HDD Showing Bad Sectors

I have this issue on a Transcend 640GB External Drive. Whenever I try to write anything to the drive, I get an error, “Cyclic Redundancy Error”. I ran a S.M.A.R.T Test and I’ve attached a screenshot of the results. Is there any way I can fix this? I have read that fixing Bad Sectors on a Hard Drive ain’t easy, but something must be possible right?

Generally, a HDD showing bad sectors should be expected to get worse fairly quickly. It’s the sort of thing that tends to snowball. Any data on that drive should be removed, hopefully you can get it all off before the death rattle.

Windows can map the bad sectors and eliminate their use, it takes a long time and should not be attempted with data on the drive that you want to keep.

Ash, CDan’s got it. I’d start retrieving all the data you can. I assume this is a USB 2 drive, yes, and it’s got a Drive Letter assigned to it?

While you’re waiting for the data-transfers to complete, read up on

[B]CHKDSK [/B]

in a Google search, or the Wiki page.

And when you get your machine back (from doing the data-transfers), you can go to RUN and type

[B]CMD[/B] (which opens a “DOS box”) and then type

[B]CHKDSK /?[/B]

to display an on-line listing of that command’s features. If your External Drive is, say, [B]H:[/B] Drive, you might be typing commands like

[B]CHKDSK H: /f[/B]

which is the FIX command. (You can type these commands in all-lower-case, by the way - I’m only capitalizing them for readability’s sake). Or you might choose

[B]CHKDSK H: /r

[/B]which is the RECOVER-IF-POSSIBLE command.

These can take perhaps a few hours. Go to lunch, come back the next day, whatever.

You may also be correctly suspicious of this drive for the future, too. That [B]chkdsk /f[/B] command can be run intermittently and if it continues to find additional bad sectors, then you’ve got a deteriorating drive and you should replace it at some point.

Later on, if [B]chkdsk /f[/B] never displays additional bad sectors, then the HDD had some singular bad episode (dropped it? baked it? took it swimming?) and it’s probably OK to keep using it. I’m always suspicious of them, once they start, though.

Ash, something else… you’ve got the Samsung specific model number. You might do a Google search on that and see if you can find any Samsung-specific Disk-Diags to run on it. They might have something they’d recommend more than the standard CHKDSK process.

[QUOTE=CDan;2653496]Generally, a HDD showing bad sectors should be expected to get worse fairly quickly. It’s the sort of thing that tends to snowball. Any data on that drive should be removed, hopefully you can get it all off before the death rattle.

Windows can map the bad sectors and eliminate their use, it takes a long time and should not be attempted with data on the drive that you want to keep.[/QUOTE]

Looks like the drive is dying. This has been an issue for a long time now. I used to backup all the data, format, scan put the data back and the drive would be fine. But I guess it’s gone to an irreparable state now.

[QUOTE=ChristineBCW;2653503]Ash, something else… you’ve got the Samsung specific model number. You might do a Google search on that and see if you can find any Samsung-specific Disk-Diags to run on it. They might have something they’d recommend more than the standard CHKDSK process.[/QUOTE]

It’s a Transcend Disk, but shows a Samsung model number. I don’t understand why. But nevertheless, I tried CHKDSK, but the Bad Sectors never go away. This has been a pertinent issue, but I’ve never been this stuck with it before. My 40GB Internal Hard drive on my older system never game me such issues. Neither is my present 1TB Internal Drive. Why only on the External HDD? Is it wiser to invest on a new Internal Drive than a new External One?

[QUOTE=ashwin.terminator;2653613]It’s a Transcend Disk, but shows a Samsung model number. I don’t understand why.[/quote]It’s actually a Samsung drive put into a Transcend shell. This is to be expected, since Transcend doesn’t actually make hard drives. (The same goes for other brands, like Memorex, LaCie, etc that buy the drives & have them put into enclosures under their brand).

But nevertheless, I tried CHKDSK, but the Bad Sectors never go away. This has been a pertinent issue, but I’ve never been this stuck with it before. My 40GB Internal Hard drive on my older system never game me such issues. Neither is my present 1TB Internal Drive. Why only on the External HDD? Is it wiser to invest on a new Internal Drive than a new External One?
External drives can be just as robust as internal drives, since they basically are internal drives in an external shell. Of course, you wouldn’t want to severely knock an external drive about, but an external drive left alone, in all other ideal conditions, lasts as long as an internal drive. Just because this one failed seemingly early doesn’t mean the next drive will fail as early (though all drives of any type, if used enough, will fail). You just have to make sure you buy a drive that will best fit your needs.

