Posted by Uncle Vinnie on August 8, 2010, 6:45 amPlease Register and login to reply and use other advanced options
Re: Dell Inspiron laptop running Vista....
I was doing a back up, Seagate BlackArmor, when the program came across an
error, unable to read a particular sector. Second try, same problem, so I
chose to ignore that sector, and continue in order to complete the backup.
I ran Check Disk, it cleaned up a few bad sectors (orphan, cluster
problems), nothing out the usual....
However phase 5 of 5, it stopped at 74%, at one particular sector.....
Shutdown, restart Checkdisk, this time no problems along the way until phase
5 of 5... 74%, same sector....
I understand in looking around the net that Vista runs hard on drives,
Are there any other utilities I can try to fix this sector or am I looking
at a new drive??? I have never replaced a drive in a laptop.... Desktop
years ago (with ME), but never a laptop.. is this what I may be looking at??
Thanks & B'rgds,
Posted by Paul on August 8, 2010, 8:01 am
Uncle Vinnie wrote:
"Phases 4 and 5: Checking sectors (optional)
If the /R switch is in effect, Chkdsk runs two more passes
to look for bad sectors.
During stage 4, Chkdsk verifies all clusters in use;
during stage 5, Chkdsk verifies unused clusters."
That would suggest to me, since you've completed Phase 4 clean,
you could continue with your backup activity, and get all your files
safely off the computer.
Then, install a new hard drive in the laptop, and put all the files back.
You can't really "fix" a sector. The hard drive, has a certain percentage
of spare sectors, and it has a map of which sectors have been spared out.
The disk will be "error free" until at some point, you run out of spares
in a particular area of the disk, and attempts to write at that point,
could be failing with an error. Personally, when a disk shows the first hint
of trouble, I replace it. Unless you're on a really tight budget, generally
your info is worth more to you, than the sub-$100 for a new drive.
Cloning a Dell, isn't going to be that easy. For example, if I download
PTEDIT32 and look at the primary partition table, I can use that to see
how many partitions are defined. There is more than C: present there.
To fully transfer control from one disk to another, you'd want to make
sure all the partitions and the MBR are copied. Since your disk is damaged (and
so far, you've only chkdsk'ed C:), it's hard to say what is going to
happen with the other partitions. One of those partitions, could be the
"recovery partition" - the one you were supposed to burn a backup copy of,
for a day when the hard drive dies. The recovery partition is used to
overwrite your C:, and install the OS image again. Anything on C: could be
wiped out, such as an email database or personal files, when you use
that kind of recovery process.
(A Dell computer with three partitions on it. C: would be the 07-type one.)
The goodells site has info on what some of those partitions are for.
These pages are examples of the level of detail they have in some
of their articles.
If I were doing this, I'd purchase
1) A new 2.5" hard drive, either SATA or IDE connector type, picked to match
the SATA or IDE connector on the existing drive. Drive thickness should
not exceed the one that is currently there (9.5mm ?). I think I've seen
some terabyte drives that are 12.5mm thick, so you can't just buy the
first thing you see. Generally the hard drive bay is pretty easy to get to.
Some drives have an adapter on the interface connector, as part of a
stress relief scheme (so the drive can float when the laptop casing is
You remove the old drive, transfer the adapter to the new drive, and screw
the new drive into place. When dealing with laptop cabling, be very careful,
as the cables are easier to damage than on a desktop.
In terms of drive size, it depends on the vintage of computer, as to how
large a drive it might support. Ten years ago, the BIOS could support up
to 128GB drives, in which case a 120GB might be a comfortable upper limit.
If the existing drive is a 160GB, then your new drive could be larger if
you want. (SATA is probably less of a problem in this regard, than the
older IDE interface ones.)
2) An external USB2 hard drive enclosure. That will allow connecting the new
drive to the computer, and doing your cloning or transferring. You select
a USB2 to SATA enclosure for a SATA drive, or a USB2 to IDE enclosure for
an IDE drive.
3) Depending on the brand of disk, you can download the disk manufacturer cloning
software. Seagate has some version of Acronis for download for example. That
intended to make it easy for customers to move from one drive to other.
2.5" USB enclosures can come with either a "Y" cable, or two separate USB cables.
One USB cable is used purely as a source of an addition 500mA of current. The
other USB cable is a "full" cable, using +5V, GND, D+ and D- data signals. The
cable scheme, makes it possible to get up to 5V @ 1 ampere of current to run the
SATA or IDE drive. Many drives need that level of current for the first ten
to get them to spin up. If a 2.5" drive isn't responding in an enclosure, chances
are it can't complete spinup. More of the enclosures should come with an adapter,
to take the worry out of that aspect of the operation. I'm not crazy about
the two cable scheme - it's a bit hokey.
Connect the enclosure with the laptop off. Many laptops will have at least two
USB connectors, which should be enough to begin your cloning.
When the laptop is turned on, both the internal drive and the external are
going to be boot candidates for the BIOS. Maybe there is a BIOS boot order
thing, to prevent the external from being used. On my computer, I can press
F8 to select a BIOS boot menu, and that is how I control which disk boots.
You don't really want the external disk booting, while you're in the cloning
process. The cloned disk should only be booted, once it is installed
in the computer, and the disk enclosure is unplugged from the computer.
