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HDD errors noob questions

post #1 of 16
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So I got this lady laptop to fix. It would boot into vista but it would through a few program errors(printer program, and some dell tool bar) but after about 3 mins it would freeze up and the screen an give me some sort of logon error. I pulled the drive and hooked it up to my pc an scanned it for viruses and got nothing. So I decided just to back everything up and do a fresh install from the recovery partition. I got some errors when trying to copy over files so I ran HD Tune pro and it says it has 1.4% damaged blocks. Could this have been what caused the problems? Also i've never had a drive with bad sectors, is any bad sectors mean new drive or is there a certain % thats "allowed"? Also if she wants me to put a new one in, how do I get the partition off so I can reinstall? What if there is errors in the recovery partition?
Sorry for all the questions but I want to be well informed before I give her a call.
 
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post #2 of 16
There isn't an acceptable percentage allowed for bad sectors, bad sectors means that there is something wrong with the drive and it should be replaced.

Damaged sectors can cause interesting issues and usually indicate a larger problem.

As for the recovery partition if it has been corrupted or you can not create recovery disks you can usually get them from the manufacturer. Sometimes for free sometimes you'll have to pay a small fee.
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post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6speed View Post
Also i've never had a drive with bad sectors, is any bad sectors mean new drive or is there a certain % thats "allowed"? Also if she wants me to put a new one in, how do I get the partition off so I can reinstall? What if there is errors in the recovery partition?
Sorry for all the questions but I want to be well informed before I give her a call.
I can guarantee you that you have had multiple drives with bad sectors before. The hard drive should be able to remap these to reserve pool.

Can you post a screenshot of the SMART values?
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post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
If the recovery is ok, how do I copy it over?
 
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post #5 of 16
It's probably time for a new drive. If it came with Vista from the factory it's probably under warranty, but it would take a lot longer to get a replacement drive that way. You can try running Chkdsk /r from an elevated command prompt, but that might not take care of it.

You can use an imaging program like Acronis True Image to clone the drive to a new one, or use the Recovery DVD's that are made using the Recovery Disk Creator (depends on the brand of laptop of what it would be called). If the owner didn't bother to make them you can try to create them now, but it might not work depending on how damaged the drive is. If cloning the drive doesn't work, they don't have the recovery DVD's they were supposed to make, and the Recovery Disk Creator won't work they'll need to order a replacement set of recovery DVD's from the laptop manufacturer.
Edited by PapaSmurf - 12/22/10 at 11:00pm
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post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post
I can guarantee you that you have had multiple drives with bad sectors before. The hard drive should be able to remap these to reserve pool.

Can you post a screenshot of the SMART values?
How do I do that? Is it in HD Tune pro?
 
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post #7 of 16
I can answer some of your questions. First, yes, a failing HD can cause the errors you were seeing in the apps. If the app is trying to use or access a file on a corrupt block, then strange things will happen.

Without knowing the HD model and such, not sure if it has built in error correction. 1.4% is not a good thing. Running checkdisk can sometimes isolate the bad blocks so they won't be used, and if your lucky, it can repair them, but I have a feeling that the drive will continue to deteriorate.

As far as using the recovery partition to reinstall...that can be really tricky sometimes because some require exact same HD specs. Is there an option to burn recovery DVD's? If the recovery partition has bad blocks, then things are just going from bad to worse.
    
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post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6speed View Post
If the recovery is ok, how do I copy it over?
You probably won't be able to. You may, but not likely. Recovery partitions are usually bootable, or are accessed through a boot disk, and simply copying them out to another source won't work.
    
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post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Does this help?

 
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post #10 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by straha View Post
I can answer some of your questions. First, yes, a failing HD can cause the errors you were seeing in the apps. If the app is trying to use or access a file on a corrupt block, then strange things will happen.

Without knowing the HD model and such, not sure if it has built in error correction. 1.4% is not a good thing. Running checkdisk can sometimes isolate the bad blocks so they won't be used, and if your lucky, it can repair them, but I have a feeling that the drive will continue to deteriorate.

As far as using the recovery partition to reinstall...that can be really tricky sometimes because some require exact same HD specs. Is there an option to burn recovery DVD's? If the recovery partition has bad blocks, then things are just going from bad to worse.
I can't use the laptop, i've been doing all of this from my pc after I pulled the drive.
 
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