Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

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I have Win7 SP1.

Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure.

But Windows in its "which HDD is failing?" gives two HDDs with the
same name, vis Seagate ST31000528AS (1000GB).

Windows says it is the F: drive on which I store my *.pdf libraries,
and Internet movie downloads.    HD Tune pro says it is my system C:
drive with the fault "Reallocated Sector Count" with 36 replaced.

Why does Windows give two HDDs the same name?

As I type I'm backing up the system drive, after which I will copy
everything to a new HDD using Ghost15.

Please help, Peter

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

On 01/05/2012 07:14 PM, Peter Jason wrote:
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back it up and replace it

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

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Thanks, I did.   Now when I try to boot from the new HDD, after
copying over the whole of the faulty one, I get a message:
"Boot Mgr is Missing".

What foes this mean.   Peter

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

Peter Jason wrote:
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That message happens to come from the partition boot sector of the
SYSTEM RESERVED 100MB partition. (That would be, on a two partition
type of Windows 7 install. Some Win 7 installs use only one partition
and the contents of the two partitions are squashed into one in that

The error messages from the MBR (sector 0 of the disk) are:

    Invalid partition table
    Error loading operating system
    Missing operating system

The error messages from the partition boot sector are:

    A disk read error occurred
    BOOTMGR is missing
    BOOTMGR is compressed
    Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

Acquiring the bootmgr, appears to be the next step in the
boot sequence.

If you use the Win7 installer CD, or the system recovery CD
(200MB in size), those have a repair option. The repair option
does things like try to repair the 100MB partition contents,
and who knows, perhaps even put back bootmgr :-)

The system recovery CD is the same one you'd get if you
made a system image via the built-in Windows 7 backup features,
and used the make-a-recovery-disc type option.

While you're thinking about that, you'd want to examine your
Ghost image, and see how many partitions were captured, and whether
the small partition is simply missing entirely. Check a partition
map of the original disk to be sure (even Disk Manager diskmgmt.msc
can help you in that case). Plug in the original disk, into
some computer, and look at how many partitions you were supposed to
back up. Maybe GHOST missed one, because of the partition type or


Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

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I tried the System Recovery CD that I made on installation about 1
year ago, but the message given was "Windows cannot repair" and then
it offered to backup from an image file.  That's no good.

I can start the computer normally from the damaged disk.

Does Windows7 have an equivalent "copy to new HDD" to the Ghost one?

In the meantime I'll use the Ghost15 backup, done this morning, to
overwrite the Ghost15 - copied data on the new HDD.



Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

Peter Jason wrote:
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There are a number of ways to copy disks.

I have my own ways of doing it, but I don't know if there's a
point using them.

The disk manufacturer web site provides software for the purpose.
The tools might typically actually be written by Acronis.
You would go to or and look for the software
there (depending on which brand of disk you bought).

And there are tools like this. Cloning is mentioned as an option here.
Since this tool seems to be VSS (shadow service) based, you can be
booted with the old broken Win7 disk, run Macrium, and copy the "hot" OS
over to the new disk. It should work. The shadow service handles the
"busy file problem" for you.

Even the System Image capability in Windows 7 itself, could be used
to make copies of the main drive. But then, you'd make a backup first,
then do a restore later. And there can be occasional problems, with
getting the tool to accept the new drive and restore to it.

So maybe it would be just as easy to give the Macrium a try.


In terms of making disk copies, the method you use can be
influenced by the health of the disk drive. For example, a
sick drive, may not be able to take much head movement (shaking)
when it's sick. In which case, a "smooth" copy method, similar
to the pattern of playing a vinyl recording, is the best way
to do it. That's a "sector by sector" copy of the drive.
Another reason for doing sector by sector, is when the
disk is so badly damaged, regular file system operations
are screwed up.

For example, here is a two pass method, for doing the best
you can, to copy a severely damaged drive. The first pass
gets most of the sectors, the second pass fills in the
rough spots. You would then run CHKDSK on the resulting
drive, and try and whip it into shape after the copy
attempt completes. I presume you can examine the log, to
see how bad things are.

    (From Linux...)

    ./ddrescue -n   /dev/old_disk /dev/new_disk rescued.log
    ./ddrescue -r 1 /dev/old_disk /dev/new_disk rescued.log

If the disk isn't damaged, you can do this in Linux.
(The disk names are typically things like hda, hdb, sda, sdb...)

    dd if=/dev/old_disk of=/dev/new_disk

and that will copy one disk to another. That would work,
if "new_disk" is the same size or a bit larger than the "old_disk".
If the "new_disk" is smaller, there is a danger of damage to the
end of the image. Then, partition management software might be
a better option (to copy and shrink a partition to fit, say).

There is a Windows port of "dd" but it would be inappropriate for
cloning the live Windows OS. In your situation, you'd boot
a Linux LiveCD, run "dd" from there, as then the Win 7 partitions
are no longer full of "busy files". If you attempted to run "dd"
from Windows, the operation would probably run, but the image
made might not be entirely accurate.

There's just so many ways to do this... But not all of them
are Windows 7 friendly, and at least a few of them,
require Windows to be shut down. That's one of the distinguishing
features of older versions of Ghost, is the need to shut down
Windows while Ghost does its thing.


Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

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Thank you very much for this.

I downloaded the software you suggested
and applied it to the problem, and it worked perfectly.  Also before
doing this I ran chkdsks on both disks (system C:,  &  F:/Library)
both of which gave similar pass results..... (F: drive shown).

[Window Title]
Checking Disk LIBRARY (F:)

[Main Instruction]
Your device or disk was successfully scanned

No problems were found on the device or disk. It is ready to use.

