Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

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nascarfan999
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Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

#1 Post by nascarfan999 » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:08 am

I have a Toshiba laptop with at least part of the hard drive in it that is bad and am trying to figure out if I can salvage at least part of the hard drive to continue using it. I had read that I could use programs on the UBCD to identify which sectors of my HDD are bad and then create a new partition to put Windows on the section that is not bad. However, I have wandered through the utilities on the UBCD and have not come across one that tells me all the bad sectors, only ones that will tell me I have a problem with the HDD. Can someone please point me in the right direction?

Thank you very much in advance.

Victor Chew
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Re: Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

#2 Post by Victor Chew » Sun Jul 11, 2010 6:02 pm

My understanding is that modern harddisks will remap bad sectors automatically during normal operation:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_sector
A modern hard drive comes with many spare sectors. When a sector is found to be bad by the firmware of a disk controller, the disk controller remaps the logical sector to a different physical sector. In the normal operation of a hard drive, the detection and remapping of bad sectors should take place in a manner transparent to the rest of the system.


However, automatic remapping of bad sectors only occurs during write operations. To remap all the bad sectors on the hard disk, you will need to low-level format the HDD using the manufacturer's provided utility.

If bad sectors continue to develop even after low-level formatting, it won't be safe to use anymore IMHO. Better to get a new one than to risk losing your data.

nascarfan999
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Re: Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

#3 Post by nascarfan999 » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:18 pm

I appreciate the reply. I have tried formatting it multiple different ways over the last week and each time I receive an error message while it tried to install windows, but windows does actually install. However, within 2-3 days it will no longer boot up properly and I have to format it again. The most recent time I used the Darik's Boot and Nuke as it appeared to be the most thorough. I am pretty sure the hard drive was bad but I was hoping maybe it would only be part of it to where I could create a partition that did not include any of the bad parts and use that going forward.

As for data loss, nearly all of my data was already stored on my desktop in addition to the laptop that has the issue, so I really didn't lose anything (thankfully). Given the age of the laptop, I'll probably just get a new netbook considering they have them as low as $250 these days and I don't need anything extensive since I have my desktop.

StopSpazzing
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Re: Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

#4 Post by StopSpazzing » Fri Jul 30, 2010 7:01 pm

As victor said, you need to use the tools provided by the manufacturer to fix the drive, but even then if the drive has that many bad sectors its pointless to keep trying to fix it as its probably on its last leg anyways. So, either replace the drive for cheap, or get a new computer as you have already suggested you were going to do.
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nascarfan999
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Re: Using UBCD to identify bad HDD sectors and avoid them

#5 Post by nascarfan999 » Sat Jul 31, 2010 5:13 pm

I appreciate the reply. I did end up buying a new hard drive for the laptop, and it's been running for 1 1/2 weeks w/o any problems. Part of me wanted to go get a netbook, but glad I saved the money.

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