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brad405red

Ran cleanor once, now MS wants me to backup, failing hard drives

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It is was me I would just download the Win7 iso and use my key from the bottom of the machine to give myself a nice new, bloat free, Win 7 install.

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I think a recap of everything done so far is needed so everyone is on the same page. Brad has found some bad sectors on his current internal 1TB drive, but it still works for now. This drive has the following partitions:

 

1.) Recovery - NTFS Primary - 8.01GB, 5.65GB used 

2.) C: Win 7  - NTFS Primary (Active) - 280GB, 50.6 used

3.) Unallocated - resulting from shrinking C: from it's original size

4.) D: data    - NTFS Primary - 550GB, 252.8 used

 

Brad stated he does not have the resources for a new hard drive and does not have Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit installation media, but has a valid activation key from a sticker inside the case. He has two external Toshiba 320GB USB drives available to him, and early in the process he had copied the contents of D: partition, his data files, to one of these drives. The original plan has two parts, and one is completed. Brad has downloaded a copy of the Windows 7 ISO and installed it to a USB stick using Rufus. He has tested it, it boots, and prompts him to start installation. This was a backup plan in case the other plan failed. 

 

That plan was to copy his current operating system to the second Toshiba and allow him to keep using his computer until he can get a new internal drive. I suggested using Macrium Reflect to clone both the Recovery partition and C: partition to the Toshiba, as well as clone the contents of the Toshiba to the replacement hard drive when it is available. So far this has failed, because the Toshiba will not boot to Windows. So he is not completely dead in the water. His old drive continues to work, and the USB stick is available if he wants to do a fresh install on his new drive. I was only concerned about his old drive failing and leaving him without the use of his computer, and that is why I devised a two part plan. So that is where we stand now, if any member can add to this, I'm sure it will be appreciated. 

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It seems like like a good idea. Working with a malfunctioning hard drive is a recipe for utter disaster. Also it's a very good thing he had already done some backups.

 

PS - Also, don't you think this thread should be moved somewhere else. Hardware section maybe?

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It is was me I would just download the Win7 iso and use my key from the bottom of the machine to give myself a nice new, bloat free, Win 7 install.

Yes, me too.  Best advice, imho.  That would be the way to go. 

But I'm not sure Brad would be confident to do that.  It's kind of intimidating, imho. 

 

A hopefully relevant question: 

When one does that, how does one get all the drivers right for that particular machine? 

I ask on behalf of Brad and me too.  Only done it once, it was not straightforward. 

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It is was me I would just download the Win7 iso and use my key from the bottom of the machine to give myself a nice new, bloat free, Win 7 install.

Usually (iirc) this won't work as the disc isn't OEM but the number probably is

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@ Derek

Thank you very much for a concise summary that has brought me up to speed without causing pain or the need for more than one cup of coffee  :)

 

Although I have read this topic several times when it was only 1 page,

and occasionally re-read when it became two pages,

there are details I have not remembered,

 

Questions :-

Are the Toshiba drives USB2 or USB3 ?

Is there any chance that they are connected to USB3 ports ?

If so perhaps there would be better success plugging into a USB2 port for a slow boot rather than fast fail.

Because I suspect you might need Win8 compatible Hardware and Firmware / BIOS before you can boot via USB3 hardware.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

BIG QUESTION :-

How about running Chkdsk on partition D:\ to simply test whether this has bad sectors ?

If the basic mechanism is good and the only problem is with some specific sectors in C:\,

then Data partitions may still be good because they are not driven as hard and degraded as much by Windows thrashing the life out of C:\

 

1.) Recovery - NTFS Primary - 8.01GB, 5.65GB used 

2.) C: Win 7  - NTFS Primary (Active) - 280GB, 50.6 used

3.) Unallocated - resulting from shrinking C: from it's original size

4.) D: data    - NTFS Primary - 550GB, 252.8 used

One detail you forgot to include and which I need and found in post #21

"3.  Completely blank 75.61 GB  (created when I shrank C:)"

 

SUGGESTION based on the above, especially assuming that D:\ has no bad sectors :-

 

At each stage below, test as advised and DO NOT PROCEED with anything following a failure until that failure is fixed.

