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bad hard drive block

Discussion in 'Software' started by Theprof, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hello ladies and gents.

    I am fixing up an older laptop a Toshiba Tecra A3. I had to reinstall a bunch of driver and do a system cleanup. One of the things I noticed right away is that it has a fat32 partition and the OS is XP pro. So I am going to convert the partition to NTFS when I get home tonight.

    Before proceeding I did a verification of system files and folders, etc and the windows check disk found a bad block and basically did some sort of repair by writing a null value to the block. I don't know if this is really a hard ware issue or a software issue as I will need to scan the hard drive to know for sure, but lets say it is just a software issue, if I start converting the partition to NTFS, will it get corrupt? should I even bother?

    One of this first things I will be doing is backing up all the data before I do the convert, so if it's an os issue the way I see is worst comes to worst I'll end up reinstalling the operating system. If it's a hard drive problem then I guess my friend is in deeper trouble then I thought.

    Anyways any input would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
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  2. greenbrucelee
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    Did it give any indication where the block was?

    If it is a software issue, do you know what application/driver is causing it?

    Could have been a bad update for a driver that has caused it.
     
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  3. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    You could always goto the HDD manufacturers website and download the diagnostics software and test the drive. Just make sure you dont do any destructive tests on the drive or the data could be lost. This will rule out a HDD issue.
     
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  4. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Personaly I'd leave the file system as is. NTFS requires somewhat more resources to run than FAT32, so if this is an older unit it might not run so well.

    On the bad block issue - it rather depends on details. However, usualy a bad block implies the drive is failing, so the owner should be told that.

    I take it there are no restore disks for the unit. :p

    Harry.
     
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  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I should of mentioned this in my previous post, but I was kind of in a rush so I forgot. Since GBL pointed it out, the check disk detected an error and it was pointing to a .dll file, but it also said something like a bad block has been recovered, etc and a null value has been written to the file. I didn't really spend to much time as it was late and I didn't really care since I already backed up the all the necessary files. So if it were to be an os issue I would just reinstall windows.

    I personally think that it is more of a software issue then hard ware, because all the symptoms point to an OS problem but I am not 100% sure. I will have to do test later on today when I get home.

    Edit: Oh and no there are no restore disks to the unit unfortunately.:twisted:
     
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  6. Raffaz

    Raffaz Kebab Lover Gold Member

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    A bad drive could still cause the problem mate, wont do any harm to run a check anyway. :)
     
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  7. greenbrucelee
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    I had a .dll problem with a bad block on my hard drive a while back, it turned out it was graphics card driver I had downloaded a new beta driver and the NV4.dll file was causing issues.

    It might be an idea to check the drivers are all stable.
     
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  8. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Here is an update:

    So just got home and started doing a thorough check of the system. Unfortunately it's a Toshiba hard drive and apparently they don't have any Toshiba hard drive diagnostics software. Second, after looking at the event logs I can see the disk read errors that I was getting and after googling a little quite a few people are speculating that it's a hard drive issue.

    Here something interesting that I found. I started going through the system logs and found out that the hard disk drive had issues a few months back with regards to trying to read a page file and general read disk errors. Also not to mention that the cdrom has been doing the same thing. My thoughts right now is that it could be the cable or controller of the laptop that's malfunctioning or both the hard disk and cdrom are coincidentally failing.

    What do you guys think?

    Edit: GBL as for the drivers it is a possibility since I can see the errors happening yesterday right after the windows updates, but the errors do go back a few months, so maybe the updates just provoked the hard drive to start spitting the errors again.
     
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  9. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    You know I agree with you and it has happened to me in the past. I will try to find some diagnostic tools for this lappy.:biggrin


    Edit: apparently I could use the Maxtor's Powermax diagnostics software since it's been said that their software would work on a lot of hard drives. We'll see how that goes.
     
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  10. greenbrucelee
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    I would check all the drivers are up to date anyway if I were you, but from what you have just said sounds like the controller could be more to do with it.
     
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  11. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Will do. My friend bought the laptop second hand so the drivers could be the case. I noticed that the previous user has loaded the computer with a bunch of Toshiba drivers. I doubt that there are going to be any more recent drivers since the majority of them are dated to 2006, however it doesn't hurt to check.:rolleyes:
     
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  12. greenbrucelee
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    good luck with it.

    Just to add is there any hardware in the laptop where Toshiba is the 2nd party like a nic or graphics card? if there is go direct to manufacturer.
     
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  13. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    GBL, what do you mean exactly by second party?
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    I mean like when nvidia create a graphics card but its an asus card or msi card that sort of thing. As you an get drivers for the card from Nvidia and Asus but Nvidia is a better idea.
     
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  15. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Oh you mean the third party manufacturer, ummm, no from looking at the laptop everything seems to be Toshiba. At least from what the drivers say, I wouldn't be able to say for sure unless I open the laptop, but I am thinking since everything is integrated it's most likely a Toshiba product.
     
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  16. greenbrucelee
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    second part, third party... someone who didn't make it, I am quite pissed but still trying to be coherent.
     
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  17. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hey, it's new years eve, I am having a few drinks my self. GBL it's all good I appreciate the help mate:biggrin:p
     
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  18. greenbrucelee
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    no probs mate :D
     
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  19. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    A bad block is a bad block, it's not a software/driver issue. Chkdsk /r can mark bad blocks as unreadable and therefore sort of patch up the drive. However, this is an indication that the drive is not 100% reliable and could get worse over time.

    Make sure the data on it is backed up.
     
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  20. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Thanks Bluerinse, actually as I type this the data is getting backed up. I figured 1 error is enough for me to go and start backing up everything.
     
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