predicted hard drive failure

Asked by steve taylor

Dual boot set up XP on 40gig master
Ubuntu on 80gig slave

Everything is fine except that the old 40gig drive is showing up as having defects which may result in failure.
Since grub is on that disk, I think I may be in trouble.

Is there a good way out of this while everything is still working?

Thanks for reading

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steve taylor
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marcus aurelius (adbiz) said :

most definitely. BACK UP EVERYTHING!
run chdsk /r to find and fix errors.
if the head is the part that's malfunctioning, chdsk won't help.

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steve taylor (stevemail) said :

Thanks for that Marcus, we are all pretty much saved off to external.
I think it is the head but will check again.
I was hoping there might be a trick here, something like moving grub or getting the master drive cloned off to a new drive maybe.

Anyway have a good Xmas I think I know what I will be doing.

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steve taylor (stevemail) said :

Synopsis from Ubuntu Disc Utility

Reallocated sector Count

Count of remapped sectors. When the hard drive finds a read/write/verification error, it marks the sector as "reallocated" and transfers data to a special reserved area (spare area)

Warning 4bad sectors

Type failure is a sign of imminent disk failure (pre-fail)
updates every time data is collected online.

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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

Buy a new drive, switch it out, install grub to the drive then restore your backup to the device

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marcus aurelius (adbiz) said :

if it's just bad sectors , you can mark them as unusable and data will be written to good sectors on your drive, depending on whether it's system related data or not.

find out the make of your drive then go to the manufacturer's site and download a utility program that will mark the sectors as bad.

here's a link to the more popular drive makers. you'll need to install it in windoze. i tried the ubuntu utility. it only flagged the bad sectors and wasn't able to mark them as unusable.

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steve taylor (stevemail) said :

Great stuff actionparsnip and marcus aurelius

I ran chkdsk on xp which reported a clean drive, Hmmm

Switching out sounds the business though I will have to figure how to install grub.

Maybe just for now I will try marking bad sectors if I can find the utility you mention.

Either which way, I thank you both for the feedback and I will mark this thread as answered.

good Xmas both

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steve taylor (stevemail) said :


So, I found the Seagate hard drive test utility and ran every test available.
Short Generic
Long Generic
All passes

Now I don't know what to think,
Is it possible Ubuntu Disc Utility is in error?

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delance (olivier-delance) said :

Keep quiet Steeve.
If you can boot your PC from a CD or a USB stick, you will be able to reinstall Grub following this link:
So you have really no issue...but to lose data on your first disk.

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steve taylor (stevemail) said :

Brilliant delance I shall stash the link for later.

It seems out of the box drives can have a few bad spots so I am just going to monitor the situation for now.

I have read of drives with '250' or so bad spots still running, well maybe with '4' I am over reacting.

However, at some stage I am looking to dump xp and that link may well be the way to do it.

many thanks