: 0
Interface: ATA
Device Capacity: 953866 MB
Serial Number: WD-WCAW30069301
Model Number: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0

SMART ATTRIBUTES:
ID Description Status Value Worst Threshold Raw Value TEC
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Raw Read Error Rate OK 200 200 51 0 N.A.
3 Spin Up Time OK 174 171 21 4266 N.A.
4 Start/Stop Count OK 100 100 0 99 N.A.
5 Reallocated Sector Count OK 200 200 140 0 N.A.
7 Seek Error Rate OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
9 Power On Time OK 96 96 0 2982 N.A.
10 Spin Retry Count OK 100 253 0 0 N.A.
11 Calibration Retry Count OK 100 253 0 0 N.A.
12 Power Cycle Count OK 100 100 0 87 N.A.
192 Power off Retract Count OK 200 200 0 4 N.A.
193 Load Cycle Count OK 200 200 0 94 N.A.
194 Temperature OK 119 106 0 28 C N.A.
196 Reallocation Event Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
197 Current Pending Sector Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
198 Uncorrectable Sector Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count OK 200 200 0 17 N.A.
200 Write Error Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.

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a c 415 G Storage
May 15, 2011 9:27:12 AM

If I'm reading the columns correctly your drive is showing "0" for both the Reallocated Sector count and for the Current Pending Sector count. If that's true then there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it.
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May 15, 2011 9:54:04 AM

sminlal said:
If I'm reading the columns correctly your drive is showing "0" for both the Reallocated Sector count and for the Current Pending Sector count. If that's true then there doesn't seem to be anything wrong with it.


Funnily, I've been wondering about the possibility of Windows 7's Event Viewer maybe giving me false-positives.
Or else, I cannot explain the Western Digital Diagnostic tool coming up clean repeatedly.

But it could definitely be wishful thinking...
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May 15, 2011 2:43:36 PM

angkor said:
Quick update :

-I've just opened the case to check for heat. Everything is really cool.

-Looking at the Event Viewer reports again, I noticed something odd: all the warnings occur roughly around the same time of the day... Does this mean anything?
A lot of them occur around 6:00-6:30 am. Nothing much happens at that time with the PC, except an AVG virus check... As for the ones that occur around 14:00, not sure.

Erreur 2011-05-14 06:30:49 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-13 06:03:13 Disk 7 Aucun
Erreur 2011-05-13 06:03:10 Disk 7 Aucun
<snipped>

All hard drives have bad blocks. The firmware in the drive takes care of the problem and you ususally never see it. The fact that you can is worrying me. The time of day issue that you point out is also worring.

What is the exact model number of this drive. Saying black is not enough information since there are black RAID and black non-RAID drives. Using a RAID WD drive in a non-RAID configuration is specifically discouraged by WD.

If the drive is bad, you can get an "advanced replacement" instead of buying a new drive. As them to see if that meets your needs better. As stated by another, you do not have to replace with the same capacity, but it if is under warranty, why buy another drive. Unless you want two.

WD allows you to download Acronis at no cost. That works very well to clone a drive and/or to do an image for later restoration.

If it were mine, I would act immediately since it might be the forewarning of a major problem.
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May 15, 2011 8:54:44 PM

Hi dmcomputerguy,

I'm not sure if it's RAID or not. Maybe you can tell me from this. Here is all the info on the drive, from DiskCheckup:

*** DiskCheckup V3.0 Build: 1007 Report ***

SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1012
Time of export: 16:22:09 15-mai-2011

Device information:
Device ID: 0
Interface: ATA
Device Capacity: 953866 MB
Serial Number: WD-WCAW30069301
Model Number: WDC WD1002FAEX-00Y9A0
Firmware Revision: 01.01V01
Partitions:
C: 953766 MB

ATA information:

Disk geometry:
Cylinders: 129201
Tracks/Cylinder: 240
Sectors/Track: 63
Bytes/Sector: 512
Total disk sectors: 1953525168
Logical sector size: 512
Physical sector size: 512
Media rotation rate: N/A
Buffer size: 0 KB
ECC size: 50 Bytes

Standards compliance:
ATA8-ACS Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-7 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-6 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-5 Supported: Yes
ATA/ATAPI-4 Supported: Yes
Serial/Parallel: Serial
SATA 3.0 Compilance: No
SATA 2.6 Compilance: Yes
SATA 2.5 Compilance: Yes
SATA II: Ext Compilance: Yes
SATA 1.0a Compilance: Yes
ATA8-AST Compilance: No
World Wide ID: 50014EE204B49ED5

