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B.M.
08-02-2009, 10:34 AM
Is anybody conversant with a programme HDD Regenerator V1.51 by Bmitiry Primochenko?

Ok, I realise itís supposed to fix bad sectors in a HDD but what exactly does it do?

Like, does it somehow adjust Bad Sectors or just mark them bad and invisible or????. Iím told that even a new HDD is not perfect, so the manufactures invisibly mark the bad spots.
I guess as long as there are enough good sectors who knows or cares.

But, more importantly: Does this programme work?

Chilling_Silence
08-02-2009, 01:16 PM
Im not entirely sure, but read a little here about what a bad sector is:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_sector

My general understanding was if a disc had bad sectors, then S.M.A.R.T would eventually go off and warn you to backup your data then bin the HDD

wainuitech
08-02-2009, 05:36 PM
I use HDD Regenerator to mainly check out a drive.

It says it repairs the drive, but my theory is once a drive starts to fail it wont stop - recover or back up what data you can, then bin the drive, as sooner or later the drive will fail.

B.M.
08-02-2009, 07:31 PM
Itís become an interesting subject because since posting here this morning Iíve crashed around the Internet and found some most interesting articles.

One such article suggests that a lot of the time perfectly good drives are biffed out needlessly.

An example is that if the power is cut to the computer whilst the HDD is writing you can easily wind up with a bad sector because the write to that sector isnít finalised. Such a sector can be easily recovered using the correct programme. Or so the writer claimed.

Now I know of a chap who used his computer to check only one particular website and he simply turned his computer on and off at the wall. Ok, heís 70+ and didnít know any different.

As you can imagine, his system was a shambles.

Anyway, Iíve got an experiment underway with a supposedly stuffed drive so Iíll let you know. ;)

Speedy Gonzales
08-02-2009, 08:34 PM
An example is that if the power is cut to the computer whilst the HDD is writing you can easily wind up with a bad sector because the write to that sector isn’t finalised.

Someone did this yesterday, when I was fixing 1 laptop, while I was updating another laptop.

I connected the stuffed hdd to this (it wouldnt boot, the hdd on it was a SATA).

The screen (that checks for errors came up), and found some errors and fixed them.

I took the hdd off this, put it back in the laptop, rebooted it, it was fine booted into windows

While I was updating the other laptop, I told the daughter to connect it to the power, (the one that had the stuffed hdd), since the battery was going flat.

Whats she do, she pulls the plug out (of the wall), while I was updating the other laptop (it was already connected) to power

Thats probably how the stuffed hdd stuffed up in the first place

wainuitech
08-02-2009, 08:49 PM
One such article suggests that a lot of the time perfectly good drives are biffed out needlessly That is true - Didn't feel like writing more before - If I have a customers Drive and I run HDD Regen through it and it find 1 or 2 , I advice the customer of whats was found, some say dont worry and will take the chance it wont fail (and it doesn't) - Others say replace the drive.


If the drive had MANY bad sectors thats usually a good indication of a pending failure - one of my own Workshop/Play PC's I had a suspect drive in, just for mucking about, ran HDD Reg - found several , HDD regen was meant to fix it - about 1-2 Months later RASSSPPPPP the drive ended up in the Bin.

Quoted from Chills Link -
A bad sector is a sector on a computer's disk drive that cannot be used due to permanent damage, such as physical damage to the disk particles.

In that case had it have been a customers Drive - they wouldn't have been to happy.


An example is that if the power is cut to the computer whilst the HDD is writing you can easily wind up with a bad sector because the write to that sector isn’t finalised. Such a sector can be easily recovered using the correct programme. That example would sound more like corrupted Data, since the data hadn't finished writing.

BTW - Bad Sectors on a Drive is covered under a warranty as well, if A drive shows bad sectors its usually replaced.

B.M.
09-02-2009, 09:58 AM
Fascinating stuff this.

Does anybody know of a programme to reset the Bad Sector Table and retest the sector again?

An interesting point I found in my Internet research was that most Cloning Programmes transfer the data bit for bit so when you install a nice new HDD you get the old Bad Sector Table as a bonus. :(

Therefore your new drive starts with a list of bad sectors before it adds a few of its own. :)

Now, I read where one way around this is to change the sizes of the partitions on the new drive, which apparently fools the Cloning Programme into thinking the Bad Sector Tables are redundant and resets them.

