Laptop Hard Drive Performance

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I've been sorting out a Dell laptop that look to have a failed hard  
drive.  Seemingly miraculously, I could get the drive mounted and  
recovered documents, but a whole drive image could not be made.

The drive had three partitions: a small utility partition, a recovery  
partition, and the big kahuna.  Booting from the recovery partition (or  
the main partition) was a bust, so I dumped the partitions.  That  
operation took a surprisingly long time--3 or 4 minutes per partition to  
drop them.

A generic Windows 7 installer when well enough, and the system is up and  
running.  That surprised me, as I fully expected the hard drive format  
to fail.

There are no S.M.A.R.T. errors, and an Error Scan in HD Tune has turned  
up a single block of damages.

Q1) Does HD Tune report damaged sectors that have been written  
out/around on a hard drive?

Q2) Does the Benchmark below look abnormal?  Does it indicate a  
particular mode of failure?

Thanks for your consideration.

Re: Laptop Hard Drive Performance

Grinder wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

HDTune is a physical layer tool.

If it finds bad sectors, the sectors have failed to be substituted
by the hard drive. It could mean the hard drive has run out of
spares in that area of the hard drive. At the HDTune level,
bad sectors are independent of any file system. It's a simple
physical check, like a "scan of a block device".

The file system has a way of handling that, via $BADCLUS.
Chkdsk, if you do a scan, should mark off the cluster(s)
holding the sectors with the CRC errors. And that way,
they won't be used in the future.

    $BadClus     A file that contains all the clusters
                 marked as having bad sectors.

Your HDTune benchmark, with the downward spikes, probably
has some spared out sectors in those areas. Not all the
spikes are necessarily caused by spared out sectors, but
you have too many spikes for it to be a benchmarking issue.
(I sometimes switch OSes and run HDTune again, to make
sure the spikes are all in the same places. I have Win2K,
WinXP, and Win8 on the machine for that. WinXP is the
main OS.)

I'd go back and look at the SMART stats under the health
tab again. Perhaps HDTune isn't interpreting the parameters
properly ? Maybe switching to another SMART utility will
read the thing out better.


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