Ash, the “bad sectors don’t go away” might mean a few things, but they’re all going to be ‘bad’.

If your prior uses of CHKDSK /F or /R listed specific sectors and then later CHKDSKs find the same values listed, this is because the drive’s electronics aren’t doing their job of marking off ‘bad sectors’ and never using them again.

Of course, if I was an HDD manufacturer and I discovered I had a batch of assembled drives that were crappy, I might not toss them out, nor would I sell them with my own label - which increases my support costs AND exposes me to bad publicity.

So, I might find an external-case maker who’d pay very little for these bad drives, sell them in his boxes and he’d take all the support costs - and any resulting bad publicity.

Mr. Samsung may have done exactly that.

Or you could have thrown it against the wall, held it over a bunsen burner too long or researched the effects of drop-kicking it out the 10th story window.

Since this has been a poor quality device for a while, I’d write it off and replace it, or understand anything saved to it may or may not be retrievable.

As for the wisdom of the next purchase - I think they’re all a crap-shoot - you puts yer money down, you takes yer chances. ANY device can be bad - no matter what price or name-brand. That said, I think today’s products have a better quality than yesterday’s because robotic assemblies are better.

I use internals because (1) I have room in the case, (2) I don’t want to have a bunch of plug-in connectors on a power-strip, and (3) because speed of data-access is so much faster.

But my externals have a portability so I can take them (along with all those bleepin’ cords and plugs!! sheesh) to different locations. I accept the slower-access times in exchange for portability.

There are 3Tb External Drives that are sometimes priced very cheap, but those may be difficult (or impossible) to use on WinXP and non-64-bit OS’s. I recommend limiting external drive purchases to the 2Tb models, therefore, because they’re compatible with just about every other 21st Century computer.

[B][I](Back to the SAMSUNG DRIVE issue… you might find a Samsung Disk Diagnostics that will be superior to CHKDSK. I’d say it’s your last hope, but there’s also a chance Samsung may not have such software.)[/I][/B]

Why only on the External HDD?

Quite often it’s heat. Stick a hot little piece of electronics in a tight little plastic box and you’re asking for trouble. very few externals have fans, after all…

This is the drive in question:

Taking user feedback with a grain of salt, it’s worse than some and better than some. But it’s still a fairly cheap drive.

[QUOTE=ashwin.terminator;2653613]Looks like the drive is dying. This has been an issue for a long time now. I used to backup all the data, format, scan put the data back and the drive would be fine. But I guess it’s gone to an irreparable state now.

It’s a Transcend Disk, but shows a Samsung model number. I don’t understand why. But nevertheless, I tried CHKDSK, but the Bad Sectors never go away. This has been a pertinent issue, but I’ve never been this stuck with it before. My 40GB Internal Hard drive on my older system never game me such issues. Neither is my present 1TB Internal Drive. Why only on the External HDD? Is it wiser to invest on a new Internal Drive than a new External One?[/QUOTE]

http://www.dposoft.net/try hdd regenerator or SPINRIGHT the Spinrite is fabulous as it actually wipes out bad sectors and replaces them with “reserve” sectors on the drive! Just remember your drive will fail eventually so hope you can retrieve your data (spinrite is here and by the famous Steve Gibson) http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm

Strub, I’m a big fan of SPINRITE but I’ve never heard of the DPOSOFT stuff, so thanks for that.

Here’s the DPOSOFT NET main page link - $60 for the Regenerator product.

If the drive in Question has S.M.A.R.T. capability “replacing” the "Bad sectors with “Reserve” sectors has already happened… AUTOMATICALLY.

And for the record I’ve used “spinrite” to get a drive working so that the data can be removed from it, but further testing with the drive showed the proper place for such a drive… in the recycling bin!

Because the test I rely most on to indicate a drive is “good” is a windows XP installer
If a windows installer won’t run to show a desktop…

However I should note that usually the “errors” on a hard drive are usually in the first 20gb creating a 20gb partition then another partition (the remainder of the drive) then installing windows on that second partition and subsequently DELETING the first partition will get you some “Borrowed time”, but in the end the drive really belongs in the trash.

AD

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2653729]If the drive in Question has S.M.A.R.T. capability “replacing” the "Bad sectors with “Reserve” sectors has already happened… AUTOMATICALLY.[/QUOTE] Only for sectors that fail during a [B]write[/B] operation. Sectors that fail during a [B]read[/B] operation are not automatically replaced and can actually be quite difficult to get replaced (requires special tools such as e.g. [I]hdrecover[/I]).

