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Hi All, A scan of one of my laptops hard disk shows some bad sectors/blocks in the hard disk. Due to this I am unable to boot into the Windows ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Newbie rinjo's Avatar
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    Exclamation Bad sectors on hard disk... how to fix?


    Hi All,

    A scan of one of my laptops hard disk shows some bad sectors/blocks in the hard disk. Due to this I am unable to boot into the Windows 7 partition. However, I am able to boot using a Ubuntu live DVD.
    Once booted in Ubuntu, i tried to fix the bad sector issue by running the below command.

    $ sudo badblocks -svn /dev/sda1

    After running the command for about 14 hrs, it shows only 1.17% scanned!
    Is this the normal pace at which bad blocks checks the disk and fixes the bad sectors?

    Is there any other tool that I can use to fix the disk issues?

    regards,
    Rinjo
    Linux Rocks!!!!
    -- Rinjo
    Setup: Oses: Windows 7 HB and Fedora 17 dual boot Hardware: HP Pavilion G6-2005AX laptop, AMD A8 Quad Core, 4 GB RAM, 1.5 GB dual Graphics card, 500GB HDD.

  2. #2
    Trusted Penguin Irithori's Avatar
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    When bad sectors show up on OS level, then you need to
    - make a backup of your data, if there isnt one
    - verify the integrity of the data, if possible.
    - *replace* the harddisc

    It is no use trying to fix bad blocks, because more will come.
    Also, badblocks will find badblocks, not fix them.
    You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  3. #3
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Since you can't get in to the doze partition on boot spinrite may help you at least get things fixed up enough to get your data back off the disk if you can't pull it off the disk using a live *nix CD.

    As stated by Irithori never trust a disk once it starts to go bad and always replace it.

    But I can tell you I've used SR to pull data off of trashed disks where nothing else worked.
    TNFrank likes this.

  4. #4
    Linux Engineer TNFrank's Avatar
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    Ditto on Spinrite. It'll cost you but it may be worth it if you have data on the drive that you can't replace. Also here's some other programs that do similar things.
    SpinRite Alternatives and Similar Software - AlternativeTo.net
    One of them may help as well. Once you get the data off of the drive you really need to get a new HDD or better yet upgrade to an SSD if you can afford to.
    Personally, I'd not cry too much over a Windows OS dying on me, Linux yes but Windows, nope, can't stand Windows anyway so it'd be doing me a favor if it crapped out. LOL.
    "Now, what y'all wanna do?
    Wanna be hackers? Code crackers? Slackers
    Wastin' time with all the chatroom yakkers?
    9 to 5, chillin' at Hewlett Packard?"

  5. #5
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    The thing is if a physical drive problem trying to get the bad sectors mapped so the drive doesn't use them anymore. In past drive used to have tools to remap a drive at the low level, but these days you have to hope the OS will catch it and map out the bad sectors. All this get unreliable and drives keep getting cheaper so most the time just easier to dump the drive and restore your backups.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

  6. #6
    Linux Newbie
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    what does SOME mean to you. a few bad sectors may have been caused by power failure and cause windows no to boot, reformat and install. If this is a laptop that is used for work then you may consider replacement but can use in the mean time. If some means mass clusters of bad sectors in a few locations on the drive it may as mentioned suggest failure, thus replacement will come sooner than later. a few bad sectors does not means emminent drive failure.

  7. #7
    Linux User Steven_G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmy View Post
    ... a few bad sectors does not means emminent drive failure.
    True. But I still just never trust the things again. With the modern drives it's just too hard to tell what's it's going to do next. By current manufacturing standards manufacturers feel that a complete failure rate of 5% in the first year, while still under warranty, is acceptable b/c replacing that 5% is still cheaper then building a more reliable drive.

    I'd just rather not take the chance with my data.

    And in so far as "repairing" bad sectors goes: It is physically impossible to do so on any drive built past the mid-late 1990's.

    You can map around them. But it's been my experience that once a drive starts to go sour it's just not worth the headaches or risk of data loss involved to be worth dinking around with it.

  8. #8
    Linux Engineer docbop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohmy View Post
    what does SOME mean to you. a few bad sectors may have been caused by power failure and cause windows no to boot, reformat and install. If this is a laptop that is used for work then you may consider replacement but can use in the mean time. If some means mass clusters of bad sectors in a few locations on the drive it may as mentioned suggest failure, thus replacement will come sooner than later. a few bad sectors does not means emminent drive failure.
    That's more like bad writes not bad sector or maybe a head crash. Not all disk corruption is bad sectors the OS is storing data on the hard drive like logistics of data that can get corrupted, nothing to do with bad sectors.
    A lion does not lose sleep, over the opinion of sheep.

  9. #9
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    In practical terms, I am suggesting that booting the live ubuntu shows that the computer is functioning and reinstalling windows 7 may offer a functional desktop until a drive replacement is aquired. if the system proves non functional then the drive will have to be replaced sooner than later. in which case ubuntu live provides some access. it is always worth a try. I have a laptop with a bad drive that some linux warn is in need of replacement but a light linux has work without error for months for browsing and mail etc. everything is relative. I would not rely on it for work.

    I agree newer drives are not as reliable as the older ones and any shop would replace anything replaceable and install your copy of windows for you. fixing windows 7 with ubuntu in this case did not seem appropriate to me but that is my rather novice opinion.

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