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bad sectors on HD


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#1
delawaredrew

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My Dell Inspiron 8500 freezes and BSODs frequently. I've been running chkdsk /f for the last 24 hrs and it just stalls at 19%, after fixing many items. Is there any other way to get XP to ignore/avoid those sectors and operate normally?
I can reinstall XP but if there are truly damaged sectors on the HD will reformatting and reinstalling help at all? Or is a new hd in my future?
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#2
phillip22

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XP automatically ignores bad sectors inasmuch as it doesn't write any new files to them, but doesn't move any data that's already there.
It's a sign of a failing drive and will only get worse, Windows will become increasingly unstable and eventually won't run at all. Save all your documents etc. to another partition or to CD/DVD and replace the drive with a new one.

If you want further confirmation of the drive's ill-health, you can download a free diagnostic utility from the drive manufacturer's website.
This download creates a bootable floppy or CD which tests the drive without loading Windows.
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#3
Samm

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Hi there

If you have bad sectors then any data stored in those sectors maybe unrecoverable. This may include system files so even if you bypassed chkdsk there's no guarantee windows will boot sucessfully.

The best thing to do is determine your hard disk manufacturer (you should be able to find the manufacturers name in the disk device branch of manager), then download the manufacturers diagnostic utility. Most manufacturers provide a DOS based utility that can be run from bootable floppy or CD. If you're lucky it will remap the bad sectors for you.

However, if there are a lot of bad sectors then this may indicate that the drive is about to fail.
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#4
delawaredrew

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Thanks for the replies, you both predicted what has happened today. I reformatted, reinstalled XP and updated and all then BSOD during iTunes library stuff.

Now it reports a corrupted file and is unable to load at all. Yesterday after hours of reinstalling stuff and an attempt to move my 20gb of mp3s back on it from NAS it reported being over temp and shut down, then restarted ok, but the fans ran all the time and the hd clicks. Then BSOD again today and no more windows. Won't even run off the install disk.

Guess it is new hd time. If only I could have gotten my dang new iPhone to load songs first I would be less annoyed.

Related problem different comp: only goes to BIOS then nothing, no set-up or anyting, also a HD? Might as well do both at once!

Edited by delawaredrew, 16 November 2008 - 09:57 PM.

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#5
Samm

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Definately sounds like you need a new HDD then!

Re. the other computer however - this could be caused by any number of things. I suggest you physically disconnect the HDD & try booting from a bootable floppy/CD/USB stick or whatever. If this works, then it's probably the HDD causing the problem. Remember - if you use a Windows install CD to boot from, then obviously it won't get very far anyway due to having no HDD attached but it should at least get past the bios POST test & start to boot from the CD.
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