If operating system files are in sectors that won’t write you’ll find
most if not all in the first 10-15gb of the drive while the installer is running and most of the rest once the installer is done, generally you “find them” the way a blind pilot is likely to find a mountain of attempting to fly through colorado at 7000ft
is likely to “find” a mountain.

And in either case “fixing” a drive with ANY bad sectors is best discussed
with the same mantra you use for suspected canned food “If in doubt, throw it out”

Not too long ago I found my father running scandisc on an IDE 40gb drive

Not counting the time it spent running automatically (unattended) he spent
nearly two hours fidding with it… all in an attempt to “Save” (temporarily)
a drive worth $20 on a good day.

Saving “Data” is one thing, I’d cheerfully spend a week recovering mp3
files off that drive for a customer, as those files are worth $1 EACH (cost of replacement)

Though admittedly on occasion I’ve cheated… that is to say get the drive working long enough to read the directory of files off of it and reconstructing the music library from my own massive music library.

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2653729]If the drive in Question has S.M.A.R.T. capability “replacing” the "Bad sectors with “Reserve” sectors has already happened… AUTOMATICALLY.

And for the record I’ve used “spinrite” to get a drive working so that the data can be removed from it, but further testing with the drive showed the proper place for such a drive… in the recycling bin!

Because the test I rely most on to indicate a drive is “good” is a windows XP installer
If a windows installer won’t run to show a desktop…

However I should note that usually the “errors” on a hard drive are usually in the first 20gb creating a 20gb partition then another partition (the remainder of the drive) then installing windows on that second partition and subsequently DELETING the first partition will get you some “Borrowed time”, but in the end the drive really belongs in the trash.

AD[/QUOTE]

No S.M.A.R.T I guess, because read/write, the CRC errors just keep coming!

[QUOTE=DrageMester;2653731]Only for sectors that fail during a [B]write[/B] operation. Sectors that fail during a [B]read[/B] operation are not automatically replaced and can actually be quite difficult to get replaced (requires special tools such as e.g. [I]hdrecover[/I]).[/QUOTE]

I’ll try HDRecover then. :iagree:

[QUOTE=AllanDeGroot;2653756]If operating system files are in sectors that won’t write you’ll find
most if not all in the first 10-15gb of the drive while the installer is running and most of the rest once the installer is done, generally you “find them” the way a blind pilot is likely to find a mountain of attempting to fly through colorado at 7000ft
is likely to “find” a mountain.

And in either case “fixing” a drive with ANY bad sectors is best discussed
with the same mantra you use for suspected canned food “If in doubt, throw it out”

Not too long ago I found my father running scandisc on an IDE 40gb drive

Not counting the time it spent running automatically (unattended) he spent
nearly two hours fidding with it… all in an attempt to “Save” (temporarily)
a drive worth $20 on a good day.

Saving “Data” is one thing, I’d cheerfully spend a week recovering mp3
files off that drive for a customer, as those files are worth $1 EACH (cost of replacement)

Though admittedly on occasion I’ve cheated… that is to say get the drive working long enough to read the directory of files off of it and reconstructing the music library from my own massive music library.[/QUOTE]

Haha. Very clever!
I’m not concerned much for the data. Not very important. I’m more concerned about the drive itself. I saved up the Indian Equivalent of 85$
to buy the drive and don’t want to throw it away like that. But then again, if that is the inevitable end, then so be it.

[QUOTE=ashwin.terminator;2653808]I’ll try HDRecover then. :iagree:[/QUOTE] [B]hdrecover[/B] is a Linux program you have to compile yourself, so it’s definitely not for everyone!

We haven’t really had recent success with Spinrite, by the way - except that it will indeed ensure bad-sectors are lopped off from a failing HDD. Frankly, though, “replacement HD” is less expensive, when all things are considered.

I’ve gone thru some of WD’s and Seagate’s diag tools that focused on data-recovery, and those didn’t solve anything that CHKDSK didn’t - sad. But that’s the state of HDDs now - they’re more reliable than ever, but when they die, that’s it.

I couldn’t locate a similar program for Samsungs, by the way. I suspect CHKDSK is as good as you can get. Maybe Samsung is saying that, in fact.

Ultimate Boot CD is my go-to for diagnostic tools. It also has 3 or 4 Samsung specific diagnostic tools, although hard to say if they’re any better than ChkDsk…