I have a hard-drive which had a lot of cyclic redundancy check errors. I mean that, when trying to copy and paste files previously saved on that hard-drive, the paste would not work more than half of the times but rather spit out cyclic redundancy check errors (which stopped the pasting of many, many, many files).
I don't know how the cyclic redundancy errors came to be. I always treated the drive very carefully.
[(But it's a Western Digital hard-drive, and 5 out of the 6 Western Digital hard-drives I've ever bought have proved to be crap. I mean, they had big problems at one point or another. BTW, people, DON'T BUY WESTERN DIGITAL HARD-DRIVES! If you don't believe me, ask me about the identification information of the drives that failed me. For example, this particular one is: WDC WD10 EADS-00M2B0. And the only one that still works, suprisingly for a Western Digital hard-drive older than 2 years, is: WDC WD64 00AACS-00G8B0, bought under the name ComStar. If you want my suggestion, Seagate hard-drives have proved to me to be the best, the most resilient. None that I've owned have ever failed. So from now on I'm staying away from WDC HDDs, because I know for a fact their competitor makes sturdier drives.)]
All I know about the files and their unexpected errors is: the older the files stored on the hard-drive the better chance I had of copying them somewhere else. (Any new file I would save on that hard-drive would not copy anymore.)
Also, the smaller the file the more chances to be able to copy it successfully.
Eventually, I was able to transfer all of the files I wanted. (I copied all the files that would copy without problems, then performed a 'chkdsk /r', which would fix more of the previously-unrecoverable files, then copied those, performed another 'chkdsk /r', and so on.)
So, trying to recover files is not my issue right now.
After the hard-drive contained no more needed files, I did a low-level format, using the HDDGURU LLF Tool.
But then I tried several times to create a new partition and format it, but the format always freezes at 59%. I tried this on more than just one computer, and same thing happens.
On my last attempt, after about one day of being frozen at 59%, the format finally went to 60%, but now it's been frozen at 60% for more than one day (and I do mean 24 hours).
There are no weird noises from the drive. No clicking, no loud whirring, etc.. There is no alarming noise.
There are no connection errors. The drive shows up as connected, and everything seems okay, blue light is always on, and everything.
Does anyone know FOR SURE what could be happening there?
Could the outside portion of the drive be failing?
If I want to keep using (some of) the drive, should I create a partition of just 55% of its capacity, format that, and leave the outside as 'Unpartitioned Space'?
I presume that would format the hard-drive space (- under 59% -) that is still good, and give me something I could still use, no?
But am I correct in my assumptions?
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Last edited by jeanpave; 23rd Feb 2014 at 00:08.
I would just toss the drive. Drives have an area set aside to re-map bad sectors. All drives have a few. If they have too many and there is no replacement sectors to map to, the drive is unstable and not really dependable or useful.
But I would also replace the SATA cable to the drive as bad cables can cause all kinds of problems. That's often why there can be CRC errors. Also make sure the power supply cable is firmly attached. But it sounds like you tried the drive in a different PC with different cables with no luck.
Have you also tried the manufacturers testing software for the drive?
Personally, I've have many problems with Seagate HDDs and almost none with WD HDDs. I have about 40 HDDs at present....
But anyway, toss the drive and move on. Buy whatever you like as a replacement.
What if I don't want to toss the drive? I already have spent/wasted money on about 6-7 external hard-drives, and I DON'T WANT TO SPEND ANY MORE MONEY (on these spinning pieces of shit which are so prone to failure for no good reason).
I am very frustrated, yes, especially because I treat them always with extreme care and attention. Some people move them, turn them and swish them through the air when they're plugged in and hot, and theirs still work, but I only seem to get these Western Digital pieces of shit which never last more than 2 years.
P.S. I don't know if there's a SATA cable or an IDE cable inside the enclosure. This is an external hard-drive. You think it's the cable? Really? But it's an external one. What if there's no cable? I don't really want to open it up...
I think it's a good suggestion, but I'm not going to do it. See, from my point of view, if they can't build the proper hardware from the start, what good is their stupid diagnosis tool? They can't create good functioning things, is what my experiences with their stuff has led me to believe, so I'm not going to trust them ever again.
