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TOSHIBA HARD DISK: How can I locate and isolate Bad sectors?

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#1
ahmad2080

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Hello,

My laptop "TOSHIBA A665-S6094" was working good until it had a bad fall on the floor. Directly after the fall I began to hear a sound coming from the harddisk "tick tick tick tick" in a very fast manner.

I restarted the computer and the OS didn't load. I booted form a win7 dvd and tried to repair using the repair option. After about 15 minutes of searching for installed microsoft OS, it came up with a message saying that it found some errors and to fix I must restart. However, when I click restart and repair it shows another error message saying that it can't add the entry "win7 recovered" to the booting options.

Trying to manually fix this issue, I opened a cmd (still in the "repair" screen in win7 dvd) and tried the chkdsk command.
I want to clarify here that I used "Gparted" software which showed that only one partition from the three partitions on my harddisk has bad sectors. It told me that to resize the partiton with badsectors I have to run the chkdsk command then restart the computer TWICE.

My hard disk is partitioned as follow:
1) SYSTEM --> (hidden) around 1 GB "Don't remember exactly"
2) C: --> around 500 GB containing everything (OS-My work- even the bad sectors:()
3) Recovery partition --> also hidden, around 11 GB

Back to the chkdsk command, it did fix some bad clusters, removed some invalid indexes and added others. Then, in stage 4 of 5, it stopped at sector 15 ( and 12% of the whole scan). I canceled the scan after waiting about 20 hours with nothing new.

I am asking for software that can locate and isolate bad sectors or some software to locate and other to isolate. I remember that I have done something similar a long time ago: used a software to locate bad sectors, apply some multiplications to know the exact location of the sector in bytes then use any partitioning tool to delete that part containing badsectors and make it unformatted.
But I really don't remember that software and I think it was designed for WD hard disks only.

NOTE: I didn't hear that "tick tick tick tick" sound again.

Edited by ahmad2080, 25 July 2011 - 03:00 PM.



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#2
jaclaz

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I am asking for software that can locate and isolate bad sectors or some software to locate and other to isolate. I remember that I have done something similar a long time ago: used a software to locate bad sectors, apply some multiplications to know the exact location of the sector in bytes then use any partitioning tool to delete that part containing badsectors and make it unformatted.
But I really don't remember that software and I think it was designed for WD hard disks only.

NOTE: I didn't hear that "tick tick tick tick" sound again.

Ahmad :), you need to first thing procure yourself some common sense (I know it is rare today, but with some effort it can be found ;)).
Quick recap:
  • you HD took a bad hit.
  • if the HD was spinning at the time, your heads have most probably crashed, compare with:
    http://www.msfn.org/...internet-noise/
  • once a head crashes, it hits the disk surface, leaving a small dent/groove in it
  • some little material from the head or from the platter normally comes loose when there is a head crash
  • every time your disk spins some of this trash is either carried around by the head or head arm or spread by the air cushion (and may land on the platter when the drive spins off)
  • it is VERY likely that the "bad area" will grow because of these debris making more "grooves"
  • NO hard disk is EVER reliable, one that had a head crash is definitely NOT ANYMORE RELIABLE NOW
  • logical errors can usually be fixed, mechanical ones CANNOT (and no, they don't heal by themselves)

So, you are asking a partially senseless thing :ph34r: , you should go buy a new hard disk NOW.

If, for fun, or experiment :thumbup or whatever :w00t: you want to keep that failed hard disk as secondary (or tertiary) backup storage, it may be OK, but keeping it in service as the ONLY, SYSTEM, drive is IMNSHO asking for troubles. :ph34r:

In any case, BEFORE ANYTHING else, it is VITAL to check thoroughfully the disk with the manufacturer diagnostic utility.

Unfortunately :( TOSHIBA does NOT provide an official utility, but usually the IBM/Hitachi or the Seagate Seatools work with them:
http://www.carrona.org/hddiag.html

To locate bad sectors, you can use Victoria allright, read a few posts starting from here:
http://www.911cd.net...ic=24161&st=567

jaclaz

#3
ahmad2080

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First of all, Thanks for your fast reply and sorry for my delayed one.

