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Bad sector problems

by ron_cox99 / September 17, 2009 7:57 AM PDT

DELL Demension 8400
Seagate Baracuda 160 hard drive
Windows Home Media 2005, XP Pro SP3.

My wife's computer suddenly refused to boot up. It hangs on the XP opening screen. I can not reboot using any of the other boot options from the boot menu. If I try one of them, I get a BSOD about VER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. At that time I could not boot to my CD drive because it was unresponsive (I guess the system had not booted far enough to activate it).

I was able to remove the hard drive and had a USB TO SATA/IDE cable and was able to see the drive as another drive on my computer. I could not run chkdsk or the Tools from the disk properties for some reason. States "Windows was unable to complete the disk check". So it seems having it on my computer as an attached USB drive I can not get to it with some disk procedures.

I got a copy of SeaTools from Seagate, it found 80 some bad sectors, said it repaired them but same boot problem. I then discovered that SeaTools was basically a read only diagnoistic and am puzzled why it said they were repaired.

I got a copy of the HDD Regenerator program and it identified many bad sectors and claims it repaired them. I rebooted and got the exact same boot up problems as before. Evidently that regeneration program did nothing for me. (It was to put down a new magnetic sector and not harm any data - claims 60% of hard drive bad sector problems are loss of magnetics).

After I reinstalled the hard drive and got the same boot up problems, I tried booting with the NTST Boot CD and it now boots to the Dos. I ran chkdsk from that CD and it found about 89 unreadable sectors, orphaned files and all kinds of things. I ran chkdsk again with /R option and at the completion of phase 3 - Security verification - tried to add 89 sectors to the bad allocation table. It failed - not enough disk space. Is this related to the reserved area for the operating system or to the entire disk because I have 13 gb free out of 149 gb?

Is there any other program/procedure that would work better?

I feel I will have to format the drive, but wanted to get a new drive and use this one as a secondary drive. Maybe have it available for transferring files from it. Then I would format it and use it for backups and storage.

What are some suggestions for how to proceed?
Thanks for your time.

This just in:
I connected the hard drive again to my computer using the USB TO SATA cable and tried to delete some files and it promptly says it can not find the files and then I get a Write Delay error.

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What the message REALLY IS!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 17, 2009 8:31 AM PDT
In reply to: Bad sector problems

This hard disk is dying. Replace it and execute your disaster plan.

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Your only option is to do a full reformat...
by MrKassner / September 22, 2009 8:35 PM PDT
In reply to: Bad sector problems

You can generally still use the drive after reformatting it but do NOT trust it to hold anything important. When you format the drive make sure you delete all the partitions on it and create one new one to cover the entire drive, set the file system you want and make sure you UN-check "Perform a quick format". The format will take a very long time, possibly even hours but once it is finished it will have scanned the entire disk and marked off all the bad points on the drive and will not allow data to be stored on or near the damaged parts.

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