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

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  1. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
       #1

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


    I'm posting this thread about a Hitachi 7200 RPM 4 TB drive that now sells for about $125 on Newegg. The drive is now unusable due to user stupidity (me). I'm wondering if there is any way to do a low-level format such that all the file corruption caused by me can be repaired.

    A few days ago, I posted a thread in this forum (How) Can I repair this drive?, about a disk that got so messed up that chkdsk could not fix it. I'm starting a new thread because I made the original problem much, much worse.

    To recap, there was a power failure in the middle of a complex operation involving a large file. After rebooting, I ran chkdsk and got this result:



    Then I made the situation much worse by rerunning the same complex operation involving a file on the same drive. Each time, the application basically froze the entire system to where I had to do a reboot. I did that twice, and probably created a lot of additional disk corruption. MY BAD. Let me repeat. MY BAD. .

    I was able to salvage some files from the disk by copying them off to another drive, and then deleting them to clear disk space, but I still could not get chkdsk to fix the drive. So I reformatted the drive because maybe with a fresh format chkdsk might work. A quick format went fine. A non-quick format stalled at about 66% and stayed stuck at 66% overnight.

    So I ran chkdsk again, this time with the /r option, to locate bad sectors and recover readable information. After 4 hours, was 19% complete. 11 hours later, progress went from 19% to only 25% and ETA was 44:05.

    So I stopped that chdsk, and reran it, this time with /i and /c options to perform a less vigorous check of index entries, and skip checking of cycles within the folder structure. After 10 minutes, 2% complete and ETA 7:06. Good. But after 6 hours of checking, it was only 15% complete, and ETA was 33:30. Time to quit.

    So this drive is hosed, or is it? I'm sure that all this corruption is bad sector data, corrupted sector headers and trailers, that was caused by the initial power failure and then me rebooting the system in the middle of a file operation. Is there any way to reformat the drive and fix all this corruption?

    I've owned over 10 of these 7200 RPM Hitachi drives over the years, and I have had exactly zero problems with any of them after years of operation. This drive now lists for about $125 on Newegg, so I still want to get it working again.

    EDIT: Windows Explorer shows a big red X next to the drive. I've never seen that before.

    Can I do a low-level format to rescue this drive? - my BAD-image.png
    Last edited by x509; 07 Mar 2020 at 18:15.
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  2. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,287
    Win10 Pro
       #2

    Did you try deleting the volume and then creating a new one?
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  3. idgat's Avatar
    Posts : 913
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    x509 said:
    I'm wondering if there is any way to do a low-level format such that all the file corruption caused by me can be repaired.
    So this drive is hosed, or is it? I'm sure that all this corruption is bad sector data, corrupted sector headers and trailers, that was caused by the initial power failure

    I've owned over 10 of these 7200 RPM Hitachi drives over the years, and I have had exactly zero problems with any of them after years of operation. This drive now lists for about $125 on Newegg, so I still want to get it working again.
    Given your previous thread, and the above description, I suspect the disk is borked. Power problems are good at doing that. No amount of tinkering is going to save anything, leastwise not your time.

    As far as disk life goes, the next one might last forever ... or it might have to be replaced in a week under warranty. Past history is no indication of future expectations.

    And besides, I wouldn't want to be relying on future use of a disk that has given so much recent problems.
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  4. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,609
    Win 10 X64 Pro 21H1 19043.928
       #4

    You don't mention the drive model number If it's a Deskstar 7K4000, it may be worth running the Drive Fitness Test on it. https://www.westerndigital.com/suppo...eskstar-7k4000

    That is appropriate for some, but not all, other HGST hard drives.

    My guess is that it'd be a waste of time, though. Dead drive.
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  5. jumanji's Avatar
    Posts : 5,613
    Windows 10 Home 64bit Version 20H2
       #5

    Hitachi 7200 RPM 4 TB drive - Always provide the exact model number of the drive, whether it is an internal or external drive and a full screenshot of Windows Disk Management when reporting any problem with storage devices.
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  6. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 2,837
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 20H2
       #6

    File corruption is caused by a drive with Bad Sectors probably caused by the power failure/surge.
    If this is a secondary drive and not the boot drive, in Windows, download HD Tune, not Pro, in my signature. go to the Error Scan tab and take the drop down arrow and select your 4TB Hitatchi drive and run a Full Error Scan, not a quick. This will take a long time. If all of the blocks are Green then this drive is healthy, but if any of the blocks are RED you do not have to run the full scan, this drive needs to be replaced.
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  7. x509's Avatar
    Posts : 853
    Windows 10 Pro
    Thread Starter
       #7

    spunk said:
    File corruption is caused by a drive with Bad Sectors probably caused by the power failure/surge.
    If this is a secondary drive and not the boot drive, in Windows, download HD Tune, not Pro, in my signature. go to the Error Scan tab and take the drop down arrow and select your 4TB Hitatchi drive and run a Full Error Scan, not a quick. This will take a long time. If all of the blocks are Green then this drive is healthy, but if any of the blocks are RED you do not have to run the full scan, this drive needs to be replaced.
    Actually I am doing the same thing that HD Tune apparently does, but I'm using my purchased copy of HD Sentinel. I ran the Surface Test for two days and found some errors. Then I had to kill power at about 25% complete because I was doing some electrical work in the same room. So I restarted the test I am now at day 3. There were some Damaged and some Bad sectors that were detected in the first test that don't show up again.

    This test is going pretty slowly becuase I took the drive out of my system and put it into a USB 3 external drive case. I'm running the test from an old laptop that use for "special situations," like this test. Right now, the test has run for 64 hours, with ETA of 155 hours.

    The (hopeful) good news is that the drive will be repaired.
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  8. spunk's Avatar
    Posts : 2,837
    Windows 10 Pro 64 Bit 20H2
       #8

    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.
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  9. Posts : 264
    Windows 10
       #9

    x509 said:
    Actually I am doing the same thing that HD Tune apparently does, but I'm using my purchased copy of HD Sentinel. I ran the Surface Test for two days and found some errors. Then I had to kill power at about 25% complete because I was doing some electrical work in the same room. So I restarted the test I am now at day 3. There were some Damaged and some Bad sectors that were detected in the first test that don't show up again.

    This test is going pretty slowly becuase I took the drive out of my system and put it into a USB 3 external drive case. I'm running the test from an old laptop that use for "special situations," like this test. Right now, the test has run for 64 hours, with ETA of 155 hours.

    The (hopeful) good news is that the drive will be repaired.

    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.
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  10. SoFine409's Avatar
    Posts : 1,287
    Win10 Pro
       #10

    xaccell said:
    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.
    Yikes, you got more patience than I do. If it were me Id pound it with a sledge hammer, buy a new HD and move on.
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