Can I do a low-level format to rescue this drive? - my BAD

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  1. Posts : 1,212
    Windows 10 Pro
       #11

    A true low level format has not been possible for many years. What is often called a low level format is simply a disk wipe. This will of course destroy all the data on the drive, that being it's primary purpose. A disk wipe doesn't really fix anything, it just causes the bad sectors to be mapped out so they won't be used. Bad sectors are often caused by some internal issue, usually unknowable, and it will still be there.

    I wouldn't spend any time on a drive with bad sectors that are causing a problem. Back in the 1980's you could spend $1000 for a 10 MB drive. Then it made sense to keep a failing drive going. Now it is a waste of time.
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  3. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #13

    spunk said:
    A drive with one or two bad sectors can be "Repaired" meaning, the data that was on them will be moved to a good sector nearby and Windows will mark the sector as Bad and not store any data on it.
    But there are a limited amount of extra sectors. If your drive is taking longer then 12 hours to scan, then there are too many Bad Sectors on the drive. This drive should be replaced. This drive may even finish in a couple of days and be "Fixed" though the Bad Sector count will still keep rising. I wouldn't trust it with any data that I want to keep. HDD's and SSD's are relatively inexpensive, there is no reason to not replace it.
    You may be right. After the repair is done, I will mass-copy enough files to this drive to fill it up. However, the product documentation indicates that the particular form of surface scan I'm doing always takes a very long time.

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    xaccell said:
    And yes, HD Sentinel might do wonders. It has helped me (and a lot of colleagues) in the past. I dont know how it does it, though!



    Its crazy to do that over USB! Anyways, if it is any consolation, you DID NOT "break" the HD! You might have help worsening the file system corruption, but that has nothing to do with the REAL problem the hard drive was probably already having.
    Yes and no about the USB. If I left the drive in my system, then I wouldn't be able to do a reboot until the test finished. I actually started the drive repair that way, and quickly realized the issue. So, yes, doing the drive repair in a USB case is very slow, but that way if I do need to reboot my system, I am free to do that without affecting the progress of the drive repair.

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    LMiller7 said:
    A true low level format has not been possible for many years. What is often called a low level format is simply a disk wipe. This will of course destroy all the data on the drive, that being it's primary purpose. A disk wipe doesn't really fix anything, it just causes the bad sectors to be mapped out so they won't be used. Bad sectors are often caused by some internal issue, usually unknowable, and it will still be there.

    I wouldn't spend any time on a drive with bad sectors that are causing a problem. Back in the 1980's you could spend $1000 for a 10 MB drive. Then it made sense to keep a failing drive going. Now it is a waste of time.
    Back in the early 80s I worked for an early "Winchester" disk drive company. We had an 8" form factor (8" x 5.62" x 14" - why do i still remember this stuff?) drive, all of 10 MB on two platters. "Best OEM" price was $3000. No kidding.

    I'm about to spend ~ $1500 for a new motherboard/CPU/RAM/cooler. I don't want to spend the $125 to replace this drive if I can help it. In any case, my "special situations" laptop and the USB case with the drive are just sitting there on my desk, just chugging away without any attention from me.
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  4. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 2,842
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 20H2
       #14

    the product documentation indicates that the particular form of surface scan I'm doing always takes a very long time.
    All surface scans using 3rd party apps like HD Tune,HD Sentinel or even Windows Check Disk take a Long time, by that they mean 8-12 hours, not days. This drive may be Fixed in a couple of days but it is going to fail soon after. It could days or a couple of weeks or a month or two. Once a drive starts getting Bad Sectors, it keeps spreading as it gets older, not worth it unless you don't mind loosing your data.
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  5. jimbo45's Avatar
    Posts : 10,486
    Windows / Linux : Arch Linux
       #15

    Hi there

    @x509

    C'mon -- did you ever study economics !!!!!

    what's the point of spending 1500 USD on a piece of kit only to have it fail because of a bad HDD --- you can get some 250 GB SSD drives for around 35 USD these days --- they might not be the mega fast SATAII/SATAIII types but will be zillion times better than an old HDD --- also you can connect these via SATA->USB2/3/C connector to the computer if you want to use as external drive --no enclosure needed.

    Cheers
    jimbo
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