Checking a disk for errors and bad sectors (example of working with Victoria in DOS and Windows)
Sooner or later any computer (laptop) user will encounter problems caused by a malfunctioning hard drive (. : Commonly referred to by the short. HDD ).
often than not, symptoms that there is something wrong with the HDD are:
- Inability to boot the “old” Windows (and install the new one);
- Resetting some OS settings or programs; Windows (and others). programs);
- Inability to open any files or programs (integrity-related errors may often occur);
- very slow copying and reading of files; when accessing the disk and trying to open (read) any file from it; when trying to read, copy files from the disk;
- Clicks, rattling, banging, etc. When the disk is working (pay special attention to this if there were no such problems before!);
- Unreasonable computer reboots, etc.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, the first thing to do (while everything is still working) is to copy all your important documents to a separate drive.
Well, after that, you can start checking.
5 minute disk diagnostic and check. For beginners (quick test with the new Victoria 5). see. instruction.
Checking the Hard Disk
In general, any disk is rather fragile and can be quickly damaged if handled carelessly. The causes of its unstable operation (and failure) are most often:
- unexpected power outages. when the PC simply sharply de-energizes (laptops, by the way, are protected from this). And as for the PC. not every user (unfortunately) has a UPS;
- forced shutdown of the power by the user. Sometimes when the computer freezes “permanently”. other options just don’t work;
- severe vibration. Bumps on the disk. most often affected are laptops which are carried around. The drive can also be damaged in transit;
- unstable operation of the power supply unit. Bad contacts on the disk (when the power is on and off. );
- operation in non-optimal temperature conditions (most often overheating);
- physical wear and tear (in very long hours of operation)
- bad batch (with some defects) from the disk manufacturer.
All these factors may cause formation of file system errors and bad sectors (bad means bad in English). Consider checking for both in detail and step by step.
Bad sectors. how to cut them off?
And so, let’s imagine a situation where you have scanned your hard drive and found that you have some sectors on it that are damaged. Let’s say we have a sector that takes up 5% of the disk at the beginning and 10% at the end, respectively.
To trim these sectors we can use different programs, I recommend Acronic Disk Director 11, although you can use others. It is easy to find the program, just type in the name and the word download. I think you will also have no problem with installation. Downloaded, installed? Well, moving on.
Let’s imagine we have a 2 GB hard drive, 5% is 100 MB and 10% is 200 MB. This needs to be counted so that you can cut it off properly, although you can take a little bit more.
Let’s proceed to trimming with this software, run. Acronic Disk Director 11.
When we start up, we will see an inscription “Management of this machine”, click on it.
After that we just need to select the disk we want to trim. I will not make a screenshot, I think you will not get confused.
Next, right click on it and in the menu that appears we need to choose “initialize disk”. In addition, a little to the right will be two tabs, they should be as follows: Partition Scheme. MBR and Type. Basic. As you can see in the following picture.
Then we need to select the “Apply Scheduled Operations” tab. It will be at the bottom, don’t miss it either.
Now right-click on the disk we want to create a volume, and select “Create Volume” and fill in the checkbox on the disk we have chosen (choose the right disk, usually C).
Only now we will start trimming the sectors. To do this, in the special tab “Specify the size of the volume”, we go through the whole operation. In the box “Space unoccupied in front of the volume” (the name may vary slightly), we select those megabytes that we do not want to add to the volume. Since we had 5% (100 megabytes) of a bad sector at the beginning, we enter 100 or 110 megabytes.
A similar operation we do with the tab “Unused space after Tom”. In our case it was 10% or 200 MB, so we have to enter a bit more to make it more than enough.
After that, click on the “Finish” button at the bottom. Waiting until our action passes, and voila, now we have no bad sectors and our machine will work like new.
What is Bad Sectors and why my computer hangs?
As it often happens, the weak point of the device is its virtual brain, namely the hard drive. To understand what sectors are, we have to say that your hard drive, is made up of many metal magnetic disks with tracks on them. And already there are sectors on these tracks.