 

First of all you you need to have downloaded and created a working Minitool Boot Recovery CD in-case anything goes wrong

http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

 

1. Make a Macrium Partition Image backup of C:\ :- you can never have too many backups;

2. Make a Macrium Partition Image backup of D:\ :- you can never have too many backups;

3. Shrink Partition D:\ to about 260 GB, leaving above it 290 GB Unallocated;

4. Restore the partition D:\ image to fill up this 290 GB of space as a new LOGICAL (Not Primary) partition;

You should now have two partitions with nothing much to distinguish them,

probably D:\ at 260 GB and E:\ with 290 GB (252.8 Used);

5. Change the 260 GB partition to X:\ and then change the 290 GB partition to D:\;

6. Make sure that you still have full access to all your Data files in the restored 290 GB partition D:\;

7. Shut down and restart and make sure that you still have full access to all your Data files in the restored 290 GB partition D:\;

8. Delete the 260 GB partition X:\, which should increase Unallocated space from 75.61 GB to 335.61 GB;

9. Restore your C:\ backup into a new and smaller PRIMARY partition within this extra space, using a size of at least 60 GB - but I suggest 100 GB for future needs,

and leaving Unallocated the first 100 GB, much of which may have been thrashed to death when occupied by C:\ before it was shrunk,

and also leaving a subsequent Unallocated space of perhaps 175 GB to 135 GB for future use as required;

10. Shut down and restart and ensure everything looks good, with C:\ occupying 280 GB near the beginning of the Disk;

Followed by some other drive letter for the restored backup that follows the first 100 GB of unallocated space;

11. Change the System Volume Name of the new 100 GB Partition

(Linux tools such as Minitool Boot Recovery are not aware of drive letters, and even WinPE Boot tools can allocate the WRONG letters to partitions,

so I like to ensure that each of my partitions has a name which not only reminds me of its purpose in life,

but also includes a prefix or postfix such as _C_ or _D_ etc etc.)

12. Cancel the ACTIVE flag that is set for the 280 GB partition C:\, and make Active the newly restored 100 GB partition with the different System Volume Name.

13. Take a deep breath and prepare for the worst (some people cross their fingers, I am helped by a fervent prayer)

14. Shut down and power up and thank God for a successful outcome,

or failing that the Minitool Boot CD should cancel the Active Flag from the 100 GB partition and make Active the 280 GB partition,

and then shutdown and power up and you should be back to the same condition before you implemented stage 12 - i.e. no harm done other than a waste of time.

15. Assuming full success,

Expand the 280 GB partition back to its original size of 356 GB, Change the System Volume Name to "WORN-OUT-BAD-CLUSTERS", and remove its drive letter;

16. Shut down and power up and make sure that everything is in order.

 

The above should avoid the Bad Clusters that were previously affecting C:\,

and may give you a new partition C:\ that is in much better health,

and will avoid problems of the Hardware / Bios capability to Boot a USB2/USB3 Toshiba Drive.

 

Please note, you should be able to run CHKDSK perhaps 3 times faster on a 100 GB partition than on a 280 GB or 336 GB partition,

and searching for lost / deleted files would also be 3 times faster

and Wiping Free Space could be 5 or 6 times faster.

 

I STRONGLY RECOMMEND

that my suggestions should NOT be actioned immediately but that you wait for comments by others with greater and wider experience than myself.

@ Derek - I am especially looking at you :)

 

I have ALWAYS been able to recover from any disaster that was not my fault, and any inconvenience due to my overlooking of a vital precaution,

but I have only done this in the few cases that arose on my own system that was under my total control.

If anything goes wrong with stages 1 to 14 then I am afraid that fixing a problem via forum posts is not so easy.

 

Regards

Alan

 

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I don't like to suggest something I have not actually done myself.  And I have not done these things. 

But . . .

According to the links below, you can activate windows if you have the product ID number from the sticker and download the correct ISO for whichever version you already have (home, Pro, Ultimate, etc). 

