Better CHKDSK

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Frank, May 11, 2009.

  1. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    I have two 1TB USB drives I use for backup. Unfortunately, I just bought a new 1 TB internal drive, reinstalled my pc and rearranged all my data, and when I was copying it back from the USB drives, one of them generated a large amount of "pending write errors" (actually reported on the new drive, but that one is fine), and now half the data is gone and chkdsk hangs at stage 2. Using /i /c and such doesn't work either.

    So far, every 3 or 4 months something like this happens (Windows doesn't like USB drives, it seems), but so far chkdsk was able to fix it, although it tends to take about a full day to do so. But this time, no joy. And things like this aren't supposed to be possible with a journaling filesystem in the first place!

    So, does anyone knows of a better tool than chkdsk to fix it? I could use something like GetDataBack or Spinrite to extract as much as possible, but that will take literally days, and then I have to rearrange all of it, which will take a lot of time as well.

    Any Linux tools that could do it from a live cd? Or something else that isn't too expensive?
     
  2. Npl

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    dont bite me if you know this already, but do you "unmount" your USB-Drives before removing them? If not then you might interrupt Windows writing to the drive.

    Anyway, I one time began formatting the wrong drive, and Smartundelete did a good job saving what could be saved. Its pretty cheap for 29$ and you can DL the free trial which will tell you what files could be saved (with the full version).
     
  3. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    have you used the /r switch?
     
  4. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    I do that when I've written something to the drive, but these drives are connected 24/7. So that shouldn't be the problem.

    I won't bite you for asking the obvious, because I know that's often the thing that goes wrong. I read some post from someone who complained about the same problem and said that his SMART status was fine, but mentioned a few posts further down that he had made the primary partition smaller and added two more, all with the default Windows XP disk manager...

    I removed the USB case and attached it directly to a SATA connector on the MB so I could read the SMART status, which showed 46,000 sector reallocations.

    If SpinRite tries to repair it from the boot CD, it crashes, so it's a lost case.


    I think external 3.5" USB drives aren't a good backup medium, unless you only power them on occasionally, because out of 8 I had in the last three years, 6 died. Most likely from overheating, I think.

    Perhaps an eSATA enclosure with a fan is a working alternative. Or BlueRay, if the price of the disks finally starts becoming reasonable (the cheapest ones were 10+ Euro apiece, last time I checked).
     
  5. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    Btw, it seems seek errors indicate a too high temperature (thermal expansion of the disks and such), which can make everything else worse as well (as the heads miss the tracks, they can generate a cascade of errors), while sector relocations seem the only reliable way to track the health.

    So, if, for example, the temperature becomes really high, reallocation will fail as well (and so the count will rise very rapidly in a short time), so the drive can break down simply by trying to correct the seek errors.

    Then again, while relocations are a good measurement of impending doom, there are other things that can break down suddenly. So it's not correct to speak of health, but better to speak of ilness.

    Edit: low temperatures (like water cooling on your drives) is probably just as bad as high temperatures (below 20 and above 60 degrees Celsius, according to the Google study, with low temperatures being worse than high ones). 40 degrees -on the inside- is optimal.
     
    #5 Frank, May 12, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2009
  6. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    Btw2, SeaTools (the diagnostic utility from Seagate) report a SMART failure on all five my internal HDD's (4 Seagate, 1 Hitachi), while all the other tools report 3 as fine and give a seek error warning on the two surviving ones that started as external USB ones, due to the high temperature they endured. And those others are clearly right.

    So, don't use SeaTool!
     
  7. Davros

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    That is scary, it's not too bad for you as your drives probably only contain trivial stuff like work or your media collection, but my external drive contains the fabled goodness and the gaming goodness must be preserved
     
  8. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    Many years as a PC tech have taught me this:
    there's not a drive test on the planet worth using other than MHDD.
     
  9. Frank

    Frank Certified not a majority
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    Thanks, I'll try that one out as well.
     
  10. Davros

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    looks like you'll have to boot into dos to use it (unless it comes with its own o/s)
     
  11. ShaidarHaran

    ShaidarHaran hardware monkey
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    Hiren's is the best way to access all the best tech tools out there, including MHDD. You'll have to torrent it and burn to CD.
     
  12. aaaaa00

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    Sadly, a journaling filesystem can't save you if your hardware is broken.
     
    #12 aaaaa00, May 15, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: May 15, 2009
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