Do at least one boot cycle, of the cloned and installed disk, before using
the USB disk enclosure again.
There is another way to copy a disk, which is at the sector level. There is a
program here, which has the ability to ignore bad sectors when doing a disk
to disk copy. Only problem is, this is a Linux program. You could use a Linux
LiveCD, such as Ubuntu, but the syntax for the command is going to need a
good understanding of what is going on. (For this to work, without headaches,
you'd want the new disk to be the same size or a bit bigger than the old one.
That ensures none of the partitions get "cut off" when copying. Working
at the file level - such as with tools like Acronis, that would be less
of a consideration - if working at the file level, the new disk should
be big enough to hold all the files the old one had, which is a different
("Antonio Diaz's GNU ddrescue")
The only advantage of that method, is it works at the sector level. That means,
the operator (that's me), can be as dumb as a post, and do the transfer from
disk to disk and get it right. If there is any "damage" to any of the file
systems, well, that damage is going to be present in the clone. But if you're
to do this repair on your own, it is an alternative method to trying to copy
whatever goofy partitions exist on the laptop.
As far as I can remember, programs like that, when they run into a bad sector,
put a "sector of zero digits" in its place. Now, a sector of zeros may be
easy for the OS to recognize as "not a file system structure" or it could
drive the file system driver nuts. I can't comment on what percentage of the
time, a copy made in that way, with damaged things replaced by zeros, results
in further problems. The file level transfer scheme, is going to transfer
what are presumably whole files, or just ignore a file which is damaged
and can't be copied. If the file was a key file needed to boot the
computer (NTLDR), you'd be dead in the water, the first time you attempted
to boot the new drive in your laptop's hard drive bay. So when the disk
is damaged, either style of cloning can still lead to trouble.
So you can see, when a drive is throwing errors, there can be some
collateral damage as a result. The drive could be so toasted, that
either style of cloning is not completely successful.
Your first priority is getting as much data backed up as possible.
Your second priority, is cloning to a new drive. Don't leave this
task for some time next month - I had a bad drive, I was tired and
decided to shut down and go to bed, rather than work on it. The
next day, I turned on the computer and there was a loud "sproing"
noise from inside the hard drive. Of course, the drive was
completely dead and all the data was gone. You can learn from
that experience - the time from "first trouble seen", to completely
dead, can be literally over night. If I'd stayed up and worked on
it, I'd have that data today.
If you don't want to do any of this yourself, you can always take
the laptop, and a new drive, to a shop and get them to do the
cloning. That is, if there is a shop in town you trust to do that.
(I guess that's why I do all my own work.)
Posted by Gerard Bok on August 8, 2010, 8:01 am
On Sun, 8 Aug 2010 06:45:47 -0400, "Uncle Vinnie"
The very first thing you need to do is a drive sanity test, i.e.
reading the drive's S.M.A.R.T. table.
A program like CrystalDiskInfo will show you what is going on
inside your diskdrive.
If the drive has more flawed locations than it has space
available for relocating them, it is best to replace the drive as
soon as possible.
Posted by Uncle Vinnie on August 11, 2010, 3:53 pm
Hi, Gerard.. I ran Crystal and it came back Caution... C5 highlighted -
ciurrent pending sector count 200. What does this mean?? I have a feeling I
am indeed looking at a new drive - hoping I can clone the existing one..
BTW, Inspiron 1525, WD3200BEVT drive, 4 partitions.
Gerard Bok wrote:
Thanks & B'rgds,
Posted by VanguardLH on August 11, 2010, 5:07 pm
Uncle Vinnie wrote:
Might that be their 704 error noted on the web page below?
It is also mentioned here:
It isn't defined because it is a SMART value and threshold on which it
is reporting (and warning about). I don't think it is Crystals' intent
to train you how to interpret all the SMART values. That's up to you to
know or investigate. They're just showing you the data made available
Google still works:
First article found:
(see the C5 error description)
Hard disks come with a fixed amount of reserve sectors used for
remapping bad sectors. Once that reserve space has been consumed, there
is no place to mask out the bad sectors by remapping them elsewhere.
SpinRite can turn bad sectors into good sectors through realignment and
refreshing but, again, it costs money (although they have a satisfaction
guarantee with 30-day money back refund).
Remapped sectors incur a performance penalty. The more of them you
have, the longer it takes to do the read with the redirect to the mapped
reserved sector. With bad sectors that cannot be remapped (no more
reserve space), you may find that you cannot successfully clone that
hard disk. They're bad, they can't get remapped, so their data cannot
be moved elsewhere to mask that the original sectors are bad.
"At the high level, the operating system can be told to mark the area as
bad and avoid it (creating "bad sector" reports at the operating system
level.). Alternately, the disk itself can be told at a low level to
remap the bad area and use one of its spares instead."
"Number of Remapped Sectors: If the drive is remapping many sectors due
to internally-detected errors, this can mean the drive is starting to
"The occasional difficulty reading a sector would typically be ignored
as a random occurrence, but if multiple retries or other advanced error
correction procedures were needed to read a sector, many drives would
automatically mark the sector bad and relocate its contents to one of
the drive's spare sectors."
Please Register and login to reply and use other advanced options
- Posted In
- Should I get another XBOX 360 strictly for its MCE extender?
- Microsoft Windows MediaCenter
- Subscribe via RSS