OT- TI "Failed to read from sector 976,822,etc..."

Soniclight wrote on 4/26/2013, 8:13 PM

As mentioned in one of my more recent posts, I had a system failure that corrupted a couple of my .veg and related media files that I've only partially restored and some of it may be gone forever. All my .veg and other large media projects are on off-OS drives, mainly D:\.

I did chksk and everything under the sun to shore up that drive but obviously something is damaged for every time I launch Acronis True Image which scans all drives before one goes into choosing what drive to backup or restore, it always finds the above read error -- it seems to be the only one. Which is on that D:\ drive.

As one of my most recent posts reflects, I'm going to get a newer and larger one to replace that drive (3TB), but I still want to be able to use this one as a a backup-storage drive.

Q-1: Is this sector corruption indication of a drive going downhill or just essentially one tiny part of the drive that can't be used anymore?

Q-2: If so, once I turn it into a back-up drive, would it simply be ignored and not used -- or possibly screw up that sector of backup?


john_dennis wrote on 4/26/2013, 8:41 PM
Go to the drive manufacturer's web site and download the appropriate diagnostics. For Seagate, SeaTools. For Western Digital, Data Lifeguard Tools, etc. Run the diags and let them tell you whether the drive is a goner.
Soniclight wrote on 4/26/2013, 9:51 PM
Thanks. It's a Seagate but I couldn't get SeaTools to work when I did a full/long test a week or so ago, so I used WD's diagnostics tool to do the same. It seemed to abort at one point. I've downloaded, installed and the newest SeaTools and am running a long test as I write this and naturally this will take a few hours...

I also did some additional reading on what happens when a sector is corrupted and then replaced if possible with a "spare" one. But until the test finishes I can't tell the extent of the corruption or if SeaTools can patch or heal that sector--if it is in fact only one sector that is kaput.
riredale wrote on 4/26/2013, 9:58 PM
Doesn't Windows regular old error-checker have the option to scan the entire disk and replace sick sectors with spares?
Soniclight wrote on 4/26/2013, 10:03 PM
"Doesn't Windows regular old error-checker have the option to scan the entire disk and replace sick sectors with spares? "

Yup, it does and I did that. However True Image reports that corrupted sector even after running chkdsk--which doesn't mean TI is the voice-of-God either--but this never happens for me usually and I do regular backups so I know how TI acts.
johnmeyer wrote on 4/26/2013, 10:33 PM
The error checker that you run from within Windows doesn't seem to do as thorough a check as the old


DOS command. When I get a drive that is acting up, and the Windows tools disk check doesn't find anything, I go to a command prompt within Windows (Start --> Run --> CMD --> press the Enter key) and then type the above command (substitute some other drive letter if you are not checking the C: drive). If the drive contains a page file, you will be told that it won't run until the next re-boot. This is the same message as the Windows disk check gives you. If the drive does NOT have a page file, you will be told that all file handles will lost, or something like that. This sounds scary, but it just means you should re-boot after it is done.

On a big drive, the Windows disk check usually finished in 5-10 minutes. By contrast, this one will take several hours.
Soniclight wrote on 4/27/2013, 2:29 AM
Thanks, John.

First, on the SeaTools long test -- it aborted due to some error code which I couldn't find what it meant.
So I went for the DOS CHKDSK as you suggested. Twice:

The first breezes through within less than two minutes. It found and did about 6 or so "Deleted corrupt attribute list entry with..." I re-did it and since some window or whatever was accessing that drive, it asked if I wanted to do on system restart, so I did. Also only took a couple of minutes. But I couldn't see the results since it went by pretty fast (probably in some log file I don't know where to find).

HOWEVER... as a test, I ran True Image again, and now it does NOT say it can't read the sector in the screenshot opening this thread. So perhaps it was repaired.

I could go the burn-to-CD or make floppy with the SeaTools and fire it up before Windows boots and let it do its thing, but maybe that's overkill. The SeaTools .pdf does mention that the Windows CHKDSK (I assume the more thorough one I just ran twice) does repair bad sectors. So maybe I'm OK for now.

The only thing I'm puzzled by is how fast it was in both instances. Usually it take a lot longer. Hopefully that's a good rather than a bad sign...

Open to correction or further FYI here.
musicvid10 wrote on 4/27/2013, 9:32 AM
Don't do anything until you've backed up the drive in its present condition. No diagnostics, nothing. It's undoubtedly failing.
Soniclight wrote on 4/27/2013, 11:28 AM
Thanks to all for your help.

The issue is more or less moot now for, I went ahead and ordered two new 7200 rpms -- a 500Gb/16Mb. cache for OS, a 3TB/64Mb.cache to replace the for-now-OK but iffy D:\. USD $204 incl. S/H for both. Not bad.