My laptop fell on its edge on the floor from a height of about 50cm. Is that considered a bad hit? Also, TOSHIBA has this software that senses any vibrations and lifts the head once a certain level of vibration is detected (up to my knowledge). Plus, I have found my partitions and folders and browsed through them using "Testdisk".
So your assumption of "Head Crash" may not be right after all!!:huh:

Maybe I am just giving my self fake hope to fix this, but it helps.

Before we play around with the disk, what would be the most efficient way to backup all data? I don't wanna lose my data AGAIN!!:no:. I have a 500 GB USB drive for that purpose.

  • logical errors can usually be fixed, mechanical ones CANNOT (and no, they don't heal by themselves)

Yes, but they can be disappeared reducing the size of the disk. That's what I am intending to do: Make them INVISIBLE :ph34r:.

So, you are asking a partially senseless thing :ph34r: , you should go buy a new hard disk NOW.

I am looking for a good new SSD.

One last question: Why didn't the "tick tick tick tick" sound appear again?

#4
jaclaz

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My laptop fell on its edge on the floor from a height of about 50cm. Is that considered a bad hit? Also, TOSHIBA has this software that senses any vibrations and lifts the head once a certain level of vibration is detected (up to my knowledge). Plus, I have found my partitions and folders and browsed through them using "Testdisk".
So your assumption of "Head Crash" may not be right after all!!:huh:

According to the calculations made on the referenced thread:
http://www.msfn.org/...internet-noise/
(which I have NO idea if correct, but seemingly so :whistle: ), yes it is considered a "bad hit"

I have NO idea if the Toshiba software works/worked (and HOW it works). :blushing:
Those kind of things should move the head arm to a parking zone, but see below.

Maybe the "ticking noise" was a coincidence? :w00t:
And the bad sectors found afterwards also? :angel

I cannot say anything about Toshiba's, I don't remember ever taking one apart and anyway probably not the same model you have, what I can say is that - generally speaking - "oldish" disks had a head parking zone on a plastic ramp or similar outside the platter while "newish" ones tend to have the parking zone ON the disk.
It is possible that the sensor or whatever actually reacted but that was not fast enough: as a matter of fact - and of course within limits - having the laptop fall from a greater height (say 1 m or more) could paradoxically be better :w00t: , as the shut-off sensor would have more time to do whatever it is supposed to do.

I would use datarescuedd to make an image of the disk.
Hints:
http://reboot.pro/15040/

With "high level" software (like moving/resizing parition) you remove the "logical" part of the problem, not the physical one.
I'll try to explain.
Say you had a very small head crash "groove" on the platter, that only affects "logical" sectors 65 to 105.
You could make first partition start (say) at sector 126 and have the damaged area outside the filesystem (no more chkdsk errors).
But still the first (both logical and physical) sector 0 will remain where it is now, and in order to travel from sector 0 to sector 126 the head will hover (very, very close to the surface of the platter) over sectors 65 to 105.
Now, if there is any debris in that zone, it is likely that the head will get it and move it a bit, possibly scratching the platter in zones corresponding to another bunch of sectors, and this will cause some more *something* get loose, etc. etc.

Mind you I am not telling you that this is what has/will happen, only that it may happen :ph34r: , and given the relatively small price of hard disks, expecially when compared to how invaluable data are, I would take no chance on this.

jaclaz

#5
ahmad2080

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mmmmm.... I see.

I'm using datarescue now to image the HDD. It's reporting a lot of: [Read error at (sector no.). Data error (Cyclic Redundancy Check).]

I'm dividing the image into two pieces: one on my new HDD and the other on my USD HDD.

Looks like it'll take ages to complete the imaging process.

But what after creating the image? Double click on the .dd file and I'll be free to open and browse?

#6
jaclaz

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I'm using datarescue now to image the HDD. It's reporting a lot of: [Read error at (sector no.). Data error (Cyclic Redundancy Check).]

Unfortunately :( , as expected.

I'm dividing the image into two pieces: one on my new HDD and the other on my USD HDD.

Well, no, this can be a temporary storage while recovering, but at the end you need to re-compose a "monolithic image".

