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Hey all, I have a Seagate FreeAgent Go 120GB. Formatted into 3 partitions, a 10GB iso9660 FS, a 1GB swap partition and the remainder an NTFS partition Recently I had ...
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  1. #1
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    How can I make my partially messed up external HDD usable again?


    Hey all,

    I have a Seagate FreeAgent Go 120GB. Formatted into 3 partitions, a 10GB iso9660 FS, a 1GB swap partition and the remainder an NTFS partition

    Recently I had the first partition on it go bad on me, with reading errors galore. So I had to ditch the portable linux install and attempt to reformat it

    Now it takes a long time for windows to even access the drive initially, however once the OS is done freaking out I have no problems accessing the data on the NTFS partition. I blame bad sectors on partition 1 for the problem, however it seems I am unable to fix the partition using linux tools as any scan tools I run will scan at the rate of 1 or 2% per hour and the tools will appear to hang at certain moments (like it will be stuck on 16% for 3 hours) before I get impatient and terminate the tool.

    I would like to know if there is a way to error check and fix/mark bad sectors using a different tool other than testdisk or e2fsck? (both of which exhibit the same problem)

  2. #2
    Linux Guru Rubberman's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I have not had good results (reliability-wise) with Seagate FreeAgent drives, though I have had 0 problems with bare Seagate drives. I had similar problems with a 1TB FreeAgent drive which I had to relegate to the bit bucket and resorted to bare drives installed in quick-load enclosures. The price is about the same as the FreeAgent drives, but I've had no problems that way.

    Anyway, tales of woe and intrigue not withstanding, I can only recommend that you first zero out the drive (which will reloate bad sectors by the controller) and then repartition the drive, and reformat the partitions. Use the "scan for bad blocks" option on the linux partitions - the mkfs.ntfs formatter should do that automatically for the ntfs partition(s).
    Sometimes, real fast is almost as good as real time.
    Just remember, Semper Gumbi - always be flexible!

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