Need for HDD Bad Sector Repair FREE program...

Dear EE experts,

Any advise on where we can download FREE HDD Bad Sector Repair FREE Program?

We have some HDD that we are sure have some Bad Sectors, but need for repair...

Thank you in advance & hope to hear soon...
Stiebel EltronAsked:
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Bad sectors are hardware errors. Software programs will do nothing to help hardware problems. For instance, if I take a hammer to the hard disk, even a billion dollar program will not fix the disk.
Even though some claim to "fix" it, it will most likely be a relocation of the sectors (but probably the HDD firmware took care of that already), with the relocation either failing or succeeding, and after that, the risk that the bad sectors will be spreading (just physics, it happens). Therefore, in the best case scenario (you save all your data), the risks of this happening more and more often (and you keep fixing it and fixing it) are becoming greater and greater, all the way to the point you will lose more and more data.

Backup as much as you can and replace the disk.
It really depends on what exactly is wrong with the disks. The manufacturer's diagnostic utilities are free, and, first they check the state of the disk, and if they find "repairable" errors they will offer to try to repair those. Otherwise they will normally give you an error code which you can use to RMA the disk or get warranty replacements. So always use the disk manufacturer's diagnostics utility, and act based on it's results.
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
Both WD's Data Lifeguard and Seagate's SeaTools will repair certain types of defective sectors -- this is NOT the same as the S.M.A.R.T. system's automatic reallocation of bad sectors => those are un-repairable sectors, whereas the defects that the diagnostics attempt to repair are simply magnetic deterioration which can often be repaired by a low-level format of the surface (something you can't do with the high-level format utilities in your OS).

Both of these are free.

The best commercial utilities that can do this (i.e. NOT free) are Spinrite and HDD Regenerator.   I'm a big fan of Spinrite ... used it for over 2 decades ... but HDD Regenerator has been kept more up-to-date and is probably a better choice for modern drives.    Both offer 30-day money-back guarantees if you're not satisfied with how they work.

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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Go to official websit eof your HdD vendor and in Support -Downloads find the tool for HDD check.
It will try to use this bad sector again and after two attempts if the bad sector is not repairable then it will be isolated for further attempts to write to it. All attempts to read and write from this sector will be redirected to one of reserve sector.
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Opinion:  When you start seeing read errors, it's time to throw out that drive and replace it, rather than trying to "repair" it.  There's no repair to a bad sector.  It's bad for a reason, you can't shine dung.

Small disk errors are recovered using the ECC (error correction code) appended to each sector.  This happens transparently and the drive then moves the block somewhere else to avoid reusing a sector that is going bad.

When ECC recovery fails, a major portion of that sector (40 or more bits) has degenerated beyond recoverability.  This produces an unrecoverable read error.  When a disk starts to throw unrecoverable errors on an ongoing basis, it means there is a problem with the drive and it's time to get rid of it before it stabs you in the back.

1000 GB disk drives are readily available for around $100, 4 TB drives are now down around $200.  At these prices there is no reason to use questionable drives when considering the amount of information that will be lost when such a drive goes bad.
i don't agree with the above; Dr Klahn  should have a read on what causes the "bad" sectors, as explained on the HDDReg site -  they are mainly caused by poorlly written sectors (too low signal amplitude)
i have recovered many of these drives, and only a couple of these proved persistent bad later
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
I must respectfully disagre with nobus on this.  I can not think of any data that can easily be reconstructed for under $200 -- the cost of a new, guaranteed drive.  Over the long run there is no economy in nickel-and-diming data reliability when drives are so cheap.

As a side note, this problem is going to only get worse due to shingled recording.  I find the concept repulsive -- deliberately overwriting part of the next cylinder and hoping that ECC will deal with the resulting errors, just to boost the capacity of a drive "on the cheap."
Gary CaseRetiredCommented:
"... Small disk errors are recovered using the ECC (error correction code) appended to each sector.  This happens transparently and the drive then moves the block somewhere else to avoid reusing a sector that is going bad. "  ==>  Actually this isn't correct as written.   ECC DOES allow the recovery of minor read errors ... but these by themselves do NOT cause a sector to be reallocated.    In fact, if you look at the raw data, you'll see there are typically thousands of read errors that have been corrected by ECC.   Not all disk manufacturers report the raw numbers ... for example, WD only reports actual uncorrectable read errors, so their S.M.A.R.T.  reports will generally show a zero for that; whereas Seagate reports the raw numbers, so their reports will show pretty large numbers.

If a block can NOT be recovered via ECC, then the firmware will generally make several attempts to read the data; and if it cannot will mark the sector for reallocation.   The next time a write to that sector occurs, it will be reallocated to a spare sector.

On the other hand, I agree that modern drives are so inexpensive that it's worth replacing any drives that start to have issues.   I generally relegate drives like this to backups.
noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
manufacturers release the drives with 15% of the disk space in reserved sectors area. Sectors fail always and they read/write attempts are redirected to one of these reserved sectors thats it. If the software says it did repair some sectors then it means that it used the native firmware of the drive to redirect the read requests to a reserved sectors. But this is done by free software as well which you can download from official website of a disk vendor.
Stiebel EltronAuthor Commented:
Thank you for the advise. We chose this comment as this answered our question, and we got idea for the programs that we require, though some aren't free...
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