Looks like it'll take ages to complete the imaging process.

BTW, the idea of using smartly datarescuedd (as suggestd in the gicen link) is to minimize the time wasted reading unreadable sectors, if you tell it to "just image" it will try again and again each and every sector and it is NOT a good idea to "insist" when a bad zone is found.


But what after creating the image? Double click on the .dd file and I'll be free to open and browse?

Sure :), by sheer magic :unsure: during the night some little green men will come to your house :w00t: and instead of stealing your socks ;) will:
  • install an adequate software
  • associate the .dd extension to it
  • and if you are nice they will also rebuild the filesystem and recover each and every file in it.... :whistle:


... come on, get real:
  • once you will have (hopefully) a complete image you will need to fix it's filesystem and/or recover the files in it (at least those that you cannot replace)

jaclaz

#7
ahmad2080

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I'm dividing the image into two pieces: one on my new HDD and the other on my USD HDD.

Well, no, this can be a temporary storage while recovering, but at the end you need to re-compose a "monolithic image".

Isn't there a way to compress the image? The new HDD is 500Gb, the USB HDD is 500Gb the dead HDD is 640Gb.!!!

#8
jaclaz

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Isn't there a way to compress the image?

Short answer:
NO.

The new HDD is 500Gb, the USB HDD is 500Gb the dead HDD is 640Gb.!!!

Long answer:
NO, meaning NOT in a way that will allow the kind of filesystem fixing/data recovery that will probably be needed.

BUT, you can (and again this would be easier if you have a set of many relatively little files) create a sparse file the size of the original disk and process (as an example by using dsfo/dsfi through a batch) these files, ONLY copying to the sparse image non-zeroed sectors.
This may work on a pristine disk, but I doubt it will give any sensible saving on an used disk (with data deleted form filesystem but actually still on the actual sectors, that make them non-00's).
IF the disk was defragmented, you can try using a partial image (let's say the intiial 499 Gb) but of course YMMV.

jaclaz

#9
ahmad2080

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Seems like I'm out of options here.

I neglected the standards, as usual, and tried the process of "Copy and Paste". IT WORKED, not 100% but I was able to restore most of my important data.

Other data can be downloaded AGAIN from the internet (although I spent days downloading and arranging them before). Yes it's a pain.. but easier than what the green men want to do.

BTW, the Toshiba utility I mentioned before is called : "HDD Protection". A live 3D HDD viewer comes with it. It shows a spinning HDD which leans when you lean the laptop.

I'm thinking now to use Victoria directly on the HDD.Posted Image. I mean, What else could happen?


Anyway, I appreciate your help jaclaz . I'm travelling to Europe soon, maybe I should visit Italy to see those green men of yours who can fix all of your problemsPosted Image, I'll bring the HDD with mePosted Image.

Thanks.

#10
jaclaz

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I neglected the standards, as usual, and tried the process of "Copy and Paste". IT WORKED, not 100% but I was able to restore most of my important data.

That's good news. :)

Other data can be downloaded AGAIN from the internet (although I spent days downloading and arranging them before). Yes it's a pain.. but easier than what the green men want to do.

Yes, as said anything that is somehow replaceable is usually NOT worth the time to recover/fix.

BTW, the Toshiba utility I mentioned before is called : "HDD Protection". A live 3D HDD viewer comes with it. It shows a spinning HDD which leans when you lean the laptop.

Sure, that's what you see, how it actually works is through a sensor, a kind of accelerometer.
Point is how long does it takes before intervention and, IF it works in time, IF it effectively places heads in a "safe" parking zone (anyway, and expecially with modern hard disks, spin down will take much more time that it takes to hit the ground)

I'm thinking now to use Victoria directly on the HDD.Posted Image. I mean, What else could happen?

Well, Victoria is NOT a recovery application.
BEFORE using it, I would see what DMDE can find/recover (single file at the time in the free version):
http://softdm.com/
and, still before Victoria, and after DMDE, a pass with PHOTOREC may be able to recover a few more things (like .doc or .xls files, since it can be targeted to a number of filetypes).