If you removed the device or disk before all files were fully written
to it, parts of some files might still be missing. If so, go back to
the source and recopy those files to your device or disk.

[^] Hide details  [Close]

[Expanded Information]
Volume dismounted.  All opened handles to this volume are now invalid.
Volume label is LIBRARY.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
  59392 file records processed. File verification completed.
  13 large file records processed. 0 bad file records processed.
0 EA records processed.                                             0
reparse records processed.                                      CHKDSK
is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
  61728 index entries processed. Index verification completed.

CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
  59392 file SDs/SIDs processed. Security descriptor verification
  1169 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
  1049544 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
  59376 files processed. File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
  106101856 free clusters processed. Free space verification is
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

 976760000 KB total disk space.
 552167148 KB in 57436 files.
     29112 KB in 1170 indexes.
    156316 KB in use by the system.
     65536 KB occupied by the log file.
 424407424 KB available on disk.

      4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
 244190000 total allocation units on disk.
 106101856 allocation units available on disk.


I cloned the C: drive first, thinking that this was the one with the
error, and it took 5 hrs to do this, but the clone booted up without
any trouble and without any "Bootmgr is missing" message.

Regards, Peter

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

Peter Jason wrote:
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Try typing "diskmgmt.msc" in the start box.

The order the disks appear in there, may be similar to
the order you see them in HDTune. You can see the partitions,
drive letters, and which ones share a common drive.


Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

Peter Jason wrote:

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Drives are letter assignments to volumes (which can be one partition on
one hard disk or multiple partitions on different hard disks as in
dynamic or spanned volumes).  Drives are storage access with letters,
like C:, D:, or F:.

Hard disks are mass storage devices on which one or more partitions can
be defined.  HDD = hard disk device.  An HDD is *not* a partition used
for a drive letter assignment.  

You are mixing hard disk *devices* with drive letter assignments.  For
all we know, and without any details from you, both the C: and F: drives
could be partitions on the same hard disk.  SMART is data collected on
the hard disk device, not on drive letters for partitions on it.  SMART
is a measurement of the *device* behavior, not what particular byte
values in sectors happen to mean to a particular OS for some
partitioning scheme it supports.  SMART is a measure on the device, not
on drive letters.

Reallocated Sector Count shows how much of the reserve area has been
used up to remap bad sectors.  When a bad sector is found, it gets
remapped to the reserve area.  The bad sector is remapped internally to
the hard disk and won't be seen by an OS-reinstall or format command.
They'll just see the good sector that the hard disk remapped to.  Speed
suffers from remapping since any reference to the old bad sector has to
get remapped to the new good sector.  The more remappings the slower the
device.  Some folks believe that a hard disk that has had any remapping
(done after manufacture which has its own remapping) indicates iminent
failure.  That's not true since I've seen hard disks with a non-zero
value for this SMART parameter that lasted for many years (and were
still working when shovelled for bigger/better storage media).

Current Pending Sector Count is more important.  This shows how many bad
sectors have been found and are pending a remap to the reserve area.
This may be non-zero right now but should go down to 0 as the bad
sectors get remapped or the potentially bad sectors were found okay.
Pending just means candidate, not necessarily bad.  After the hard disk
has been idle for awhile, it performs an offline scan to retest then
candidates to determine if they get remapped or relinquished back to the
sector pool.  That's why some users will note they hear disk activity
when nothing is running (i.e., the OS is quiescent but the hard disk can
be heard to be moving its heads).  If this pending count doesn't
decrement but remains the same or keeps incrementing, the bad sectors
pending remapping aren't getting remapped (or even more bad sectors have
been found and those also have to get remapped so the situation is
getting worse).  These are pending remaps which means when they get
remapped that the pending count should zero. /

Some remapping over time is expected as the device ages plus you access
the high-numbered sectors only later as you eventually consume the space
on the hard disk.  It should creep up slowly, not keep incrementing.
This is a mechanical device.  Magnetic media is never permanent nor
indefinitely infallible.  Health as measured by SMART (which is still
not fully standardized and may be incompletely implemented or reported
values are way off) is a guess on life expectancy.  A healthy hard disk
could die a minute later and an unhealthy hard disk could remain usable
for years. /

You mention disaster planning by saving a clone to use in an expected
hard disk replacement.  Okay, but you never did mention that you have a
backup scheme in place for recovery when a "healthy" disk suddenly dies.
You should be doing image backups, anyway, regardless of your or someone
else's interpretation of SMART data.  Even if SMART or some "health"
software said the hard disk was in great shape and predicted a further
life expectancy of 5 years doesn't mean it won't suddenly die in the
next minute and healthy-tagged hard disks die, too.  Mechanical devices
WILL fail.  Deploy a backup scheme now whether you think your hard disk
is going bad or not.

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

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I do have backup methods.  I keep an updated copy offsite of all thumb
drives, and I have external HDDs for offsite storage of the computer
HDDs.   I use Ghost15 for the HDDs.   Also I'm slowly upgrading to the
Seagate "centenial" HDD series which are made to a higher standard
though these cost far more.

Are there military standards for HDDs?  Can anyone buy these?

Re: Windows is giving a message warning of an incipient HDD failure

On 08/01/2012 23:24, Peter Jason wrote:
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There are are 'server' drives, often simply distinguished by
suppliers by having "24/7" in the description.  Generally,
they cost 1.5 to 2 times as much.
Worth it?  Not IMHO.  A severe power supply fault will still kill
them, for example.
You are much better off by having multiple redundancy in your
backup routine and assuming all of your drives will fail at some
point in the future.


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