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Old 09-05-2008, 10:12 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Bad sectors?

I'm trying to resize my Vista partition again to free up 20GB of free space.

Current partitions:

1 - 170 or so GB NTFS (Windows Vista)
2 - 40 GB NTFS (Windows XP)
3 - 20 GB Extended (consists of ext3fs and swap) (Ubuntu)

I want to free up some space between 1 and 2

1 - 150GB NTFS (Vista)
2 - 20GB Blank
3 - 40GB NTFS (XP)
4 - 20GB Extended (Ubuntu)

However, apparently partition 2 (XP NTFS) has a bad sector in it. Whenever I try GParted, it gives me an error saying that it can't read because of a bad sector. It tells me to use the -b or --bad-sectors option, but those don't work. Whenever I use Vista's Disk Management, it goes to the spinning blue circle "Thinking" cursor and the HDD light blinks for a while, but then it randomly stops and locks up (PC still seems to be running but won't read from the HDD at all, so trying to do anything that accesses HDD will lock it up). Check Disk passes on both NTFS partitions. SMART says that 0 sectors have been reallocated, but 2 sectors are flagged for possible reallocation. This HDD came with my PC when I got it 3-4 months ago. Why a brand new HDD already has surface failures and won't fix them (reallocate to a reserved sector) is beyond me. I'm running the BIOS Hard Disk Self Test. If I can't get it to work, I hope HP's warranty covers bad drives and that they don't make me ship in my whole PC for a measly drive issue.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

At the moment are you trying to make this
1 - 150GB NTFS (Vista)
2 - 20GB Blank
3 - 40GB NTFS (XP)
4 - 20GB Extended (Ubuntu)

Look like this?
1 - 150GB NTFS (Vista)
2 - 40GB NTFS (XP)
3 - 20GB Blank
4 - 20GB Extended (Ubuntu)

Instead of using partition software to move your data. Clone your 40gb XP partition and then delete the 40gb partition. Next recreate the 40gb partition at the tail end of the Vista partition. Be sure to do a full format on the new format to get any bad sectors marked. If things format ok with no bad sectors you can then restore your XP image.
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Old 09-05-2008, 11:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

No, I'm trying to make this:

1-170GB NTFS
2-40GB NTFS
3-20GB Extended

look like this:

1-150GB NTFS
2-40GB NTFS
3-Blank
4-20GB Extended

It really doesn't matter if the blank is 2 or 3, and since I plan on shrinking the first partition, it will probably end up as #2.

I just ran the built-in BIOS Hard Disk Self Test utility and it simply said to replace the drive. Are bad sectors a common thing with new drives? I could always delete the 40GB XP and just reinstall it, as there is nothing important on that partition (and I have nothing to clone partitions with). However, I DO NOT WANT TO HARM THE VISTA PARTITION, as that is where my data is. If the other ones get damaged, no big deal, as they're just OS and software which I have CD's for or can re-download. All my music/pictures/videos/documents are stored on my Vista partition.
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

From all the drives I've ever had, bad sectors have been very rare. A few bad sectors shouldn't be a problem. The time to worry is when the bad sectors start to multiply.
The warranty should cover replacement if you can convince them your bios hard disk says it's bad. If not the drive could be used for external off line storage.

What brand of drive is it?
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Old 09-06-2008, 12:23 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

Well, I don't really want to buy a new drive, especially 4 months after I bought the PC. I also don't feel shipping the whole PC to HP just so they can do a 2-second operation (and take all my data, though I'd back that up anyways before sending the drive back myself). If they'd send me a replacement drive then I'd send the old one back, but they probably won't do that.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

I guess desktops are not like laptops. Toshiba and Dell sent out a shipping box and paid for shipping both ways for my in warranty repairs.

You could delete the partition with the bad sector to destroy the bad cluster file. Then reformat.

I've seen this tool being recommended here. I've never used it. But maybe it will map a spare sector to replace the bad one if it finds one.

Seagate Technology - SeaTools for Windows
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:41 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

Does deleting the faulty partition actually fix the bad sector? The XP partition is now gone, I erased it. For now, problem is solved, I'll reinstall XP after I figure out if my HDD is in seriously bad condition or not.
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Old 09-06-2008, 01:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

Quote:
Originally Posted by CalcProgrammer1 View Post
Does deleting the faulty partition actually fix the bad sector?
It doesn't fix bad sectors but it will free up the sectors marked bad so they can be tested again.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:00 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

Eh, no problem.

HP said they'd replace the drive, so I'll have them ship me a new drive this week and swap them out next weekend when I return home. Luckily my laptop has 2 hard drive bays so I can easily put the new drive in the second bay and copy files from A to B.

Does anyone know of a good *FREE* application to clone a partition with (instead of having to reinstall Vista from scratch or recovery disks on new drive and then copy files over, just move/copy the existing whole partition from drive A to drive B, keeping Vista intact [and Linux too])? I deleted my XP partition already so no big deal there, but I would like to keep my Vista partition how it is without having to set it up again.
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Old 09-07-2008, 07:50 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bad sectors?

You might find what you need here.

Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities (thefreecountry.com)
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