What could that kind of tool tell me, anyway?
Does it say stuff like: Sectors 1 to 100 million are good, 100,000,001 to the end are bad?... Could it say that? For sure? No ifs or buts, or "contact us for more info on our site"?
If there's a particular model of WDC that never has problems, people reading these forums might benefit from knowing the exact type, I'm sure. Likewise for ST.
Last edited by jeanpave; 23rd Feb 2014 at 01:03.
toast, what else is there to do aside from tossing it? Paperweight?
Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
Since you know there are bad blocks 59 percent of the way into the drive create a partition that's 58 percent of the drive, format it to verify it's ok. Then create another partition that's 2 or 3 percent of the drive, whatever is enough to contain the bad blocks, don't bother formatting it. Then create a partition that's the rest of the drive and format it. You now have two usable partitions that comprise 97 or 98 percent of the drive. I've done that with a drive that had similar "lockup" problems in the past. But beware, once a drive starts developing bad blocks, odds are it's likely to develop more soon. I wouldn't trust it with critical data.
cd090580 has a good point, though the OP says he tried the drive on another PC. I must of missed the part in the original post that the drive was a USB DRIVE? So maybe it's not the drive itself that's the problem, but the external case, or electronics or USB cables or just USB 2.0 in general. It occasionally has problems when there is several USB devices hooked up and running at the same time. CRC errors are one common problem with flaky USB controllers or connections or the converters inside the external case.
Some external cases lack cooling and that could shorten a HDDs life. That's why they tend to use the slower 5400 RPM drives as they run cooler. Or the externals power supply may be failing. And not all external cases can be opened, at least easily. If you can open it, I would definitely try hooking it up directly. Other than that, try what jagabo suggested.
I don't use many external hard drives, and when I do, I don't expect them to last as long or work as well as an internal drive. The better ones at least have an aluminum case and a cooling fan and a decent power supply. I mostly use eSATA for external drives and I have a couple of the newer USB3 external drives that seem to work OK, but still give me odd connection problems at times. My other 40 odd drives are all internal, mostly SATA and in several PCs.
"What could that kind of tool tell me, anyway?
Does it say stuff like: Sectors 1 to 100 million are good, 100,000,001 to the end are bad?... Could it say that? For sure? No ifs or buts, or "contact us for more info on our site"?"
I just ran the WD diagnostics software and it just checks if the disk passes, fails or is likely to famil the SMART test. Try Easeus Partition Master and run the the surface scandisk test. It will show a map of the good and bad sectors of the drive. You might also try Testdisk which I believe will do the same thing.
I hate to keep repeating myself, but I've haven't found any better or more valuable disktool than SpinRite. You have to buy it (there's no free trial) but it's the best way to truly test the drives integrity. It will map and permanently lock out bad sectors. If it locks up at 60%, there's likely a mechanical issue that's causing the heads to stop there.
The nature of external drives is that they're working in an environment that they weren't intended to. Notebook drives are designed a bit more ruggedly, but if it's a 3.5" drive, it's intended to be installed in a PC case with proper cooling, power and vibration isolation.
Overheating as stated is probably the greatest killer. Next is power. The power brick supplying the power is prone to overheating and doesn't supply a clean and stable like a proper system PSU does. Then, theres vibration. Every moment within and outside the case is transferred to the drive. Again, these drives were designed to be securely locked into a PC case, not in a plastic or aluminum enclosure.
Think about it this way. How good could the components of an external drive be if an external drive (other than specialized ruggedized systems) be if they're sold for the same or often lower price than the bare drive itself be.
If you want reliablity. Buy or build a NAS, install your HDs internally, give it it lots cooling, clean regulated line power and put it somewhere it won't be jostled.
BACKUP, BACKUP, BACKUP! I've resigned myself to the fact that HDs are now a disposable commodity. I use the heck out of my drives up to two or three months short of end of the manufacturers warranty, then put away as my primary backup and use a new drive for my regular data. I only buy drives with two or three year warranties and plan to buy their replacements near the end of that period.