Anyway, I appreciate your help jaclaz . I'm travelling to Europe soon, maybe I should visit Italy to see those green men of yours who can fix all of your problemsPosted Image, I'll bring the HDD with mePosted Image.

Naah, you got it wrong, unfortunately here in Europe we don't have little green men at all, we have gnomes instead ;), and they become pretty much hostile when it comes to work for file recovery overnight, so we need to do everything by ourselves :(....

jaclaz

#11
ahmad2080

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Being curious, I left datarescue work. It stopped reporting the read error message from 12 hours (yes, it has not finished yet!!)....Is that normal? or should I restart the whole process again?

Pausing and resuming the process had no effect. I can still feel the HDD spinning and see the LED flashing!!

#12
jaclaz

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Being curious, I left datarescue work. It stopped reporting the read error message from 12 hours (yes, it has not finished yet!!)....Is that normal? or should I restart the whole process again?

Pausing and resuming the process had no effect. I can still feel the HDD spinning and see the LED flashing!!

That's not "being curious" is "using a tool improperly". :(

You should NOT re-start the process.

You should do it as it was suggesterd to you, in "chunks".

BTW, for the "copy" you may want to try YCOPY:
http://www.softpedia...ous/Ycopy.shtml
at least you will have a list of the failed files.

jaclaz

#13
ahmad2080

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Hi there,
I'm back again. It took about 3 days for the first 350Gb to be imaged.
The resulted image is 333GB in size!!
No. of last sector with errors in reading was: 192a740c00 (=108086430720 in decimal)
So theoretically, 512* 108086430720 = 55340252528640 bytes = 51539GB ?
or is it that the size of a single sector is not 512 bytes?
I want to know the space to be deleted from the disk to reduce the probability of bad sectors spreading.

I'm proceeding now with the other 300GB. I may then borrow a 1TB HDD to combine the two parts and proceed with the recovery process. The problem is that I have no idea how to combine the two parts together.

I'd like to note that I'm not doing this to restore my data (I already did). I have three reasons for doing this:
1) Increase experience in dealing with hardware bad sectors.
2) Use the GOOD part of the disk and turn it into a USB HDD which then can be used to store UNimportant data, transfer data from a computer to another,...etc.
3) It'd be a wonderful feeling recovering data you thought they were lost forever. Posted Image

#14
jaclaz

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The problem is that I have no idea how to combine the two parts together.

Not only :(, the problem is also that you don't have the faintest idea of WHAT :w00t: you got (since you got it "randomly", i.e. without doing what was suggested you) :whistle:

Anyway I'll try to cheer you up for your loss. ;)

Rule Eleven:

Posted Image

:lol:

jaclaz

#15
ahmad2080

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I'm dividing the image into two pieces: one on my new HDD and the other on my USD HDD.

Well, no, this can be a temporary storage while recovering, but at the end you need to re-compose a "monolithic image".



I hate blaming others, but it was your idea to "re-compose" the image. How can you tell me to walk through then say it's the wrong way? Posted Image

Also,

You should do it as it was suggesterd to you, in "chunks".


then,

(since you got it "randomly", i.e. without doing what was suggested you)


Looks paradoxical to me.
What is it what you need?? a one full image? or small pieces of .dd files?

#16
jaclaz

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What is it what you need?? a one full image? or small pieces of .dd files? [/size][/font][/color]

I don't need anything, thanks. :)

I pointed you to a suggested procedure:
http://reboot.pro/15040/page__st__8

I explained to you the REASONs why such a procedure is suggested (as opposed to "start imaging and let the program try again and again and again and again on bad sectors).

If you had told datarescuedd to copy (just an example with very small numbers) sectors from 0 to 100, you would have as a result a file named image[0-51200].dd
If this file, upon ispection, is actually 51.200 bytes in size, and you had no errors, you would be sure to have imaged correctly a chunk, and know exactly it's size and know exactly it's position.
Then you go fo the next chunk, like 100 to 200 and you get another nice 51200 bytes file named image[51200-102400].dd, and so on.

You chose the "other one", that's allright, I make no claim whatsoever that what was suggested was "right" and that what you did was "wrong", I am simply stating that you did another thing from what was suggested to you.

