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I was trying to clone my Windows 7 system to a new larger HDD. First I was using Macrium Reflect and it failed on system disk partition (Disk C).

I ran CHKDSK C: /r and it did report about 4KB in bad sectors.

Then I tried to use Clonezilla (from CD). In the beginner's mode it failed too, and when I used -rescue option it reported about bad sectors and then slowed down dramatically (estimated time grew from 30 min to 2 hours and kept counting), so I aborted the process.

What is the best thing I can do now? Shall I leave Clonezilla to run for as long as it needs or is there a better way?

I would also appreciate if someone explains why the 4KB are such a big problem and why CHKDSK just don't mark them as bad (I ran it again and it still reports the same thing).

Update

Speccy reports about 1 Current Pending Errors Count and 1 Uncorrectable Errors Count, but it thinks it's GOOD.

I ran HDDScan. It took ages to complete and reported incredible number of bad blocks: 1385920. It is more than a half. Then, when I pressed Report button, it hanged.

Now I recall, I had already tested my HDD with HDDscan about 10 years ago and it reported a lot of bad blocks then. I think it can't be true. It must be some incompatibility with my hardware.

Update2 and Solution

EaseUS Partition Master Surface test crashes after it finds first bad sector.

If I tell HDDScan to start not from the beginning, but from some point after the bad sector, it goes normally and doesn't mark everything as bad (I didn't make a complete test, just saw that it didn't find a bad sector in five minutes).

Although I still have no idea what to do with the bad sector, I have done disk cloning successfully with Acronis True Image (I was using free WD Edition).

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    Try chkdsk C: /f /r /x – GabrielaGarcia Sep 3 '18 at 8:22
  • chkdsk /f can destroy data. – harrymc Sep 3 '18 at 9:09
  • @GabrielaGarcia The command returned the same result. – AlexVB Sep 5 '18 at 11:24
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Marking sectors as bad only prevents their use in the future but does not actually recover data that is already there. To be fully moved elsewhere, the sectors have to be read at least once.

You could use ddrescue from a Linux CD. It automatically skips damaged areas during the initial clone, and only returns to them in phases 2/3 (trimming/scraping). This makes it quite a bit faster to reach 99%: after the initial phase you'll have a mostly usable disk (missing a few tens of megabytes); after the trimming phase you'll probably have 99.99% of the data copied (missing just a few sectors). The final (scraping) phase will still take long if you have many damaged sectors, but at this point there's no problem if you give up and cancel the process.

ddrescue --force  /dev/disk/by-id/ata-ST12345  /dev/disk/by-id/ata-EVO123  /tmp/dd.log
                  ^ input                      ^ output                    ^ resume log

(On the other hand, it clones disks raw, without knowing which areas are needed and which are 'free' – so it will take somewhat longer to copy the remaining undamaged disk, unlike Clonezilla which recognizes and skips free areas.)

  • Is there a liveCD image of Linux with this utility included? – AlexVB Sep 5 '18 at 11:26
  • GParted Live has it, I think Slax also does. Often liveCDs let you install stuff. – grawity Sep 5 '18 at 11:46
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You should first check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your disk, to see if it is generally failing. A free product that can help here is Speccy.

Then you need to try to recover the data that is in the bad spots, or if the data is not important then just ensure that they are marked as bad.

The following products can help in marking or recovering bad spots. Some are commercial, but most of these have a trial version.

From this list I have only used SpinRite, which gave spectacular results making a weak disk as good as new. But this was years ago.

  • I did some tests. There results are weird. If you please, could you comment on them? – AlexVB Sep 5 '18 at 11:37
  • My opinion is the same as yours - it's too weird to be true, especially when Speccy only reports 2 bad spots. Try Easeus, their products are usually quite good. If it marks any unrecoverable bad spot, run chkdsk afterwards to fix any affected (destroyed) files. – harrymc Sep 5 '18 at 12:46

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