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Thread: Bad clusters

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    Lounger
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    Bad clusters

    How many bad clusters are too many?

    I fitted a new 40GB Maxtor two weeks ago. It threw up a few bad clusters on a scan fairly early on and some more a week later. It seems stable now at about 3.5GB.

    Is this a worrying level? Are there some standards for what is allowable?

    Cheers, velocity

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Bad clusters

    I have no idea what hard drive manufacturing companies consider acceptable in terms of bad clusters, but if it were me and I had a brand new 40 gig drive with 3.5 gig of bad clusters, I think I would try to return it from whence I bought it. I own quite a few Maxtors and NONE has any bad clusters, period. I realize I'm probably lucky, but 8.75% bad clusters seems to me to be a pretty high number.

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    Re: Bad clusters

    Oops! Sorry Big Al,

    Thanks for replying.

    Not only bad clusters but bad typo.

    That should read 3.5MB. Is this still too much?

    Cheers, velocity

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Bad clusters

    I would say it was an acceptable amount, but what would worry me is that it increased.
    Keep a very close eye on it and do a regular scandisk. What operating system? - NTFS will offer a certain amount of protection - see this article for example - as it offers some fault tolerance.

    If it stays as it is, that should be alright, but the first sign of more bad clusters and I would start to get nervous.
    And don't forget to make back-ups!

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Bad clusters

    Leif Said It All!

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    Re: Bad clusters

    Thanks for the info, Leif and Big Al,

    I am running Win98SE so can't take advantage of NTFS.

    I'll watch (scan) it like a Hawk.

    velocity

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    3 Star Lounger
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    Re: Bad clusters

    Did you partition? When I upgraded I had problems with Win98 not being able to use or read or what ever it needs to do to use that big a disk. That might be related. The Tech partitioned the HD and now it seems to be OK. (Don't ask me why he didn't do that when he installed it in the first place.)

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    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Bad clusters

    Run the full Scandisk - i.e. including surface scan - from DOS. You'll find it much faster.

    Otherwise, some bedtime reading for you:
    Q199557: Command-Line Parameters for the Scandisk Tool
    Q127055: How to Cause ScanDisk for Windows to Retest Bad Clusters
    Q243450: ScanDisk Errors on IDE Hard Disks Larger Than 32 GB

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    Re: Bad clusters

    Thank for your suggestion, bookbox. The C drive partition, where the bad bit are, is partitioned to 2GB.

    And, Leif, yes, I have used both Win & DOS full scans. I have been doing the C partition fairly regularly but lesss often the whole disk.
    This brings up the question:
    If the rest of the disk is going to fail, will it do so in the warranty period if it is not being accessed?

    Cheers, velocity.

  10. #10
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Bad clusters

    <hr>If the rest of the disk is going to fail, will it do so in the warranty period if it is not being accessed?<hr>
    I don't think anyone would want to risk their neck answering that one. You are obviously concerned - and I can totally understand why - but I think it is beyond any of us here to give a definitive answer. As I said earlier in this thread, the amount of lost space on its own should not concern you, but the fact that it increased should. A full surface scan should detect new problems as they occur - I think the process must include reading and writing to the entire disk otherwise it can not determine if it has gone bad.

    I suggest you contact the manufacturers support here and relate your experience. In my view manufacturers technical support should be as good as their products - if their response does not restore your confidence then you are simply not going to be able to continue using the drive with any confidence.

    (I am not suggesting in any way that Maxtor products are not of the highest quality - they certainly have a good reputation. However, no manufacturer can guarantee 100% perfection and any product, be it a hard drive or something else, is statistically prone to failure. )

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    Re: Bad clusters

    Thanks everyone for your help.

    I took the computer back to the retailer and they changed the 40GB Maxtor for a 40GB Seagate as I asked for a pair of identical drives and they didn't have 2 more Maxtors in stock. So now I have a pair of Seagates in mirrored RAID configuration.

    Cheers, velocity

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