Hmmm, a hell of a messy the way I see it. :(

I also note that chkdsk /b used to reset and retest the sector to confirm if it was still faulty, but apparently doesnít anymore. Anyone confirm or deny this?

Just as well the subject interests me or this Laptop would be sent packing. :D

wainuitech
09-02-2009, 10:22 AM
Several of the cloning programs I use, actually stop at a bad sector and ask if they should continue - Why you may ask - Well its like a jig saw puzzle with a piece missing- with the bad sector having the missing data.

B.M.
09-02-2009, 10:30 AM
OK, so where does that leave you WT?

Does that mean you can't continue and can't clone the drive?

wainuitech
09-02-2009, 11:18 AM
Some drives will carry on and clone - others spit the dummy and stop.

IF a drive has bad sectors, generally I would do a complete install any way - simply because you don't know what sections of data are missing, it could be something minor and never ever be used, could be an important section of the OS or a program thats missing, hence it wont run correctly, or it could be a section of data from a file, Eg: photo, Document.


From what I gather - (and this is going back a fair while from memory) IF windows detects a sector is starting to fail it tries to move that data to another section on the drive, before it loses it.

More often than not though it doesn't - thats why sometimes if a sector(s) fail at the beginning of the drive, the OS wont boot correctly or at all - because important data in how the OS is told to boot/Load is missing.

Thats why by doing a repair install, it replaces any damaged or missing sections of the OS data.
Mind you, a damaged start up can also be caused by many other factors, Viruses, spyware, corrupted OS / Drivers etc.

Chilling_Silence
09-02-2009, 02:14 PM
IF the issue is just the "power off at the wall" sort of thing, then surely its not doing permanent damage to the HDD, and its just a filesystem corruption more than anything else, yes?

This is similar to pulling out a USB Thumdbrive while its being written to. Its probably corrupted whatever you were writing, but at the end of a day a format fixes it.

If its physically damaged (bad sectors on your HDD) then as far as Im aware no amount of formatting will fix that!

wainuitech
09-02-2009, 02:18 PM
Correct Chill - if a drive has bad sectors, a format simply marks the sectors as bad which in turn means the OS is told not to write data to them.

In a sudden power cut - the HDD's write heads come crashing down on the drive surface, and possible causing damage. Internals of a HDD (http://www.imagef1.net.nz/files/800px-Hard_disk_platters_and_head.jpg) - that arm / write head flies microns above the Spinning Disc, when a PC shuts down normally, the Write head will not damage the Disc. A sudden power cut usually means the head crashes onto the Disc. Thats also why if a drive gets a sudden Knock it can slide the arms across the Disc. This here (http://www.storagereview.com/guide2000/ref/hdd/op/actParking.html) explains it well.

If you can picture a Old vinyl record and someone dropping the stylus on it = Damage.

Chilling_Silence
09-02-2009, 03:03 PM
Still not too sure what happens on modern-day HDD's if power is cut to them, that document looks quite old indeed :D

Gobe1
09-02-2009, 04:21 PM
Several of the cloning programs I use, actually stop at a bad sector and ask if they should continue - Why you may ask - Well its like a jig saw puzzle with a piece missing- with the bad sector having the missing data.

We had our email server 1month old with a bad hdd that didnt report a bad drive from the raid card. bad data got written to the backups, was down for 3 days with no email :annoyed: but the local guru recovered all emails and got system going again, more of an annoyance as users had to use their phones, remember those things?

I have used hdd regenerator but the same bad sector keep showing up, not sure what i was doing wrong, the drive is now in landfill. It was a raptor also.

wainuitech
09-02-2009, 04:55 PM
Still not too sure what happens on modern-day HDD's if power is cut to them, that document looks quite old indeed :D The article is quite old, but basically the way a drive works is still the same, just with technology advancements, they get more data squeezed in, the head technology is meant to be better, and the drives are meant to last longer. Depending on the technology used will depend on where the heads come to a rest when shut down.

