Bad Sectors on C:\ "system" drive on Windows SBS 2003 Std.

Posted on 2008-06-17
Last Modified: 2013-12-02
I have a PowerEdge 400SC running Widows SBS 2003 Std. that is getting "Bad Sector" errors on Disk 0 (c:\ and system) and has started running slowly.  We don't have a full backup of the C:\ drive and the ASR is 1.5 yrs old.  I've tried to run a backup of the C:\ to a USB external drive, but NT Backup is failing.  There is an existing MS hotfix that meets the error codes, but needs a reboot.  I don't want to restart more times than I need to.  
What are the chances that a running chdsk  /r would corrupt the volume?
Can I Ghost the drive if there are bad sectors?

Any suggestons?  (besides better backups)
Question by:rhase
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LVL 24

Accepted Solution

purplepomegranite earned 250 total points
ID: 21806404
I have not known chkdsk /r to corrupt any volumes - and I will always use it if there are file system errors.  It check the file system, and attempts recovery of any bad sectors (moving any data it can read to good sectors and remapping accordingly).

As a precaution though, I'd be inclined to do an xcopy to copy as many files as possible to the USB drive - the worry I would have (as you probably do) is that if the drive has bad sectors, it is starting to fail - and restarts can accelerate failure (as the hard-drive re-initialises).

Ghost and TrueImage can cope with bad sectors - you can set them to ignore errors.  They will backup what they can.  This may be the best option before attempting file system recovery.

Author Comment

ID: 21807002
OK.  I'm going to the office now and will:
1) ghost 14 the disk0 to a USB drive
2) run chdsk /r
3) keep fingers crossed
4) clone disk0 to new HD
5) make new ASR backup
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 21807050
Sounds like a good plan, you are doing things in the right order in my opinion!
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LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 21807055
.. And in future remember to take backups.... :)

Author Comment

ID: 21807932
OK, first problem.  Norton Ghost 14 will not run on Server 2003 (or any server).
I need to get the Enterprise version.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 21808483
Uch... same with Acronis TrueImage.  You aren't using dynamic disks, are you?

Author Comment

ID: 21808484
I can do backups of the C:\ now.  I'm doing a new ASR.

Author Comment

ID: 21808531
It's just two EIDE HD's one for c:\ the other d:\.

Author Comment

ID: 21816720
I made regular and ASR backups.  Then ran Seagate's SeaTools on the drive that had the errors.  It found only ONE bad block!  Then used the tool to make the repair.  That block must have been in a heavly used sector, as there were continous errors in the system log.  Everything is running fine now.  I'll be monitoriing the logs closely for the time being.
I still don't know why the NT backup was failing early on. :(


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