Fwiw, windows magically keeps track of the hardware on your computer, and if you don't change too many devices too quickly you need not reactivate.  It might be that Brad will not have to.  And if he does, at most it requires a phone call. I know that to be so.

 

Also, I can't help but think that even if Brad completes the processes suggested here, he will still have a questionable hard drive, which might fail soon.  Less grief to just get a new one and install win 7 clean. 

pretty good
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/windows7/a/install-windows-7-usb.htm
long, tedious, thorough:
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/windows-7-clean-install-part-1.htm
win 7 forums for clean reinstall OEM brink
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1649-clean-install-windows-7-a.html
win 7 forums for clean reinstall OEM gregrocker
http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/219487-clean-reinstall-factory-oem-windows-7-a.html
microsoft how to, good
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/activate-windows#1TC=windows-7
windows activation FAQ:
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/activating-windows-faq#1TC=windows-7

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login I have clean installed  machines using the downloaded Win7 SP1 iso quite a few times. As long as you have the sticker number it is legal.

 

As for drivers before you do the install, download the ethernet and wireless drivers from the computer makers website and stick them on a cd (plus any others you feel you may need later).

 

 Windows will provide quite a few of the needed drivers when you do the first updates but obviously you have to have the 'ability to get online' drivers installed first which is why you stick them on a cd or usb stick first.

 

If Windows says to phone Microsoft about activation I have never known a refusal by them personally

 

Sometimes you just have to bite the bullet. A new hardrive and a new Win 7 install is the way to go I would think in this case.

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I thank all of you for your input on this topic. I have just finished reading this thread in it's entirety for the second time today, and have gone back to some of the bookmarks I have made while researching and planning what to do. I came up with the plan I described with three objectives: First, to use the hardware Brad has available to him. Second, to allow him to continue using his machine if the hard drive failed. Third, keeping the whole process simple to understand.  At the time, and according to what I read, cloning seemed to be the easier to understand and to use. I also read that the master boot record was copied as a part of the cloning process. It seemed ideal for what I was trying to accomplish. Perhaps I have put too much faith in using the cloning process versus the imaging process, it's hard to say with all the variables involved. So now, what to do and where to go from here.

 

In reply to Hazelnut, Nergal, and login123, I did a lot of reading prior to having Brad download and prepare the Windows 7 ISO in order to do a clean install. I believe the images from Digital River are made available for three reasons: 1.) For people who have a valid activation key but have lost their installation media. 2.) For people who wish to do a clean install of Windows minus the factory installed bloatware. 3.) For people who have had a hard drive failure and have lost the recovery partition along with it. In the event that the activation key is not accepted online, it is a matter of calling Microsoft and explaining the situation to a representative. In the event it is an OEM key, I have read that they will accept it as long as it is a valid key from a COA label. The disadvantage here is that any software or drivers that are on an OEM recovery disk are absent and are your responsibility to install. Also, the manufacturer may or may not honor any warranty claims in this situation. In Brad's case, this does not apply to his 2009 machine. If anyone disagrees with this, or has something to add, please speak up now. Also, I read just this evening that these images will not be available to download after March 2014, that is when the contract between Microsoft and Digital River expires and is not being renewed.  

 

In reply to Alan, I always respect your ideas and opinions regarding what will work and what will not. And I know you put a lot of time and effort into your post. I had to read it twice, the second time very slowly. It is a good idea as far as getting the data away from the bad sectors and onto the less used part of the drive, provided that is where the problem exists. But it is complex, something I have tried to avoid so far. If you were doing it yourself, then you would probably have no problem, because you fully understand it. But you're not the one doing it. And using Mini Tool Partition Wizard is like a double edged sword: powerful in the right hands and hazardous to the inexperienced. One slip could be fatal. All along I have tried to keep this as simple as I could, but maybe your plan should be considered if Brad understands it and feels comfortable trying it.

 

A very good question in regards to the USB ports being used and the Toshiba. Brad will have to look into this, it is something only he can answer.