Feature support:
SMART supported: Yes
SMART enabled: Yes
SMART self-test supported: Yes
SMART error log supported: Yes
LBA supported: Yes
IORDY supported: Yes
CFast supported: No
DMA supported: Yes
Maximum Multiword DMA mode supported: 2
Multiword DMA selected: None
Maximum UltraDMA mode supported: 6
UltraDMA selected: 6
Maximum PIO mode supported: 4
SATA Compliance: Yes
NCQ priority information supported: Yes
Unload while NCQ commands are outstanding supported: No
Phy Event Counters supported: Yes
Receipt of power management requests supported: Yes
NCQ feature set supported: Yes
SATA Gen2 Signaling Speed (3.0Gb/s) supported: Yes
SATA Gen1 Signaling Speed (1.5Gb/s) supported: Yes
Software Settings Preservation: Supported, Enabled
In-order data delivery: Not supported
Initiating power management: Not supported
DMA Setup auto-activation: Supported, Disabled
Non-zero buffer offsets: Not supported
Trusted Computing supported: No
Host Protected Area (HPA) supported: Yes
Read look-ahead supported: Yes
Read look-ahead enabled: Yes
Write cache supported: Yes
Write cache enabled: Yes
Power management supported: Yes
Security mode supported: Yes
Security mode enabled: No
Device Configuration Overlay (DCO) supported: No
48bit Addressing supported: Yes
Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) supported: Yes
Auto Acoustic Managment (AAM) enabled: No
Power-up in Standby (PUIS) supported: Yes
Power-up in Standby (PUIS) enabled: No
Advanced Power Management (APM) supported: No
CompactFlash Association (CFA) supported: No
General Purpose Logging (GPL) supported: Yes
Streaming supported: No
Media card pass through supported: No
Extended power conditions supported: No
Extended status reporting supported: No
Write-read-verify supported: No
Free-fall control supported: No
TRIM command supported: No
SCT command transport supported: Yes
NV Cache enabled: No
NV Cache Power Management supported: No

Apart from that, I was indeed planning on buying a second drive, to prevent eventual catastrophies.
(I don't know what an "advanced replacement" is. I'll try to look that up.)

I'll be going to Future Shop tomorrow and buy the new drive (I have some gift cards from there).

Thanks
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a c 415 G Storage
May 15, 2011 10:01:45 PM

dmcomputerguy said:
All hard drives have bad blocks. The firmware in the drive takes care of the problem and you ususally never see it.
If a drive has found any bad sectors they'll be shown by the counts in the SMART data. Since those counters are reporting 0 reallocated sectors and 0 pending sectors, it seems pretty safe to say that the drive itself is OK.
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May 15, 2011 10:19:50 PM

sminlal said:
If a drive has found any bad sectors they'll be shown by the counts in the SMART data. Since those counters are reporting 0 reallocated sectors and 0 pending sectors, it seems pretty safe to say that the drive itself is OK.


Could Windows be giving false-positive reports then ?
Though that would seem unlikely, as each one precisely identifies a different sector and everything...
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May 15, 2011 10:41:05 PM

I figured out what the advanced replacement scheme is. I'll see with the shop if they offer it: That would surely make my life easier.
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a c 415 G Storage
May 16, 2011 12:11:38 AM

angkor said:
Could Windows be giving false-positive reports then ?
Can you post the exact text of the event log message, along with the message source and ID?
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May 16, 2011 4:45:38 AM

sminlal said:
Can you post the exact text of the event log message, along with the message source and ID?


I guess this is what you mean... Well, this is the first out of the 42 entries concerning these recent disk errors, in Window's Event Viewer. The other 41 are identical, except that they point to different sectors of the HDD.
(I'm sorry, my PC is in French. If you figure you need this info in English, I can always get it translated.)

...

