Author Topic: Working on a damaged laptop.  (Read 2583 times)

GuruSR

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #15 on: January 01, 2017, 02:35:56 AM »
> Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

You are confusing a couple of issues here, the /f option is to fix errors on the disk from OS writes where the /r option is aimed at recovering data from defects in the disk. If the disk is physically damaged then the problem is not one of data recovery but one of mechanical replacement, possible after recovering whatever data can be recovered from the disk.

/f Fixes file system errors but cannot deal with cluster errors (it'll say to run it again with /r), /r deals with validating the contents of each file to ensure they're readable, most fails to load during boot can be caused by partially failing clusters (near the threshold where the drive fails to read the contents).  If Explorer cannot be loaded, chances are there's a bad cluster involved with the file or one of it's dependencies, since Explorer is a commonly used file, it would stand to reason that the cluster could have deteriorated enough to cause intermittent or even permanent failure, /f will not always report of this if the cluster is into the file, /r ensures it checks for such things and is why I suggested it.  There are two forms of issues with a damaged OS, software (malware, bad program, stupid/failed updates) and hardware (most commonly, cluster failures).  With an unknown drive, that is what is here, it's a "damaged laptop", first thought would be to ensure the storage media you're working with has no existing issues.  The other thing to consider, /f puts an added strain on the harddrive's mechanics as it scans the NTFS stream and if it's on a failing harddrive, then the data could be even harder to obtain later or could even lead it to a quicker failure date.  Chkdsk /f/r does everything once, plus if there is corrupted files /r will toss them in a Found folder and System File Checker (SFC) should get it back up from Safe Mode - Command Prompt.  It's somewhat of a shame you can't cause SFC to run right behind a check disk and SFP isn't running at that point, so it won't fix it there either.

GuruSR.
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Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

hutch--

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #16 on: January 01, 2017, 03:08:42 AM »
Herein lies the problem of taking a "fix all in one pass" approach, running CHKDSK in read only mode runs in a couple of minutes whereas doing a damaged sector scan can take many hours on a modern sized disk. If what you need to know is if the disk is mechanically OK but has OS based write damage (from whatever source), then you would be wasting hours on an un-necessary disk repair operation.

Diagnostics and repair are not the same thing, there is some wisdom in the approach of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", when you are doing diagnostics on a machine as Steve is doing you need a wide range of information quickly, not to waste hours doing things that may not be necessary. You do the repairs AFTER you have successfully diagnosed the problem(s).
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GuruSR

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #17 on: January 01, 2017, 03:45:02 AM »
Herein lies the problem of taking a "fix all in one pass" approach, running CHKDSK in read only mode runs in a couple of minutes whereas doing a damaged sector scan can take many hours on a modern sized disk. If what you need to know is if the disk is mechanically OK but has OS based write damage (from whatever source), then you would be wasting hours on an un-necessary disk repair operation.

Diagnostics and repair are not the same thing, there is some wisdom in the approach of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", when you are doing diagnostics on a machine as Steve is doing you need a wide range of information quickly, not to waste hours doing things that may not be necessary. You do the repairs AFTER you have successfully diagnosed the problem(s).

The /r does only the file area, not the full drive, sure it may take hours, from the sounds of the situation, the hardware isn't an issue, but, if there is at least 1 cluster failing, doing *ANY* work on that drive is subjected to possible further deterioration of the platter where that cluster failed.  The /r isn't the best way to deal with this, but ensuring that /r completes at least gives you a backup-able drive where you can then safely do repairs on to avoid data loss.  Mind you, in this situation, not everyone has a drive duplicator to do this work, decent ones offer ignoring errors and such.  If the data is backed up, then rather than repairing such a messed up OS, reinstall and start over, because if there are errors in files, chances are, the registry is a disaster.

The "If it ain't broke, don't fix it", doesn't apply to cluster issues, because the head on the drive *may* read the cluster this time and 10 times later not, and repeat this until it finally gets beyond the drive's threshold for read errors (which means the platter's surface has degraded enough) before it's considered unreadable.  Certain parts of Windows will refuse to work when a bad cluster is inside a file (which /f won't always find), which is why a full check of the readability of the files is an important step in solving the OS issues.  Or, as I said, back the thing up, and start over, restore your data back.  In most cases, a broken Windows OS will always be broken, even if it does behave normal (and that was meant not as a joke against Windows 10 updates).

