Hard Drive with corrupted data. Bad Sectors

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ChrisFromCanada, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #1
    Over the last month my 2 year old 200GB Maxtor Hard Drive has corrupted much of the data on it. The video files on it will freeze and fail to play back properly and disk images on the drive will fail to mount, yet the SMART status is verified. After realizing there was probably stil something wrong with the drive I copied all of the remaining non-corrupted data to another hard drive. I then ran a Drive Genius scan on the drive and found it has 5 bad sectors. I am now at a loss of what to do. I reformatted the drive, but the data written to it still becomes corrupted. Anything I can do with this drive to fix it? I guess If nothing else will list it on ebay as "for parts" and then use the cash to buy a new one.

    I am a year out of warranty, and have learned my lesson for next time, go with a Seagate or a Lacie using a Seagate.
     
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
  3. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    Zeroing likely won't help, you'd probably need to low level format, which is pointless in this day and age (semantics, you guys who are about to yell at me for calling it "low-level" know what I mean). Two options: use it as a paperweight, or this:

    Fill the drive completely. 100% completely. Like, leave next to no available space. Now, try and find the corrupt files; play with every media file, etc (this could take a while I realize). Then lock the files that are corrupt, delete the rest, and viola! So long as you don't defrag the harddrive, the bad sectors are never available again...

    And I would run a full SMART test, if you haven't already. The Disk Utility SMART status thing is pretty inaccurate.
     
  4. ChrisFromCanada thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #4
    Thanks for the help. I did try zeroing it and disconap was correct; still exactly the same problem. I am just very upset because my 6+ year old LaCie external works perfectly and this 2 year old Maxtor is essentially useless. I think I am going to ebay it as a "for parts" auction and get myself a shiny new LaCie drive, its a shame they are so pricey in Canada.
     
  5. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    I have a 40gig ibook drive that had that problem; I am debating buying an encasement for it, since it's no good as a storage drive, but it might be good for my media; encasements for ibook drives are cheap, and as long as I fill it up and identify the bad sector items, it will work for mp3s and the like as a read only. Just a thought...

    Larger drives are regularly unreliable, by the way. I use mostly Western Digital and Seagate drives; they are good drives, but my external firewire (200) was replaced under warranty almost a year to the day that I bought it. They sent in a 250g replacement, and it seems to work fine so far. But I've heard from plenty of people that larger than 100 is best used in a mirrored RAID setup, because you get added speed, the size of one of the drives, and more reliability than a single drive of any kind...
     
  6. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #6
    I'd advise against the second option. Unfortunately, I think paperweight is the only way to go at this point. Get any critical data off that you can, and just eat the cost of a new one.

    The reason I say this is that when you start seeing bad sectors on a modern drive, it's gone really, really bad. The drive keeps an internal list of bad sectors; when it finds one, it automatically relocates the data and updates the list on the fly. It has space for some reasonable amount, and you never ever see this when testing the drive from the OS because the drive presents a list of logical sectors to the OS.

    By the time you see bad sectors from the OS, the drive has already filled up its internal list. That means things are getting bad and are very likely to get worse. While the second method above will lock up the current bad sectors, it won't prevent the inevitable new ones that'll pop up. Unless you have temporary data that can be corrupted or lost without consequences, don't use the drive for anything.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  7. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    Absolutely true, but he said he wasn't getting SMART failure. I still suggest STARTING with a SMART test, a more in-depth one, and checking to see how many re-allocation blocks you have left. You might have plenty, you never know...

    But yeah, usually a failure like that is indicative of bad heads that are scratching up your drive, so the problem will persist. That doesn't mean you can't get more time out of the drive, it just means that you shouldn't use it for anything irreplaceable (hence my idea for my drive, as my mp3s are rips from cds I own and, as such, completely replaceable). But one of my ibooks had symptoms almost exactly like his a year ago, and I locked the files that were corrupt. The ibook and drive still work absolutely fine (though again, not my main machine, so there is no risk involved). If your data is important, it's ALWAYS worth the money to replace/upgrade, but that doesn't mean that the drive is headed for the trash (another option is to use old drives with these problems as cache drives, I have one like that that I use solely for Photoshop/Illustrator cache)...
     
  8. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #8
    Did you buy this as an external or an internal drive?

    If it was an internal drive, go on the Maxtor website and look up the serial number. Most Maxtors have 3 years warranty - you may be able to get a free drive...

    See also this post.
     
  9. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

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    Nov 7, 2003
    #9
    there isn't really low level formatting for modern hard drives.
     
  10. ChrisFromCanada thread starter macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #10
    Bought as an internal, and used in both a powermac and an external case. Unfortunately I checked Maxtor's website and the drive only had a one year warranty and my drive is out of warranty.

    I will get rid of this drive and buy a new one soon.

    LaCie drives only have 1 year warranty as well, which seems odd to me, but they have been good in the past for me so that is what I will go for I think. Maybe a d2 triple interface?
     
  11. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    That's what I meant by pointless. You can have it done, but it's far more expensive than buying a new drive.
     
  12. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #12
    I would still get a Seagate barracuda or a Maxtor MaxLine III with a 5 year warranty and put it in a MacAlly aluminum case. I can't get my mind around the idea that a mechanism loses 66% to 80% of its warranty if you let a company assemble the same drive into a case and stick their name on it.
     
  13. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #13

    zeroing the drive would show 100% that the sectors were corrupt. with a reformat the allocation tables are over written, but sometimes the sectors aren't zeroed.
     
  14. generik macrumors 601

    generik

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    Minitrue
    #14
  15. bankshot macrumors 65816

    bankshot

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2003
    Location:
    Southern California
    #15
    Yeah it doesn't hurt to do that. However, of all the drives I've seen fail over the years which were SMART enabled, not one showed any problems in any SMART tests. Frankly, I can't figure out what good it is, or why it's called SMART for that matter! :rolleyes:

    Yeah, that's probably one of a very few situations when this would be ok. Normally I'd never trust a suspect drive to cache data if that data were important. You'd probably never know until it's too late if something got corrupted. But if you're caching images, hopefully it'll be pretty obvious when something gets messed up. ;)
     

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