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  1. #1
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    Backup error - bad sector on hard drive

    I have several friends and family members that I have set up to use Acronis for weekly backups. I visited one of them yesterday, and no backups have completed for the last five months. She is running Acronis TI Home 2009.

    The first thing we did was check her anti-malware stuff. She has both MSE and Webroot running. We got the latest updates for Webroot installed. Next, I checked the Acronis log file, and it showed something like: "unable to find volume name XXX", which made no sense. This was the location to write the backup - apparently her partition information had changed.

    I fired up the scheduled task, and edited it to write the correct location. After 15 minutes we got an error message something like "fail to read data from the disk" with a sector number. I have attached a jpg for a similar message (not from her PC) that I found on the internet.

    We spent over an hour running the Windows disk checker tool. When the system rebooted, not much of anything would work. I could not load Task Manager without getting an error. I could not even shut down the PC - the screen would flash, Explorer would vanish and reload. Eventually, Windows gave us a web page saying that it had a serious problem accessing the hard disk.

    After a while, I gave up and pressed the power OFF button. The I re-did everything described in the previous paragraph. After another hour and 15 minutes, we had the same results. I hate using the power button when Windows is running, so I created a desktop shortcut to reboot her PC.

    Surprisingly, this time the system acted normally after rebooting. I told her not to shut down or restart the PC until I can get back to her next week. I also suggested she should run the Acronis backup at the first available opportunity (hoping that it will get around the error).

    I am open to suggestions for how to proceed. I'm pretty sure she has some bad sectors on her hard drive. Is there any easy way to fix them permanently? If not, I have plenty of spare hard drives hanging around. If the Acronis backup completes, we can transfer all her stuff to a new drive.
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    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  2. #2
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    Run chkdsk /f /r. It will recover all information it can from the bad sectors.
    If everything is running as it should (other than Acronis), probably chkdsk /f /r will be enough.

    Once you complete that, run Acronis to backup and dump that drive. I would still copy relevant documents and files independently of the Acronis image (just to be double safe).

    If chkdsk /r /f doesn't do it, maybe a specialized tool like Steve Gibson's SpinRite will help.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Run chkdsk /f /r. It will recover all information it can from the bad sectors.
    If everything is running as it should (other than Acronis), probably chkdsk /f /r will be enough.

    Once you complete that, run Acronis to backup and dump that drive. I would still copy relevant documents and files independently of the Acronis image (just to be double safe).

    If chkdsk /r /f doesn't do it, maybe a specialized tool like Steve Gibson's SpinRite will help.
    Thanks for the suggestion - I had forgotten about CHKDSK /R. Based on my past experience, that takes even longer to run than what I already tried!
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  4. #4
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    I would also run Malwarebytes, Super anti spyware, and tddskiller . No one application will detect all malware.

    Jerry

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    For those lurking, chkdsk /r implies /f, so there's no reason to explicitly specify /f.

    Zig

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    If that is really a message from your hard disk - not a connection problem - then the hard disk is on it's last legs and needs to be replaced.
    Modern hard disks have built-in error correction and should never report bad sectors to Windows. I would also check the data and power cable connections - un-plug and re-plug.

    cheers, Paul

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    Still waiting patiently for my friend to run CHKDSK /R - she is afraid it will mess up her computer
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  8. #8
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    Tell her to back it up, then run chkdsk.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Tell her to back it up, then run chkdsk.

    cheers, Paul
    As described in the first post, Acronis backup fails with a "bad sector" error message. The CHKDSK / R is an attempt to repair the bad sectors.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  10. #10
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You might want to try individual file copy of important files to back them up.

    Jerry

  11. #11
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    It too way too long to get to this point, but .... finally got to run CHKDSK / R, and then to run the Acronis backup again.
    I'm a happy camper - the backup succeeded, and her files are safe now!
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  12. #12
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    I'd be very suspicious of the hard disk. Any bad sectors reported may mean the disk is on it's way out. Download the disk manufacturer's diagnostic program and check the disk.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    I'd be very suspicious of the hard disk. Any bad sectors reported may mean the disk is on it's way out. Download the disk manufacturer's diagnostic program and check the disk.

    cheers, Paul
    I would love to do that - but it may not happen for several months. It took two weeks for two baby steps:
    CHKDSK /R and subsequent backup.
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

  14. #14
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    Several months may be the difference between a working system and a major crash if the disk is flakey.

    cheers, Paul

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    I'd be very suspicious of the hard disk. Any bad sectors reported may mean the disk is on it's way out. Download the disk manufacturer's diagnostic program and check the disk.

    cheers, Paul
    I agree - now started moving her towards this next step ...
    Rick Groszkiewicz
    Life is too short to drink bad wine (or bad coffee!)

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