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ATTN: EVERYONE WITH FAILING DRIVES!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Those of you who have failing drives and you know you will have bad sectors (if you look at smart data and see reallocated sectors), don't even bother running a surface scan. Follow my guide and get the data off the drive.

If you are not sure, and you do run a surface scan, stop the surface IMMEDIATELY after you find even ONE bad block. Further thrashing the drive with a surface scan will only cause it to deteriorate further.
 
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post #2 of 7
Doesn't the drive mark off the bad sector so that it can't be used again? So if a drive only has a few bad sectors and the bad sector count is not increasing, it should be safe to use, at least temporarily, right?
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
It can only do this up to a point. All drives have reserve for reallocation. When this runs you, you get bad sectors all over the place, though during a surface scan, these are still marked as bad.
 
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Gsvlip Dudyrm
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post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by 996gt2 View Post

Doesn't the drive mark off the bad sector so that it can't be used again? So if a drive only has a few bad sectors and the bad sector count is not increasing, it should be safe to use, at least temporarily, right?
Yes.

But you can also get bad sectors when crud gets stuck to the drive's head(s), and it can't make out sectors. Those spread like wildfire. One day it'll detect 5-10, then 50, then 2000, then it can't read anything. It's the accumulation of gunk on the head. Apparently Seagate's early perpendicular recording drives coated the platter surface with something to make the perpendicular tech work better. After a certain amount of time it started to flake off slightly, causing a fair number of those drives to fail with the "triple head knock" sound a few years after their warranties expired. (4-5 years on avg? Not sure exactly.)
     
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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

"triple head knock" sound

Lol you spooked me.. I've heard this from my drive quite often, and infact I just heard it yesterday. Now I'm horrified. How do I identify if I have any bad sectors?
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by amd955be5670 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kramy View Post

"triple head knock" sound

Lol you spooked me.. I've heard this from my drive quite often, and infact I just heard it yesterday. Now I'm horrified. How do I identify if I have any bad sectors?
It's not actually bad/damaged sectors (in the sense that you meant it) - bad sectors are just sectors where the head can't read them for some reason. If your drive's head gets enough gunk on it, every sector will become a bad sector, but the sectors aren't actually bad.

That distinction is important because data recovery places can do a head swap to recover all your data. (After all, there's no real bad sectors - it's the head.)


I can't say how long a drive in that condition will last, but I would advise you to make sure you have a backup copy of anything super important. If you don't have a backup drive, now might be a good time to pick one up? wink.gif Failing that, get your super important stuff uploaded to Cloud storage. Dropbox, SkyDrive, GoogleDrive, Box.net, etc.
     
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post #7 of 7
Bad / reallocated sectors are signs of a dieing disk, some guys are lucky enough to use the drive that way for some time, but most of them end losing personal data for not replacing the unit in time.
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