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Data recovery and disk repair questions and discussions related to old-fashioned SATA, SAS, SCSI, IDE, MFM hard drives - any type of storage device that has moving parts
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WD drive close to failure, project near to completion

March 9th, 2020, 13:29

I am sorry to trouble you with this but my C: system drive is, I think, on the verge of failing, causing occasional OS freezes and resisting complete backup. It boots fine in normal mode but the monitor cuts out after c.5mins if booted from CD or in safe mode. The data on it is moderately important - the most important data is on my D drive which I keep thoroughly backed up. But I am 80% of the way through a project, and am using quite complex software installations. So loss of system/software access and even moderately important data would prove very disruptive.

So I would be very grateful if you could help me find a solution which allows me to keep on working on my project for the moment, pending later drive replacement.

So far I have:
  1. Backed up what I can on drive C to the web using Idrive. The backup seems to fail (locks up!) at different points different runs. I am trying to incrementally back up what I can in short runs.
  2. Installed Victoria on drive D, and run a drive C scan in read/ignore mode. I append full results, showing 2 LBA read 't' (timeout) failures, and large number of green LBAs. The results which will also give you the exact make and model of the drive, SMART data etc.
  3. Noted from the SMART results that there is one sector already marked bad and two pending
  4. Tried hard to fix the safe/CD boot problems. Next step might be to uninstall the graphics card and switch to onboard graphics but I hesitate lest it destabilise the system drive

I assume that one thing I could do now is run Victoria in erase mode on the two failed blocks (presumably these are the pending blocks from the Smart data?). But being new to all this I though I had better check first. So my queries are:
  1. Is marking these blocks as bad the best next step? Or should I try a different backup utility first? If so which?
  2. Is Victoria the best tool. (I like the interface, but I can use a command line utility if recommended)
  3. Given the problems with booting from a CD, can I carry out the repair on C while it is live?
  4. How exactly do I do the repair? Current bad block identification seems to be at the 4 block level, do I need to find the exact blocks? If so it seems logical to set the first and last block to the correct exact block IDs then choose an erase scan. Is this right?
  5. The system, prior to original supply to me, was reconditioned by Dell and changed from a 1TB RAID array of 2 x 1TB disks to a pair of separate 1TB disks (controller Intel Cougar Point PCH - SATA AHCI 6-Port Controller [B3]) Does this create any complications?
  6. Are the red dots in the SMART data a matter for concern?

To try and answer some of these queries myself I have searched the web for instructions re Victoria, and downloaded and passed through google translate the Russian help file - which is some help but not quite enough to be clear what I should do.

I hope that give you enough information to begin with. Please do ask for any other information you need. If I think of anything else I will update the above post in blue and log the change in the topic.

Any guidance to are able to give would be much appreciated.

Kind regards


System details:
Dell XPS 8300
2x 1TB Sata hard disk
Windows 7 Ultimate
Victoria mechanical test log drive d.docx
(14.73 KiB) Downloaded 224 times
Victoria C passport.jpg
Victoria C Smart results 2020-03-04_111228.jpg
Victoria C Scan results 2020-03-04_111228.jpg
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