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awraynor

HD Sentinel Pro $14 With Free Lifetime Updates

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awraynor

As soon as it restarts from the next multi-hour chkdsk it decided to put itself into I'll try that.

Otherwise, I'm looking for the next sale on a 2TB drive for my data, maybe a Seagate 

this time. 

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ikon

Looking forward to reading how it goes.

 

BTW, I bought the 5-license family pack. Running a Read test on the D: drive of this computer right now.

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oj88

I don't believe it's an HDS issue. Here's how they define it. Reading it fully is recommended.

 

It's really quite a great feature to have on hard disks. It's another layer to protect your data from total obliteration, otherwise, the drive logic would just mark a sector as bad just because the CRC check failed. And apparently it seems that it's chkdsk that appears to be limited and outdated..

 

Hard disk weak sectors

 

A "weak sector" or "pending sector" (the same but with different name) is a sector where the CRC check showed problems on a read operation, but (currently) no physical problem encountered. The drive marks such sector as "pending sector" and on next write operation(s) the drive verifies the status of the corresponding sector to confirm if it can be re-used or not.

 

If things are good, the drive sector could read back and there are no signs of problems, then the status of the sector set back to normal (the number of such weak sectors may decrease and there is no re-allocation). But if this verification shows failure, then the drive starts the reallocation process and marks the sector as bad - to completely disable its later use and re-direct all further reads and writes to the spare area instead. Then the number of bad (reallocated) sectors may incrase and they may be reported in Hard Disk Sentinel.

 

Usually, weak sectors can be caused by

 

1. real drive failure (error with internal memory, problem with drive head or surface)

 

2. power loss (the write operation could not be completed because of power loss)

 

3. power failure (weak power supply or not stable power line)

 

4. data cable failure or improper connection (usually cause also communication errors )

 

5. system memory or motherboard problem

 

6. overclocking

 

7. general overheating of the motherboard, chipset, hard disk controller

 

Because weak sectors may not indicate real failure of the hard disk drive, they are not counted as seriously as real bad sectors or other attributes / issues. Anyway, these should be noticed also because they can cause serious problems if they are located in the administrative areas of the hard disk drive (boot record, MFT, critical system files) and/or if the number of weak sectors is high.

 

This may sound weird, but in most cases the weak sectors do not indicate real problems with the hard disk. As a side effect, chkdsk may detect bad sectors on the actual partition (logical drive) and marks them as bad to prevent accessing that particular logical drive area. However, this is not the best solution because chkdsk does not repair the hard disk drive itself, only the partition (the logical drive). It means that if a re-partition and re-format would be ever required, the problems are still there, the problematic sectors would be used again, they may cause data loss / corruption again and re-running chkdsk may find them again - a vicious circle.

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awraynor

I have my entire 1TB data drive synced to a folder on WHS since WHS can't seem to back it up with the usual backup routine.

After reading above would there be benefit to reformatting the drive and then just syncing it back over?

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oj88

You can use HDS to reinitialize the disk. That would essentially write zeroes on the drive and any pending sector that has failed validation will be reallocated. Based on the above explanation, if the pending sector error is just a soft error, it will not be reallocated and so can be re-used.

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awraynor

Of the surface tests which is most appropriate to identify good sectors and isolate bad sectors so it will hopefully make the disk backup again; write, reinitialize, etc.?

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oj88

The reason WIndows backup is not able to complete because it can't correctly read some of the sectors.

 

The way I understand it, if there's user data present in a weak sector (CRC fail on read), it will not be reallocated UNTIL the drive gets a good read of that sector. That said, there's only two ways that a weak sector (if proven to be a hard error) may be reallocated: First is if the contents has been successfully read then said sector will finally be put to 'rest' as a bad sector. The other method is that you force the drive to reinitialize. Reinitializing will write zeroes on all sectors, overwriting any data. Any problematic sector will be marked as bad and reallocated.

 

If you can still read off the drive, do a manual file/directory copy to another disk to back it up. Once you're committed to format the drive, reinitialize it. That would force real bad sectors to be reallocated while soft sector errors be put back into service.

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awraynor

Thanks. I'll start using the reinitialize option.

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Drashna Jaelre

There's only two ways that a weak sector (if proven to be a hard error) may be reallocated: First is if the contents has been successfully read then said sector will finally be put to 'rest' as a bad sector. The other method is that you force the drive to reinitialize. 

Actually, specifically, if ANYTHING is written to the damaged/bad/weak sector. Initializing or formatting is the surest method to do that, though.

 

Also, no special tools needed to "reinitialize". Diskpart's clean command will do that, if you add "all" to it (so you run "clean all" in diskpart). This writes zero's to the entire disk.

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ikon

As I read the description, a weak sector is one that had a CRC read error. It's marked as pending. The next time something is written to that sector and it's successful, the sector will be have the pending flag removed and it will be reassigned to the pool of good sectors. If the write fails, the drive will mark the sector bad and write the data to a sector activated from the pool of spares.

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