I agree: check cables, power supply, use Spinrite (and the drive manufacturer's diag softs). Also, stop with the "not paying more money" BS. Sooner or later (sooner if you are correctly backing up) you'll be needing more/bigger drives. OK so don't get WDs (though I've rarely had a problem with my numerous ones and I will continue to get them and promote them).
BTW, as the Spinrite literature will tell you: there are NO drives made that have ZERO defects. EVER. The best ones just hide theirs better & compensate better for them. Part of that hiding/compensation is done when making use of those diag softs.
When I had a drive that failed like this there was no way to run a surface scan or full format. Once the drive attempted to read or write the bad sector it locked up. It would not do anything again until it was power cycled. They only way to use the drive was to prevent it from ever trying to read the bad sector. Hence the three partitions, the one with the bad block left unformatted.
I think I'm going to follow first Jagabo's suggestion with the three partition formats.
But I read a lot of very useful info, so thank you everybody: Turk690, Cd090580, Jagabo, Redwudz, Lingyi and Cornucopia.
Aside from that, though, I read something which really struck me.
Lingyi, I have SpinRite( 6.0).
Are you sure it, as you say, "locks out bad sectors"???
Do you mean SpinRite, after running (- in level 2, or what level? -), will prevent the defective sectors from being used ever again??
Even if the bad sectors were 40% of the drive, or something, I would be perfectly satisfied if after running SpinRite I would get a decent drive only 600 Gbytes out of the 1000.2 Gbytes that the drive supposedly has now.
If I could save stuff on it as if it was a perfectly usable hard-drive, I don't care if I lose 400 Gbytes.
But I'm having doubts whether or not to believe that is what SpinRite can accomplish. How exactly could it lock out all bad sectors from any further use?... That's the big question I'm having. Can it really do that?
P.S. Then, I'm going to try taking it out of the enclosure, but I don't know if I have any more available spots to squeeze it in, as internal.
That said, taking the drive out of the case is a excellent idea, especially when running SpinRite. If possible, have a fan blowing on the drive while it'e running. It may take days to check the drive and it will be running 24/7.
I use Level 4 - Defect Analysis. Here's a link to the Spinrite 5.0 manual - https://www.grc.com/files/sr5_manual.pdf . Page 17 shows how the drive map looks and what SpinRite does.
This differs from Windows scandisk and most drive test programs which use a low number of tries / errors before it marks a block or sector bad. I've had Spinrite recover large areas of a drive that scandisk marked as bad. If SpinRite marks a block / sector bad, it's after having tested it over and over and over again.
I've used Level 5 on very rare occasions to recover data on badly corrupted drives. Personally, I wouldn't trust a drive that required a Level 5 analysis and recovery.
If SpinRite locks up at the 59 - 60% mark (it will probably slow to a crawl and show a bunch of contiguous back blocks or stop completely), note the % completed, back up say 2-3%, then add say 5% to the number to see if you can continue.
Also, check the Dynastat screen when you hear a beep. That's the program doing Error Correction. If I see the numbers going crazy (i.e. continuously in the millions), I don't trust that section even if it passes the test.
As for SpinRite's credentials, it's been around since 1998 and the latest version 6.0 was released in 2004. Ten years since the last update and people (like myself) still swear by it. It must be doing something right!
Cool!!! I'll do it, then!
Just to be sure I'm getting this right, though, if it does find all of those bad sectors (and I'm trusting it will do a good job) those sectors marked as bad will no longer be available to save files onto, ever again??
('Cause that's what I definitely want.)
Oh, damn! SpinRite won't detect a USB hard-drive?...
Every manufacturer of disk drives has customers who have great success with only their drives and others who get nothing but problems. If it makes you feel better then buy Seagate in the future, but there are plenty of people who buy Seagate who have problems and no issues with Western Digital and vice-versa.