These sectors can deteriorate over time, some sooner, some later, it depends on the manufacturer, but often the user is the culprit for the troubles or bad sectors.
- Physical. Unpleasant thing is that you have damaged your hard drive because of a fall, dust, moisture, wear and tear. Such damage is difficult to recover data, and often not at all.
- Logically Bedi. They appear due to various errors, for example you install programs, games, download or write files and suddenly the power is out. There is already a logical error which can affect the sector. Fortunately, it can be fixed, and you can do it yourself without calling a PC wizard, who will be paid.
That’s why I recommend that you keep the necessary files in the cloud, or you can keep on your hard drive, but there dump copies. And here you have programs which you can use to fix bad sectors: Victoria HDD, MHDD, HDD Regenerator.
I hope I have given you some insight into the subject. Write your questions, Комментарии и мнения владельцев, criticisms, I will be happy to answer. That’s all, thank you and good luck.
Creating bootable disk(s) with Victoria and HDD Regenerator 2011.
You can use any LiveCD or Reanimator, or you can download these programs from the web sites of their authors, and following the instructions make a bootable disk or USB.
Load Victoria 3.52 (earlier versions of the program can also be used)
a) choose the channel your hard drive is on. To do this, press the “P” key.), choose HDD port, confirm with Enter. Usually it is Primary Master (with IDE interface) for older laptops; for SATA hard drives, check the lower option “Ext. PCI ATA/SATA”
Your computer hard drive must be on channel 1 or 2 (SATA1 or SATA2). Otherwise Victoria might not see the hard disk. I have also encountered cases that when going to the Ext. PCI ATA/SATA, there was no hard drive in the list, but when I selected the correct port and tried to initialize it (by pressing F2), the drive was detected normally.
b) Press F2 to initialize the hard disk and make sure the channel is set correctly. You should see a picture like the following
c) press F4, leave it as default (linear reading and Ignore Bad Blocks), press Enter
d) during the scan, the bottom right window would show bad sectors (if they were present)
e) if after finishing all the process you have lots of UNCRs and other “stuff”, your hard drive starts banging, whistling, cracking, in general, making unusual noises, most likely you will have to nail hard drive to the wall with a slate nail, if there are up to 20 errors, continue the reanimation process
The third step is to treat software errors, again, with Victoria in Erase 256 sect mode
a) Press F4, choose Linear Read and BB:Erase 256 sect, press Enter
b) In the central window, you will see the process of scanning and cleaning sectors, and on the right side, in the “Defects” window, you will see the results of the work with the found defects.
c) wait for the whole process to complete (the photo shows the process on a very damaged and hopeless hard drive)
You can read more about MHDD in this article about its functionality and how to install and run it.
Let’s proceed directly to the process and intricacies of HDD repair and bad sectors fixing.
Before you repair or recover a damaged hard drive, you need to move all the important information to another drive.
After starting the program and selecting the drive you need, you’ll see a prompt asking you to enter the word “SCAN”.
Erase Delays DESTRUCTIVE:. set to “ON”. Such parameter will erase all block data (reduce all values to zero), when scanning the hard drive and detecting a bad block, so we can get rid of “Logical” bad sectors.
Also we can zeros out all sectors that are on the surface of our hard drive. We will completely erase all information from each block and make the hard drive’s performance as close as possible to the factory defaults. To perform an overwrite procedure for each hard disk block, you should enter the command “Erase”, agree with all the warnings and wait for the low-level format procedure to complete.
By doing the above procedures we can easily get rid of “Logical” bad sectors.
What to do with “Physical” bad sectors? For this purpose, the hard drive manufacturer has provided a reserve space (reserve sectors) that can replace the broken sectors. Modern hard drives do Remap on their own if such sectors appear on the surface, but sometimes they miss them, which slows down the drive in a notebook or PC. In this case, you can use the “REMAP” function.
