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Hard Disk Problem and SMART Value Questions

By keven_alberto_yoesup ·
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I've seen a thread:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=265144&messageID=2512253

My friend also has similar problem as her (Melina). So I want to help him by asking in this site.

It is easy to said that he just have to replace his HD. But I want to ask some question first to make him feel safe. Now he's paranoid because this was the First Bad Blocks problem that he has and my other friends seems also never has Bad Blocks problem on their HD. I'm also worried if this could suddenly happened to me.

1.Some questions about SMART Value:

a.Some people said that if Bad Blocks remapped then RAW Value of Reallocated Sector Count increased (not 0 anymore).

However, in my friend HD the Bad Blocks not remapped but stays as "Current Pending Sector" and "Offline Uncorrectable" because both of them has same RAW Value (186) so I think the Bad Blocks not remapped/or cannot be remapped.

Could someone tell me why the Bad Blocks doesn't automatically remapped by the HD or the OS?

b.What is the meaning of Attribute 187 (Reported Uncorrectable Error) and Attribute 189 (High Fly Writes)? Sometimes they list as Unknown attribute 187 and 189.

My friends HD RAW Value of 187 is 1443 (Reported Uncorrectable Error) and RAW Value of 189 is 2(High Fly Writes).

What is the cause of them?

c.Before he know his HD has Bad Blocks -> The HD which has Bad Blocks is not where Windows installed, Windows always has slow startup and Windows always do CHKDSK at startup. Is this normal? However, the progress of CHKDSK is really slow, he said he estimate it could take about 14 hours to finish the CHKDSK so he always skip it. Is this normal too? His HD is about 160GB Seagate.

d.Then he used CHKDSK /r in his HD (it also took about 14 hours like the CHKDSK at startup), it removes the annoying CHKDSK at startup, but Windows still has slow startup.
What caused this?

e.He assume that the Bad Blocks mostly in Free Space of his HD, because when he add files to it, it worked fine but when he try to move the same file to another HD it gave him CRC Error meaning the file was placed in the Bad Blocks.

What caused the Bad Blocks appear in the Free Space of HD and why did Windows still placed the file in the Bad Blocks even though my friends already used CHKDSK /r?

2.About the Hard Disk problem, in question number 1 I write that my Friends HD has a Bad Blocks.

a.How could I know a HD is failing or not other than Event Viewer (Showing Paging Error or HD has Bad Blocks),SMART Test, or I heard Clicking sounds?

SMART Test sometimes doesn't help like in my Friend case and I don't want to check Event Viewer and doing SMART Test and HD Test everyday.

b.My friends has made a backup to an External HD, but he still worried about it because some people said that after some use the External HD doesn't get detected by the OS(Windows).

What caused it? And Why sometimes people said Their External HD get Bad Blocks after it hasn't been used for a while (months/years) even though it was placed in Cool place (not Overheat), rarely moved(doesn't had any vibration), and in a clean place. What caused the Bad Blocks in the External HD that sometimes appeared even though it is not been used for some time?

c.My other friend also has another problem after he add a new Seagate SATA HD to his PC, this is the first SATA HD that he has. The SATA HD shows as SCSI HD in Device Manager and SeaTools (so he couldn't test the HD using SeaTools). He also has slower Windows startups after the new HD installed. He used Windows XP SP2.
What caused it and what should he do?

d.Why sometimes people saying they had Bad Blocks in their CD/DVD? What caused it?

e.Does a sudden power outage harm a HD? What should I do if it happened?

Edit: I also have same problem as question 2c, but I wonder this is related about my other problem, deleting folder when I seeing folders in Zip Files using Right Click->Compressed (Zipped) Folders is really slow. My File System is NTFS, I'm also using Window XP SP2.

Sorry if someone think most of these questions have been answered in thread started by Melina.

Thanks for reading and answering.

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Sorry, but unless hard drive failure is suddenly geographically related...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Hard Disk Problem and SMA ...

