Best Freeware hard drive sector repair/reallocation tool for drive with S.M.A.R.T. er

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by redalert11, May 2, 2013.

  1. redalert11

    redalert11 MDL Novice

    Apr 11, 2013
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    Hi everyone,
    I just wanted your input on any freeware hard drive sector repair tools for use within windows that you like and use. Is it even worth repairing a hard drive that reports S.M.A.R.T. errors with these tools. What's your experience with this kind of thing. Thanks.
     
  2. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
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    No good,they generally stress out the drive and cause more bad sectors. If you get bad sectors then consider replacing the drive.
     
  3. redalert11

    redalert11 MDL Novice

    Apr 11, 2013
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    I've used crystal disk info but I'm not sure if S.M.A.R.T. errors positivly tell you that a drive is going to fail. I've had a drive with a "caution" run years after the fact.
     
  4. gabris[LT]

    gabris[LT] MDL Senior Member

    Nov 6, 2010
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    HDD regenerator :puke:
    awful program. it causes more problems than does good...
    it uses algorithm which is good for floppy drives.. but not for hdds.. bad sectors will reappear in even higher numbers.

    I prefer HDAT2.
    drives are working fine for over a year(for now) after fixing them. :)
     
  5. Snuffy

    Snuffy MDL Expert

    Jan 7, 2008
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    I have been using HDD Regenerator 2011 for several years. Never and issue and saved many older HDDs.
     
  6. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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  7. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    Oops, just checked on their website for latest version and found that it's Payware now. Sorry for the false info above.

    The fact is, I've rarely use version 1 a few times and that I was get free!

    Anyway my apologies!
     
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  8. bpwnes

    bpwnes MDL Member

    Aug 11, 2015
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    #8 bpwnes, Feb 1, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2016
    I'll start by saying I'm always very suspicious of freeware that isn't open source and as such, I don't use it unless I know it.

    I've used many programs with varying levels of success. The problem is that they only fix a very specific problem with the drive, and the drive itself might be failing in a different way. These programs will only really fix the drive if the bad sector can just be overwritten. If these programs make the drive worse, then so be it - the drive is bad anyways, this just gives you a chance to fix it and get to use it again. I would not recommend using a previously failed drive in something you need it to be reliable in.


    I don't care about data stored on the drives I recover, I just want the drive. So I generally prepare the drive with ddrescue (Parted Magic), writing zeros to all blocks.

    My go to program to repair bad sectors is HDAT2, a DOS program on HBCD (I'm just using HBCD 15.1). There is a newer version of HDAT2, but I haven't messed with it much. At least two full runs and that may be all you need.

    Another program I've used is Spinrite (level 3). It seems to do just as well with the added benefit of refreshing the entire surface of the drive. Large drives take a very long time to run (over a day).

    If it is a drive I really want to recover I'll run HDAT2 twice, Spinrite lvl 3, and then test with badblocks -swe 1. The whole process takes many days, which is why I have a bench machine dedicated to it.


    As far as results go, some drives cannot be recovered and get scrapped. Some drives successfully recover, but fail not long after you start using them. And some drives I'm still using to this day. It just all depends. I should also point out I mark the drives that have previously failed so I can remember keep an eye on them.

    Parted Magic is now pay-per-download, Spinrite was always paid, and HBCD was always free and I think it still has HDAT2 but you'd have to check. There are ways of getting the paid versions for free, but I'm not going to go into that.
     
  9. pisthai

    pisthai Imperfect Human

    Jul 29, 2009
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    Er.....?! If I know some apps, I already had used it, because it's the only way to get own experiences with it! Or am I wrong?
     
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  10. bpwnes

    bpwnes MDL Member

    Aug 11, 2015
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    You can research a piece of software before you download it. Also, if you do download it and are starting to install it and you get that "this doesn't feel right" vibe... then yeah... I guess this kind of comes from experience and gut feelings.

    I don't do much with new software anymore because I've kind of gotten to the point where I have everything I need to get any job done, and most new software will just be different things of what I already have. I guess you could say I'm quite settled in the data recovery area. :biggrin:

    I wonder if anyone remembers Capt. Nemo... (yes I still use it on rare occasions!)