Hard Drive error; some tips from my recent experience

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Hard Drive error; some tips from my recent experience

Postby Siegfried » Thu Mar 27, 2008 4:14 pm

I was playing JukeBx last night and it started acting a bit odd and then it switched to Offline mode. (This is a feature where it uses cached data when it has trouble accessing the network.) I tried to set it back to Online, but it kept failing. My network is set up with my music and JukeBx database on a server so every computer in the house can play the same music organised by JukeBx. (I wonder how many more times I can plug our product... :-$ ) The server runs Win2K and has two hard drives; the music (and other files) is on one and the database (and other files) is on the other. When I logged into the server to investigate the problem, I found I had loads of "Delayed Write Failed" errors. Looking in the Event Viewer I found this error;

The device, \Device\Harddisk1\DR1, has a bad block.

My first thought was "run chkdsk /f" instantly! This was a mistake. Let me repeat this, this was a mistake! I have been running CHKDSK for years on many computers and many OSes without any problems, so I trusted it 100%. Not anymore. After finding many errors, it proceeded to try and fix them... but it couldn't. Why?

Insufficient disk space to fix volume bitmap. CHKDSK aborted.

I'll (probably) never know now if I could have just copied the files off, ran CHKDSK, and then been happy. This is because aside from failing, CHKDSK left the drive locked and I have no idea how to unlock it. (If anyone knows please tell me; I searched many forums last night and found no answer.) The Microsoft solution is almost funny; it says to remove files and re-run CHKDSK... :roll: The good part of this story is that nothing really important was on that drive; it was largely used as a network buffer and I stored about 60 GB of downloaded files there. Thus everything should be replaceable... with a lot of bother. The bad news is since it was downloaded most of it wasn't backed up. (My photos and programming work is backed-up automatically every day to a separate harddrive.) For that reason I wanted to give recovery a chance. But I didn't know where to start. I have never had a hard drive fault before so it was all very new for me. As I said earlier I searched for the answer via the internet, but found nothing. Eventually I gave up and decided to forget trying to undo the damage caused by CHKDSK, instead I focused on recovery. My first thought was to try Ultimate Boot CD for Windows and after much playing around, I found a solution. I didn't use the re-boot method, I just looked at the included tools for one that worked for me, and PC Inspector was it. At this very moment I am backing up the drive, bit by bit, to another computer. I've copied off all of the most important stuff already, and about 90% of that was good. The rest is a lot of larger archives that I downloaded... and I am having about a 70% success rate with them. (I suspect they are more fragmented since they were downloaded.)

So, to sum up, I wrote this rant for several reasons. One was so I could have a rant... another was to help anyone who has this problem in the future. Due to my experiences I will never run CHKDSK on a bad drive that has un-backed up data ever again. (I have heard that if the drive had 15% of free space it would have been OK, but I have not tested this personally.) Chances are, the damage was done already, and the files that I have lost would have been lost already, but I'll never know now. At the least not running CHKDSK would have made the job that I am doing now easier. I also recommend using Ultimate Boot CD for Windows for recovery. As for the harddrive, once my recovery efforts and CHKDSK testing end it will be either used as a backup drive... or sent to silicon heaven. (It's only a 3 year old 120GB anyway.)

Thanks for reading my rant! :wink:
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Re: Hard Drive error; some tips from my recent experience

Postby generalcategory » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:51 am

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