[SOLVED] Broken Seagate HDD + can't boot SeaTools Bootable

Jul 8, 2021
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Hi, I don't know if I picked a good forum category for this problem (and a good site overall), but if I don't then I'm sorry! But I think it's related to my somewhat broken HDD so it's good? Anyway, I'll cut to the chase.

About month ago my laptop started to freeze for short moments and when I checked the System logs in Event Viewer, there was some disk errors that says "The device \Device\HarddiskX\DRX" has a bad block". I can't remember which "Harddisk" and "DR" it was so I gave an X. Also, I saw that error much earlier (half year ago, year ago), but it wasn't that bad so I didn't do anything about it. By the way, the Seagate drive is quite old, it's from about 2015-2016 year. After that I run cmd with chkdsk command but with additional comands to scan and fix eventual problems (I can't remember which commands exactly I used, but I was folowing a tutorial found on internet). The results was good at first, but at the same day, my laptop was starting to die slowly, freezez was present more often, I couldn't get into start menu, explorer wasn't responding. It was like that even in safe mode and finally, after 3rd or 4th restart, it didn't boot anymore. It was like something in boot sentence broke, I didn't even had loading dots I always had under Acer logo. But after 2-3 days of fighting with Windows repair and cmd I was able to fix this (with some diskpart command). My laptop booted again, but very slowly, I wanted to check my HDD about problems before I could install fresh Windows, so I decided to check my HDD with CrystalDiskInfo (I don't have any screenshoots, but there was a problem with C5 parameter and with something else, but I can't remember now what it was) and then scan it with HD Tune, the results wasn't too good, but either not too bad (in my opinion).

I decided then to find a solution and try to repair my drive. I found out about the program Victoria for erasing and remapping broken HDDs, there were also others like MHDD and Vivard, but I couldn't install or run them. First, I scanned my HDD with "read" and "ignore" options in Victoria to check out how bad it is and how many errors it'll detect. Unfortunate I don't have any logs of this scan, but as I still remember, there was a lot of 50s (dark grey), few 200s (green), less than greens 600s (orange), 0 reds and over 1000 blue errors. Then I checked "remap" option instead of "ignore". It was remaping this way for about 2 days, after that I again scanned HDD with "read" and "ignore" options and Victoria still detected some errors, but there were much less of them, around 10-20, so after that I run remapping again, but after some time passed, my laptop freezed and I couldn't do a thing, nothing was happening with the remapping process either, so I restarted my laptop and it didn't booted again. I tried to repair it with Windows repair but it didn't worked, tried chkdsk again but with no luck. So I went to the next level of taking actions. I used Parted Magic to retrieve all my data (I was using PM earlier so I was already familiar with this program) and installed fresh Windows after that. Then I again used Victoria to remap my HDD. After that I run "ignore" and later "remap" again, because there still was errors and when I was checking for the problems with "ignore" scan again, it freezes, again. I started to look for other program for remapping my HDD and even erase it with clean Windows already installed without worrying about my personal data loss. I couldn't find much, because some programs didn't wanted to boot, I wanted to try MHDD and Vivard from Ultimate Boot CD but with no avail. I have UEFI Bios and can change it to Legacy, but it won't work on both options. I then accidentaly found a program to erase my HDD (write with zeros) on Parted Magic, so I used it and bam!