GuruSR.
Learned 68k Motorola Asm instruction set in 30 minutes on the way to an Amiga Developer's Forum meeting.
Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

hutch--

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #18 on: January 01, 2017, 04:12:23 AM »
 :biggrin:

You have a mentality that would work on a 20 megabyte disk as the time difference would not matter but try in on an 8 terabyte disk and you will grow old waiting for a result that may not matter. I had a 1tb HDD some years ago as the boot drive on my Win7 64 box that was just starting to fail and not for love or money could you fix it in place. I replaced it with an SSD, re-installed Win7 64 back onto it and got it working again but with the 1tb HDD, I deleted everything on it by removing the partitions first then formatting the entire drive the slow way and ran days of tests on it and it showed no sector errors at all.

The difference was I was not waiting for the result as I pulled the disk and did all of the repairs and testing with it plugged into another machine that did not need to be watched. I had already diagnosed the disk, found it had errors and replaced it in the original machine. After days of testing, it now lives in one of my old USB3 plug in cans and I sometimes store junk on it. The type of advice you are peddling is something like a building having foundation problems so you waste the time and money painting the roof. You get this problem by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair.
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anunitu

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2017, 04:51:27 AM »
Cheaper and a lot less time consuming to do what you did Hutch,trying to resurrect a failing drive when you could just salvage what data you could and as you did replace and re-install a newer disk(faster I would imagine also) and that leaves you time to test and study the old disk,and in its own way the testing is more interesting and fun when nothing is critical.   

GuruSR

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #20 on: January 01, 2017, 01:13:06 PM »
8TB without a backup?  I wouldn't, ever.  I had to repair a 1TB in August (basically I *knew* I had no issues with it, because the July RAID backup was fine), the customer needed the existing files (which they didn't know where they were) back, but I wasn't aware there was a hardware issue, did the chkdsk /f because I forced the power off (wasn't going to wait for the shutdown more than the 2 minutes it did, the August backup was trying itself again and failing for a reason I know of and their funding [charity] hasn't the space to resolve), upon reboot I got the chkdsk finished figured it had the issue with free space (it did, fixed it), mounted Office install from the RAID and repaired Office, upon reboot, the machine BSOD'd instantly after post and turned off (memory alloc fail, corrupted swap space), restarted the PC, Windows recreated the swap and started normally, but I knew something else was wrong, so to ensure I could backup the files, I chkdsk /f/r again (yes, took 1 and a half hours on that 1TB, I'd never do any sort of recovery on an 8TB+, anyone crazy enough to put that much space without a RAID to keep the data on more than one spot, gets what they reap).  Drive had a bunch of cluster errors on it, one of them was in the Excel.exe which the customer complained wouldn't run (like the original poster here).  Obviously, there wasn't any risk of data loss and I knew the files were safe (synced to the RAID), so getting that drive back up was just an easier way than using the now month old backup and watching the updates again, then restoring the files.  But since that laptop (original poster) is a "fix-er-upper", doubt any data loss will be an issue.  If the laptop had a backup, restore it, but from the sounds of the original poster, it's just the laptop to tinker with.  Easy to chkdsk /f/r and go watch sports for a while.

GuruSR.
Learned 68k Motorola Asm instruction set in 30 minutes on the way to an Amiga Developer's Forum meeting.
Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

sinsi

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #21 on: January 01, 2017, 02:16:27 PM »
GuruSR, so you had a drive with bad sectors and just reinstalled? Bad sectors grow, that drive is on its way out i reckon.
First thing I use to check a disk (after imaging it) is Crystal Disk Info to check SMART status then WD Diagnostics for a surface check.
Hard drives nowadays have surplus sectors so that the drive controller can replace bad sectors on the fly, the trouble starts when that pool runs out.
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hutch--

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2017, 02:55:05 PM »
I am much of the view that once a mechanical HDD starts to show any sector errors it has become ballast. You may be able to store junk on it if you can fix it but it would never be trustable as a boot drive or anything that is important. Disks are much cheaper than they were years ago and unless your time is worth nothing and you can afford to piss around with a damaged disk, its cheaper and safer to just buy a new one. If you are into NAS style remote storage then the recent WD RED dedicated NAS drives are probably the right way to go. You can go the RAID5 way but there are other ways to handle large backups, multiple parallel storage is a lot less complicated and probably cheaper than RAID hardware.

