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I'm not 100% sure but I think my hard drive has some unusable sections, which is causing all my linux installation attempts to fail. If I'm right about the problem, ...
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  1. #1
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    Corrupted hard drive, still usable at all?


    I'm not 100% sure but I think my hard drive has some unusable sections, which is causing all my linux installation attempts to fail. If I'm right about the problem, is there any way to isolate these bad sections and install a Linux distro on the remaining working parts?

    I'm a total newb, btw.

  2. #2
    oz
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    You can check the status of your drive with utilities like SMART and/or the diagnostics utility provided specifically by your drive maker. When a hard disk starts gathering repeated bad sectors, it's time to backup your data and move it to another drive. If you are lucky, you might have some warranty period left on the drive and can exchange it for another one through your drive manufacturer.

    Check the drive maker's website for details regarding warranty periods and their exchange process for drives.
    oz

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    So my hard drive is garbage? That sucks, I'll use a utility to check it just in case, but its probably garbage. Thanks for the reply. Hopefully I have some kind of warranty on it.

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    Just Joined! canineloop's Avatar
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    Corrupted Hard Drive, still usable at all?

    Find and download MHDD on a computer that works. Make a bootable CD out of it like you would with a live Linux distro. (It comes as an "iso").

    Put your CD in the drive and set the computer to boot from MHDD.
    It will graph the hard drive by sectors. It also remaps bad sectors so you may still be able to use the hard drive, if not so many sectors are bad.

  5. #5
    Linux Newbie glene77is's Avatar
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    Canine,
    MHDD sounds like a good idea. Need to check that out myself.

    I always suggest the Live-CD of Parted-Magic from OSDisc , which will load entirely into RAM, and has inspect/salvage utilities.

    glene77is

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    The SMART data will show how many bad sectors there are, and how many it has remapped for good ones. Also, you can boot from a CD/DVD/USB drive and run the badblocks command to scan the drive for bad blocks.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    There might be nothing remaining after your attempts to do an installation. If there is data that you want to keep still on the drive, copy it to some other drive.
    You can boot a live Linux CD to do this, do not try to boot the failing drive.
    Don't exercise the old drive any more than is necessary to copy from it.

    Consider that the price of new drives keeps going down while their storage capacity goes up. It is probably not worth the time and effort to attempt to salvage the old drive.

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    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clowenstein View Post
    There might be nothing remaining after your attempts to do an installation. If there is data that you want to keep still on the drive, copy it to some other drive.
    You can boot a live Linux CD to do this, do not try to boot the failing drive.
    Don't exercise the old drive any more than is necessary to copy from it.

    Consider that the price of new drives keeps going down while their storage capacity goes up. It is probably not worth the time and effort to attempt to salvage the old drive.
    Indeed. A 2TB bare WD sata drive will run less than $100USD these days. You can get one on buy.com right now for $86.90 including shipping: Buy.com - Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EARS Hard Drive
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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    Of course, higher capacity means lower reliability.

    I used to run a 320 GB HDD as my only disk, and a year or two of driving down a dirt road to LAN parties made it so it wouldn't boot. But booting and running an OS is hard on a drive, it still works fine for storage. Yours might too.

  10. #10
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingJester View Post
    Of course, higher capacity means lower reliability.

    I used to run a 320 GB HDD as my only disk, and a year or two of driving down a dirt road to LAN parties made it so it wouldn't boot. But booting and running an OS is hard on a drive, it still works fine for storage. Yours might too.
    Capacity has pretty much nothing to do with reliability. Some factors that are important are MTBF (mean time between failure), and the number of spare sectors that the drive provides for mapping out bad ones that develop over time.
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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