Laptop hard drive bad sector repair

  justray 17:04 05 Aug 04

I have an IBM DTCA-24090 4.1Gb HDD in my 600MHz laptop that is playing up. I initially thought it was a bunch of bad sectors and partitioned off 1.0 Gb of the bad bit of drive to successfully re-install XP Pro. Upon running DFT v3.73 through it, a SMART failure was detected and that was that, no other errors came to light. Within v3.73 there are no bad sector repair tools to try out anyway. Are there any other programs that may help me recover the lost bit of drive, should I try a low level format?

  justray 17:22 05 Aug 04

More gen:

The DFT, when asked to disable SMART said it was bad. My BIOS won’t allow me to turn SMART off either. The DFT instructions reckon a SMART error means imminent failure of the drive – bugger, should I bother with anything else? Problem being I’m in the desert and miles from a supply of computer bits. Help.

  Timmy!! 17:30 05 Aug 04

What do you understand by the term 'low level format'?

And yes if you do have a large chunk of bad sectors and a SMART error its very likely that your drive is on the way out.

  justray 19:28 05 Aug 04

Not entirely sure, but a format that writes a zero to every bit of the drive, the one that can take an hour. Forget the proper name.

  norman47 20:27 05 Aug 04

You say you have partitioned 1 gig from the rest, so does that mean you have no operating system on it at the moment?

If so open the entire disk to it's full size either by fdisk or partition magic or the windows x\p disk. have you got a floppy drive for the laptop? If so boot from a windows 98se boot disk. Let it go to the A> prompt and type scandisk C: Let it do the full scan, where it checks every sector of the disk. Those sectors seen as bad will be marked as un-usable by windows and will be remembered.

If you can get the boot disk to do this then the drive should come up as having no bad sectors, it may take awhile as it may try to retrieve so many allocation units.

If you have an O|S installed then do a full scandisk for both your "C" and "D" drives.

This just might get you going again.

  justray 08:44 07 Aug 04

Yes, I have the OS installed on the good 3Gb of the HDD, will try scandisk now from A prompt. It worked ok from within XP tho'.

  Forum Editor 09:11 07 Aug 04

it's wise to pay attention to it - it means that the drive is probably about to fail, and although Scandisk will mark any bad sectors it finds it can't resurrect a failing drive.

I think you're facing a new drive, despite being in the desert. One final thing - you say the drive is an IBM model, but you don't mention the make of the laptop. If that's an IBM too you must be sure that you buy an IBM replacement drive - IBM machines will not accept other makes.

  justray 12:12 07 Aug 04

Thanks guys, will take your advice.

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