 

I'm glad you brought up using chkdsk, it is something that has been bothering me. Are the bad sectors located in Recovery or C: or D:? Or all three? We have no idea. If they are in C:, it might be the reason the cloned image has begun to boot then failed, except this contradicts the fact the hard drive itself continues to boot. I realize I advised Brad not to do it if he thought it was putting the drive at risk of failing, but now think it is something that must be done first, before going any further. Also, running sfc /scannow would reveal if any system files are missing or corrupted, and restore them from the .cab files. If these two things are not done, then any further effort to image or clone C: is a waste of time.

 

There is one other thing I considered, but it also depends on where the bad sectors are located. If the Recovery partition has no bad sectors, isn't that all that would be needed to do a clean install? Especially if C: is riddled with bad sectors or corrupted files, is it worth saving? Maybe imaging or cloning that one partition is the simplest and easiest thing to do, I don't really know at this point, just throwing the idea out there. It's late here, and maybe I'm not thinking too clearly, I'll read this again tomorrow and see if it makes sense.

 

Edit: I had no idea Hazelnut posted while I was typing this, I'm glad she agrees with me concerning the activation process, even though it makes a large part of this post look redundant. :)

 

Edit #2: I just realized Alan has reached 4000 posts and Hazelnut has reached 12000. Congratulations! :)  :)  :)  

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Just to clarify things regarding the legality of downloading and using the Digital River iso files. They are linked to by Microsoft itself

 

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-windows_install/digital-river/66a8439b-0d16-4b70-92f7-1c8486a46ebf

 

I would strongly advise anyone who uses Win 7 to download the iso of their version of Win 7 while Microsoft is still hosting it. Not only is it good for clean installs without 3rd party software bloat, the disk can also be used when the machine won't boot to do repairs to the OS and other things.

 

A very handy thing to have indeed.

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I thank all of you for your input on this topic.

You are welcome. 

 

Also, I read just this evening that these images will not be available to download after March 2014, that is when the contract between Microsoft and Digital River expires and is not being renewed.

Thanks for that info.  Have to get going on that now, at these download speeds it will take until April.    :P

 

Also, fwiw, I just thought to offer a different, simpler solution for Brads problem after the cloning effort failed.

No quarrel intended.  You and Alan both know much more than I about these matters. 

 

But I still think 2 things are worth a try: 

1. Try making the recovery disks,

2. Download and clean install the iso. 

For that second approach there are a couple of tutorials those links I posted.   

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No quarrel from me.

 

I agree with recovery disks and downloading and preparing a clean install of the ISO.

 

All versions of Windows prior to XP would give me grief on a daily basis.

I therefore create image backups expecting sudden calamity when I Defrag or shrink a partition,

though I have not had any need to use those backups in two years daily use of Windows 7.

Images are my habit, hence my 16 stages.

 

I believe there is no budget for a new disk,

and have some hope that there is still long life ahead in the D:\ region of the disk.

CHKDSK should be run on D:\ to see if it is viable,

if so then I would NOT expect anything to go wrong by shrinking D:\ to create space at the "SLOW END" of the disk for either :-

A fresh install of Windows from a downloaded ISO ; or

Restoring an image backup of C:\

 

A fresh install from an ISO to the "SLOW END" of the disk will be clean and free from error,

but will require installing many updates,

and will exclude all the applications you may at the moment have installed on C:\.

It will be ignorant of all the contents on D:\ - but will give you full access.

Your desktop and Start Menu will not have the links that take you to your applications on D:\,

but that is trivial to fix.

Any applications which were installed on D:\ and incorporated components in your existing C:\ will not run until you re-install.

 

Simply creating an image backup of C:\ and restoring that to the "SLOW END" of the disk should integrate perfectly with the shrunken D:\.

You will not need to re-install anything on C:\ or on D:\ - they will immediately run as previously.

The downside is that any file corruption due to bad sector errors or malware or user error will remain uncorrected,

though hopefully SFC would sort out the worst of the errors.