The “REMAP” option tells the firmware when a bad sector is detected, to tell the hard drive to look for a spare sector when reading or writing a given block and to replace the bad sector. This method is good if there are only few bad sectors (no more than 50-70).
To reallocate the bad sectors with MHDD. It is necessary to enter the command “SCAN”, in the appeared window select “Remap” and set its value to “ON”, after that press the key “F4” and watch the scanning process. This procedure is done only after you tried to null the found sectors, to avoid mistakenly marking “Logical” bad blocks as “Physical”.
Also with a large number of bad sectors the last option for hard disk repair will be volume reduction. This way we can cut off a part of the disk which has a very large number of “Physical” bit sectors, sacrificing the disk capacity.
To do this procedure you need to enter the command “HPA” and set the values for trimming the drive.
The first value you should enter is the end of the hard disk. The drive is trimmed from the end. The value should be 10 000 more than the number of the last dead sector, which is displayed in the status line. In my case this value will be 380515.
Program Victoria is similar to the previous program, but has a little more functionality, you can read an article about how to use, how to install and how to run the program.
After installing and running the program, select the needed hard drive (if you have two or more).
After selecting them press the ” F4 ” button; in the window that will appear we will be interested in 2 points.
In the first item we choose “Linear Reading”, this configuration will perform sequential reading and writing of all blocks of the hard drive. We choose it, as it will most accurately indicate the presence of bad sectors
In the second item select “BB : Erase 256 sect”. Selecting this option when scanning and finding bad sectors on the surface of the hard drive, the program will try to zero such a block. This will only fix “Logical” broken sectors.
After selecting the items we want, press ” Enter ” and watch the scanning process.
When the scan is finished but no bad sectors are left, it is time to use the “Remap” function.
For this we do the same steps, press ” F 4″ and in the Ignore Bad Block select ” Advanced Remap “. This parameter can help even if the usual Remap is powerless, this is the advantage of the Victoria program over the previous one. After selecting the right option, press Enter and watch the scanning process.
The program Disk Revival is positioned by the author as a tool to lock “almost” bad and/or slow sectors of the hard drive. Т.е., in fact the utility does not repair bad sectors, but “preserves” them. Remember at once that the utility cannot solve physical sector problems, that is why the above mentioned expression “almost dead” blocks was used. Nevertheless, such sectors are often marked (by Victoria, for example) as broken. And that’s exactly the kind of blocks that Disk Revival works with. “not quite” broken blocks.
In general, the process of repairing slow sectors by the program can be considered hard disk recovery.к. If you use it, bad sectors will not be used anymore and all problems caused by these blocks will disappear.
Using Disk Revival is really easy:
Disk Revival tool finds all slow sectors on the disk and fills them with arbitrary data. In other words, bad blocks are blocked on the file system level.
- Easy-to-use, Russian-language interface with built-in manual and explanation of program usage.
- Ability to speed up the hard drive by locking slow sectors.
- According to the vendor, Disk Revival can handle situations that often even Victoria can’t.
- Paid version. The free version can handle only 10GB of needed disk space.
- No sector reallocation feature.
- Formatting or defragmenting a disk partition will reset the result, i.e.е. Slow sectors are available for processing again. To workaround this situation, the program has to be run repeatedly after formatting/defragmenting.
DiskGenius is a multifunctional program for working with hard drives and the data stored on them. Check disk surface for bad and bad blocks.
- After the program starts, a list with all drives connected to your PC will be displayed on the left side of the window.
- To run the scanning module you need to right-click on a certain disk and then select “Verify Of Repair Bad Sectors”.
- Click on the “Repair” button in the newly opened window.
- Wait for the process to complete.
DiskGenius fixes bad block problems in much the same way Disk Revival does.
- Easy enough to use even for inexperienced users. no need to perform any settings.
- Many functions for recovering data from disks and lost partitions.
- Support of multiple file systems.
- Ability to create a bootable DiskGenius flash/CD.
