Question Boot SSD help - bad blocks, unreadable files

eegad

Honorable
Feb 15, 2014
10
0
10,520
I've got a 3-4 year old pc. It came with a 1TB HDD, and right away I bought another internal 1TB HDD and ran Macrium Reflect to clone the original drive, then disconnected the clone. For 3 years, every 3-4 months, I would connect the 2nd drive, clone the boot drive to it, shut down, and swap the drives (leaving the just-cloned drive disconnected). In this way, I was sure the cloning process worked since I then started using the clone as my boot drive right away. And I had a complete system backup with the other drive in case the boot drive ever died.

6 months ago I bought a Sandisk 1TB SSD and cloned my boot HDD to it, then swapped the SSD as the boot drive. It went flawlessly, and I've been loving the boot-time, file copying, etc speed boost. Today I decided to clone the SSD back to one of the HDD's since it's been overdue. It failed 3 times in a row at 22% with a "unable to read from disk" error. Running Sandisk dashboard utility shows the drive as being in good health, but if I run the long diagnostic test it fails (but of course doesn't tell me WHY it fails)

I've just downloaded EaseUS Partition Master and run a "surface scan". It shows 13 bad blocks on the drive (actually it says "sectors", but I thought SSD's use "blocks"?). So now I need some help :

- How can I find exactly what files were damaged by those bad blocks so that I can (hopefully) replace them?

- Has Partition Master automatically "locked out" those bad blocks so nothing else will attempt to be written to it? (does it work for SSD's or only HDD's)

- Is there a free cloning utility that will run under windows 7 (no need to use a boot CD or anything), and that will ignore errors due to bad blocks?


any advice, help appreciated. What would you do in this situation?

(i believe the SSD should be under warranty and replaced by sandisk, but my main goal right now is to get the thing cloned onto the HDD and replace any damaged files, then i'll deal with that)
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
If there are bad blocks and you fail the long generic, the drive is bad, or the cable is bad, or the SATA header has issues. Try a different cable. If you still get the same problem, try testing the other drive you had using the long generic test. Download Seatools for Windows or WD lifeguard tools and get a second opinion by running both the short DST and long generic/extended test again.

If any drive fails either test with both test utilities and with either of two different SATA cables, then it's PROBABLY a failing drive and should not be used anymore. If only one drive fails while connected to the same SATA header, then that drive is bad for sure and should not be used. If blocks are failing, the drive is failing, and if the drive is failing, it should not be used.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
You don't ignore an issue during a clone operation.
You discover and fix the problem first.

Might be the cable, might be the motherboard, might be the drive.
But if the problem ends up being a bad drive, you waited too long for this backup clone.
 

eegad

Honorable
Feb 15, 2014
10
0
10,520
You don't ignore an issue during a clone operation.
You discover and fix the problem first.
On the one hand, yes, I wouldn't want a cloning program to just go ahead and ignore an issue like this. On the other hand, it would be nice if a cloning program gave a warning, logged bad sectors, and gave me the option of continuing with the further warning that some files may be corrupted. Is there a cloning program that will allow me to clone a drive with bad sectors?

The reason? My computer is completely stable in my day to day use, so Windows is ok. If I hadn't tried to clone it, I wouldn't have known there were any bad sectors. I've checked all my personal files (financial stuff, tax stuff, saved emails and such, vacation/family photos, my mp3 music library...you get the idea). All that stuff is fine...files all copy without errors and open. About 2/3 of the drive has games. The games I'm currently playing, or care most about, are working fine. So I'm guessing the bad sectors either have to be in an unused area of the drive, or contained parts of files that I really don't care about (maybe a game I played 2 years ago and probably never will again, or some utility I rarely touch). So if I could just clone the drive, I assume everything would work well afterwards (as it is now), except at some point in the future I might run into a file system error, which I could then let chkdsk or something else fix at that time.

So is there any way to clone this drive and just have it "skip over" bad sectors??
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Macrium Reflect has the option to do a Forensic image.
It will, in theory, copy every sector. Good or bad.

Dig around in the options until you find it.

Now...if the drive can't actually be read in those places, all bets are off.
But try it. See what happens.
 

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