[WINDOWS] Identifying a bad hard disk

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SunnyUK Offline
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Post: #1
I've got a Windows Home Server with 4 physical disks. Windows Home Server creates a "disk pool" that appears like a single big network share spanning all 4 disks.

Some of the files on that WHS are damaged - I cannot read them again. However, given that they just appear on a storage pool, I can't figure out which of the 4 physical disks it is that's going bad. So I'm in the process of copying all the data off the machine to another machine. Eventually I'll have the 4 disks all empty.

Does anyone have an idea about how I can figure out which one it is that's bad? I have done CHKDSK on the disks, but that reports everything is fine, so I need something at a lower level. Any ideas?

Kind regards,
Tomas
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neo117 Offline
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Post: #2
ok, you say you cannot read the "AGAIN"
does that mean that this has happened before?
also, if each individual drive runs chkdsk and comes up clean, then maybe the problem is not the dirves but rather an incomplete file transfer or something of that nature.
if you want more help, i think we will need more details, such as were you able to read the files before? what type of files are they, and what happens when you try to read them?

SunnyUK Wrote:I've got a Windows Home Server with 4 physical disks. Windows Home Server creates a "disk pool" that appears like a single big network share spanning all 4 disks.

Some of the files on that WHS are damaged - I cannot read them again. However, given that they just appear on a storage pool, I can't figure out which of the 4 physical disks it is that's going bad. So I'm in the process of copying all the data off the machine to another machine. Eventually I'll have the 4 disks all empty.

Does anyone have an idea about how I can figure out which one it is that's bad? I have done CHKDSK on the disks, but that reports everything is fine, so I need something at a lower level. Any ideas?

Kind regards,
Tomas
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SunnyUK Offline
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Post: #3
Thanks for your reply, neo117.

It seems to affect different file types: Some .avi, some .sub, some .my, some .idx, some .txt and so on. There's no pattern.

The files seems to "go bad" on their own. For instance, I took a backup of all my photos (.jpg, .psd, .nef) and 20 files were unreadable. I deleted these. Then a month later I took another backup of the same directory, and suddenly there were additional files that were unreadable.

The only error message I get is a windows error message saying it cannot read the file.

I'm not too worried as I have backups of the stuff (although it'll take a LONG time to restore from DVDs). My main concern is once I've got the readable data off the drives, I want to figure which drive it is that's bad and throw it far, far away before it gets a chance to lose some important data.

So I'm after some software that can do a sector-by-sector check of drives from various manufacturers.
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harbingerofdoom Offline
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Post: #4
im sure there is probably a live nix distro that will have those tools that you are after...
try having a look through here: http://www.livecdlist.com/purpose/rescue
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infy Offline
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Post: #5
what does S.M.A.R.T. tell you? Use one of the tools av and check the numbers..

Main reason I'd never switch to WHS, the horror of not being in control :[.
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SunnyUK Offline
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Post: #6
Thanks harbingerofdoom
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SunnyUK Offline
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Post: #7
infy, SMART tells me that all 4 drives are perfect. WHS tells me that everything is perfect. But with files "going missing" on their own, there clearly is something wrong somewhere.

I loved the concept of WHS when I first read about it, and until data started to disappear I thought it was great. However I think I have now learnt my lesson. I'm slowly copying the data off the WHS box to another box, and once that's done the WHS box will only be doing backups.
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neo117 Offline
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Post: #8
SunnyUK Wrote:infy, SMART tells me that all 4 drives are perfect. WHS tells me that everything is perfect. But with files "going missing" on their own, there clearly is something wrong somewhere.

I loved the concept of WHS when I first read about it, and until data started to disappear I thought it was great. However I think I have now learnt my lesson. I'm slowly copying the data off the WHS box to another box, and once that's done the WHS box will only be doing backups.

that just made me remember of something i read a while back....i seem to remember that there were some data corruption issues with the first releasr of WHS.
if i remember, this was resolved with SP1 of windows.

also, you mention corrupted files, but now reference them as missing?

have you verified that the original files were not corrupt?
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paul Offline
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Post: #9
When you say you ran chkdsk did you do it from a command line.
And it sounds like you have bad sectors on at least one drive, also is your or were your drives over 90% full as this has caused me problems in the past.
Either way i hope you figure it out.Nod

XBMC Frodo 12 - Windows 7 - Asrock Ion 330HT - Aeon Nox
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Zeron Offline
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Post: #10
The symptoms you describe can be caused by problems other than just a faulty hard drive.

A faulty memory module can corrupt the data before it gets written to the disk.

A power supply could cause the disk to rest during a write, but not be enought to reset the whole PC.

a SATA cable can cause errors that are not always detected.

You definatley want to test the disk indavidually. LiveCD with the disk manufacturers test software is the best way to go.

If that fail to find a fault, do a memory test as well.
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kizer Offline
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Post: #11
I had a disk that constantly created CRC errors becasue of a bad cable. I changed out the cable and now all is well.
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