If interested - this is tech stuff - but have a look at these Videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCapEFNZAJ0) - interesting about the bad block / sector lists on a drive ( near the end of the video Pt1 )

B.M.
09-02-2009, 08:33 PM
For those that are interested here is a summary of this saga to date.

Started with being unable to boot, with a /Windows/System32/config/System missing or corrupt. Message.

Replaced the config/system file and the system booted.

Suspected failing HDD.

Ran chkdsk /r which took 10hrs to complete.

Found a file called Found.000 which was 12.5gig :eek:and only contained .chk files, one of which was 8 gig. :eek:

Ran HDD Test from UBCD4 and it discovered 15 damaged blocks taking up 0.6% of disk.

Ran Seagate Tools which passed the SMART test the Short Test but failed the Long Test for generic and the other one. (std) or something?

Ran HDD Regenerator and came up with: 78,140,160 Sectors Scanned Ė 1452 Found Bad Ė 1452 Recovered.

Great, Ran Chkdsk, ohhh 2720 Bad Sectors.

Ran Seatools again. Complete clean bill of health now. 100% pass.

Confusing isnít it?

Ran HDD Test from UBCD4 again and this time 100% Bill of Health.

Not one bad sector and totally agrees with Seatools. So HDD Regenerator seems to have achieved something.

Ran Chkdsk again and yep, still 2720 Bad Sectors which I guess proves that Windows never retests sectors once they have appeared on its Bad Sector Table.

Soooo, all that is outstanding now is how to reset this dreaded table?

Anyone?

Ok, I realise the drive may well fail in the not too distant future, but given there is nothing of great value on the Computer it will be interesting to see. :)

Agent_24
10-02-2009, 12:10 AM
Install something like Speedfan, Everest or anything else that can read SMART data - check the "reallocated sector count"

These are sectors which have been reallocated by the drive firmware itself. Much more accurate than any disk check program. If you see a lot of these, forget about the drive and get a new one


The article is quite old, but basically the way a drive works is still the same, just with technology advancements, they get more data squeezed in, the head technology is meant to be better, and the drives are meant to last longer. Depending on the technology used will depend on where the heads come to a rest when shut down.

If interested - this is tech stuff - but have a look at these Videos (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vCapEFNZAJ0) - interesting about the bad block / sector lists on a drive ( near the end of the video Pt1 )

Most drives now park their heads off the media on a special ramp, does this change anything?

Chilling_Silence
10-02-2009, 01:28 AM
Question about SMART:
If I enable it on PC1, then move the HDD to PC2, will the SMART information still be stored on the drive, or is it stored somewhere else?

Agent_24
10-02-2009, 02:25 AM
SMART data is stored on the drive itself

B.M.
10-02-2009, 07:16 AM
Install something like Speedfan, Everest or anything else that can read SMART data - check the "reallocated sector count"

These are sectors which have been reallocated by the drive firmware itself. Much more accurate than any disk check program. If you see a lot of these, forget about the drive and get a new one



Most drives now park their heads off the media on a special ramp, does this change anything?

Thanks for that Agent, I'll follow that up.

However, it raises a couple of other questions.

1: Wouldn't Seatools have done this when it passed the "SMART" test? :confused:

2: What is an acceptable number of reallocations given that the Manufactures expect this to happen? :confused:

B.M.
10-02-2009, 07:40 AM
Sorry about this guys, back again, but this is a steep learning curve for me.

Anyway, Everest Reports on the SMART Reallocated Sector Count:

Threshold: 36

Value: 100

Worse: 100

Data: 0

Status: OK: Value is Normal.

Thereís a page full of other reports but at the end of the day they are all OK: Value is normal as well.

So where does this leave us? :confused:

Anyone care to explain the data above? :confused:

Chilling_Silence
10-02-2009, 08:38 AM
Mine says exactly the same in EVEREST.

I should try and grab a HDD Ive got a feeling is failing out of my linux fileserver and chuck it in a machine with EVEREST :)

B.M.
10-02-2009, 08:59 AM
Good thinking Chill, I just checked my own computer and got the following:

New 80gig C Drive:

Everest Reports on the SMART Reallocated Sector Count:

Threshold: 36

Value: 96

Worse: 96

Data: 171

Status: OK: Value is Normal.

