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I'm having some difficulties solving a problem that I believe is related to my HDD, and I would appreciate some help. This is what happened:

I was using my laptop (DELL XPS L502x/750Gb HDD/ 6Go RAM/ Running windows 7 x64) a few days ago, until it unexpectedly froze for a few seconds and showed the blue screen of death. I think I should also add that this happened maybe 2 or 3 times during the last 2 months. Anyways, I turned off the laptop using the power button, I hadn't realized that it was loading something (I can't really remember what was written) until it was too late and the laptop was already off. I turned it on again and after the windows loading screen it flashed the blue screen for less than a second and restarted.

So I started searching online about possible causes and what I could do to solve this, and this is what I tried:

  • I tried running windows in safe mode/ launch startup repair/ other windows options, but it didn't work, either it freezes when loading files (safe mode) or it keeps showing the windows loading screen for a few minutes then restarts the laptop, sometimes showing th eblue screen briefly (startup repair).

  • I used the windows installation disk and used the repair option, it took an extremely long amount of time to show the next window each time, but I finally got to the command prompt, and tried running chkdsk /R, which didn't work because it was running in F:/ (CD drive), so I used chkdsk c: /R, chkdsk d: /R, and chkdsk e: /R (I have 3 partitions) and it reported 0 errors. Now that I think of it, i believe it didn't work as it should have, because while on the screen where I'm supposed to choose my OS, it couldn't find my windows installation, I only had the option to choose F:/ .

  • I restarted the laptop, ran dell diagnostics, which reported error 2000-0142, an error that usually means the HDD is failling/has already failed. but according to one of dell support team, he advised to run advanced diagnostics and choose custom tests for the HDD, tests that all failed: -COnfidence test=>Error code: 0F00:1332 -Device quick check=>This one was skipped for some reason -drive self-test (long)=>This one was skipped for some reason -drive self-test(short)=>Error code: 0F00:0632 -Read test=>Error code: 0F00:0232 -Seek test=>Error code: 0F00:0432 -SMART test=>Error code: 0F00:1232 -Verify test=>Error code: 0F00:1A32

  • I started unbuntu from a live usb (which is what I'm using right now to write this), my partitions E:/ and D:/ are working fine, I can access their files, copy, delete from them. However, the partition with windows is called "404 GB Volume", I can't mount it, I get the following error:

    Unable to access “404 GB Volume” Error mounting /dev/sda3 at /media/ubuntu/E23A559D3A556F91: Command-line mount -t "ntfs" -o "uhelper=udisks2,nodev,nosuid,uid=999,gid=999,dmask=0077,fmask=0177" "/dev/sda3" "/media/ubuntu/E23A559D3A556F91"' exited with non-zero exit status 13: ntfs_attr_pread_i: ntfs_pread failed: Input/output error Failed to read NTFS $Bitmap: Input/output error NTFS is either inconsistent, or there is a hardware fault, or it's a SoftRAID/FakeRAID hardware. In the first case run chkdsk /f on Windows then reboot into Windows twice. The usage of the /f parameter is very important! If the device is a SoftRAID/FakeRAID then first activate it and mount a different device under the /dev/mapper/ directory, (e.g. /dev/mapper/nvidia_eahaabcc1). Please see the 'dmraid' documentation for more details.

  • I have tried using testdisk to check for bad sectors, and it returns that everything is ok.

  • I ran sudo fdisk -lu:

Disk /dev/sda: 750.2 GB, 750156374016 bytes 255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 91201 cylinders, total 1465149168 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 4096 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 4096 bytes / 4096 bytes Disk identifier: 0x07f2837 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sda1 63 208844 104391 de Dell Utility Partition 1 does not start on physical sector boundary. /dev/sda2 * 208896 925695 358400 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sda3 925696 789305343 394189824 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sda4 789307392 1465145343 337918976 f W95 Ext'd (LBA) /dev/sda5 789309440 1178425343 194557952 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT /dev/sda6 1178427392 1465143295 143357952 7 HPFS/NTFS/exFAT Disk /dev/sdb: 3932 MB, 3932160000 bytes 22 heads, 32 sectors/track, 10909 cylinders, total 7680000 sectors Units = sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disk identifier: 0xc3072e18 Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System /dev/sdb1 * 1504 7679999 3839248 b W95 FAT32

  • Then I used sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdaX(with X being a variable from 1 to 6)

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda1:

Mounting volume... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Attempting to correct errors... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Failed to startup volume: Invalid argument NTFS signature is missing. Trying the alternate boot sector NTFS signature is missing. Unrecoverable error Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk.

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda2:

Mounting volume... OK Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully. Checking the alternate boot sector... OK NTFS volume version is 3.1. NTFS partition /dev/sda2 was processed successfully.

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda3:

Mounting volume... OK Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully. Checking the alternate boot sector... OK NTFS volume version is 3.1. NTFS partition /dev/sda3 was processed successfully.

