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Questions on Preparing and formatting a hard disk drive to be used for Windows 10

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Last Modified: 2020-09-15
Hi Experts!

I need Help in fixing a drive with bad sectors.  

A little info for best assessing my question:
I have been given these steps from an expert in another question to prepare and format a drive (high-level formatting) and I was recommended by a colleague to prior the high-level format, to do a low-level format first (to manage the bad sectors).

The disk in question is a Windows 10 Pro hard drive 1 TB (I have unsuccessfully reinstall Windows with keeping files).  I have extracted the drive from the computer and placed in an enclosure making USB accessible.

High-Level Format:
I have been given these steps from an expert in another question to prepare and format a drive:
  • Boot windows installation from USB drive
  • Press Shift+F10
  • In console type diskpart.exe and press enter. In this program execute following:
  • select disk=0. Disk 0 is your destination drive, so be careful, all information on this drive will be removed.
  • create partition primary
  • select partition=1
  • active
  • format fs=ntfs quick
  • assign
  • exit, now you have bootable drive C

Tasks I did prior placing the question:
I have run chkdsk and downloaded/run other sectors checking apps follows with result at its side:

App Windows Chkdsk:
Results: Read error with status 0xc000009c at offset 0xc78ba000 for 0x400 bytes - Unable to read file record segment 1E2E8” – also doesn’t say if the bad sectors marked as bad.

App Paragon Partition Manager,
Ran the checking file system
Results: ‘/O error on hard disk’, so it seems that this apps does not fix bad sectors.

App  EaseUs Partition Manster,
Ran scan surface, gave sectors errors, but found out it does not fix it
Results: doesn’t fix bas sectors

App  MiniTool Surface Scan.
Ran scan surface
Result: said “Surface Scan complete no errors found”

App  DiskGenius,
Ran scan surface
Results: found errors, and I cliecked ‘Repeair’ and is now fixing sectors (I am running at this moment)

In summary, my questions are:
  • For high-level formatting, diskpart.exe is ok?
  • What is EE opinion on low-level format prior High-level format?
  • Is MHDD reliable for this tasks? – (EaseUS page sent me to MHDD for fixing)
  • Does chkdsk process marks bad sectors as bad as to not to be used?
  • Should an apps be reliable (in this case MiniTool) if say no errors when all others say that there was errors?
  • DiskGenius, I have it runing repairing sectors, what is EE opinion on this apps?

(I tried as explicit with my situation as possible - please advice, that I am considering to purchase a new drive but want to see up-to where I can fix this one)


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Seth SimmonsLead Systems Administrator
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Commented:
I need Help in fixing a drive with bad sectors.

might not be worth going through this; better off just replacing the drive
spending time going through this won't prevent the drive from having more bad sectors if the drive is gradually failing
backup the data and replace is the better option
Hello ThereSystem Administrator
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Commented:
If the HDD has corrupted parts, it's time to replace it. It will get worse.
Don't keep it, replace it.

Author

Commented:
Agreed and I am going to replace it with a new drive, but would like to thru this process and the experts help.

If u guys can pitch in, greatly appreciated.
Quid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.
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Commented:
the more a drive is used, the more bad sectors you will get. bad sectors tend to happen exponentially.

based on the above, using a drive with bad sectors requires to monitor the number of reallocated sectors based on the corresponding smart attribute. performing a new install is very debatable as stated above. ... and the more you run any kind of surface or filesystem checks, or defrag tools, the quicker you will kill the drive

Author

Commented:
Hi dbrunton,
The last low level format I've done was probably over 20 years ago  ...  since then it's all high level.

So low-level not much these days.  How about which program to do high-level? or all the same?

Hi skullnobrains,
Makes sense the "more, the quicker.. kill the drive"

What about the chkdsk, when running the process is it supposed to mark bad sectors as bad as to not to be used?
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Commented:
I've used HDD Regenerator (might be similar to DiskGenius) a number of times to "repair" a drive that is failing in this manner.  About a quarter of the time I'm able to "fix" the drive well enough that it will reboot.  From there I can image to a new drive.  I have no faith in the "repaired" drive being in good enough shape to reuse.

Author

Commented:
I think it is I got DiskGenius after making a comparison/alternative to HDDR since it has a cost.  Read about it and has great reviews.
.
Just finished DiskGenius the repair:
 
Will now connect to computer, reboot, run SFC and DISM just in case.
Any other recommendations prior doing this?

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Author

Commented:
Agreed on that in some entries back, thanx - (I just want to know this process, believe me I will use a new drive)

To close the question, what about my question on 'Does the Chkdsk process marks bad sectors as to not to be used by the system?' - (FYI, I used Chkdsk g: /f /r /x on this drive)

Author

Commented:
No need to answer the "chkdsk" question, I found a link straight forward answers:

Thanx guys!

Author

Commented:
Just wanted to give u guys a heads up: the drive is working prefect! I connected back to the computer, restarted and Windows popped up no problem!

Obvious, the drive is prone to fail due to the errors fixed but will use the drive as an external! (I sent for the new one already).

Just to finish the process, I will run SFC & DISM on the computer!

Thanx again!

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Commented:
i am  aware the question is closed but just to make it clear :

most disk tools do not actually do anything : they just access each sector and let the disk controller do it's job marking unreadable ones and replacing them with spares. some filesystems also have their own bad sectors table based on read+write inconsistencies. hard drive vendor tools and a few paid tools can do a so called low level format which does actually mark the sectors. some can even aggressively read some sectors and salvage lost data. recent good filesystems such as zfs will tell you a sector has gone bad the first time it is read.

imho, these tools should simply NEVER be used unless you are attempting to salvage data from an already broken drive. last time i actually had to use one was around 15 years ago. at the time i was still running windows as my main OS and not yet knowlegeable enough to buy good quality drives, use raid arrays, or predict failures efficiently. no issues so far appart from not losing either data or my time.

Author

Commented:
Great info! Thank u!