On reboot.pro we even have an emoticon that in this case represents the poor HD arm/heads banging against an unreadable sector over and over:
Posted Image

This is BAD for the hard disk and data integrity, and LESSENS probabilities of a successful image and of a later recovery.

You just posted data that simply makes NO SENSE, whether these data appear nonsensical because they are plainly wrong or because something (whatever) went wrong during the imaging process (and whether this is connected to having done that in a way that was NOT recommended) is irrelevant, the result is that now you have "something" that you are not actually sure WHAT :w00t: it is.


To join files you need a file joiner. ;)

A good one (IMHO) is dsfi (part of the dsfok package:
http://members.ozema...eezip/freeware/

2) dsfi

dsfi can overwrite a block of data of any size at any location within a file.

Also:

- restore disk partitions (no resizing)
- restore entire disk (no resizing)
- restore a floppy disk image
- join two files
- fast sector-level transfer

Usage: dsfi destination offset size source

Note: null size is interpreted as max possible input
negative size is calculated on current file size
negative offset is calculated from end of file
use "e" as offset to indicate end of file

Example: dsfi c:\tmp\my.avi -50000 0 test.bin
dsfi \\.\d: 0 512 c:\0\partition-sectors.dat
dsfi \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 0 0 \\srv\shr\tmp\first.dsk
dsfi \\.\a: 0 0 "c:\tmp\floppy disk image.img"

To join two files type: dsfi file1 e 0 file2

The offset argument has to be "0" with non-file objects.


jaclaz

#17
ahmad2080

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I pointed you to a suggested procedure:
http://reboot.pro/15040/page__st__8



Posted Image I missed that link in your earlier post.....
Back to the track.....Posted Image





#18
Tripredacus

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Hopefully when you get this all fixed up, we won't have to go and fix the recovery partition again. :wacko:
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#19
ahmad2080

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Hopefully when you get this all fixed up, we won't have to go and fix the recovery partition again. :wacko:


I burned the recovery DVDs before anything to avoid repeating the tragedy of the recovery partition. I recovered my whole system using those DVDs on my new HDD. Posted Image



Back to the situation, while imaging the HDD in chunks as suggested the computer suddenly hang. I had to force a SHUTDOWN.


Now, The HDD is no longer readable as before. "Disk Managment" reports the primary partition (584GB) as a "RAW" partition and needs to be formatted.

Apparently, its only getting worse. I'm giving up recovering anything from it now.


So I turned to use Victoria and tried to locate the bad sectors. I found a very LOUSY GUI with no idea what to do.
Posted Image

Edited by ahmad2080, 04 August 2011 - 07:48 AM.


#20
jaclaz

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So I turned to use Victoria and tried to locate the bad sectors. I found a very LOUSY GUI with no idea what to do. [/size][/font]Posted Image

The "LOUSY" may be attributed to the otherwise very nice :thumbup Victoria Author .
The "no idea what to do" cannot. :ph34r: :whistle:

See if this helps (not latest version, though):
http://docs7.chomiku...-Windows-v4.pdf

The fact that the partition is seen as RAW may mean something or nothing, most probably all the head banging did unfortunately cause the expected worsening of the situation, or maybe the disk only warmed up a tadbit too much and only needs to cool down a bit. :unsure:

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz, 04 August 2011 - 08:34 AM.


#21
ahmad2080

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The "LOUSY" may be attributed to the otherwise very nice :thumbup Victoria Author .
The "no idea what to do" cannot. :ph34r: :whistle:

Yes, I agree that the author made great job there but talking about the interface .....It's horrible Posted Image. Besides there are no HELP notes to guide you through the program. Sorry, it's just my
opinion.


See if this helps (not latest version, though):
http://docs7.chomiku...-Windows-v4.pdf

The fact that the partition is seen as RAW may mean something or nothing, most probably all the head banging did unfortunately cause the expected worsening of the situation, or maybe the disk only warmed up a tadbit too much and only needs to cool down a bit. :unsure:

jaclaz


Thanks for the link. I cooled it down (not in the refrigerator of course Posted Image) and it's still RAW.


Currently reading: http://docs7.chomiku...-Windows-v4.pdf

and will post back results.






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