Nom du journal :System
Source : Disk
Date : 2011-05-14 06:30:49
ID de l’événement :7
Catégorie de la tâche :Aucun
Niveau : Erreur
Mots clés : Classique
Utilisateur : N/A
Ordinateur : Yann-PC
Description :
Le périphérique \Device\Harddisk1\DR1 comporte un bloc défectueux.
XML de l’événement :
<Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
<System>
<Provider Name="Disk" />
<EventID Qualifiers="49156">7</EventID>
<Level>2</Level>
<Task>0</Task>
<Keywords>0x80000000000000</Keywords>
<TimeCreated SystemTime="2011-05-14T10:30:49.579026300Z" />
<EventRecordID>3458746</EventRecordID>
<Channel>System</Channel>
<Computer>Yann-PC</Computer>
<Security />
</System>
<EventData>
<Data>\Device\Harddisk1\DR1</Data>
<Binary>030068000100000000000000070004C0000100009C0000C00000000000000000007066DF38000000B26E060000000000FFFFFFFF01000000400000840201010000200A1240032040000000003C00000000000000686BD0870000000008D070874809418738B36F1C28001C6FB33800000800000000000000F00003000000000B00000000000000000000000000000000</Binary>
</EventData>
</Event>
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Best solution

May 16, 2011 5:20:50 AM

Are you sure Harddisk1 refers to your main drive? Shouldn't it be Harddisk0? Were you using external drives during that time?
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May 16, 2011 6:53:04 AM

analytic said:
Are you sure Harddisk1 refers to your main drive? Shouldn't it be Harddisk0? Were you using external drives during that time?


Analytic,
You certainly deserve your moniker.
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May 16, 2011 7:49:10 AM

Analytic saw what I had missed: The reports were about a secondary drive. A noob mistake on my part.
Windows reported on bad sectors on that drive, while the WD Diagnostic Tool gave me healthy reports on my main HDD.

To confirm, as Sminlal suggested, I do find Pending Sectors on that secondary drive. Thanks too.

Well, at least I learned a few things.
Thanks.

...
*** DiskCheckup V3.0 Build: 1007 Report ***

SysInfo DLL Version: SysInfo v1.0 Build: 1012
Time of export: 03:43:53 16-mai-2011

Device information:
Device ID: 1
Interface: ATA
Device Capacity: 238464 MB
Serial Number: WD-WCAPZ0433524
Model Number: WDC WD2500AAKS-00SBA0

SMART ATTRIBUTES:
ID Description Status Value Worst Threshold Raw Value TEC
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1 Raw Read Error Rate OK 200 200 51 0 N.A.
3 Spin Up Time OK 156 155 21 5158 09 Aug 2011 17:13:47
4 Start/Stop Count OK 99 99 0 1366 N.A.
5 Reallocated Sector Count OK 200 200 140 0 N.A.
7 Seek Error Rate OK 200 200 51 0 N.A.
9 Power On Time OK 65 65 0 25729 N.A.
10 Spin Retry Count OK 100 100 51 0 N.A.
11 Calibration Retry Count OK 100 100 51 0 N.A.
12 Power Cycle Count OK 100 100 0 570 N.A.
192 Power off Retract Count OK 200 200 0 125 N.A.
193 Load Cycle Count OK 200 200 0 1367 N.A.
194 Temperature OK 123 89 0 24 C N.A.
196 Reallocation Event Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
197 Current Pending Sector Count OK 197 197 0 151 N.A.
198 Uncorrectable Sector Count OK 199 199 0 66 N.A.
199 UltraDMA CRC Error Count OK 200 200 0 0 N.A.
200 Write Error Count OK 177 168 51 1543 N.A.
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a b G Storage
May 16, 2011 7:56:02 AM

There ya go, second drive is going bad =D
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May 16, 2011 7:58:42 AM

Best answer selected by angkor.
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May 16, 2011 8:04:11 AM

Oh, and Sminlal, I love your avatar. I've been a fan of Robotman (Monty) for years.
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May 16, 2011 8:07:12 AM

I would still run a Hdat2 or Vivard to check and fix the sectors that are bad, it might just be a few sectors that went bad but you should still be able to salvage the rest of the hard drive.
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May 16, 2011 4:38:20 PM

mightymaxio said:
I would still run a Hdat2 or Vivard to check and fix the sectors that are bad, it might just be a few sectors that went bad but you should still be able to salvage the rest of the hard drive.


Will do. Though that's an old drive that was given to me before I bought the system. And, if I remember well, its owner had mentioned something about possible problems.
If, or when, it fails, it won't be much of a loss: I only use it for certain backups. Nothing that I don't have elsewhere.

As much as I feel stupid for not seeing that these reports concerned that secondary drive ("D'oh!"), if anything, this should be a warning to me. I will acquire a second drive; either simply as a backup space, or combine them in a Raid array. But first, I'll have to get information on how to do that, figure which is the safest solution, figure out if that means installing everything from scratch or if I can migrate my existing installation, etc.
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