Maybe one of these years I'll graduate to SSDs as some of you grand wizards of Vegas poubahs here have once they become as common place--and affordable as S/ATAs.
That could be a few years - lol.


I re-backed up everything on that drive after the problems started and haven't done much with Vegas since then.
Been more busy with Cubase and so far no problems there.

I use Cobian backup that I hit after every major edit/save for both Vegas and Cubase, so I'm pretty well backed up.
Soniclight wrote on 4/27/2013, 11:43 AM
Oh,and as Farss/Bob and others suggested, I now use JetDV's AutoSave -- which as I understand it stays on one's system even after the Excalibur trial period is over.
John_Cline wrote on 4/27/2013, 3:36 PM
When it comes to recovering data from failing hard drives, there is no more useful program than Steve Gibson's Spinrite 6. SpinRite is a utility for verifying, maintaining or repairing hard drives. Uutilities such as CHKDSK only look at file system integrity, while SpinRite tests magnetic media for data integrity and can warn of impending failure. If SpinRite is used after data is lost, it may be able to recover data by coercing unreadable bits back to consciousness.

I've been using Spinrite since the 80s and it has paid for itself many, many, many times over. The program hasn't been updated since 2004, but it works and there is nothing like it.

Soniclight wrote on 4/27/2013, 3:45 PM
Thanks, John_Cline.

Since I just spent a couple of hundred bucks on new drives and have other life expenses, I'll have to pass on this suggestion. That said, one of the veterans here told be about Recuva (from same co. that makes CCleaner) and it helped be see what .veg files had been corrupted and where and state of recovery (from poor to excellent). The prog's slogan being "Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery." Not the same as what you are suggesting, but still useful with boo-boos.

Once I get the new drives and turn the D:\ and my current C:\ into passive storage/backup drives, I'm going to totally wipe and write-0s to to both of them. May not make them brand new, but at least they will clean.
John_Cline wrote on 4/27/2013, 3:56 PM
Spinrite will completely test and refresh the sectors on a hard drive, much better than just writing zeros on the drive. It will write and read all possible bit combinations to each and every sector and, once you have run Spinrite on a drive, you can fully confident that the drive can be trusted to store your data. There is simply no other program like it.
Soniclight wrote on 4/27/2013, 5:10 PM
Duly noted and I'll keep a bookmark to the site and consider it.
I simply have to prioritize things money-wise right now.
I.e. mechanic (carburetor cleaning) and possible dental expenses...
FilmingPhotoGuy wrote on 4/27/2013, 11:29 PM
@Soniclight, since you've got a new drive why not dual boot? Every 2 or 3 years I like to make a fresh install but since I have a boat load of software to install and configure which 'll take time. In the meantime you can still work. My project drive is always configured as X: on both boot's so my projects won't affected.

2 tools that saved my bacon is Norton ghost 15 for Win7, and Acronis (free) for early warning. I like to use a disk for a few years and while it's still good I use it for backups and monitor it with Acronis. It's important to remove your backup drive from your system to save on unnecessary flying hours or from being stolen.

craftech wrote on 4/28/2013, 7:25 AM
I have been using Find and Mount for awhile and I find it amazing.

If you have a screwed up MBR or Windows can't see a drive or if the drive has corrupt sectors Find and Mount mounts the drive as a generic drive from which you can move files over to another drive and then reformat it.

Recently I had a drive with bad sectors and I used Find and Mount to move the important files to another drive. Then I low level formatted the drive which completely ignored the bad sectors and the drive is like new again.

Another time I had an unreadable drive because the Master Boot Record had somehow been compromised and Find and Mount found it and mounted it like a generic drive and I was able to recover all my files.

I tried the free version first which has speed limitations to make it painfully slow, but after I saw how well it worked I bought Find and Mount Pro which has no speed limitations. Right now a lifetime license is $43.95. I don't know how much I paid at the time. Well worth it.


Also, unless you are doing Raid arrays stay away from Dynamic partitions. Basic partitions are much easier to move around and Acronis does not work with Dynamic partitions unless you pay extra. If you want to convert a Dynamic partition to a Basic partition without data lost the free Easus PartitionMaster works very well.
Soniclight wrote on 4/28/2013, 11:49 AM
Thanks, LightAds & craftech. You've both added to my growing batch of good-stuff-to-remember-and-consider shared at this thread. MBRs do cause problems but I usually can fix them with a bootable MBR fix from Acronis. But then there are older-older drives that I compulsively keep that really probably need to be put in my e-recycle pile :)

Again, thanks to all for your input.
A thread to keep as bookmark to return to once I get the new drives and reconsider my options.

~ Philip