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Conflicting results from chkdsk

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by BillBald, Aug 8, 2006.

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  1. BillBald

    BillBald Thread Starter

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    When running chkdsk /r, I get messages saying 'Windows replaced bad clusters in file ...', then at the end it says '0 KB in bad sectors'.
    Can anyone explain how this can be possible? How can you have bad clusters without having bad sectors?
    Regards,
    Bill
     
  2. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Hard to say, but I'd download the disk manufacturer's diagnostic and do a full surface scan of the hard disk. If you're actually developing real bad sectors, you need to shopping for the replacement now! CHKDSK is a lousy hardware diagnostic, so I wouldn't trust what it says about hardware issues.
     
  3. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    Because the clusters are refering to parts of the file and sectors are refering to physical spaces on the disk?
     
  4. BillBald

    BillBald Thread Starter

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    Are you (BlaqDeaph) implying that file corruption might be caused by something other than a failing HDD? If so, any ideas on what it could be?
    Regards,
    Bill
     
  5. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    Possibly, it could be any number of things, from windows failing to write the file properly, if you were multitasking many things on the HDD at the same time, or shut down the computer improperly.

    But yes, I agree with John that you should use another program to perform the scan to be sure.
     
  6. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    I can't explain why those didn't become part of the bad sectors on the drive, but multitasking, "bad writes" or "bad shutdowns" do not cause "bad clusters".

    Unless it is the following: Harddrives have "spare" sectors in reserve that the drive's electronics use to swap out with sectors that go bad.Perhaps this is what has happened and as a result, there are no "real" bad sectors (yet).

    But, whatever files that are noted in the errors are definite candidates to be corrupted and should be verified.

    And, I would continue to keep an eye on the drive. Any more messages about bad sectors/clusters is a good indication of a failing drive.
    (or any other "strange" errors or failures coming from your running applications_
     
  7. BillBald

    BillBald Thread Starter

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    The Maxtor utility is unable to detect the HDD when it's connected to the Promise controller.
    Is there a free utility which anyone would recommend?
    Windows XP is generally behaving itself, the only unusual thing is that occasionally, while typing a Word document, that window loses the focus for no obvious reason - that can happen if you accidentally hit a Ctrl key combination, but I'm sure I'm not doing that.
     
  8. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    I'd connect the drive to the MB IDE for the diagnostic. There's nothing that's going to do a better job on that drive than the Maxtor diagnostic.
     
  9. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    I've cut the power on a diskcleanup opeation on a box before and gotten a totally corrupted hal.dll. Just one example of what can go wrong. If the head is writing suddenly the power cuts off it WILL cause data corruption on the disk. Think of it like writing with a fountain pen, then suddenly pressing hard on the page, and not moving the pen. The only reason why it may not appear so is that some times the file system can compensate for it.
     
  10. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    Yes and I agree that has the potential to corrupt files, either the files themselves or the disk directory.

    That will not, however, result in bad sectors.
     
  11. BillBald

    BillBald Thread Starter

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    OK guys, thanks for your suggestions. It's going to be a couple of days before I can try anything - I'll keep you posted on what I find out.
     
  12. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    Do you even know what are bad sectors, let alone what causes bad sectors?
     
  13. WhitPhil

    WhitPhil Gone but never forgotten Trusted Advisor

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    That would be a yes.

    But, for your edification, a definition

    Note the keyword physical.

    Cutting power to a box doesn't cause physical damage. If it is, you already have a defective drive.
     
  14. blaqDeaph

    blaqDeaph

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    WhitPhil, you haven't been reading properly then. NOWHERE did I mention PHYSICAL DAMAGE. I mentioned CORRUPTED DATA, which are bad clusters, but never BAD SECTORS anywhere in the posts. In fact, in my first post, I DID mention that sectors are "physical spaces" on the disk.

    Perhaps it's worth mentioning that data corruption is bad clusters, and physical damage is bad sectors. The reason why you can have bad clusters is if the drive were to shut down suddenly while performing a write to a particular cluster, the result would be a write spike, which means that the cluster will be unusable and unreadable. The way to fix this is simply to overwrite that cluster with something else.
     
  15. BillBald

    BillBald Thread Starter

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    OK, just to update you guys, I attached the HDD to the IDE controller as Pri Master, then ran Powermax, which certified the drive as error-free.
    I was wondering if there could be a problem with the Promise controller, so I'm going to leave it connected as Pri Master for a while, and see if the problems recur.
     
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