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I am using Restorer2000 Pro to create an bit-by-bit image of an old hard drive so I can do all kinds of data recovery on the image rather than the drive itself. Every time it gets to a certain spot on the drive, Restorer2000 hangs and the drive in question disappears from Windows Explorer. I have to reboot my computer for the drive to show up again.

I am assuming it's probably due to a bad sector since I have pretty much narrowed it down to an approximate position on the drive. Is there a way to have Windows simply ignore the bad sectors and write 0s in place of legitimate bits?

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2 Answers

run chkdsk /R on it to detect and mark bad sectors

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What do you mean by "mark"? It appears that the /r switch tells chkdsk to attempt to recover data from bad sectors. Doesn't really say anything about marking them. –  oscilatingcretin Mar 16 '12 at 18:35
    
It doesn't use the term mark bad sectors but that is what it does. I think they have changed the verbage over the years. It will make a note in the MBR that the sector is bad so it won't save data to that specific sector any more and it will attempt to recover any data in that location and move it to a different part of the disk. This is a detailed explanation of what chkdsk does, support.microsoft.com/kb/187941 Do a search for /r and that paragraph will explain it in detail. –  Phillip R. Mar 16 '12 at 21:33
    
Interesting: "When NTFS encounters unreadable sectors during the course of normal operation, it will also remap them in the same way". So NTFS remaps bad sectors as it encounters them, so /R will probably not do me any good. I wonder if the issue is due to physical failure and not just a bad sector. –  oscilatingcretin Mar 16 '12 at 23:16
    
normal chkdsk would be when the computer boots or does a chkdsk at that point. /R is for manual checking if I read it correctly. –  Phillip R. Mar 16 '12 at 23:34
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After trying several options (including chkdsk /r), I finally decided to try SpinRite. It's an ISO that you burn to a CD and boot. I did a recovery scan (option 2 from the menu) and SpinRite carefully scanned for bad sectors and attempted to recover them. After 12 hours, it finally completed and I was able to use Restorer2000 Pro to create an image file of the drive.

I first tried chkdisk /r, but I kept getting errors saying it could not locate sector or something like that. I've had SpinRite for a while, but have been putting off using it because it took so long to run.

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