 

Please note that Windows will run infinitely faster from the "SLOW END" of the Disk than from a USB2 Disk

and may still out-perform a USB3 Disk - assuming the Toshiba USB3 Disk can actually Boot Windows.

 

N.B.

SFC May have a need for an installation DVD

SFC May be surprised if all you can offer is Rufus - I have no experience of this,

my special skills are asking questions and worrying about what can go wrong next :unsure:

 

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After typing into the wee hours last night, and after rereading large parts of this thread today, I realize my intentions were good, but my priorities were at fault. The cloning/imaging process has proven to be unsuccessful so far, and to try to image and rearrange the drive's existing partitions in an attempt to save them is both too complex and too risky. In the end, it's like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, when the ship is going down anyway. I think Brad should minimize the use of this drive in order to save it as an archive of sorts. If he finds that something is missing from the data backup he made in the beginning of the process, he can go back and retrieve it from this drive. I think doing a clean installation should be the priority at this point, and steps should be taken to ensure it's success.

 

I think as a test, he should disconnect the internal drive, connect the second Toshiba that he has been using for cloning, plug in the USB stick with the Windows ISO, boot it, and do an installation to the external drive. This will verify the integrity of the ISO, reveal any installation issues as far as missing drivers are concerned, confirm that the activation key is valid, and let him practice doing an installation if he has never done one before. When he gets a new drive he will be aware of what to do and confident in doing it. I'm sorry this has dragged on for so long, and I'm somewhat disappointed that Macrium did not produce the results I had hoped for. There were too many variables and unknowns to overcome. Remote troubleshooting has always had this problem. At least Brad has learned a lot from this exercise, and maybe others as well. I'm thankful he had the opportunity the create the installation USB prior to the drive failing, and it's probably best to have a new installation to go with his new hard drive. 

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Well it was a mighty effort. 

Lots of careful research and advice by Alan and Derek in an effort to save Brad money.  

End result is good, imho, Brad has seen several alternatives. 

 

Now Brad, please do post back your results if you can. 

It would help me and maybe others to know what finally worked. 

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Hi.  I'm running Win 7.  I ran ccleaner once, just the cleaner, not the registry option.  Now win is telling me I have disk errors and need to backup because both my hard drives are going to fail.  I ran the cleaners Saturday 12-14-2013(Saturday) and got the messages today on Sunday.  I'm a lil freaked out by this.  Any suggestions?  Please help and thanks in advance.

 

Let me be less dramatic and more helpful.  Sorry.  MS Windows brings up a system window quite often now saying:  "Windows detected a hard disk problem.... backup immediately."  Options are to start backup, ask again later, don't ask again(not recommended)  Under "Show Details"  it says "Which disk is failing?  The following hard disks are reporting failure:  Disk Name  ...ATA Device.  Volume  C:\;D:\" 

 

I have 2 hard drives and i think it's near impossible for them to both fail at once.  What should I do?

 

Hi all.  I haven't given up yet.  In an administrator command prompt, I ran "sfc /scannow  Verification 100% complete.  Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations.  I also ran chkdsk on both the C: and D: drive labels(WIN7 & DATA.)   The reults were lengthy, but this might be relevant:  "0 KB in bad sectors"  & "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems."  on both partitions.  The only thing I did not understand was:  "WARNING! F parameter not specified.  Running CHKDSK in read-only mode.  And I do not know how to run CHKDSK for the Unallocated and the Recovery partitions.  In Windows Disk Management program, all 3 partitions are showing a Status of Healthy(except for unallocated(no status.))  Recovery(no label) status Healthy(Primary Partition) 8GB. DATA(D:) status Healthy(Primary Partition) 550.90 GB.  WIN7(C:) status Healthy(System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) 280 GB.  The only odd thing I noticed that the RECOVERY partition did not indicate a "File System" status.  The other 2 partitions reported as NTFS.

 

I realize now my original post was misleading, confused and paranoid.  But could it be possible that Ccleaner deleted or corrupted SMART detection somehow?  If so, how did that start affecting my SMART BIOS boot error?  If not, I will continue on the path to recovery in these posts.  Does any of that make sense?