I wanted to suggest a possible cause for disk drive problems. Because I was cheap and stupid, I used to run my PCs at home for years without any kind of UPS. Unfortunately, where I live the power is not reliable. At least once a month I will have a brown out. I used to have all kinds of bizarre problems where disk drives would refuse to boot, yet the contents of the drives were intact. This happened to me a lot. Finally I just decided to try using UPS devices at home and I've never seen the problem again. If the OP is running his computer without a UPS, perhaps a brown out damaged the drive. It's just something to think about.
CHKDSK didn't work on the problematic drive I had because the drive locked up when CHKDSK attempted to read the bad spot. Obviously, there was some kind of firmware error in the drive.
@jagabo, I have found Spinrite to be more robust and tweakable than Chkdsk. But they are slightly different in their scope (with some overlap). For more info and an answer to the USB problem, see the Spinrite FAQ excerpted quote below...
How does SpinRite compare to ScanDisk?
SpinRite and ScanDisk are entirely different types of products. ScanDisk replaces the original DOS CHKDSK command, which verified the logical file system structure of the hard drive (the newer CHKDSK command no longer performs that function). Microsoft created ScanDisk because people were switching off their computers without first exiting Windows. This resulted in corruption of the file system.
ScanDisk can also perform a read-only "scan" of a drive's surface to check for any unreadable sectors which it will then remove from use by the file system. However, ScanDisk does not perform data recovery, maintenance, or surface analysis of any kind. Unlike SpinRite, it does no data pattern testing, defect scrubbing, data relocation or unreadable sector repair and recovery. ScanDisk was never designed to perform those functions.
If your hard drives are acting up, the best thing to do is to run SpinRite first (a quick scan at level 2 is fine) to check for and repair any obvious read-trouble on the drive. Then, knowing that the "lower-levels" of the drive are okay, run ScanDisk to check and verify the "higher-levels" of the drive's file system. SpinRite is the best and only tool for long-term low-level data integrity maintenance, and ScanDisk is a useful free tool for checking the operating system's file system at a higher level.
Is SpinRite compatible with USB and Firewire devices?
The best answer to this is a firm "maybe". DOS device drivers are available for most USB and Firewire controllers. If such drivers are added to a DOS boot diskette so that your USB or Firewire drive is "seen" by DOS, SpinRite will also be able to "see" and operate with it. However, the performance of the drive through the DOS drivers and the serial (USB/Firewire) cable will likely be far lower than if the external drive were connected directly to a PC's motherboard controller. If you have the ability to temporarily relocate the IDE drive inside of the external enclosure to a PC— plugging it directly into the motherboard's controller — SpinRite will be able to operate at the drive's highest possible performance.
P.s. Spinrite been around since 1988!
Last edited by Cornucopia; 26th Feb 2014 at 22:10.
While I was waiting to decide what to do, the computer kept working on the long format of the drive, even though it was kind of stuck.
And it may have damaged the drive even further, because now I definitely can't use the drive for much (while in the USB enclosure).
The normal format always fails. After about two days, it always stops without successfully completing 100%. It still goes relatively fast to 59% if I try it again, but now I don't know if even that 58%-59% is good.
Because I also tried the 'Quick Format' option. The quick format says 'Formatting', without showing any percentage, for a long-long time, and then a few hours later it says it's done. Indeed, then I can access the drive, in Windows Explorer, but if I try to copy and paste any files in there the transfer seems like it will never finish. (For example, I tried to copy and paste 2.5-GB worth of files, and it was still at one green bar - Windows XP - after 20 minutes. Clearly there's something wrong with the file structure, even though the drive is empty.)
The low-level format tool no longer does anything. It definitely freezes, because it never makes any progress in re-formatting the drive.
I guess I want to ask "how many sectors will 'chkdsk /r' or SpinRite mark as bad"? If it's more than half of all the sectors, won't that be too much to block, for them?
I guess I should probably throw it out, right? Now I see that it's not worth the trouble.
Hey, maybe I should smash it with a hammer, include a note referring whoever sees it to this thread, package everything, and ship it to Western Digital, with all my wishes that they go out of business!
Last edited by jagabo; 26th Feb 2014 at 17:50.