It does seem exceptionally odd that a second post appears 8 days after the first, from a different first-time poster, with a specific interest in RAW Read specs and Fly Write specs, also being fixated with the chances that disaster will befall them, formatting a single post with many multiples of specific technically-detailed questions, written in a similar 'hand-writing', both Students and both from Indonesia.

If you have read the previous post FULLY you will find that most of your points have already been addressed and answered.

Either these two posts come from two individuals who are abnormally interested in the complexities of an identical hard drive state, or this is an advanced STUDY question, like HOMEWORK!

Something just doesn't seem right here although I have become rather suspicious in my older age.

I was taken with your line of "Maybe I will write some more questions later, but I'm going to stop for now because I have a headache and still has to do my assignment."


Perhaps you could edit your post to the parts that have not been previously addressed because it is not just you that is getting a headache trying to keep up.

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Sorry about this..

I will try editing my first post so it only lists the questions that I'm still don't understand and/or hasn't been answered yet.

By the way, I'm getting a headache because I have short semester and not getting enough sleep, my assignment/Homework is not about Hard Drive, it is about SQL and Oracle.

Well, I found thread that started by Melina when I was searching in Google so I though I could post my questions here too.

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You CAN ask questions - just odd they're identical ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Sorry about this..

So rather than using Melina's appearance in Google as a jumping off point to dive straight in and post on TR with the identical questions, it would have been a better idea to READ the entire post that initially brought you here from Google.

That is the whole point of the exercise.

Not so that we can spend another 6 days answering the same questions all over again.

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Well, I think some of the question almost the same,but

I think some of the question is almost the same as Melina asked,but I try to just asked some new questions or questions that in Melina thread that only get short answer/not yet answered.

I think the new questions is:
1a,1b,1c,2a,2b,2d,2e.

Maybe 1d and 1e is answered in Melina thread but I'm still wondering it is normal or not having CHKDSK /r for about 14 hours in 160GB HD and why Windows still has slow startup after running CHKDSK /r -> Maybe because The HD that was used CHKDSK /r still has some Bad Blocks but shouldn't CHKDSK /r remapped the Bad Blocks to Spare Sectors or not using the Bad Blocks anymore? I also though doesn't the HD should internally remapping Bad Blocks by itself using Spare Sectors, in my friend case it doesn't.

About 2d,it was posted in Melina thread but not getting any answer even though my other friend also has same problem, so I think I'm going to posted it here too.

Sorry about this.

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If you understood how a hard drive actually works...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Well, I think some of th ...

I doubt if you would be asking these questions.

Apart from being a repository for files (a place to keep them until you need them), the hard drive is also used constantly while the computer is running.

Computers run at speeds that can be termed in MIPS (Million Instructions Per Second). As and when the CPU is in possession of data that it does not need immediately, but that it might need very soon, it has to do TWO things

#1 It has to make space for the data that it need right away
#2 It must get rid of what it is holding but keep it somewhere that can be retrieved quickly.

To achieve both these things it saves the data to the hard drive and then repeats the operation again in a microsecond when it does the whole operation again. So, if you accept that the computer is doing this all the time you get to understand just HOW MUCH the hard drive is used. Some of the data is placed in the Pagefile, some is put in Temporary folders that are specific to individual programs.

Now: CHKDSK is a utility that scans the hard drive when the computer has had difficulty in retrieving data from it. Chkdsk examines the entire disk to find out what is Readable, Retrievable, and Unreadable/Unretrievable.

If the hard disk has only a small amount of errors then the CHKDSK scan will proceed quite quickly because each bit of data is easily read by the program except the ones that are difficult. However, if the hard drive has lots and lots and lots of BAD BLOCKS - each time the program encounters a BAD read, it repeats the process (trying to read the bad area again) and will repeat until it decides the block is unreadable.

Sometimes most of the bad area is readable, so CHKDSK spends time on the remaining bits of that area until hopefully it can find all the data, then it moves all that data to a good area of the hard drive.

PLEASE NOTE:

CHKDSK does not FIX the bad blocks - it only attempts to save the data that is on the bad blocks, and move it somewhere else. It's main function is to save your data so that you can transfer it to another storage medium (hard drive, optical drive, thumb drive).