I keep an old WD Green 2tb in a can to hold my movies and music, I have a 4tb brand new desktop disk in a can that I have nothing to write to it at the moment and 10tb storage in the box itself so multiple copies of important software is not a problem. I have one drive where I keep the incremental Acronis backups which I have used once. As far as other machines, with a gigabit network between all boxes, I have 6tb on the win7 box, another 6tb on my last XP box and the oldest one has 4tb storage and I have my important stuff on all of them.

My only real use of RAID was RAID0 in the past to get the disk IO speed but its cheaper and faster to use an SSD these days.
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GuruSR

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #23 on: January 02, 2017, 02:23:48 AM »
GuruSR, so you had a drive with bad sectors and just reinstalled? Bad sectors grow, that drive is on its way out i reckon.
First thing I use to check a disk (after imaging it) is Crystal Disk Info to check SMART status then WD Diagnostics for a surface check.
Hard drives nowadays have surplus sectors so that the drive controller can replace bad sectors on the fly, the trouble starts when that pool runs out.

Err, no.  After watching the chkdsk /r show it's ugly "I found bad clusters and am about to move a file" I logged into my supplier with my tablet, ordered a new replacement drive, called my sales team there had them use one of the fast delivery services I use and get the drive to me, so that usually takes an hour and a half-ish where I was, so I had time to let it finish.  I then shut the thing down and added the replacement drive in, and ended up using Norton Ghost 2k3 (DOS) to clone the drive as Acronis HD wouldn't because of the read errors, but 2k3 did because I have it using it's own Int 13 driver and sector error skipping, it took over an hour to transfer the data, and a few spots it actually stalled but actually did get it.

As for the spare pool of sectors, I monitor that like the plague and when it gets near capacity it's toast even if it isn't showing signs of cluster errors, back when the drives had 40MB total storage on the same platter size, you could get away with bad sectors for a period of time so long as the surface didn't degrade on you and start flaking off, then there was the lubricant you had to worry over, that got too hot and failed, the head would stick to the surface and basically act like an ice scraper.  Now-a-days with drives using platters with higher density of data on them, even the slightest cluster going south is an instant alarm to replace it, even more with the smaller 2.5" drives as they squeeze more onto such a smaller area and less platters.

My suggestion of the /r to the original poster was because the laptop was basically "dropped off" and the state of the drive could be in question and asking if it's worth fixing, the /r would check for bad clusters within the files on it (I hate chkdsk's lack of a full volume scan, I know there are other programs out there that'll do it, but I guess MS couldn't be bothered).  It would have given the person a sense that they're trying to repair an OS on a drive with cluster errors (meaning the drive is failing), otherwise I would have said, yank the drive out, put a new one in, try Linux on it as a treat.

GuruSR.
Learned 68k Motorola Asm instruction set in 30 minutes on the way to an Amiga Developer's Forum meeting.
Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

hutch--

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2017, 02:39:19 AM »
There is something else you have missed by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair with CHKDSK, run the read only option of CHKDSK and it will tell you if there are any bad sectors and it has been doing so since the DOS days. If there are bad sectors on anything like a modern disk, then BYE BYE disk !

Maybe you should be pissing around with Linux. Nothing wrong with a decent version of Linux but its better geared for people who want to piss around with old tech solution to old tech problems. Windows has among its many vices very little tolerance to old style hick solutions and it appears to be deliberately so.
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GuruSR

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #25 on: January 02, 2017, 03:14:28 AM »
There is something else you have missed by confusing the difference between diagnostics and repair with CHKDSK, run the read only option of CHKDSK and it will tell you if there are any bad sectors and it has been doing so since the DOS days. If there are bad sectors on anything like a modern disk, then BYE BYE disk !

I am quite aware of what chkdsk alone does been using it since the the dawn of NTFS, it does list known bad sectors from the drive just like scandisk of dos days, unknown sectors will not be listed (obviously).  And I know that any drive with bad clusters is a goner, which you seem to be overlooking, I've said it a few times.  Is there a reason you're flaming the original author's thread?  He stated the chkdsk didn't bawk, meaning nothing bad was found, a /f would most likely show nothing more, but an /r would have checked the file data, which could have found an unreported bad cluster.  Just because /f doesn't find anything, doesn't mean there aren't bad clusters on the drive platters.

I am much of the view that once a mechanical HDD starts to show any sector errors it has become ballast. You may be able to store junk on it if you can fix it but it would never be trustable as a boot drive or anything that is important. Disks are much cheaper than they were years ago and unless your time is worth nothing and you can afford to piss around with a damaged disk, its cheaper and safer to just buy a new one. If you are into NAS style remote storage then the recent WD RED dedicated NAS drives are probably the right way to go. You can go the RAID5 way but there are other ways to handle large backups, multiple parallel storage is a lot less complicated and probably cheaper than RAID hardware.