Yup, YMMV, but I just had another Seagate crap out on me; replaced it with a 4TB HGST (Hitachi Global Storage Technologies, now a wholly owned subsidiary of Western Digital) from B&H and all is good.
Okay, guys, stop defending western digital to me. Because I will always be trusting more what has actually happened to me than publicized tests and surveys and polls.
You know why I don't trust any such advertisements? Simply due to the fact that those who make these analyses can be paid off by people with a lot of money. At the same time, nobody knew a person like me would start bitching on a forum about 5-6 bad purchases, all from the same firm. Ergo, nobody has paid me off to say what I'm saying. Still, probably very few people will probably pay attention to what I'm saying, anyway. But if anybody from western digital, or Seagate or Hitachi wants to come over by my place and see the crappy hard-drives, I will show them and convince them.
What do the people who made that diagram you pasted there have? Some supposedly gathered data, which who the hell knows how it was obtained?
So, please, I don't need to hear about how western digital is good now, ever again. I don't think it's good now, it wasn't good to me in the past, I'm never buying a wd drive ever again, and nobody can convince me that they are a business which makes anything of good quality.
And I'm entitled to my opinion, which I am posting here supported by actual facts which have happened and I can prove.
Back to the hard-drive:
Right now, I'm trying, with it still as a USB device (because I'm afraid once I open it up I might not be able to put it back together again - and I don't have a lot of available SATA slots/connectors either -), to fragment it into 200-GB (- 195.something, actually -) partitions, long-format them and see if any are perfectly usable. If not, then I will try to connect it internally, if I can manage to get one connector free, and SpinRite it too, of course.
But, look, I tried 'chkdsk /r'. It took about 3 days. Between 59% and the end it lasted more than 2 days, by the way. But it didn't shrink the actual capacity of the drive.
How is it eliminating those bad sectors? Because I don't think it is eliminating or blocking anything. The drive is still 931.51 GB, in Disk Management, just like before. It didn't block any bad sectors. And I still can't paste large files on it - I mean on the full-capacity partition, 931.51 GB, quick-formatted.
Last edited by jeanpave; 2nd Mar 2014 at 02:11.
I) 100% survival (i.e. drive is still absolutely, fully usable, as bought, no problems):
- 1.-2. Seagate 100% (out of at least 6 drives, maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, but those still work);
- 2.-1. Hitachi 100% (out of at least 1 drive, maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, but those still work);
- 3. Western Digital 14.28% (- 1 out of 7 drives, documented, but there are maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, and which still work).
II) partial (- i.e. less than 100%, but still usable to some extent -) survival:
- 1.-2. Seagate 100% (out of at least 6 drives, maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, but those still work);
- 2.-1. Hitachi 100% (out of at least 1 drive, maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, but those still work);
- 3. Western Digital 28.57% (- 2 out of 7 drives, documented, but there are maybe more internally, that I haven't checked, and which still work).
* For the purposes of this analysis, the hard-drive discussed here has been considered as 0%, i.e. as totally defective.
** At least three of my other hard-drives are not any of the big three. Two (still working) Samsung and one (failed) Fujitsu are among them for sure. (<-- EDIT)
There you go, guys, I have completed an analysis. See how easy it is? (Took me 4 minutes.) Don't trust in any of that stuff floating on various sites. Most if it cannot be considered concrete proof. You think if somebody took Western Digital to court, they could say "the customer is lying, look at this analysis on custompcreview.com, we do great stuff!"?!? Ha, ha, they wish!
Last edited by jeanpave; 2nd Mar 2014 at 02:19.
If you start with http://blog.backblaze.com/2014/01/21/what-hard-drive-should-i-buy/ and follow the links you'll find some interesting reading. Including links to Google's and Carnegie Mellon's reports.
This is for others who may have an interest in the subject. I'm not trying or expecting to influence your opinion.
Why are you so reluctant to take the drive out of its enclosure? You're at a standstill and your remaining hope is that the enclosure's controller is bad.
