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FAT 32 and bad cluster mark

Posted on 1998-06-28
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I have just installed Win 98 and want to convert to FAT 32.  I receive the error message (after Scandisk runs) that a drive with bad cluster marks cannot be converted.  Niether Scandisk or NDD reports any problems.  I do have 3 bad sectors indicated (as shown when doing a surface scan).  Are these the "bad cluster marks?"  If so, anyway tp eliminate them short of a reformat?  If those are not they, then what are bad cluster marks and what do I do about them?

System is:
FIC PA2007 motherboard, 64 megs RAM, Sound Blaster Awe 64 sound card,
USR 56k modem, Stealth 3D video card, MS Intellimouse, Windows 98 Zip SCSI Insider drive, Maxtor 4.3 gig HD (partitioned into drives
C,E and F),  WD 540 meg slave drive (D), Gold Star 16x CD-ROM
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Question by:Kuba
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Expert Comment

by:wayneb
ID: 1642251
When a drive is formated, this is when a sector is marked as bad and no software at this point can detect or repair such a problem, other then reformating the drive.  With todays drives it is common to have a few sector errors on your drive.
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Author Comment

by:Kuba
ID: 1642252
So are these sector problems the same thing as the "bad cluster marks?"
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Expert Comment

by:shagnasty
ID: 1642253
I too have this problem.  After hacjing through the KB, Micro$oft recomend a registry hack which forces Scandisk to re-check its clusters.  Nope - that didn't work either.  It detected the clusters all right and even gave me the option to clean em - "Oh Yes" sez I - but to no evail... :-(  I'm just about to run Partition Magic as I seem to remeber it could convert FAT16 to FAT32 too.  I'll keep you informed
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Author Comment

by:Kuba
ID: 1642254
Thanks for the input.  I have looked through KB a littel bit, but didn't see that bit of information.
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Accepted Solution

by:
intense earned 150 total points
ID: 1642255
Maxtor provides a program called maxllf (low level format utility). Keep in mind that this is a destructive format, and you should back up your data. The Low Level should correct those bad sectors, or hide them from the fat table making them unusable. Once corrected, the fat32 converter should work flawlessly.
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Author Comment

by:Kuba
ID: 1642256
Well, it got a littel bit more invovled than I wanted.  The MAxtor program wanted to foramt ALL partitions which I did not want to do.  Ultimatley, however, I did do this (dug out an old drive and copied the other partitions to it).  Even a format /c would only correct 1 of the 3 bad cluster marks.  But I am now running FAT 32
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Author Comment

by:Kuba
ID: 1642257
Well, it got a littel bit more invovled than I wanted.  The MAxtor program wanted to foramt ALL partitions which I did not want to do.  Ultimatley, however, I did do this (dug out an old drive and copied the other partitions to it).  Even a format /c would only correct 1 of the 3 bad cluster marks.  But I am now running FAT 32
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