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Thread: Bad sectors

  1. #1
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    Bad sectors

    Long story short, I think that I have a bad sector on my Raptor. The WD Diagnostic tool kindly offered me to "repair" the problem, but I assume that it is just going to mark it as "bad" and whatever file I had there will be permanently gone.

    Well, it is not the end of the world, my boot drive didn't have that much data in the first place. However, can I make an RMA claim based on this? The disk is around a year old.
    And would I make the claim to WD directly, or to OcUK who sold me the drive? (No hard feelings, HD dies - though this one a bit too early for a drive with 5 years warranty).

    I was thinking of doing a full reformat, reinstall windows etc. etc.
    But if I can RMA this, then I see no reason to do this until I get a new drive.

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    Easiest/quickest thing to do is fill out the advanced RMA form on Western Digital website.
    You enter your credit card details (although no amount is charged) and they send you a new drive.
    You then have 30 days after delivery to return the faulty one.
    Failure to do so will mean they charge the purchase amount for the replacement to the card who's details you entered.

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    there is software u could try called "hard disk drive regenirator" (bad spellin i know but oh well) take a while to run but it could repair it always worth a try

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    the only way to attempt to clear bad sectors is with a low level format, even then there are no garintees
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    Regardless, clearing or "repairing" bad sectors is always a terrible idea. A sector gets marked as bad because your harddrive has had issues reading from it. Doing this tells your drive not to write data to that sector anymore, just in case it is unable to read the data off it again; it's a measure against data loss.

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    Indeed. There is not much data on my boot drive, so this news is not the end of the world. However, to me, bad sector means the beginning of a series of failure, and I can't risk it. Plus, it is not looking too hot:
    http://img484.imageshack.us/img484/4...ostics39fz.png

    I did think of using the advance replacement service (WD RMA is slow, I've experienced it once before). But I wonder how long it will take. The turn around time is said to be 5 business days in the US, but I suspect that it will take longer in the UK since last time, I had to send the drive to Germany.

    On a side note, does anyone know how to read S.M.A.R.T info?
    http://img474.imageshack.us/img474/6...ostics20dq.png
    Last edited by TooNice; 22-12-2005 at 12:12 PM.

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    A single sector failure is not necessarily an indicator of impending doom! Drives may well have bad sectors in the mfr process - they are fallged during the initial low level format. It might be worth trying to RMA it, but one sector doesn't represent a huge loss of capacity.
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    But if I am not mistaken, a drives usually have a number of spare sectors in reserve at the beginning, to compensate from the bad sectors during the manufacturing process. Bad sectors that are subsequently detected is usually the beginning of more to come.

    The loss of capacity is not what I am concerned, it is the risks of subsequent loss of data.
    (This bad sector killed part of my Trillian, and I had to reinstall it - had it been some Windows system files, the system would have stopped booting)

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    Bad sectors aren't always casued by a bad harddrive, sometimes its physical shock, other times "brown out" style power conditions, if its only one sector i wouldn't worry.

    There is another alternative, you can run a low-level verify, this is like a low level format, but it toggles each sectors a few times. Power interuption during this proccess can seriously caus issues thou. If your worried, i'd whack a multimeter accross your 12v rail, apparently its more likely to be a PSU problem than an HDD problem.... but i was told that buy a guy who used to work in HDD design not PSU design so its probably only half truth!
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    What SATA cables are you using with your Raptor? And are you using the SATA power connector or the molex?

    I had problems with both my SATA data cables and the power connectors. I bought the WD SecureConnecte SATA cables and switched from SATA power connectors to molex and the problems with one of my Raptors went away completely. The WD SecureConnect SATA cables use the SATA power connector to provide additional grip to the drive. Thus, you have to use the molex connectors for power.

    When I had the problem one drive would sometimes not be recognised by the BIOS and Windows read and write would grind to a halt on that drive. I'm not sure whether it was the SATA cables or the power connector but I effectively replaced both and the problems went away.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TooNice
    But if I am not mistaken, a drives usually have a number of spare sectors in reserve at the beginning, to compensate from the bad sectors during the manufacturing process. Bad sectors that are subsequently detected is usually the beginning of more to come.
    True, true. When you start seeing bad sectors in your disk scanning reports, though, it means that the spare sector stockpile has been exhausted. So you may actually get bad sectors throughout the drive's lifespan without ever knowing it, so long as that stockpile isn't exhausted.

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    Run chkdsk /r on the drive. Then run chkdsk again and see how many kilobytes of bad sectors there are in the report at the end.
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