One person's experience is not statistically significant, the sample size is too small. I happen to have had good luck with Seagate, but one shouldn't kid oneself. (Yeah, I buy them because they're cheap. You'll notice the Backblaze article states that they also buy a lot of Seagates based on price.)
[EDIT] If the enclosure is from the drive manufacturer, odds are that with a quick search you will find instructions (maybe even a video) on how to take it apart without damaging it. I've done it many times with Seagate enclosures. If it's aftermarket, then there's no problem at all.
Last edited by fritzi93; 2nd Mar 2014 at 09:04. Reason: clarityPull! Bang! Darn!
One thing You need to understand is that Quick Format and recreates the blank directory structure. It that is taking a long time the drive has bigtime problems. A quickformat has to be followed up with a chkdsk surface test, How to run that test depends on the windows to a certain extent.
When a drive gives the problem Yours has been giving it is scrap.
I'll tell what I have observed.
Many Brands over many years, Internal MFM, IDE, SATA SCSI, USB2, & USB3.
I have used Maxtor, Now owned by Seagate. Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi, Samsung, Toshiba.
Sizes from 20Megabytes back in the early 80s to 4Tb right now. 99% became to small to be useful, They still worked just were too small.
Right now I have three NAS's with mirrored Western Digital Red drives. Many external drives, full size and portable.
I have changed from the ones using desktop drives to USB3 1Tb and 2Tb portables. Western Digital, Seagate, & Toshiba only.
If You want relatively trouble free drives Buy the Samsung 1TB SSD drive and a external case. That should run You less than $600 total, No moving parts.
A good drive has always been expensive.
I hope You have Your internal drive backed up. It isn't if a drive will die, it is when. One reason for using the portable externals is that when I shut down the computer they are powered down. I also unplug them when I do not need them. No power = no wear. What good is an external backup drive if it has as many hours as the internal.If I'd known I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.
Tell you what, whether a hard drive lasts more than 6 years is not important to me. If it lasts 3-4 years, that's good enough. But I have *everything* backed up, both internally and to externals. Hard drives will fail unexpectedly, whatever the brand. You can count on that.Pull! Bang! Darn!
Because usually if I take anything out of its enclosure I can't put it back the same perfect-looking way.
In this case, I not only broke the warranty - big deal, it's not like those bastards are going to give me a replacement or something, after about 3 years! - but I think I pretty much broke the enclosure. It's not ripped into pieces, but removing the screws did not allow me to open it all right, so I forced the top out with a screwdriver.
So, yeah, after I saw that I definitely cannot use the drive externally, I did open it up. I connected it internally and the formats I've done before are still almost non-usable.
As soon as I get a chance, I'll do another (internal) partition deletion and re-format.
But I think it's not the enclosure. Those incompetents at western digital would just love the problem to be the iProDrive enclosure instead of their stupid, crappy, wd caviar green SATA / 32 MB Cache wd10eads useless piece of garbage!
Yeah, stay away from brands like this one detailed above! (Stay away from any caviars, actually!)
If you don't, then you can't say for sure what they have and don't have. Just like when they say Seagate is the worst, they can also say they have a million drives in their datacenters.
Have you even been to their datacenters? How do you even know they have any?
And how can you trust these people without knowing who's paying them to do the work they claim they're doing?
Most importantly, IF YOU'RE NOT TRYING TO INFLUENCE MY OPINION, STOP POSTING HERE STUFF MEANT TO CONTRADICT ME! Go and start another thread about how you like western digital, if you're not interested in helping me at all.
But your so-called expertise, taken from people who, in your own words, may have an agenda, is?
Stop the ridiculousness!
(I just hope you're not getting greased by the western digital public-relations department to keep persisting like this and continue praising a clearly-incompetent bunch.)
Man, some people are so ridiculous!
I have all the drives bought from one company still working perfectly, and all but one of the drives from another company not working, and these ridiculous people think that they can tell me the good drive company is actually worse than the crappy company, and I will drop everything and believe them?!!?!
I've never encountered anything more ridiculous in my life!
P.S. I only hope you work for western digital, guys, because those losers should pay you for your efforts. You're doing work for them for free.