Bad Sectors on HDD??

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Black Swordsman
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Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Black Swordsman » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:30 am

Not sure if this is the proper place to post this but I was wondering if there was a way to fix bad sectors on a hard drive?

(I would like to show an screenshot of the Disks, which is where I got my question but not sure how to put it on here)

Mute Ant
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Mute Ant » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:55 am

"A way to fix bad sectors on a hard drive?" No there isn't. The SMART bad sector count represents permanently defective areas on a storage device. Even if you had access to the factory formatting software, all it could do is move the bad blocks out of the 'visible' list into the 'hidden' list of unusable storage.

Bad sectors are re-mapped by the drive firmware when you try to write to them, until the drive runs out of spares. For a magnetic disk drive...
o No bad sectors: Good.
o Tens of bad sectors: Bad luck, or bad handling.
o Hundreds of bad sectors: Duplicate the data really soon, before it simply stops working.

SSD are slightly different...
o The bad luck is built in to the physics of pushing bits through an insulator. It's just normal for the occasional transistor to go pop during a write, without degrading the reliability of the drive.
o If the SSD SMART is honest, one bad bit shows up as a whole erase block gone 'bad' ... 8192 sectors lost all in one go. Don't Panic.
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Black Swordsman
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Black Swordsman » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:10 am

Ok so when it says that there are 3 bad sectors then I don't really need to worry as of right now?

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Pjotr
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Pjotr » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:24 am

Black Swordsman wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:10 am
Ok so when it says that there are 3 bad sectors then I don't really need to worry as of right now?
Well, I wouldn't trust such a disk.... Disk rot usually goes from bad to worse rather rapidly.
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Black Swordsman
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Black Swordsman » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:30 am

Hmmm, It is a rather old laptop...

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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Moem » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:40 am

That's a good reason to make your data is backed up regularly.
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Black Swordsman » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:46 am

If I were to back up the system using Timeshift and then decided to change out the Drive for an SSD, would I be able to restore the data saved on Timeshift onto the SSD or would I have to reinstall everything?

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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by sdibaja » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:12 am

I suggest you install GSmartControl and test your drive.

Sometimes you can run a drive for more than 10 years and have no problems at all... but as said above, when they go bad the usually die rapidly.

Yes, Backup, Backup, Backup... always. (I prefer LuckyBackup)
also Clone your drive for quick repair or migrate (I clone root, /home, and swap partitions to an external device with Gparted)
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Mute Ant » Wed Mar 07, 2018 8:44 am

"Ok so when it says that there are 3 bad sectors then I don't really need to worry as of right now?" I wouldn't panic, no. The count won't increase unless you try to write to a bad sector, but you can check the general readability while a drive is in use...
A Note the 'Sectors Pending Re-allocation' count.
B Read the whole drive at around 10GB/minute, throwing away the data... sudo cat /dev/sda > /dev/zero
C Note the 'Sectors Pending Re-allocation count.
If the number for C is larger than the number for A, the drive is definitely failing.

BackBlaze reported that half of their failed drives never showed a SMART error... a "Drive is Okay" report is often wrong, but a "Drive is Failing" report is usually correct.
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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by vintagepen » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:30 am

I have a similar problem on a 750gb drive in a secondary computer. Very secondary. In the sense that there is nothing to lose.

It has been failing SMART for about six months but otherwise everything seems OK?? no slowness, no temp alerts, no data loss, and the drive passes all other tests. So I have been watching it and looking for a way of resetting SMART.'

Then I discovered something called drive refurbishment. There is a video online of a software called Dolphin drive refurbishment which includes SMART resetting! So I thought I'd explore. That came screeching to a halt pretty quickly. Dolphin tools costs more than buying another drive!

Leading to some obvious questions. When drives either start or look as if they are failing, they almost always are and failing surely MUST be in a hardware (platter) sense. So why would anyone want to either refurbish a drive, or spend so much money buying software to do large scale refurbishment of lots of drives which perceived wisdom states are 98% BOUND to fail, and quickly too! (I dont believe that a company has designed software solely to allow crooks to make dying HDDs look OK. SO what is drive refurbishment for??)

if there really is no practical way of resetting SMART, I am running a slowest/most secure erase on this drive. if writing every sector seven times doesn't kill it stone dead, surely nothing will?

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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by gm10 » Tue Sep 25, 2018 9:51 am

I'm not a moderator but:
1. Please don't necro post
2. Please don't off-topic post (no, you're not on topic)
3. Please don't post in big text. If your eyesight is failing then zoom your browser window, don't force it on us.

As to your question: You don't reset S.M.A.R.T. data for legitimate reasons. And all mechanics eventually fail, your drive is no different. But if you want to speed up its demise then writing every sector several times is probably the way to do it, so go ahead. ;)

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Re: Bad Sectors on HDD??

Post by Pjotr » Tue Sep 25, 2018 10:56 am

As gm10 said. And don't use fancy colours for your text. It's silly, straining for the eyes of the readers and distracts from the content.
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