copying problematic HD / XCOPY pauses 2 mins each crc error

I'm trying to backup user files (movies, music, documents) from a touchy laptop HD that has bad sectors. The bad drive has 28GB used of 70gb total.  Originally I used Knoppix to copy the files from the HD to a usb drive, and that took over 24 hours, not sure why, probably the bad HD. Then I accidentally deleted that partition, so I'm trying again.

This time I installed the problem laptop HD in my own desktop PC. From Windows XP Pro, I tried making an acronis image - twice. It always stalls on 85%, stalling for more than 2 hours. (I gave up).  

(1) Is a disk imaging program run from win98 (or DOS) more likely to succeed, or is the "bad sector" issue probably going to cause the same problem regardless of the OS, as I assumed?

Right now I'm trying a Bart's PE boot cd. When I tried using Bart's A43 "explorer" type util, to copy the whole HD, I get this error
Error copying file or folder
cannot copy index: cannot read from the source file or disk

I read some EE and other posts for similar errors, e.g.
but most posts & answers have to do with deleting, and individual file permissions, or a whole list of things --

(2) In GENERAL, what does this particular file error mean in this context? (When you get it using Barts, to copy files?) And how can I tell which file it's referring to?

So next I opened a DOS prompt within Barts, and am using now XCOPY.  I used the switches /e /c /r /y, so that it doesnt' stop when it gets to bad files.

(3) In general, would a true dos prompt (not within barts) do such operations (e.g. xcopy) faster and with more stability?  Or does it amount to the same thing?

Even though I used the above switches...
/E Copies directories and sub directories, including empty ones
/C Continues copying even if errors occur.
/R Overwrites read-only files.
/Y Overwrites existing files without prompting.
when xcopy gets to one of the bad files, it pauses for 2 minutes, then cites a crc error and moves on.  So, as I hoped (using the switches), xcopy skips the bad file and moves on, without stopping. BUT it does pause for that 2 mins on each bad file.... and there could be thousands of bad files!  (this could be why Knoppix took a long time -- after I "OK'd" the skipping of bad files, it kept saying "stalled" here and there... maybe it was doing the same thing)

(4) Is there a better set of switches in Xcopy (or XXcopy) that would skip the pausing as well, or does the computer need this time to "compute the checksum" or something? (THIS is the main question)

update: I'm also getting this error in the XCOPY window, pausing about 20 secs per file:
"file creation error - error performing inpage operation"
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First about knoppix and the probable reason it was slow:

Your laptop might be using USB 1 and not USB 2, which is slow. Knoppix will usually start in PIO mode for compatibility reasons, so also internal IDE access is slow. At least the newest knoppix version gives you the chance to switch to DMA mode (from the knoppix menu).

1. There are some imaging softwares you can set switches so it doesn't check the disk integrity. Check the manual of the utility you are using for how to turn that off.

2. The error is generic and doesn't really mean too much except it can't read the source.

3. True DOS won't know anything of ntfs or long filenames. Xcopy uses the PC's memory while copying, so that speeds it up.

4. I never use xcopy, but rather robocopy which in my point of view is the best such tool, so I don't know the answer to that one...

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dgrrrAuthor Commented:

(a) IN what environment do you use robocopy, when copying NTFS drives? (How do you boot to dos, or do you use knoppix, other boot discs?)

(b) Do you have robocopy.exe copied onto an NTFS4DOS type boot disk?

(c) Judging from the readme file, the switch to tell robocopy NOT to keep retrying failed files (which is the default) is /B  (backup mode?)


It won't work under DOS. It needs an OS like 2k or XP, and you run it from the command prompt. It should work using the recovery console, or also booting to safe mode command prompt, but of course it needs to be present somewhere. It should also work via the UBCD4WIN, but you'd have to integrate it to the system first


I haven't tried it on an ntfs4dos type boot disk.

There are many options

/R:n is the number of retries, so you would set that to

You could also use it in combination with /W:n which pauses a number of seconds before retrying...

Use robocopy /? to get some of the options, and as you have already found out, there is a robocopy.doc file which goes into a lot more detail.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Have you run Spinrite ( against this drive?   It can do "magic" at restoring damaged sectors; and if successful would almost certainly make the XCopy operation proceed better -- and likely much more successfully.

Spinrite DOES run for a long time on a severely damaged drive.

dgrrrAuthor Commented:
thanks fellas
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