BAD sectors on HD is that a problems?

By Humz · 17 replies
Dec 29, 2003
  1. Hi,

    I have IBM hard drive. It started taking longer time to boot up so I ran scandisk/all with win Me and found out that it has five bad sectors on it. I formatted ( high level) the harddrive and now those sectors are marked unusable or bad.

    The question is: Is my hard drive going bad now? I have got it some two years before its a 40G hd.

    Is there any way to get rid of those bad sectors on this hard drive.

    Thanks In Advance.

  2. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Look for an app called HDD Regenerator, doing a search in the forums should turn up a link to it. That app can actually repair bad sectors, unlike a low level format which can only mark them as bad(which reduces the usable space on the drive) In your case, 5 bad sectors isn't a problem, though you might still like to fix it.
  3. ak_in_charge

    ak_in_charge TS Rookie Posts: 119

    It has been my experience that bad sectors are usually the last leg of a dying HD. I do agree with StormBringer however you may be able to fix the bad sectors, but more problems are likely to come. I say fix the sectors and ride the HD til the end!
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,739   +417

    Well sometimes Bad Sectors dont' indicate a dying disk, infact I'm pretty sure one of my IBM drives is in fine shape after running HDD Regen on it. What happened to mine is one time while it was running the drive got tipped at a fairly large angle and squeeked a bit, and what I think happened is that the head crashed into the disk and messed up some sectors. Because that happened about 3 years ago and the drive is still going strong.
  5. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

    When you see bad sectors on a harddrive it has run out of it's spare-pool of sectors (around 200mb per harddrive but who knows really)

    I.e. as long as the drive can it "hides" these bad sectors from you, so my guess would be that you have a very large total sum of bad sectors...

    "Back in the day" there was a sticker on the harddrive with info on what sectors where bad on it, you had to type this into the BIOS to prevent your computer from using those sectors...

    But when SMART was introduced this was no longer needed, so consumers thought the harddrives now where "error free" but infact they just kept track of their bad sectors on their own since then...

    You can download a program that will report the SMART status of your harddrive, I don't know if this one will work or not (it's for maxtor's...)

    Or you can try Steves new test version of Spinrite6 (thus far it will only report SMART status and partition info... It's just a test release of SR6...)
  6. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    Hey Per that HDD monitoring utility is really neat, yeah it works on drives other than Maxtors...
  7. vassil3427

    vassil3427 TS Rookie Posts: 640

    Hey that program shows that my HDD is 97 GB, but everytime I format it only lets me format 93GBs??(Its a 100GB HDD
  8. Humz

    Humz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My drive is IBM 40 GB and I already backed it up.
    I am thinking of running that Hitachi/IBM HD Disk fitness test

    Should i run erase disK? or repair sectors? Is there any need to run erase master boot record also?

    I hope some one replies soon as I am planning to do it in an hour or so.


  9. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Might want to try HDD Regenerator, it can fix problems without touching your data.
  10. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    I ran the Maxtor program, on my Maxtor 200 GB hard drive, and it shows only 134 GB. Why is that?
  11. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

  12. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,345   +13

    Since I installed Maxtor problem, when playing Battlefield 1942, the game has crashed to the desktop several times. Never did that before. Now, I don't know if that anything to do with it. But, I started to get "Warning, Attribute seek tiime performance changes from 251 to 253" messages. Another time the same except 253 to 252. What's that mean?

    I'm not quite sure if this program does anything other than make reports, but since I uninstalled it my crashing problem has went away.
  13. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

    Report that to Maxtor and see what they say....
  14. Humz

    Humz TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I tried that Hitachi/IBM DFT( Disk fitness test ) and it tells me my HD is bad and unrepairable by this software.

    I tried free/demo HDD regenerator and it can fix one sector only and has fixed only one for my demo version, and I have five of them. Any one knows where to get a free HDD regenerator? I dont want to pay $39 for it when i can get a new 80GB HD for $49 after rebates.

  15. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,952   +203

    If your harddrive has failed sectors it's most probably just a matter of time untill it fails... Get rid of that harddrive (is it under warranty perhaps)?
  16. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    That app is well worth the cash, anyone who thinks it isn't has never used it. I was skeptical about it as well but it CAN and DOES repair the drive. I know of drives that were repaired with it that are still going strong over a year later.

    I also would not consider 5 bad sectors to be the end of a drive, since many drives have more than that without the user even knowing it.

    I recently repaired a Maxtor drive with HDD Regen that had ~150 bad sectors and if not for an error while the owner was trying to create a new partition, he wouldn't have known there was a problem.
  17. DanteDke

    DanteDke TS Rookie

    HDD regenerator

    I had tried the Hddreg, but it took a long time scanning just 4gb and I need to scan almost 60gb, it´s fastre to use the hddreg in windows?

    It had found 78 bad sectors and just show 9 repaired... theres is a hope of it can to recover all of them?

    sorry for my bad english
  18. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Yes, HDD Regen takes a very long time to run. This is because it tries to actually fix bad sectors and does not hurt the data on the disk. It doesn't mess with partitions or anything.
    It takes me about 6 hrs to scan a 60GB disk with it.

    If it has only recovered 9 out of 78 bad sectors, your disk is likely dying. While HDD Regen can do some amazing things, it can't perform miracles.
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