I keep an old WD Green 2tb in a can to hold my movies and music, I have a 4tb brand new desktop disk in a can that I have nothing to write to it at the moment and 10tb storage in the box itself so multiple copies of important software is not a problem. I have one drive where I keep the incremental Acronis backups which I have used once. As far as other machines, with a gigabit network between all boxes, I have 6tb on the win7 box, another 6tb on my last XP box and the oldest one has 4tb storage and I have my important stuff on all of them.

My only real use of RAID was RAID0 in the past to get the disk IO speed but its cheaper and faster to use an SSD these days.

Oh hell no!  Disk has any errors on it or with it (SMART), toast, period, ever.  Not since the 40MB drives would I even ever consider keeping anything on a drive with 1 single error on it.  And today with the cost of drives, warranties are moot, the shipping costs alone to send them back, isn't work doing it, nor is getting a refurbished drive in replacement, just responsibly recycle them and move on.

WD Reds, sadly, had my fill of those fail monsters (so did a few of my customers after the 100's of emails the raids sent out with SMART errors), a bad batch of drives I think, not sure, but now I either use HGST or Seagate for the RAIDS and have had a far less failure rate with those.

You and I both seem to do the same thing (clone software/data across machines), though I don't keep that much file storage on any of the machines because it's just not something I need to do, just keep what is important, the rest is shuffled off onto pulled drives, labelled, sealed and shelved.  So what DO you keep on all that space, kind of sounds like you're a bit of a pack-rat when it comes to files, never delete any pictures or videos?  As for Acronis, may want to go into the backup's Options, under Advanced and ensure Validation is turned on, it does double the time a backup takes, but when it's finished, it knows it can read it properly.

GuruSR.
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Following week wrote a kernel level memory pool manager in 68k assembler for fun.

hutch--

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #26 on: January 02, 2017, 04:29:18 AM »
 :biggrin:

Quote
I am quite aware of what chkdsk alone does been using it since the the dawn of NTFS, it does list known bad sectors from the drive just like scandisk of dos days, unknown sectors will not be listed (obviously).  And I know that any drive with bad clusters is a goner, which you seem to be overlooking, I've said it a few times.  Is there a reason you're flaming the original author's thread?  He stated the chkdsk didn't bawk, meaning nothing bad was found, a /f would most likely show nothing more, but an /r would have checked the file data, which could have found an unreported bad cluster.  Just because /f doesn't find anything, doesn't mean there aren't bad clusters on the drive platters

If I was "flaming" anyone they would not be guessing. I have picked you up for being a smartarse adding redundant information on how to perform diagnosis on a hard disk. The simple distinction is , do your diagnosis first then replace/repair what you need to do. Your advice was to try and fix what may not have been a problem by wasting hours running a very slow sector scan when there was no reason to do it in the first place. Now I have heard you flounder from one messup to another trying to cover your arse for saying something stupid but the bottom line is, do your diagnostics first, THEN do your replacement / repair next.

Have a look at your own silly advice here.
Quote
Chkdsk /f /r   <- R is important, don't forget it.

For the little that its worth, Unix case sensitive "Chkdsk" is irrelevant here, just like your free advice. You may be used to giving free advice to morons but there are a large number of people here who do know what they are doing and they don't need patronising bullshit from you or anyone else. Have you patted that puppie on the head yet ?
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jj2007

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #27 on: January 20, 2017, 10:06:35 PM »
I don't recommend using a registry repair program (99% of the time, they do more damage than good).

Just found a good article on that: Do I need a Registry Cleaner?
Quote
the Microsoft Knowledge Base has a lot of articles on how to repair the damage created by using these utilities

TWell

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #28 on: January 20, 2017, 11:27:04 PM »
But MS don't help much if Windows Update stops working and endlessly search updates (50% CPU load).

adeyblue

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Re: Working on a damaged laptop.
« Reply #29 on: January 21, 2017, 10:06:33 AM »
It eventually stops. Mine took 51 hours of 50% cpu to then tell me there were no updates, when in fact there were. I've turned off the service now though.

I now download the individual updates from http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com (you have to type in the kb number or part of the description) extract them with 7-zip and then use dism to install the cabs since it won't install msu's directly to a running system.