In the old days, when hard drives were a lot smaller than they are today, the utility programs would mark the bad block as 'Out Of Bounds' and the hard drive would not use them anymore. That doesn't happen anymore - CHKDSK is only for retrieval NOT FOR HARD DRIVE REPAIR.
------------------------

I am still trying to figure out how TWO students from The Philippines seem to be so fixated with the internal intricacies of a hard drive. Most users would just be grateful to get their data safely transferred to another hard drive.

Can you perhaps answer that for me?


<Typos>

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Just to add to what Old Mycroft said....

by ThumbsUp2 In reply to If you understood how a h ...

If the "friend" has been canceling CHKDSK because it was estimated to take 14 hours, it has never been allowed to complete and will continue to ask every time the computer is turned on.

Since 14 hours is not unreasonable for checking a 160GB hard drive, I would suggest you tell the "friend" to allow the danged thing to complete. Even if it takes 36 hours, let it run.

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My friend has finished the CHKDSK, but

My friend has finish the CHKDSK, but his computer has still slow startup. He found that the Bad Blocks still remain and CHKDSK doesn't even mark these sectors as bad because when he add files into it, the files was placed in the Bad Blocks -> It gave him CRC Errors when trying to move/copy the files to another HD.

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Keven: You are not understanding the replies ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Just to add to what Old M ...

I've already told you. CHKDSK only retrieves data, it DOES NOT FIX the Bad Blocks.

The next time you boot the system, the computer is just as likely to write data to the Bad Blocks again.

The warnings given by SMART are not to be taken lightly - SMART only appears when your hard drive is approaching imminent death. The more time you or your "friend" spend examining what SMART is saying the closer the drive is to death, and the more likely you both are to losing your data completely.

There is no FIX for a dying drive, other than replacement as soon as possible.

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Old Mycroft: Sorry if You think I don't understand

Sorry if you think I don't understand.

My Friends SMART Value still Passed even though in reality he has Bad Blocks in his HD.

So he didn't know it for some time, he only know there is two SMART Value attributes that shows as Warning which is "Current Pending Sector" and "Offline Uncorrectable". But he doesn't really understand why it still only warning, he think the SMART Test on his HD should be failed because he has Bad Blocks in his HD. It also appears the Bad Blocks in his HD doesn't remapped with Spare Sectors like most people said, instead it seems the Bad Blocks became "Current Pending Sectors" and "Offline Uncorrectable".

So I'm wondering are there any other way to know there is Bad Blocks on HD beside SMART and Event Viewer? Or any other way to detect the HD is failing or not? Even though, sometimes a HD could failed without warning.

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Keven: The meaning of the word 'WARNING' ...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to Just to add to what Old M ...

My Friends SMART Value still Passed even though in reality he has Bad Blocks in his HD.

The hard drive has PASSED because the drive can still be read from. The warning is that there is no longer 100% readability.

So he didn't know it for some time, he only know there is two SMART Value attributes that shows as Warning which is "Current Pending Sector" and "Offline Uncorrectable". But he doesn't really understand why it still only warning, he think the SMART Test on his HD should be failed because he has Bad Blocks in his HD. It also appears the Bad Blocks in his HD doesn't remapped with Spare Sectors like most people said, instead it seems the Bad Blocks became "Current Pending Sectors" and "Offline Uncorrectable".

How can I get this across to you so that you will understand??

A warning is just that - a WARNING! When you don't get a warning it's because the hard drive is dead! Because the warning has already appeared, at some point in the near future the drive will stop working altogether - end of life - finished - NO WARNING - NOT PASSED - FAILED.

Do you understand? You can't FAIL the SMART test. When a hard drive fails the SMART test it is already DEAD.

The SMART exists to warn you that failure is about to happen.

So I'm wondering are there any other way to know there is Bad Blocks on HD beside SMART and Event Viewer? Or any other way to detect the HD is failing or not? Even though, sometimes a HD could failed without warning.

How many ways do you have to know that the hard drive is failing before you know that it is failing?

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