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General Hardware Discussion Hard drives, CD, DVD Monitors, All hardware questions not better served by our other Topics


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Old 24th June, 2002, 01:44 PM
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Fixing HDs?

I wonder, is it possible, to physically fix a hard drive? For example, I have a Samsung 8.4 GB drive that was virus-attacked. It therefore had tons of bad sectors. Once fdisked, formatted (which takes roughly 3 hours to recover allocation tables), and reinstalled an OS on, only reports about 7.65 GB or so on the drive. With bad sectors still apparent!!! I know it may not be worth it, but could a process be done to demagnitize, and remagnitize the platters of the drive so it would be a new HD again? Or after an instance such as this, do the platters physically have scrapes or imperfections to cause the drive to be screwed.

Just wondering. It would be nice to have that 8.4 again!!
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Old 24th June, 2002, 01:50 PM
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I am not aware of any way to recover the damaged sectors. There is software that can permantly mark the areas so na data will be stored. I think a surface scan will do this. Bad news is this is usually the drive coming to a death. I have used drives in this condition with rather good sucess. I have also rebooted machines with damaged drives and lost everything. If you intend to use this drive. KEEP CURRENT BACKUPS.....
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Old 24th June, 2002, 01:53 PM
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Oh yes, marking bad sectors. Norton Disk Doctor will do this if im correct. Ive heard so much about it. All I would use it for is probably to boot a small file server from. Just strictly Win98 with an FTP prog, firewall, and anti-virus. Nothing special. Its just that 8.4GB isnt exactly super-small, ya know?
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Old 24th June, 2002, 02:54 PM
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There's two levels of "bad sector". The OS keeps a map of sectors it believes are bad. Of course, this "bad" table can be manipulated to hide information, and just generally be a pain in the backside.

On the other hand, most IDE drives have a remap table, which has a mapping from a genuine bad sector to a spare sector. Only the HDD itself knows which sectors are bad, and which are good.

There are programs that can address the drive below the file system level. These can be used to clear file system level "bad sector" markers. Some of them are effective enough to write various patterns across the disk in an attempt to test each and every sector accessable.

IBM's Drive Fitness Test (DFT) is capable of doing this. Some of the tests will run happily on a non-IBM drive.

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Last edited by Áedán; 24th June, 2002 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 24th June, 2002, 02:59 PM
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Hmmm........ DFT, huh? Ill look into that. Thanks dude.
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