hard drive help... bad sector?

Posted on 2001-06-13
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-07
so, i ran this disk diagnostic tool for my western digital drive (got the tool from western digital site).

the diagnostic claims that there is an error on the disk... probably bad sector according to error code. (final code 0256 - for those who may know)

western digital says that running the repair process using the diag tool MAY result in data loss.

so, i ran windows 2000 scan disk instead... and no errors showed up... weird? but the diag tool from WD still shows the error.

so, i suppose the bad sector(s) are unused space... or parts of files that are barely used???

before i run the diag repair process using the WD software, i want to find out which files/data are in the sector(s) that will be relocated/repaired by the software... in case they are lost.

this is important because the drive is my windows boot drive.

i know that i can back up the data, run the tool, and if it does not boot up anymore just replace using backup data. but that is too troubling/time-consuming.

my question is (finally):

is there some software that can tell me which files/data are in these bad sectors discovered by the WD diag software? so i can figure out whether they are critical windows fine leading to no boot if they are not recovered from the repair...

also, should i even be concerned at all since windows 2000 scan disk found no errors? should i still repair the drive using the WD diag software to prevent worse troubles in future?

besides that, everything in windows works fine... except for this error and warning that pops up in the event log about once a week:

WARNING: The driver has detected that device \Device\Harddisk0\DR0 has predicted that it will fail.  Immediately back up your data and replace your hard disk drive. A failure  may be imminent.

ERROR: The driver detected a controller error on Device\Harddisk0\DR0.

Question by:loyaliser
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 600 total points
ID: 6189172

1) Your hard disk may in fact be failing and you had better back it up NOW !!!

2) he WD diagnostic does not check files, it checks the physical secors on your disk.
It will detect errors that windows can not detect at all !!

So, back up, run the repair and hope.

Be prepared with a bootable floppy and your windows CD for reinstall in the worst case.
If the disk continues to give problems, WD WILL replace it !!

I hope this helps !

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 6189186

SCANDISK will tell you if any of the files are involved in this bad sector.

Author Comment

ID: 6189326
jhance, you say:

"SCANDISK will tell you if any of the files are involved in this bad sector."

so does that mean if i run scandisk in windows 2000 now and no errors appear, is it safe to assume that the repair process will repair sectors that contain no data... thus there will be no data loss?

this is why i need a way to find out if the bad sector(s) that the WD tool discovered contain data or not? and if so, what data?

there must be some software to do this... thanks.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 6189332
WD had some bad batches of HD's in the last year or so, believe the WD software, most likely the HD is failing, the good news is WD is good with warranty replacements.
Listen to the above advice and make the backup before it is too late.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 6189338
Here is a quote from jhance posted on a question I had asked when I was looking for a WD code meaning.

Here's the quote from the WD site:
 "If theiagnostics DLGDIAG Final Error Code is not "0000"
 If the drive is in warranty, please contact our technical support staff for a replacement hard drive,  or further assistance.
They don't seem to list the meaning of the error codes from the diagnostic program that I've been able  to find.  I've used the WD tech support line in the past and they are always very helpful.  If you give  them the error code they will tell you the reason for the code.

This is the question it was from:

Author Comment

ID: 6189348
two things:

1. the drive is out of warranty - bummer
2. i contacted WD about the error code and they said it means that there is at least one bad sector - there could be more.

still do not know if this bad sector(s) contains data or not. there must be a way to find out... so at least when i run the repair tool i will feel confident enough that the drive will most likely boot again with its data intact.

LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 6189362
< the drive is out of warranty>  then it must be at least 5 years old (or is it now 3 year warranty?)
But at any rate HD of the size this must be are selling for around $100 or less, probably not bigger then 6 or 8 GB, maybe smaller.
Time to upgrade to a newer HD, oor would you rather wait until you lost all data?

Author Comment

ID: 6189428

i like to squeeze the life out of all my hardware components... ;-) "MTBF" is my middle name.

for everyone else:

i just ran scandisk and it stated that there were 0KB in bad sectors... thus i am assuming that the bad sector(s) reported by WD software is/are empty... hence no data loss - safer to do repair process.

any thoughts? thanks
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 6189439
<i know that i can back up the data, run the tool, and if it does not boot up anymore just replace using  backup data. but that is too troubling/time-consuming.>

Your call on the importance of the Data on the HD, if it is important then back it up (it will be more time consuming try to replace it without backups, if able to at all)
Then do the repair from WD's utility
LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 6189484
Did you run SCANDISK in "thorough" mode?
If not, then it is only checking those disk-blocks which
Windows is currently using, rather than testing _every_ disk-block, i.e., including those blocks currently listed as "free" space.

Author Comment

ID: 6189543

i ran scandisk from windows explorer - right click on drive, select properties, select tools, click on check now under error checking section, check both boxes and click on start... this is under windows 2000.

does that check the free blocks?

i think it does because i remember seeing results and scanning phase for free space on the disk during the scandisk on boot up.

Expert Comment

ID: 6190155
Nope, that does not mean it is scanning the disc surface.
When you start the scandisk program in Windows, you should click the radio-button for "Thorough" (performs standard test and scans disk surface for errors) before clicking OK to start the scan.
LVL 31

Expert Comment

ID: 6190280
I would never chance running a HD repair utility without doing a back-up, even if I was pretty sure about bad sectors not containing any data. What if it kinda screws up completely? I accept the risk of repeating other comments here, but I think the only thing to do is to:
1) Back up your data, like NOW.
2) Run the repair utility or, better still, wipe disk and re-fdisk, reformat and reinstall.

Author Comment

ID: 6191302

this is windows 2000, not 98/me/95... there is no scan disk surface option in windows. sorry

everyone else:

i will just have to take the risk of running the repair process this weekend in the hope that scandisk saying "0KB in bad sectors" means there will be no data loss.

one last question if anyone knows, how can i back up my windows drive when i am logged into windows (am on windows 2000)?

LVL 12

Expert Comment

ID: 6191610
> how can I back up my windows drive when I am logged into Windows 2000?

You cannot backup "everything" while Windows is running.
Of course, you can backup all your "data" files,
and create a "disaster recovery plan":
 1. reinstall Windows
 2. reload data from backup

Otherwise, you should use software like Partition Magic, from PowerQuest Corporation.
You boot P.M. from the P.M. diskettes, and then it can copy the entire partition, block-for-block, to another hard-drive (same size or larger).

Author Comment

ID: 6191849
okidoki... thanks otta.

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