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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

By stuartianmac ·
I have inherited a non-runner desktop from work and the HD has many bad clusters even after thorough scandisk and format. I have heard about utilities that repair bad clusters, but how reliable are they, and more importantly the drives they have repaired? Is a drive that has had bad clusters more likely to develop them again?

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by Jon P In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

A bad cluster is indicative of a physical fault on your disk, or with the read/write head. The bad cluster is simply an electronic tag telling the computer not to save data in this area since data has become lost in this area previously.

A singlebad cluster on a disk probably is down to computer error, a problem where the HDD was move while performing a write operation etc, and can be safely repaired, however a number of clusters on a disk would indicate a far more serious problem, perhaps the head is touching the surface.

The software you are discussing simply marks the cluster as good, in the same way as a low level format would do (as opposed to a high level format that formats the partition as FAT or NTFS for example), and then if it's worth its money it would perform a read/write operation to verify that that area can be used again, it DOESN'T (can't) repair any physical damage.

Therefore if you have a disk with more than one or 2 contiguous bad sectors, given the price of a new disk is likely to cost a similar amount to the software, change it.

If you have only a few, then live with it. I wouldn't bother trying to repair them, since it'll cost you money, and by the sound of it, you've got an old PC, so performance is not a problem.

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by stuartianmac In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by Ann777 In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

In my opionion, it's best to replace a drive that is showing bad clusters.

Yes, you can mark them bad and avoid them, but over time, the hdd becomes more and more unreliable. This does depend on the cause of the bad clusters, but if you relyon this desktop for anything important, then replace the drive. Unless you want to constantly backup and mark new bad sectors, etc.

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by stuartianmac In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by Captain Krunch In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

Before giving up and replacing the drive, go to the website for company that produced your HD and download their diagnostic/repair program (usually a bootable floppy). Run this stand alone against the drive. Most of these will tell you if the HD can be saved or not. The programs are free and MAY save the drive for you. Good Luck!
L

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by stuartianmac In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

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Bad Clusters - Replace the drive or not?

by stuartianmac In reply to Bad Clusters - Replace th ...

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