 

p.s:  My external Toshibas are USB 2.0 manufactured 1/2010.

 

p.s.s:  In Acronis Drive Monitor, under SMART parameters tab:

 

Read Error Rate,58102680,113,6,OK

Spin-Up Time,0,96,0,OK

Start/Stop Count,164,100,20,OK

 

 

Attribute Name, Raw Value, Value, Threshold, Status                  

Reallocated Sectors Count,4158,1,36,Fail

 

 

Seek Error Rate,99863916,79,30,OK

Power-On Hours (POH),32545,63,0,OK

Spin Retry Count,0,100,97,OK

Power Cycle Count,165,100,20,OK

SATA Downshift Error Count,0,100,0,OK

End-to-End error,0,100,99,OK

Reported Uncorrectable Errors,2,98,0,OK

Command Timeout,2,100,0,OK

High Fly Writes,1,99,0,OK

Airflow Temperature,589299745,67,45,OK

Temperature,77309411361,33,0,OK

Hardware ECC Recovered,58102680,42,0,OK

Current Pending Sector Count,0,100,0,OK

Uncorrectable Sector Count,0,100,0,OK

UltraDMA CRC Error Count,0,200,0,OK

Head Flying Hours,125434519912628,100,0,OK

Total LBAs Written,1843318067,100,0,OK

Total LBAs Read,3723921684,100,0,OK

 

On right click, there is an option to Ignore parameter or to Reset default settings.

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Hi Brad.

 

The guys have given you an excellent service here, and I don't intend to try and add anything different, but I will say that quite some time back Windows told me that my system drive was failing and to back up asap and replace the drive.

 

To cut a long story short, I eventually ran tests with my drive manufacturers proprietary tools, available here ...

 

Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities: (Most manufacturers, Toshiba included)

 

.. which disagreed with Windows, and with the comfort of a Macrium Image in the background, I ran that drive as my system drive for another two years without problems. It is now an extra internal hard drive for data storage, and is still running well over 4 years after that warning.

 

You can't ignore these warnings and should have some type of "system drive" backup to hand, but sometimes Windows gets it wrong.

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 Hi all.  I haven't given up yet. 

 

Good for you, hang tough, you can do it.  :)

If those drive results are as good as I think they are you may be in luck. 

Alan & Derek will know more about those readings. 

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In Windows Disk Management program, all 3 partitions are showing a Status of Healthy(except for unallocated(no status.))  Recovery(no label) status Healthy(Primary Partition) 8GB. DATA(D:) status Healthy(Primary Partition) 550.90 GB.  WIN7(C:) status Healthy(System, Boot, Page File, Active, Crash Dump, Primary Partition) 280 GB.  The only odd thing I noticed that the RECOVERY partition did not indicate a "File System" status.  The other 2 partitions reported as NTFS.

I am sorry but there have been far too many meaningless words in the 67 posts of this topic for me to bother attempting to comprehend and comment.

I REALLY NEED to see a screen shot showing every possible detail that Windows Disk Management can provide.

If the screen shot is already supplied then please forgive my oversight and tell me the #?? post number I should look for.

 

A screenshot of the SMART BIOS boot error would also be more than useful - I love screen-shots :wub:

 

I am surprised that CHKDSK now reports

"0 KB in bad sectors"  & "Windows has checked the file system and found no problems."  on both partitions

I think Derek's summary indicated bad clusters were found.

Perhaps words have been misunderstood.

If you have a CHKDSK report it would be better to attach this with your next reply.

 

I do not believe that CCLeaner has any capability of damaging the SMART DATA which is provided by the electronic components within the HDD enclosure.

 

I will leave it to those with experience of Acronis Disk Monitor to comment upon the values which it reports.

