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Windows 7 unreliable bad-sector detection

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
SCSI sense data
When a disk encounters errors that are related to unreadable or unwriteable sectors, it reports those errors and the relevant SCSI sense data to the operating system. SCSI sense data may contain information about LBA for sectors that were found to be unreadable or unwriteable.

For LBA address space that is greater than 2 TB, the disk requires SCSI sense data in Descriptor format. This format is not supported by Windows 7 or Windows Server 2008 R2, which retrieve SCSI sense data in Fixed format. Therefore, the retrieved SCSI sense data either does not contain information about bad sectors or it contains incorrect information about bad sectors. Administrators should note this limitation when they look for bad sector LBA information that is recorded in the Windows event log.

Does this mean hard drives 2 TB or larger should not be used with Windows 7 because Windows 7 cannot reliably detect and correct bad sectors, or may ignore bad sectors?
post #2 of 7
I'm not terribly familar with the SCSI key code qualifiers, but bad sectors are generally reallocated shortly after they are found and bad sector count at the OS level count hasn't really been useful in a very long time. You can have a drive with huge numbers of damaged sectors and zero bad sectors reported because they've been reallocated by the drive.

Scan the drive, then check SMART status for changes to pending and reallocated sectors.
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply, but I'm still not sure if it's safe to purchase a hard drive 2 TB or larger for Windows 7. It sounds like Windows 7 will not be able to detect and correct bad sectors, or it may ignore them, because it uses Fixed format and not the proper Descriptor format. So that tells me that a hard drive 2 TB or larger with bad sectors could no longer be used with Windows 7, because the OS can't properly mark bad sectors and relocate the data to good sectors. Would somebody please clarify what Microsoft really means by that info?
post #4 of 7
Correct me if I am wrong but its the harddrives controller that is responsible for marking (And updating the SMART data) and relocating the data of the bad sectors isn't it?
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NeoReaper View Post

Correct me if I am wrong but its the harddrives controller that is responsible for marking (And updating the SMART data) and relocating the data of the bad sectors isn't it?

It could be, but wouldn't the hard drive still have to notify Windows 7 of the changes so it can make any corrections to the file system and ensure stability and prevention of data loss?
post #6 of 7
Reallocation of bad sectors is transparent to the OS.

The only thing the SCSI sense data limitation affects is Windows being notified of them. Windows not being notified of these errors won't put data at risk because any data in them is already gone and because Windows cannot write to them once the drive has reallocated them. You just loose the automatic warning, or get an inaccurate warning.

You can still check SMART status for pending or reallocated sectors and run chkdks on the drive to see if any data may have been impacted.
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post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

Reallocation of bad sectors is transparent to the OS.

The only thing the SCSI sense data limitation affects is Windows being notified of them. Windows not being notified of these errors won't put data at risk because any data in them is already gone and because Windows cannot write to them once the drive has reallocated them. You just loose the automatic warning, or get an inaccurate warning.

You can still check SMART status for pending or reallocated sectors and run chkdks on the drive to see if any data may have been impacted.

One part of me thought the same thing, but the other part wasn't sure. I'll go and buy that 4 TB drive now. Thanks for clarifying this for me. I hope it helps others, as only 1 other person had this question on another forum, but nobody answered it.

Just one thing I'd like to clarify: If you run Chkdsk in Windows 7 on a hard drive or SSD 2 TB or larger, the bad sector info will be missing or incorrect, which I assume is what Microsoft meant by that last sentence.
Edited by vipejc - 8/20/16 at 9:35am
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