2003 Server, CHKDSK fails to fix errors

I have a hard disk that I'm trying to image with Acronis, but I keep getting abort/retry/ignore errors during the backup.

I've run CHKDSK/F/R on C: a few times and it seems to go through the motions, but Acronis still won't back up the drive. Is there a better method?
Who is Participating?
Lee W, MVPConnect With a Mentor Technology and Business Process AdvisorCommented:
There is quite possibly something seriously wrong with the drive.  As stated, backup your data through other methods FIRST to try to ensure you have the best possibly chance at retaining all your data.  Then SAVE THAT BACKUP because you don't know when you'll discover the corrupt files and need to recover them.

Then I recommend getting a drive of equal or greater size and using a free program called RAWCOPY to duplicate the drive and perform an image backup off the duplicated drive.
Juan OcasioApplication DeveloperCommented:
What are the actual errors you're getting?  Seems like the abort/retry/ignore is either the options for the errors you're receiving or the options for the backup
It could be that there is something wrong with your hard drive ( bad sectors?).
You can test the drive with manufacturer's diagnostics test tool.
If the problem are bad sectors, you can try to use ghost with enabled "ignore bad sectors" option and hope that bad sectors are not located in vital parts.
If I recall correctly also Acronis has similar option, but it is available only when you make an image into a file.
Santosh GuptaCommented:

Please take the server backup ASAP. Do not take the Image backup as it contains the bad sector info as well.
Which version of Acronis?

You can set it to ignore those errors to get a backup.

Tony GiangrecoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
First run a full backup. preferably an image backup. Keep it on tape and also run a copy an external drive. I suggest a USB 3.0 drive as a precautionary measure.

Make sure you have your Windows Server install CD's. You may need then soon!

After the full backup, check to see if you have a raid. I suggest Raid 5 on all servers. If you don't, you might want to investigate converting to a raid 5 in the future. It provides security and allows you to lose a drive without losing any data.

Hope this helps!
A lot of backup programs specifically include the "ignore bad sector" for DR purposes.

Acronis is one of them.

A semi good working backup is better than none at all.

If you can get a good snapshot of the system ,at least your butt may be covered in terms of data recovery.
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
RAID-5 is not recommended anymore for use, as the size of modern disks means that rebuild times are too long and this means the risk of a second disk failing before the rebuild completes is unacceptably high. The current recommendations are for either RAID-6 or RAID10
RAID 5 is still a viable option if you are using the right kinds of disks.

Modern SAS and enterprise SATA have more and better ECC compensation built into them these days than in the past.

SATA used to have a 512 byte data block verses 520 or 528 for SAS (which gave it extra “protection information) with each sector.

Most modern drives are now 4096 byte giving them a better chance of ECC detection in case of double bit errors.

Don't mistake SATA desktop for enterprise,as they may look the same ,but are different enough to make the difference between it works fine and WTF happened to my data?
Gerald ConnollyCommented:
I disagree, even though modern drives have better ECC the size of today's big disks is getting close to the uncorrectable bit error rate of those disks , so every second of the rebuild time is exposing the RAIDset to double disk failure and subsequent data loss.

6TB @200MB/s (unlikely to achieve in real life) is still 8.5 hours. In reality it's probably going to take 20+ hours and that's 20 hours of risk, most would say that's an unacceptable risk
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
The rebuild time for Raid 5 differs based on the size and speed of the drive and the raid controller being used. If you have one of the fake raid controllers, I wouldn't even consider using it.

As an example of rebuilds I performed at two clients in January, here are the stats:

Dell PowerEdge 1900 with three 1TB SAS drives. Replaced one and the rebuild process completed in three hours.

Dell PowerEdge 2850 with three 500 Gb SATA drives. Replaced one and the rebuild time was 24 hours.

Both servers had the Del Perc raid controller. In each instance, the drives were Dell certified Seagate Enterprise Class drives.
RAID 5 is still is viable option right now.

Nothing is perfect,you're just trading risk vs reward.

There are better software options available that will make these options obsolete once the kinks are completely worked out.

M$ REFS and Oracle ZFS are the disk storage tech of the future.
The SAS instruction set is far superior to SATA since it was conceived as a shared communications buss as opposed single disk interface a la ST 506.

SAS features :

Enterprise/tagged command queuing. Simultaneously coordinates multiple sets of storage instructions by reordering them at the storage controller level so that they're delivered to the disk in an efficient way.

Concurrent data channels. SAS includes multiple full-duplex data channels, which provides for faster throughout of data.

It makes perfect sense that the SAS rebuild took less time because it is a more robust protocol vs SATA.
silentreproachAuthor Commented:
Per Lee W's suggestion, I looked into HDD Raw Copy Tool, which led me to Clonezilla. I copied my drive to a new one, skipping bad sectors. Windows SBS 2003 boots OK now, but the new drive (WD 1TB Black) seems super slow, troubleshooting that now. Do I need to do SFC or something?
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Please post the model of that drive so we can look it up.
silentreproachAuthor Commented:
The new drive is a Western Digital 1TB Black model WD1002FAEX. Maybe I'm monitoring it a little too closely, but the system seems a little slow now that it is booted with the new drive.

I cloned the old drive (Hitachi) to the new WD drive, and when I booted with the new drive for the first time and logged on to Windows, it asked to install a driver for "Disk drive". So I let Windows install a driver from Windows Update. It popped up a message that the driver was not signed, but I continued anyway. It said the target file exists and is newer, so I chose not to overwrite and finished the driver install.

After rebooting, device manager now lists the drive as WDC WD1002FAEX 00Z3A0.
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
You didn't mention the brand and model of the server.

That's a 7200 RPM SATA drive. Depending on the controller you have, your speed will vary. Since it's not a SAS drive, performance will not be great.

Check the following:
- Update the system Bios, raid controller Bios and all drivers
- Partition size and available room on all partitions
- Run Windows Update to bring the system up to date.
- Run a speed test to check your bandwidth.
- Check your paging file...  You may want to expand or move it to another partition.
- Check your anti virus. is it running a scan?
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
I just noticed, that is a desktop hard drive! It's not designed to be use on a server. That will impact you also for speed and throughput.
The blacks ,while technically not a server drive ,are pretty fast.

They are basically an RE 4 with TLER turned off.

The RE'S and Blacks differ in firmware settings only.

But the pricing difference is very small ,if any.

If he were to go hardware RAID ,then the RE would have been the right best choice.
silentreproachAuthor Commented:
For posterity, I used Clonezilla Live, "A small bootable GNU/Linux distribution for imaging and cloning".

It's a custom Debian live CD, so some basic Linux knowledge is helpful but not required. I installed a second, unformatted drive and did the drive-to-drive option, expert mode and enabled the -rescue option to skip bad sectors.

Clonezilla worked like a champ, just make SURE to:
- SKIP the file system checking if it's a Windows drive (fsck is bad for NTFS)
- choose the correct source and target drive. You wouldn't want to overwrite your good drive with the blank drive's empty partitioning.

I don't know what was in my bad sectors, but it appears there was nothing critical. The server has been up and running for days with several good backups.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.