Old 40gig E Drive

Everest Reports on the SMART Reallocated Sector Count:

Threshold: 9

Value: 253

Worse: 253

Data: 0

Status: OK: Value is Normal..

I guess the question now is what do all these figures tell us? :confused:

.
(Just thinking, probably my drives are stuffed and the laptops fine) :lol:

Fascinating stuff. :)

Agent_24
10-02-2009, 10:49 AM
Thanks for that Agent, I'll follow that up.

However, it raises a couple of other questions.

1: Wouldn't Seatools have done this when it passed the "SMART" test? :confused:

2: What is an acceptable number of reallocations given that the Manufactures expect this to happen? :confused:

Seatools does not check the SMART data in depth. It only checks to see if the drive has 'tripped' SMART to flag itself as failing.

This is when any value has gone outside predetermined limits in the drive. These would be different between drive families, maybe even models.

An acceptable amount depends on the preset limits, whatever the manufacturer feels like. Usually it's a small number. The general consensus is that any reallocated sectors are bad as more will usually follow pretty quickly.

If the limit was 100 sectors, and you had 99 sectors reallocated, SMART would still tell you that your drive was OK.

For your SMART readouts, try SpeedFan. There's an option to analyze your HDD status online which tries to provide a diagnosis and explanation. I suggest you try that, it's a lot easier than trying to understand the results yourself.

B.M.
11-02-2009, 06:55 AM
For your SMART readouts, try SpeedFan. There's an option to analyze your HDD status online which tries to provide a diagnosis and explanation. I suggest you try that, it's a lot easier than trying to understand the results yourself.

Thanks Agent, only problem there is this Laptop is a wee way from being Internet capable. :)

I just don't believe there isn't a programme that will retest a bad sector and adjust the bad sector table accordingly if it now passes. :confused:

Agent_24
11-02-2009, 12:06 PM
I think Spinrite and similar programs may do that. There may be free ones but I don't know.

Unfortunately Spinrite is a very ... demanding application, if a drive is failing, that much work required to run Spinrite can finish it off.

Then again, you could argue that's a good thing, if a drive can't handle extensive tests then it's no good.

Use of program such as sprinrite assumes that your heads are working 100%, as it performs full read and (re)write testing on all sectors. If your heads can't write properly, it'll ruin all your data.

Best thing is to use something like DD Rescue (the new version) to recover stuff (if the drive is really bad, or just backup normally if it's OK), then go about playing with things like Spinrite

Agent_24
11-02-2009, 12:07 PM
Thanks Agent, only problem there is this Laptop is a wee way from being Internet capable. :)

I just don't believe there isn't a programme that will retest a bad sector and adjust the bad sector table accordingly if it now passes. :confused:

If you can take the HDD out of it and put it in another PC and run Speedfan on that, that will also work.

B.M.
12-02-2009, 09:24 AM
Well in the absence of any programme to retest and reset the Bad Sector table I thought I would try the "changing partition size trick".

So, I defragged the drive and then using Partition Magic pulled the partition in from 40gig to 30gig. My intention was to drag it out 40gig later. However, the exercise completely stuffed things and the machine wouldn’t even boot. Various recovery programmes failed to remedy the situation so having lost interest I shifted the partition back to max, reformatted, and reinstalled windows.

No problems, there was nothing of value on the computer.

Anyway, Chkdsk now assures me there are no Bad Sectors, so it is singing from the same songbook as Seatools and the other diagnostic tools.

This leaves us with only the query of the information stored by SMART on the HDD itself.

SMART Reallocated Sector Count:

Threshold: 36

Value: 100

Worse: 100

Data: 0

Status: OK: Value is Normal.

It’s a Seagate drive so where would I find an explanation of these figures. Someone must be able to interpret them or it would be a waste of time providing them. :confused:

I guess all that remains is to see how long it is before Bad Sectors start to be reported again. If indeed they do.

There may yet be some merit in the article whereby the author suggested there were an awful lot of HDD’s in the Landfill which were quite ok. ;)

And full marks to HDD Regenerator for getting us this far. :thumbs: