Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have some old 40gb HDD that needs repair (bad sectors). "HDD Regenerator" is doing it's job, but it's PAINFULLY slow (5000 sectors per hour, about 14 000 000 of then need to be repaired!). The problem is that i have only one computer, and to use "HDD regenerator" i have to boot my computer from that particular CD. You probably get the point - i want to use my computer WHILE HDD is being repaired. That's how i got an idea! I downloaded free "VmWare Player" and i'm planning to give it raw disk access and INSIDE virtual machine boot "HDD Regenerator" and repair my hdd while using my computer as always. But...i have never heard of something like that so i just don't know if it such a good idea :\ Any advice?

P.S. I have only one computer, so i can't use another to repair my disk, and i don't want to send my disk to "rescue company" because bad sectors aren't caused by mechanical fault, i'm pretty sure it's logical fault.

share|improve this question
    
It's a 40GB drive. Is it really worth it? The only reason I can see is if there are important docs on it. If that's the case, why wasn't the drive backed up regularly? –  MBraedley Feb 6 '12 at 3:07
    
@MBraedley, not everyone can just up and buy new parts. –  Synetech Feb 6 '12 at 3:10
    
@MBraedley, i have to admit - i did something STUPID. THAT was my backup drive! After bying new computer i didn't wanted to toss perfectly working HDD so i used 8yrs old drive as backup :((((( –  BoPe Feb 6 '12 at 3:21

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

No, that won’t work.

The whole point to using a boot disc instead of having HDDRegen do it from within Windows is that it needs to lock and have exclusive access to the drive. This is because it needs to be able to move files around if they happen to be in a bad sector.

It doesn’t matter what the VM thinks, the host OS has the drive in use (this is where your OS files are), so the guest cannot lock it (it will likely give an error).

But hypothetically, let’s say you somehow managed to trick the guest OS into thinking it has exclusive access. It is busy working away, moving files as necessary, thinking it knows the exact state of the drive and exactly where all files are. What do you think happens when the host OS writes to the drive? Data corruption is what.


Side note:

14 million bad sectors‽ That’s 18% of the drive! Unless you are trying to recover data from it, then at that rate, just give up on the it and check the local classifieds (eg Kijiji, eBay Classifieds, etc.) to see if someone has a 40GB drive they can give you or an 80GB you can buy for a few bucks.

Check the drive’s SMART data with something like SpeedFan. That can give you an idea of the actual state of the hardware.

If you are sure it is merely a logical problem and not a hardware defect, then consider backing up the drive to another one (again check classifieds), then wipe the drive at a low level. Use a disk-editor or a hex-editor such as HxD to open the drive, then fill the drive with 0’s to make it fresh and re-partition and format it.

share|improve this answer
1  
I do have data on that disk. It's Maxtor DiamondMax +8 (slim). It has ONE platter and ONE head. When i scan it, it scans ok till 33% and then STALLS! I hear quiet "click" every 1/2 of second when it bumps at bad sector. From 52% to 100% everything is OK. BUT - after i use some healing software, it suddenly CAN scan past that magical 33% (currently everything is ok up to 33.55%). Damaged platter or head could NEVER be healed using "HDD regenerator" od similar software, right? –  BoPe Feb 6 '12 at 3:11
    
It could just be intermittent at this time and fail completely later on. I have a drive that had a bad sector. I flagged the cluster it was in as bad and continued to use it without problem for a year or so. Eventually, it did die. Again, check the SMART data for more detailed information on the actual hardware of the drive. –  Synetech Feb 6 '12 at 3:16
    
When i check SMART data i got scared - Windows 7 already told me that disk is dying :( I backed up (cut) everything i could salvage, but something left locked (for now) –  BoPe Feb 6 '12 at 3:18
    
Do you know which SMART field(s) were bad? That can give you an idea of how much longer it may have left. Did you simply move the files? It would have been better to clone the drive with something like DriveImageXML. I’m not sure if you will be able to boot the new drive (at least not without extra work; it’s not as simple as simply copying files). As for the locked ones, you should be able to copy them. –  Synetech Feb 6 '12 at 3:28
    
Using "Acronis Disk Doctor" i got this: Reallocated Sectors Count - Fail, Reallocation Event Count - Degradation Current Pending Sector Count - Degradation Uncorrectable Sector Count - Degradation Soft Read Error Rate - Degradation. Everything else is marked as "OK" –  BoPe Feb 6 '12 at 3:47

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.