 

Regards

Alan

 

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I've gone back and read this thread for the fourth time in as many days. Here are some notes:

 

Post #1  (12/15) Windows reports disk errors...backup immediately (after running CCleaner)

Post #5  (12/15) AMI BIOS boot message: SMART reports disk condition BAD (first time seen during boot, never seen previously)

Post #10(12/16) Ran error check in Windows - No errors

                           BIOS reports SATA1 SMART capable and status bad

                           Acronis reallocated sectors count - SMART attribute reported bad blocks on the drive - RAW value 4158 - Threshold 36 -                           Status Fail

                           Everything else OK according to Acronis

Post#47(1/2/14) Booting Windows with bad drive consistent - BIOS still sending message bad drive

 

So at one time or another, Brad has seen error messages reported by three different sources - Windows, BIOS, and Acronis (using SMART data). I think this is something not to be taken lightly or ignored. The presence of reallocated sectors is not the end of the world, but does indicate the beginning of the end for this hard drive. Based on reading I did last night, I would place a higher value on what SMART is saying rather than what Windows is saying. This is because any remapping of sectors done at the drive's firmware level is not visible to Windows at the filesystem level. Windows only concerns itself with mismatches in the FAT or MFT tables and the filesystem itself. I believe that chkdsk is a useful tool in this regard, and probably was the only tool available prior to the development of SMART technology in the late 80's to early 90's timeframe. 

 

Also from last night's reading session, I found one thing that could affect the drive's firmware and trigger SMART to report errors regarding bad sectors: a loss of power during a write operation. So Brad, to your knowledge, has your machine ever experienced this? Have you ever lost power while the machine was on?

 

I do agree with Alan as far as CCleaner having no way of affecting the drive's firmware or SMART. I also agree with Dennis, Brad should visit the support website of the drive's manufacturer and use any tools that are available, in order to verify what Acronis is reporting.

 

A few questions for Brad: Early on, you received a message from BIOS about reflashing. I asked you to visit the ASUS website and find out what is the current version of BIOS for this machine and compare it to what is installed on the machine now. Did you do this? Is your BIOS current? If not, did you reflash it at the time? And again, any power outages while this machine was on?

 

Edit: Brad, please read post #63. Forget about cloning, use the second Toshiba to do a test run with the installation USB you created for plan B. At this point, I'd like to be sure it works and you have no problems with it. Be sure to have the internal drive disconnected before doing this. If this succeeds, you can use the internal drive until it eventually dies. 

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I've gone back an

Edit: Brad, please read post #63. Forget about cloning, use the second Toshiba to do a test run with the installation USB you created for plan B. At this point, I'd like to be sure it works and you have no problems with it. Be sure to have the internal drive disconnected before doing this. If this succeeds, you can use the internal drive until it eventually dies. 

 

 I have questions to help clarify that quote for myself, maybe Brad too.  

 

Is it true that Brad has 3 drives and a USB stick?

 

I think there are:

-  2 external USB drives, both Toshiba, and

- one internal drive which may be failing, make and model unknown so far, probably SATA,

- and  a USB stick wh/ has been prepared to install win 7 cleanly. 

 

I might be missing something, but it seems that if the USB stick is going to install win 7 to the internal drive, that drive must be connected, right? 

 

It doesn't matter to me what the internal drive is, because if Brad reinstalls win 7 to it, and it runs OK, there will be plenty of time to check it for bugs after that, right? 

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login123: Brad has the two Toshibas, one has all of his backed up files from the internal drive's D: partition. If he missed anything doing this, the internal drive can be used as an archive, so I don't want anything to be overwritten. You know how Microsoft Windows is, all your disk are mine. ;)

 

The other has been used to attempt to clone the other partitions, recovery and C: partition, from the internal drive. Due to the fact that cloning has been unsuccessful so far, I wanted him to try an installation using the second Toshiba. This is only a test at this point, the reasons for doing this are on post #63. I want to be sure the installation process goes without problems, since it is the only option left. Until we can figure out whether the internal drive actually has problems or not, there's nothing to be gained by doing a clean install using that drive.  

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OK, got it. 

Plan is to keep the present internal HDD as is. 

So the install will be onto one of the external Toshiba USB HDDs, right? 

Will win 7 run from an external USB drive? 

If not how will we know if win 7 installed correctly? 