It's fixed! But not for too long. After few days I saw again that bad block log in Event Viewer (if I remember correctly, the "Harddisk" and "DR" was different from these at the beginning, but I have faint memory of it now) and my laptop started to freeze like before (for short moments) and when I was copying some Sims 4 files (I didn't wanted to install it from the beginning), it freezes at client file for about 5 minutes (like it couldn't handle copying big sized files) and then there was a bluescreen. I tried this again, but the process was repeated, and I don't know what caused it. CrystalDiskInfo showed again "warning" on my HDD in parameter C5 and there was an "attention" about 3-4 lines below. Before that I found out about Seagate company program for diagnosis (SeaTools for Windows) and I run short and long tests - all was fine. I checked that Seagate site again and found SeaTools Bootable which offered more options for Seagate HDDs, including write with zeros option, but after installing it on my USB there was the same problem I had with Ultimate Boot CD which was "boot file is missing". I had that when I checked Legacy and tried to boot, and on UEFI there was nothing other to start except for Windows, even if I set boot order priority in Bios for USB first. In both boot modes when I get to Windows Boot Manager via F12 key, in Legacy nothing was done after I picked my USB (just the info about "boot file is missing") and in UEFI the only thing to pick up was Windows OS. And here I am now, with no more ideas of what to do next. I hope someone will be able to help me with that HDD, I know it's better to buy new one, but I can't afford it now and I want to find out if I can do something about this HDD and why I can't run some programs from my USB (I have Windows 10 installer on my other USB and it's working just perfect).

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to provide as much details as I can with my problem. And also sorry about any grammar mistakes (if there are any), but English is not my native language.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

It's a good thing that you've included all that info for us but the reality of the situation is that, that Seagate drive is wanting to retire itself and it seems it's given you many attempts at trying to backup any and/or all critical content from your broken drive so you can source a new drive into your laptop. however you're constantly going about trying to revive something that should, in essence, be dead.

i understand that you might not be able to afford a new drive at this point, due to unforeseeable circumstances but you will also need to understand that your data doesn't fall under any warranty and the mileage on data recovery can and will vary from use case to use case. If the drive doesn't hold anything of importance on it, then you can take the stricken HDD, plug it into a known working system, then fire up the bootable disk you've fabricated with SeaTools but let's be frank here, that tool will only show you errors, not fix them.
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

It's a good thing that you've included all that info for us but the reality of the situation is that, that Seagate drive is wanting to retire itself and it seems it's given you many attempts at trying to backup any and/or all critical content from your broken drive so you can source a new drive into your laptop. however you're constantly going about trying to revive something that should, in essence, be dead.

i understand that you might not be able to afford a new drive at this point, due to unforeseeable circumstances but you will also need to understand that your data doesn't fall under any warranty and the mileage on data recovery can and will vary from use case to use case. If the drive doesn't hold anything of importance on it, then you can take the stricken HDD, plug it into a known working system, then fire up the bootable disk you've fabricated with SeaTools but let's be frank here, that tool will only show you errors, not fix them.
 
Agree with Lutfij. HDDs are manufactured with a bunch of unused reserve sectors. When a regular sector fails, a reserve sector is remapped to replace it. From that point on, ever time you try to read/write data to that sector, it uses the reserve sector instead of the original (failed) sector. So you aren't "fixing" anything by remapping.

The reserve sectors are intended to replace sectors which go bad naturally from age. You remap, and the drive goes back to working normally.

When a HDD starts failing, it can result in a bunch of sectors going bad. When you remap them to reserve sectors, they work initially but then also go bad. Because it's the drive that's failing, not the sectors.

You can continue to remap and get another day or two of use out of the drive each time. But eventually you will use up all the reserve sectors. At that point the "warning" status for the drive will change to "bad" and the drive will effectively be dead. It's already dead, you're just keeping it alive on life support at this point.

You need to replace the drive. Your #1 priority is to backup any irreplaceable data like photos of your kids. #2 priority is to save up for a new drive.
 
You shouldn't trust SeaTools to report the true health of your drive. It can give your drive a passing grade even if it has thousands of reallocated sectors.

Your drive's SMART report will probably have several reallocated, pending or uncorrectable sectors.

Just FYI, your model is a native Samsung drive with a Seagate badge.
 
Jul 8, 2021
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Oh, I thought that this HDD could still be brought back to life, even if for a while :( Well, it can't be helped then, I need to buy that new drive. Thank you Lutfij, Solandri and fzabkar for your responses I really appreciate it!
 

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