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Weird HDD failure


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#1 MedEvil

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 02:34 PM

A friend brought me his Laptop, which won't boot anymore.

Other Laptop hardware is fine. Problem is with the HDD only.
MBR is fine and so is the PTT.

The HDD has 3 partitions.
1. Recovery Partition
2. 100MB Win7 Boot partition
3. 500GB Main partition
The first two are accessable by explorer, though pretty slowish, but seem to be ok. (chkdsk is still running.)
The third is inaccessable by explorer. My conclusion simple messed up FS.

Now the weird part. Before spending time on fixing the FS, i wanted to check, if the HDD itself is ok.
No tool is able to get the smart info and that includes Vistoria for windows!

I'm maybe wrong, but shouldn't smart tools not be affected by any screwups of the data on the HDD?

:cheers:

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:24 PM

No tool is able to get the smart info and that includes Vistoria for windows!

You are at the same time right and wrong.

No, "SMART" data is not dependent on anything that may happen to any filesystem on the partitions, but the issues with the filesystem may well be the effect (of a hardware failure of some kind) and not the cause of anything.

Have you already imaged the disk "as is"?

Running CHKDSK on a failing hard disk may be a good way to accelerate the failure (or making thing worse) :ph34r:.

 

Which model/make hard disk is that?

 

Please consider that SMART may well have been disabled, Victoria has an option to enaable/disable it, and has also a set of standard tests for the SMART data.

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#3 MedEvil

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:50 PM

There is no nothing to salvage on the HDD.
My friend is paranoid enough to make constant backups of his data. ;)

The question was from the start only, if it is more easily fixable, than reinstalling all software.

So you think too, that it's most likely a hardware failure?


btw. Crystal Disk Info managed to retrieve the SMART data after a whopping 27 minutes!
Pending Sector Count = 198! Which does not explain the problem with the retrieving of the SMART data,
but means Windows will for sure not be installed on that drive again.

:cheers:

#4 MedEvil

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 03:57 PM

Sorry forgot make and model.

Western Digital (As always!)
WDC WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0

:cheers:

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 04:16 PM

There is no nothing to salvage on the HDD.
My friend is paranoid enough to make constant backups of his data. ;)
The question was from the start only, if it is more easily fixable, than reinstalling all software.
 

I would call that "better be safe than sorry" and "smart" instead of "paranoid".
But, if there is no data to salvage, it is utterly futile to run CHKDSK! :w00t:
Or you mean it "literally" that your friend has a backup of just the data? :unsure:
If this is the case there is an even "smarter" approach, which is "imaging" (as opposed to backing up).

So you think too, that it's most likely a hardware failure?

Yes, that (corrupted filesystem(s) and "slow sectors") are typical of a hardware failure, being a laptop, either a head crash or overheating being the most likely causes.

btw. Crystal Disk Info managed to retrieve the SMART data after a whopping 27 minutes!
Pending Sector Count = 198! Which does not explain the problem with the retrieving of the SMART data,
but means Windows will for sure not be installed on that drive again.

Well, it depends. :unsure:
I have seen disks that once "reset" and re-formatted (if they passed the manufacturer's own tests, Data Lifeguard Diagnostic in the case of WD) whirled away happily for a few months or years more.
You can never say, unless you can actually find the exact cause.
Those drives can be (professionally ONLY) refurbished in a number of cases, often disabling a head (and thus reducing capacity) , only it is simply not worth the money.
Personally, if it was my disk I would check it with the manufacturer tool and IF it passes the tests, completely erase it, then run a couple of times makebad (or a similar utility) and if the results are not too bad, use it as a tertiary backup media. (but you know how cheap I am :ph34r:)

 

:cheers:

Wonko
 



#6 MedEvil

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:31 PM

Or you mean it "literally" that your friend has a backup of just the data? :unsure:
Yep, just the data.

Yes, that (corrupted filesystem(s) and "slow sectors") are typical of a hardware failure, being a laptop, either a head crash or overheating being the most likely causes.
I never had one like this before. Either the whole HDD was inaccessable or it was just a broken PTT / FS.
A HDD which got slow but remained readable for at least some partitions. That's an interesting error. ;)

Well, it depends. :unsure:
I have seen disks that once "reset" and re-formatted (if they passed the manufacturer's own tests, Data Lifeguard Diagnostic in the case of WD) whirled away happily for a few months or years more.
I wouldn't trust a my data even to a brand new WD Disk, much less to one, which is known to be on it's way out.

Whenever i get a failing or broken HDD (hardware), it's always WD, never Samsung or Hitachi or Seagate.

:cheers:

#7 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:41 PM


Whenever i get a failing or broken HDD (hardware), it's always WD, never Samsung or Hitachi or Seagate.

Well, you might have been lucky and never got a Seagate 7200.11, they fell (and are still falling) like flies :w00t: :ph34r:.

 

And the 7200.12's, though not as evident as the 7200.11's had their (much smaller) share of public attention.

 

We do have an entire sub-forum on MSFN that is made for 3/4 to 4/5 out of poor chaps that had the 7200.11 bricked....

http://www.msfn.org/...e-media-issues/

 

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#8 MedEvil

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 07:54 PM

With my own computers i never had any trouble. Guess it pays to not buy a box pre-filled with all the cheapest garbage available at the time. ;)

:cheers:

#9 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 11:30 AM

With my own computers i never had any trouble. Guess it pays to not buy a box pre-filled with all the cheapest garbage available at the time. ;)

Naah, you were simply lucky.

Or - like I personally do ;) - you choose to have never the latest-latest hardware, but wait a bit to understand if it is any good before actually buying it.

(and yes, this is besides and beyond my being cheap :))

 

:cheers:

Wonko



#10 MedEvil

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Posted 06 April 2013 - 01:55 PM

Or - like I personally do ;) - you choose to have never the latest-latest hardware, but wait a bit to understand if it is any good before actually buying it.
You're sort of right. I never shop for latest but always for most reliable.

:cheers:

#11 Agent47

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 08:38 AM

Hi MediEvil

 

I use HDTunePro v 5 to check bad sectors and it is very good in finding those. 30 day trail version do fine and works in both Live XP and Win7PE. Also Victoria for Windows is good in finding bad sectors but you should run it from LiveXP. Even though it may works in Win7PE , scanning and remapping functions are not working correctly during my tests (Probably some API incompatibility).

 

My another favorite tool is Seagate's seatool for DOS. I never see a bad HDD it failed to find in long test.


Edited by Agent47, 08 April 2013 - 08:40 AM.


#12 MedEvil

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 10:29 AM

Thanks for your tips, Agent47! :thumbup:

:cheers:




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