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda4:

Mounting volume... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Attempting to correct errors... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Failed to startup volume: Invalid argument NTFS signature is missing. Trying the alternate boot sector Unrecoverable error Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk.

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda5:

Mounting volume... OK Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully. Checking the alternate boot sector... OK NTFS volume version is 3.1. NTFS partition /dev/sda5 was processed successfully.

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sda6:

Mounting volume... OK Processing of $MFT and $MFTMirr completed successfully. Checking the alternate boot sector... OK NTFS volume version is 3.1. NTFS partition /dev/sda6 was processed successfully

  • sudo ntfsfix /dev/sdb1:

Mounting volume... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Attempting to correct errors... NTFS signature is missing. FAILED Failed to startup volume: Invalid argument NTFS signature is missing. Trying the alternate boot sector NTFS signature is missing. Unrecoverable error Volume is corrupt. You should run chkdsk. ubuntu@ubuntu:~$

Now this seems very confusing to me, because the error while mounting the volume with my windows installation says that it's sda3, but ntfsfix used on sda3 was apparently able to mount the volume sda3 (I still have no access to it though).

This is basically everything that I tried that I can remember, I have opened my laptop and disconnected the hard drive to check if it is damaged somehow, and it doesn't seem to be. What could be the cause of this problem and how can i fix it?

share|improve this question
    
If you need me to run any other test I'll be glad to, the past few days have been a nightmare for me. –  user34853 Mar 9 at 12:09
    
First impression: Your harddisk has bad sectors and has not automatically reallocated them to spare sectors. [Some of ]these bad sectors happen to be on a place on the disk needed by your windows installation. You can confirm or deny this by reading the SMART parameters. (Plenty of posts here on Super User explaining that part). –  Hennes Mar 9 at 12:20
    
I will try it and let you know, however, if I understood what testdisk does correctly, when running it, no bad sectors were found. –  user34853 Mar 9 at 12:22
    
Small side note: sda4 is an extended partition. it contains sda5 and sda6. No need to run ntfsfix on that since an extended partition will (should) never contain a NTFS filesystem. Instead it will have other partitions in it (in your case recognized as sda5 and sda6). –  Hennes Mar 9 at 12:23
    
Re testdisk. I agree, I would not expect that to returns that everything is ok. Yet the symptoms you have match perfectly with disk errors and lots of 'reallocation pending' and reallocated sectors. –  Hennes Mar 9 at 12:26

2 Answers 2

These volumes are can have bad sector. if you can reach this disk with windows First copy files to another drive how you can, scan surface with HDTUNE or HARD DISK SENTINEL. if there is any bad sectors , try to repair them with hdd regerenator . if it didnt fix , try HARD DISK SENTINEL program's surface regeneration mode ,the last mode on list, . if bad sectors are magnetical , bad sectors will be fix . Or if bad sectors are physical ( head crash issues ) sectors will be remapped (you can watch how many bad sectors remapped over smart "reallocated sectors count")

share|improve this answer
    
I'm unable to reach it with windows, but I'll look for a similar way of doing this with ubuntu. I have some important data that I have no access to and I would hope not to lose on my windows partition, so if no other solutions are possible I will try this. –  user34853 Mar 9 at 12:58
    
I have decided to give up on the DATA in that partition and I formatted it with Gparted, now the pending sector count decreased to 40 while the reallocated sector count is still 0, I still can't mount that partition though. Any thoughts? –  user34853 Mar 9 at 14:48
    
try to FULL FORMAT . seems to be problem is not physical. just magnetic problem. because pending sector meanings to trying some sectors to reallocate. if pending sectors will decrease and reallocated is still 0 , problem will be removed when full format. but if you want to get data you must be clone disk. did you tried to format fat32 ? . maybe it can mountable after format. and try to clone disk and get data from clone. if you have enough space on other disks , clone your disk (image) to another disk. then get data back on image –  Uğur Kırçıl Apr 5 at 14:30

It must be a bad sector and you are lucky if it's a software one. You should take it out ,stick it in a desktop and run a full bad sector scan to avoid further damage. If you find it i suggest creating 2 partitions around the faulty area.

share|improve this answer
    
I respectfully disagree. Two partitions around it would work, but when a drive fails to reallocate failed sectors then the drive is often that far gone that you should not trust it anymore. In which case you copy all data off it and replace it with a new drive. –  Hennes Mar 9 at 15:07
    
I agree about the trust part but you can still use it as storage disk. If you don't use an OS on it, it's quite improbable to create further bads. –  user305645 Mar 9 at 15:16
    
the pending sectors count decreased from 80 to 40 after formatting that partition with Gparted, it didn't increase the rellocated sector count, so I assume those sectors weren't actually bad in the first place? –  user34853 Mar 9 at 15:23
    
that must have been a software bad –  user305645 Mar 12 at 1:11

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