- Program is paid. However, the bad sector repair feature also works in the free version of DiskGenius without any limitations.
- Does not support sector reallocation technology.
- No Russian language.
All of the above programs are designed to work in a Windows environment (if you do not take into account the bootable versions of Victoria and DiskGenius). MHDD doesn’t work from within the operating system (although the Windows version does exist, it usually causes all sorts of problems when launched). The program was originally created and is being developed as bootable software for testing, diagnostics and recovery of hard drives.
The most complicated part for new users is the process of starting MHDD, which always begins with creating a bootable flash drive or disk. Here we will not discuss this process, but provide links for downloading the necessary files:
Next, you will have to boot your computer from the newly created flash drive and perform a few simple steps to recover the BAD blocks of the hard drive:
- Press F2 to have the program build a list of hard drives.
- Enter the number corresponding to the drive number in the list and then press Enter.
- In the small window move with the arrows on the keyboard to the item “Remap”, set “ON”, then to the item “Erase Delays”, also set “ON”. The first option enables the mode to reassign uncorrectable bad blocks, the second option helps to recover programmatically bad sectors by completely overwriting them.
- Press Enter and wait for the procedure to complete.
It is difficult to judge the pros and cons of MHDD.к. The program copes with its task perfectly in one case, and does not even detect the hard disk in another case. It depends on the hard drive model and motherboard configuration.
The fact that in the process of work with hard drives all sorts of system drivers and other intermediary software are not used (i.e.е. The fact that it works almost directly with the drive makes MHDD a very fast and error-free tool, which is not the case with any other utility that runs under Windows.
Any questions, suggestions or Комментарии и мнения владельцев?? Contact us and ask a question.
Check the condition of the drive under “Security & Maintenance
Windows 10 uses the “Security and Maintenance” screen to let you know about problems related to the health of your hard drive. This way, you can find out hardware and software issues such as bad sectors.
Step 1 : Go to Control Panel and select “Security and Maintenance” to open it.
Step 2 : Click on the “Maintenance” option, and then go to the “Disk Status” area. You can check the current status of your drives.
Step 3 : If you find any problem, such as a bad sector, you will see a disk scan option in the list. And you can fix bad sectors on your hard drive with it.
Check the disk for errors using the disk tools in Properties
Microsoft has introduced the Drive Check tool in Windows to fix bad sectors on the hard drive.
Step 1 : Open Windows Explorer by pressing “Win E. Right-click on the local disk containing the corrupted sectors and select “Properties.
Step 2 : Go to the “Tools” tab in the “Properties” window and click on “Check” under “Error Check”. Then click on “Scan disk” to start the scan process.
Step 3 : When it’s done, select “Scan and Repair Disk” from the popup dialog box. Then follow the on-screen instructions to complete the remaining steps.
What will the LEDs tell you about?
When ERR lights up, look at the upper right part of the screen: the type of the last error will be displayed there:
- AMNF. Address Mark Not Found. Addressing a specific sector failed. Most likely means that the sector is corrupt. However, immediately after turning on the drive is just the opposite. indicates that there are no problems and reports a successful internal diagnostics;
- T0NF. Track 0 Not Found; Track 0 is not found;
- ABRT. Abort, command rejected;
- IDNF. Sector ID Not found;
- UNCR. Uncorrectable Error, an error not corrected by ECC code. This is most likely where the logical bad block is.
Two more indicators may appear at the top: PWD signals that a hardware password has been set, HPA appears if the drive has been resized using the HPA command (usually used to hide bad blocks at the end of a drive).
Programs to check the hard drive for bad sectors
There are a number of software applications on the market that can test the hard disk surface. This tests not a single volume, but the entire hard drive surface. Of course, the user can of course set the boundary sectors and test the individual areas himself. A common way to determine which sectors are bad is to do a read sector test.
Important: The results of the test for bad sectors should always be considered in conjunction with Smart indicators, such as Reallocation Sector Count, Reallocation Event Count.
