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rjjacobs

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Copy drive without copying bad sectors

I am using Ghost 12.0 to copy my entire drive c:/ to a second internal drive (L:/).  There are many bad sectors (52Kb) reported on the c:/ drive that I want to copy (though these have so far not interfered with drive operation) and these bad sectors seem to be copied to the L:/ drive since chkdsk reports the identical number of bad sectors on each drive after completion of the disk copy routine.  The c:/ drive is a Samsung and the L:/ drive is a WD.  I am getting a brand new Samsung drive for a new target drive (L:/) but don't want to end up with large numbers of "bad" sectors on a brand new drive.  I also don't want to go throuigh the process of rebuilding L:/, since that's what Ghost is supposed to avoid.
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You can use Partition Magic 8 to reset bad sectors, or a drive utility from your drive manufacturer.

This question was previously answered on EE also:
https://www.experts-exchange.com/questions/20831222/How-do-I-repair-bad-sectors-on-an-XP-hard-drive.html

also:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=reset+bad+sector

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rjjacobs

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Partition Magic 8.0 only references a "bad sector retest" function - which applies only to FAT and FAT32  partitions, not NTFS partions.  There is no mention of a bad sector reset function in PM 8.  Apparently part of the problem here may be that there is a bad sector list from the the C: drive that's being copied by Ghost onto the otherwise perfect target L: drive, making it appear after chkdsk that L: has bad sectors when in fact it doesn't?
Another great product with a long reputation in this area is Gibson Research SpinRite 6.  I've used it to recover (and restore) defective sectors.  It also works on NTFS.

http://www.grc.com/intro.htm

Note, that chkdsk l: /r won't re-test or "revive" bad sectors.  It will try to read all and if it gets an error, chkdsk will mark it bad, but won't revive any that are marked bad.
The question still remains:  can Ghost 12.0 (or any other software/procedure) be used to successfully disk copy without ending up with the target/brand new/otherwise perfect drive having the same bad sector errors being report for it after chkdsk as existed on the drive being copied?
I know the Ghost versions (9,10,12) won't do that; they copy the sectors as is.  So the answer is no for Ghost 12.  As for any other procedure:

software from the disk manufacturer may do that.  They often provide free copy disk software when you buy a new drive to help the user copy the contents to the new drive.  Look on the Seagate, WD etc website.

I've run into the bad sector problem myself several times over the years, with both Partition Magic (copying partitions) and with Ghost.  I had to use PM8 and/or SpinRite to reset the bad sector flags.
How do you use PM8 to reset bad sector flags?  There's no reference to that option in the "help" section of PM8, only "bad sector retest" in the advance section of Partiton.
In PM8, go to Partition/Advanced/Bad Sector Retest.  For a NTFS partition, the option is greyed out.
So since I'm using NTFS, this option is not available.
I'm going to download and run Spinrite 6 and see what it can do.
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I've run Spinrite 6.  Took about 2.5 hours.  DOS interface doesn't work very well.  However, it did seem to do enough correcting to allow me to use Ghost 12.0 to copy c:/ to the second drive, a function that bad sectors on C:/ had been preventing for the last day or so.  At the same time, running chkdsk on both drives after Spinrite was run provided reports of the same 52Kb of bad sectors on both drives as prior to the Spinrite run, so either Spinrite didn't fix the bad sectors or chkdsk was giving a bogus report.
The Google link that provided a link to Katy's Hompage (www.djkaty.com) was excellent. It provided a lucid, in-depth discussion of this whole bad sector copy issue and some ways to actually fix it on the target drive.  Unfortunately, the repair tools disussed are all a bit beyond my comfort zone at trying out.  The real breakthough from all this, apart from Spinrite's help, was the reference at the beginning of Katy's article on the new chkdsk /b function in Vista that "will re-evaluate all the the bad sectors on your drive and remove non-faulty sectors from the list."  I"ve been wating for some real reason move to Vista, and this is it, if it works.  Thanks very much for your able assistance!
 
Thanks for the update and glad to hear you got it resolved.

With SpinRite, I believe you have to set it to level 4 (I think that's correct) to have it not only fix bad sectors, but also make them active and usable again.  As you found it, SpinRite does take a long time to run because it evaluates and tests each cluster very thoroughly; on today's large GB drives it can easily run overnight to reclaim bad spots.

I didn't realize there is a new Vista chkdsk /b switch, so I learned something as well.  Thanks.
I did run SpinRite with a level 4, and it automatically ran a chkdsk routine at the end that took about 20 minutes to run through all the "orphan" files it found and retrieved.  But the same 52Kb of bad sectors were still reported.  Thanks again for your help on this.
SpinRite (or new Chkdsk /b) can't release bad sectors that are genuinely bad. Clearly in this case, you really have those bad sectors on drive C:

Therefore, having run SpinRite level 4 on your C: drive, and then run the copy across onto drive L:, you now need to run SpinRite level 4 on drive L:, to release the falsely recorded bad sectors.

This will detect that there are no bad sectors in reality, and should release them correctly. This will achieve the end goal, which is a correct copy on drive L:

Presumably the new Chkdsk /b (in Vista only) will provide a similar arrangement. However, I always recommend using SpinRite BEFORE chkdsk, as SpinRite will never throw away data. Whereas Chkdsk does it's best, but ultimately throws away whatever it can't recover. eg normally SpinRite won't help much AFTER chkdsk, as the info it could work on has been trashed.

Also, they are different in as much as SpinRite works at the bit level, and doesn't understand files (particularly in NTFS) which is fine. However, it won't solve file system corruptions unless the bit level data recovery has fully solved it for you.

In most cases you would want to use them both in sequence.... they are a good compliment for each other. Recover what you can at the bit level (think 1's and 0's) with SpinRite, which will then enable chkdsk to do a more thorough job at the file level, potentially losing less crucial data.