Thats the part I don't understand. 

 

Edit:  Just my ignorance, I don't know how to be sure it will boot and run except by actually booting it up. 

 

Nuther edit:  This sort of thread seems to often run on a bit.  I've seen several like it.  

And Brad is no doubt grateful to the Piriform folks for providing this forum where he could work it out. 

And to the long suffering moderators who have to read every word of it.  :)

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OK, got it. 

Plan is to keep the present internal HDD as is. 

So the install will be onto one of the external Toshiba USB HDDs, right? 

Will win 7 run from an external USB drive? 

If not how will we know if win 7 installed correctly? 

Thats the part I don't understand. 

 

Edit:  Just my ignorance, I don't know how to be sure it will boot and run except by actually booting it up. 

 

That's the purpose of the test, to iron out any problems with either the USB image, the installation process, missing drivers, the validity of the activation key, or anything else. I'd like to solve any problems now, not later. If Brad gets a new hard drive sometime in the future, he will have the knowledge and experience gained from this exercise to guide him.

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I am sorry but there have been far too many meaningless words in the 67 posts of this topic for me to bother attempting to comprehend and comment.

I REALLY NEED to see a screen shot showing every possible detail that Windows Disk Management can provide.

 

 

I have to stick my two penneth in here guys, although as I said above I'm not suggesting anything different.

 

-------------------------------------------------

 

Brad ... I find all the stuff in this topic very hard to follow and I more or less know what the guys are talking about.

 

Can I ask you to be quite honest and let us know as to whether you are ...

 

1:) Comfortably following all this stuff.

 

2:) Understand it completely.

 

3:) Are 100% confident to carry out the recommendations made to you.

 

I ask because it's easy for a topic to grow extraordinarily large and complex and for us not to realise how much daunting information we've thrown at the guy with the problem, who may not be as technically knowledgeable as we may think.

 

No offence meant Brad, but I have a feeling your head may be reeling with all this stuff, and I would hate to think that you don't want to admit that without causing offence to the guys who have put in a lot of effort to help you.

 

You won't cause offence to anyone, and if necessary, we'll start again from the beginning with an accurate picture of exactly what your situation is, and I must be honest, I'm not entirely sure myself.

 

If I'm wrong, then by all means carry on, but don't get out of your depth out of politeness. The guys will understand.  :)

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Okay, Derek, I do have electric cutouts about once every few months or more during bad weather(like this winter.)  My house is 75 years old and some of the wiring is that old.  My triplex(electric line to the pole) is old and patched.  I do have a UPS but that doesn't always keep it running.

 

I've looked very closely and I am unable to determine my motherboard model # on the board or in BIOS.  It may be?  N13219 or D33005 but I don't know.

 

My "American Megatrends" ASUS BIOS is out of date.  I have version 0261 and there is a version 0407 out.  I do not know how to update the BIOS and not certain I want to if there's a chance of me losing this computer doing it.  All I have now is a bad hard drive and don't need anything else mucked up.  I have an Essentio Series consumer desktop PC model CM5571 running Win 7 64 bit.  Here is the link to the BIOS upgrades and utilities:

 

http://support.asus.com/download.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=14&s=11&m=CM5571&os=&hashedid=6lfzXPQRwPjUYpUW 

 

I did not do a flash utility upgrade.  I've heard bad stories over the years and am wary.

 

Derek said in post #63:  "I think as a test, he should disconnect the internal drive, connect the second Toshiba that he has been using for cloning, plug in the USB stick with the Windows ISO, boot it, and do an installation to the external drive."

 

If you can flesh this out a bit more I am ready to do it as I have installed OS before but not from an ISO stick.  But if you think I should safely upgrade my BIOS first, I am ready to do that too with help.  :)

 

p.s:  I went to "American Megatrends" website and they had a motherboard identification utility but it doesn't run on 64-bit.  Are there general utilities out there that can identify my motherboard?  I tried several of these utilities, including an online utility at Intel.com, and they all identified the motherboard model # as CM5571.  But I cannot find that model listed in ASUS' motherboard support.

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