Data Lifeguard Diagnostic
Developed by the folks at Western Digital. It is available for download from the company’s official website. Lifeguard Diagnostic works great with hard drives from almost any manufacturer, not just the WD-branded ones, as you may think. It offers several tests: Quick test, advanced test and also the option to fill the disk with zeros.
The Data Lifeguard Diagnostic utility interface.
We are mostly interested in the advanced test. This test detects bad sectors on the disk surface. When the program finds a bad sector, it informs the user and lets him choose if he wants to fix the bad sector. If it agrees, the application writes to sector 0, so the sector data will be lost.
A sampling of tests. We need the Extended Test.
This test lasts longer than the quick test. The test time depends on the size of the drive, because the test is carried out on the entire surface, starting from sector 0 and ending with the maximum LBA value.
HDDScan is also an excellent tool for testing the hard disk surface. It is often found as part of a suite of software packages such as the LiveCD. This application has a graphical interface and offers a variety of tests, among which in our case the most interesting is Surface Tests.
Let us select the Surface Test from the dropdown list.
Important: If you are running surface tests from Windows you must close all running programs in order to avoid unintended results during the test.
After selecting the test, an additional window will open, which presents the parameters of the test. Let’s leave the “Read” option checked, which will allow us only to read the data from the sectors. Thus we will define bad sectors (bad sectors), hanging sectors and normal cells. We leave the start and end sector fields unchanged, if we want to check the whole surface.
When testing with this program a number of sectors are detected:
- bad sectors,
- Freezing sectors taking more than 500 ms to read,
- sectors with a reading time from 150 to 500 ms,
- sectors with read time from 50 to 150 ms,
- sectors with a reading time of 20 to 50 ms,
- Sectors with read time between 10 ms and 20 ms,
- HDDScan considers as normal sectors with data read within 5 ms.
The result is available as a line graph, a sector distribution map and as a plain text report.
Ashampoo HDD Control
In contrast to the above mentioned programs HDD Control is not free of charge. This application is an entire suite of tools designed to restore the health of your hard drive. This program also offers the possibility to test the hard drive surface.
Let’s choose the “Surface test” option.
The test is very simple and accessible for the average HDD Control user. To run it, you only need to click on the “Surface Test” button. It is devoid of additional options that would allow you to customize the type of test. Only two types of sectors are detected in the test: sectors with excellent reading result and bad sectors.
Ashampoo HDD Control checks the surface of your drive.
Victoria is the most popular program among IT-professionals working with hard drives and their problems. It also has a graphical interface, but can be run not only in Windows graphical mode, but also in DOS mode, which makes it indispensable when working with hard.
Victoria considers the health of your hard drive to be “GOOD”.
This application can collect information about the Smart health of your hard drive. It also allows you to make a disk surface test, to reallocate bad sectors using the Remap operation, to null bad sectors. It also subdivides sectors into groups:
- bad sectors (Error),
- Freeze sectors with read times more than 600 ms,
- freezing sectors with reading time from 200 to 600 ms,
- sectors with reading time between 50 and 200 ms,
- sectors with a reading time of 20 to 50 ms,
- Victoria diagnoses normal sectors within the reading time up to 5 ms.
It is worth mentioning that there is a difference between the errors fixable by Windows chkdsk utility and bad sectors fixable by programs like Victoria HDD. The first are caused by the file system defects, and the second are often a result of the loss of magnetic properties of the hard disk surface sectors and its gradual degradation. But chkdsk can also fix some bad sectors problems.
To eliminate bad sectors you can use such applications as: Data Lifeguard Diagnostic, Ashampoo HDD Control, HDDScan, Victoria. Let’s single out Victoria HDD application as the best one for checking and fixing bad sectors, as it offers a number of tests: Ignore, Remap, Erase and Restore. It allows you not only to detect the faulty surface structures of the hard drive, but also to treat HDD.