HD Bad Sectors! Advice sought

MartinE wrote on 4/25/2016, 10:57 AM
Hi folks. Been running VP13 very successfully on my very limited Dell Inspiron laptop for couple of years. I've recently had a few blue screen windows crashes and investigation reveals bad HD sectors. Is it time to replace drive? The laptop was new only 2 years ago but I've done a lot of editing with source files on the C drive so maybe it's been overworked??

Should I think about a SSD and put source files and projects on expansion drives.

Also thinking of doing a clean install of Windows 10 and then VP13

Any advice would be appreciated.


John222 wrote on 4/25/2016, 11:01 AM
Yes, replace drive. Doesn't matter how new it is, bad clusters indicate it's on it way out.
musicvid10 wrote on 4/25/2016, 11:24 AM
There are free utilities that will do a slow copy of your failing drive at low RPMs.
DrLumen wrote on 4/25/2016, 12:14 PM
Considering its a laptop, the bad sectors may have come from it being bumped or dropped or some type of shock (hit). The heads could have bumped the disk causing the bad sectors.

You could run a disk check and have it mark the bad sectors and it be fine for a while. As was said, I would replace it to be on the safe side. But, if there is a habit of dropping the laptop into a bag or something you could start having the same issues with the new drive.

intel i-4790k / Asus Z97 Pro / 32GB Crucial RAM / Nvidia GTX 560Ti / 500GB Samsung SSD / 256 GB Samsung SSD / 2-WDC 4TB Black HDD's / 2-WDC 1TB HDD's / 2-HP 23" Monitors / Various MIDI gear, controllers and audio interfaces

astar wrote on 4/25/2016, 5:25 PM

"Should I think about a SSD and put source files and projects on expansion drives.

Also thinking of doing a clean install of Windows 10 and then VP13"

This is a good idea, however, you do have an inspiron from a couple years ago. What are the actual compute performance specs on that device vs a new device?

If you do not do the clean install, make sure to run an SFC /SCANNOW from an admin prompt, to verify your windows core is not corrupted by the bad sectors.
MartinE wrote on 4/26/2016, 2:39 AM
Hey, many thanks to you guys for the replies. This forum is so helpful. I'm going to price up an SSD and memory upgrade and compare with a new machine. I realise I'm bumping along on the bottom in terms of computing power but my camera is Canon XF100 and the MXF(MPEG2 files) cut and preview very easily in VP13 and since I don't often use a lot of FX and compositing and am quite happy to render overnight I can manage just fine.

Thanks again and happy editing.
john_dennis wrote on 4/26/2016, 4:53 AM
Newegg offered this to me today for $58. I found it interesting that there are no bad comments. Not the hottest SSD on the market, but it should serve your needs.

Full disclosure:
I've used two Corsair SSDs without incident but my next SSD will likely be a Samsung Pro 850 or 950.
astar wrote on 4/26/2016, 4:06 PM
Samsung Pro line are great.

Make sure not to delete any extra/system partitions on the drive you get. Depending on the SSD, that partition maybe there for a reason.
Rich Parry wrote on 4/26/2016, 7:19 PM
I recommend, "SpinRite" disk recovery and repair. Excellent. Even if you install a new drive, I'd purchase it.

Best of luck,
Chienworks wrote on 4/26/2016, 8:09 PM
Another nice one is Clonezilla, which is also free/open source. It's primarily intended to clone disks or partitions, but one of it's advanced features is a repair function that repeatedly reads bad sections of the source drive as many times as it needs to in order to build up an image of what bits must have been there and recreate the data as it writes the copy. I've had it churn away for 79 hours on a 160GB drive that looked like swiss cheese for bad sectors and produce a perfectly healthy copy with nothing lost.

While i agree that SpinRite is a great program too, it modifies the original drive as it runs. If it does something wrong there's no going back. Clonezilla never touches the source drive, so it's preserved as it was in case some further type of recovery process is needed.

If directories or allocation tables end up corrupted after the surface repair then the commercial program GetDataBack does an amazing job of re-linking and retrieving files and directories. It needs a readable drive to be successful though, so using it on the new drive after Clonezilla has done a repair run is often quite successful.
MartinE wrote on 4/27/2016, 2:46 AM
OK so I'm going to replace my failing HDD with an SSD. I'm running Windows 8.1 at present, is there a way to do a clean install of W10 without having to buy it? I'm eligible for the upgrade but the current wisdom seems to be that a clean install of W10 and VP13 is the most reliable route.

Thanks again for all the advice.
john_dennis wrote on 4/27/2016, 10:46 AM
Read this thread where wjauch says:

"[i]FYI a few months ago Microsoft made an important change, a win 7 or win 8 key will work as a win10key. Download Win 10 on another PC, burn to DVD, install and when key is requested enter the win 7 key from your machine, Win10 should accept it.
After the Win 10 machine has been online for a few minutes Microsoft will have taken a digital fingerprint of your PC and they know it is legit. ( Go to "windows key", settings, and activation) and you should see windows is activated, either with a key listed or "with a digital entitlement" listed. If you ever need to reinstall Win 10 leave key empty when you reinstall and once PC has been online for a few minutes Microsoft should recognise the PC by its fingerprint and automaticaly know that it has a valid license. This is how it should work, but of course there could always be a glitch somewhere[i]."
Larry Clifford wrote on 6/23/2016, 5:01 AM
What size SSD should I purchase? It would hold the OS (Windows 10) and installed programs, e.g., Office Professional Plus 2013 or later, Vegas Pro (or whatever the new name will be), etc. The data will be on a separate HDD already installed.

My current Windows 7 installation uses 126 GB for the OS drive.

There were several good comments about the Samsung Pro 850. The 512 GB is only $216.

The 1 TB is $410.
PeterDuke wrote on 6/23/2016, 5:51 AM
Only you can make that choice, but a good rule of thumb might be double what you currently need as a minimum. If you plan to install all Adobe Cloud stuff, or other large suite then of course make allowances.

You really should have started your own thread, since your question has nothing to do with bad sectors.
Larry Clifford wrote on 6/23/2016, 9:54 AM
PeterDuke, My mistake. I will take your advice in the future.

I put it here because there were many posts about SSD devices.
john_dennis wrote on 6/23/2016, 10:21 AM
Based on the size of your current boot disk and your brand preference, I would buy this one. Fact is, I bought this one last week on a killer deal at Fry's. When I rebuild my primary system in the fall, I could possibly get this one.

Create an image of just the boot disk. If you want to save video data on SSD, get a larger, separate one.
ddm wrote on 6/23/2016, 3:24 PM
I've become a big fan of the 240 gb size for a boot drive. When I first went with a 240, it was out of major price considerations since anything larger was very expensive, but now, once I got disciplined on keeping my boot drive free of most data, it is a breeze to just keep all programs and the OS on that drive, with plenty of head room to spare. I have a boatload of applications, all the usual suspects and I find it quite easy to keep my boot drive in the 150 to 180 gb range. A smaller drive makes for fast cloning, which I prefer over incremental backups. Disciplining yourself on using other drives for data is also a great practice. SSDs are fast and light, and 240's are super cheap. I have a few samsungs and crucials and I just bought a sandisk and I can't tell one from the other. I have a few hackintosh systems as well and the 240 gb size is also perfect for that OS. I've been tempted to buy a 512 as they are quite reasonable now as well but I think I would still prefer a 240 as a boot drive and maybe buy 2 512's to use in a raid for data.