Hard disk problems

By oddjob ยท 18 replies
Apr 8, 2003
  1. IBM Deskstars, Do they ever work right??

    one HD (40g) with 2 partitions, (i) 82% 32g NTFS & (ii) 18% 8g Fat32

    The NTFS partition has stopped working but Fat 32 works fine.
    If I boot up an NTFS OS system (w2k or XP) when the drive is attached, the OS fails to boot. It gets about half way then the HD gives a er, er, er sounding noice.

    If I boot up W98 then it works fine but no access to ntfs of course.

    I can fdisk and delete the NTFS partition (I had this problem before and and set the partition up again) but this is a final solution as at least 20g of info I have no back up for.

    Any ideas to how I can recover the Data??

    Help me!!!!!
  2. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It's a bad sector most likely. Just run a surface test. If the OS can't boot even in safe mode, then you have to take the HD to someone elses computer to run disk check and/or copy off the data you want.

    Do the "drive erase" thingy in the IBM feature tool for a better solution.
  3. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You can get the IBM drive fitness test here ...

    IBM Drive Fitness Test

    Description ...

    This download creates a self-booting DOS diskette to run the DFT utility. The Drive Fitness Test (DFT) provides a quick, reliable method to test SCSI and IDE hard disk drives. The Drive Fitness Test analyze function performs read tests without overwriting customer data. (However, Drive Fitness Test is bundled with some restoration utilities that will overwrite data).
  4. Tarkus

    Tarkus TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 621

    Well the 75 GXPs had lots of problems. I had one of 4 drives fail. The 60 GXPs were a lot better, and the 120 GXPs are are very fast and seem to be much sturdier than the old 75s. I've been running mine for 18 months with no problems. I think I'll be skipping the 180 GXP for some 10k RPM Raptor SATA drives.

    And yes if the surface is repairable the IBM DFT will do the job.
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    My recommendation is to backup your HDD immediately! That is, if you have anything worth keeping on it.

    Running the fitness tests may make the problem even worse.

    In some cases, it is possible to map out bad sectors by using a utility like scandisk to flag them so they are not used by the OS anymore. This is probably the beginning of something commonly referred to as a cascade failure... It is called this because one thing leads to another and over time, or perhaps all at once, your drive becomes unusable.
  6. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It may be the beginning of a catastrophic failure indeed, but I wouldn't panic.

    I got 3 bad sectors on my 75GXP during the first year (I blame Win98), but everything is OK now.
  7. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

  8. oddjob

    oddjob TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks Everybody for your help. I learned a thing or two

    Anyway the outcome.
    The DFT did not work. It crashed every time it went to repair bad sectors. :( So I gave up trying to safe the data. So I deleted the partition and reset them up. But XP would not format passed 8% So I Deleted the partition again and set up 2 new ones (i) a 4gb and then (ii) a 34gb. by avoiding the the first 4gbs the second NTFS partition seems to work fine. Then I Deleted the first partition and left it as free space. Scan disk came up trumps with no problem on the ntfs. But I don't trust the reliability of the drive. So I'm going to be carefull how I use it.

    Thanks All!!
  9. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +8

    I wouldn't go keeping anything important on there, my friend!
  10. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    I think you still can use that first part of the drive. Make a partition there and format it as FAT32 under DOS or some other less picky OS.
  11. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    NTFS is a little more particular, so FAT32 might work better. I have nothing to back that up though. :)

    Partition Magic does a good job of handling bad sectors. Maybe if you can get your hands on that, you could format it with PM.

    If you want to totally format the drive (and in most cases) get around the bad sectors, FORMAT C: /q in DOS does the trick usually (also works in XP command line and recovery console). I am unsure if /q will properly "hide" bad sectors though.. I think it skips the bad sector check. This WILL allow you to use your drive though.. Although this WILL cause problems in the future.

    One more thing you might want to try is low-level formatting using a disk utility from your manufacturer. It's a little more thorough than FORMAT C:, and I find they sometimes manage to avoid bad sectors.. Making them disappear. There's no magical fix-it though, because bad sectors are usually a physical defect.
  12. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You might want to take a look at this shareware program ...

    HDD Regenerator v1.22

    Application description:
    Almost 60 % of all damaged by bad sectors hard drives have incorrectly magnetized disk surface. Our researches have been fruitful and we have found algorithm which is special sequence of high and low level signals. These signals are generated by the software and they switch damaged surface. Even low level formatting is not able to handle this task! HDD Regenerator regenerates bad sectors by magnetic reversal. If your hard drive is damaged by bad sectors, the disk not only becomes unfit for use, but also you risk to lose information stored on the disk. HDD Regenerator will regenerate your hard disk. As a result, not readable damaged information will be restored. With all this going on the existing information will not be affected!
  13. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    "format /q" is a nono!
    Quick format (/q) means that only the FAT is rewritten and no sector check is done.
  14. accordvtec67

    accordvtec67 TS Rookie

    hardrive error

    hi ,can someone help me i just built a new pc running xp with 1.4 athlon and i got a 60 gb wester digital and it does not format please reply -alex
  15. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    What do you mean, does not format? What kind of error does it give? Is there an error? More details please. :)
  16. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    You need to partion the disk first, and then format it.
    If you haven't done this yet, get back, and someone here can help you do that.
  17. accordvtec67

    accordvtec67 TS Rookie

    sometimes it does not move from 0% at all sometime it goes to 85 then stops can someone tell me the problem please help out thanks alot -Alex
  18. accordvtec67

    accordvtec67 TS Rookie

    also ,can i be my motherboard that might be messsed up ok thanks -alex!
  19. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    A "messed up" motherboard can account for any number of problems imagineable. ;) But the symptoms you just listed are typical of bad sectors or a failing HDD.
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