is there a tool for checking the thorough surface of a hard drive?

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taht

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i have a notebook, Toshiba that I recently had the LCD monitor screen and keyboard replaced under my extended warranty as both parts had flaws.
My notebook was purchased in May 2003 and the warranty expires May 2006 and it is with Toshiba itself.
It has been great dealing with them, bring in the notebook for a test and then the diagnosis is made and i take it back to work and bring it in to them when the parts are at the Warranty depot.
This replacement of the 2 aforementioned parts took 45 minutes and then I left with the notebook and it is working fine.

While there and the Tech was doing the work, I mentioned that I use Perfect Disk 7 to Defrag and that I now over the past few months have 110 Excess fragments in c:\$BadClus.$ and it is in the Meta data.
The tech said it may be the hard drive. My notebook was purchased in 2003 and has a 40 gig hard drive and 1.9 ghz, 512 RAM, Intel Pent 4, Mobile processor.

I have a Ghost Image on an external Western Digital Drive. The tech from Toshiba said to make sure my Ghost is uptodate as he will have to test it for corrupt files/bad drive and that will wipe the drive clean.

I was wondering if there is a tool UNLIKE Windows Chkdsk thatwould check thoroughly the surface of the drive and not attempt to fix it if there are problems which in the attempt to repair of course could corrupt my data.

I merely wanted to do a thorough surface check and see if there was a report that indicated that files were corrupted.
And most of all I did not want a program that would attempt to fix the hard drive itself if it was faulty.
I don't know if such a tool exists??

Any comments?

Thankyou
 
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Have you looked at Windows' Scandisk tool? It has a 'Thorough' option that scans the disk surface for errors in addition to checking files and folders. You can deselect the option to automatically fix on the main menu, and if you choose 'Thorough' you have additional options of what to check and whether or not to fix.
 
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G'day taht, what operating system are you using?
There is a tool called HDD regenerator and another called spinrite, they are supposed to run without affecting files already on the drive.
The HDD regen actually comes as a shareware kind of thing and will only fix one bad cluster but will continue through the drive, it is like a dos kind of environment with a primitive gui kind of indication.
I am not sure about spinrite you might research the thing, it has much more complex possibilities, and a more complex kind of operation.
Scandisk (MS) is only good for fat stuff.
I have used the HDD Regen program with good results, but still am involved in testing it for my own interest.
It appears your Toshiba is falling apart before the warranty period expires, just imagine what will happen afterward, it will probably completely disintegrate into a pile of dust! I can imagine your precautionary alarm.
Cheers, qldit.
 

taht

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Thx for the replies, I am not a tech type and not a very literate user as well of all that might be available, but most willing to learn.
I have looked at the Scan Disk suggestion and then the subsequent comment by another poster. It didn't sound to promising?? It sounded like it was for bigger tasks?? And by the way, I don't know where that program is??
Obviously am a Noob to these tools.

The other program I will have to read up on as I want to use a tool to see if the clusters are indeed corrupt files and not my hard drive and not destroy any existing data.

I look forward to any other suggestions as well.

Thankyou,

And by the way the OS is "xp" Home Edition.
 
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Just a thought HDD regenerator is also part of Hiren's 7 boot cd.It worked quite well, fixed some bad clusters for me on my Toshiba.
 
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I have run Spinrite many times and it is extremely thorough. On my machine it takes over 20 hours to run (380 gig) and it gives a lot of reports when done.

It runs from a floppy disk and has never caused a problem of any kind. If you want to read about it, it is on the Gibson Research web site at www.GRC.com
 
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taht said:
I have looked at the Scan Disk suggestion and then the subsequent comment by another poster. It didn't sound to promising?? It sounded like it was for bigger tasks?? And by the way, I don't know where that program is??
If you're referring to qldit's reference to 'fat stuff' he meant FAT as opposed to NTFS (formatting types). I didn't ask what operating system you were using when I suggested Scandisk (as I should have done)...if you're on XP the hard drive will be NTFS formatted.

Scandisk is one of the Windows system tools.
 
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I would also recommend SpinRite, it's on the expensive side but seems perfect for your situation. Read about it at GRC.com (as dmullen suggested).
 

taht

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May 24, 2005
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Perhaps i should just get the Toshiba Tech at the warranty depot to do the testing if it is going to be a substantial cost just to see if I have corrupt files when it could in fact be a bad drive, especially since the LCD and keyboard were both flawed and replaced within this month.

If one of the tools is one that I could use later should I again have Bad Clusters perhaps it would be worth the investment. However, I spoke with the extended warranty people and they do provide extended warranty for my notebook when it expires for parts and labour, so maybe the $ I would spend for this tool would be better spent next May on this extended warranty that is offerred??

Just some thoughts.

Regards with many thanks for the comments
 
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G'day taht and gentlemen, sorry for my misleading comment, the idea of getting an extended warranty may be a good idea in view of the circumstances.
Usually a bad drive gives intermittent freezing and blue screens of death kinds of indications. (BSOD's)
Obviously there is some reason for your concern, possibly by the low key comments of your technician.
If you knew what kind of hard drive is fitted to your machine you can usually obtain a tool for checking from the drive manufacturer.
With regard to chasing any programs mentioned, or tools or whatever, just google the name and you will find the target usually quite simply.
For a demonstration and a learning experience, google "memtest86" obtain and load it to a burned CD or floppy and run it, it will give you a thorough test of your memory, this is a worthwhile exercise for anyone. Zero cost, apart from the media.
Best luck old chap, qldit.
 

taht

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May 24, 2005
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My HDD is toshiba MK4021GAS, that is the info from Belarc Advisor. I thought that I would post this in case it helps members as far as comments go.
I have looked at the Toshiba Mobile Computing support site for a tool, however there does not appear to be anything.
Simply updates for drivers, BIOS etc.

Regards
 
Joined
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taht said:
My HDD is toshiba MK4021GAS, that is the info from Belarc Advisor. I thought that I would post this in case it helps members as far as comments go.
I have looked at the Toshiba Mobile Computing support site for a tool, however there does not appear to be anything.
Simply updates for drivers, BIOS etc.
Regards
Taht,

You need to consult the website of your hard driver manufacturer, not the Toshiba website.

First you must know who manufactured your hard disk, so download and install Everest Free (Home) which is freeware for personal use at home from:
http://www.lavalys.com

When you know who manufactured your hard disk, look here to get to your hard disk driver manufacturer's website: http://compreviews.about.com/cs/manhard/

At the website of your hard drive manufacturer, search for disk drive utilities that should be able to be downloaded, install them, and run them as they advise - perhaps from a floppy.

-- Tom
 
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