Cloned a drive with bad sectors. Now the duplicate thinks it has bad sectors too.

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Jeff7, May 30, 2005.

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  1. Jeff7

    Jeff7 Registered Member

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    I used Acronis True Image to clone a laptop drive that had 4KB of bad sectors. Suddenly, the destination drive also has 4KB of bad sectors. This happened to me once before, using Norton Ghost to clone another drive - the bad sector data seems to have been copied as well. Solution then was to format the drive. That's not an option now.

    And I need the false bad sector data gone - I need to use Acronis DriveDirector to do some partition work on the new drive, and it won't work if it sees bad sectors.
     
  2. rjbsec

    rjbsec Registered Member

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    I had exactly the same issue with an image restore, 304Kb of bad sectors on the old HDD transferred to the new - support emailed the following response:-

    Now as yet I haven't done that, but as far as I can see it hasn't affected my ability to use Disk Director, which has worked fine for me even with the incorrect report of bad sectors.
     
  3. Jeff7

    Jeff7 Registered Member

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    I must have missed the Resize option during the cloning. I'm cloning from an image file, if that makes a difference.
    Reason is, it's a laptop I'm trying to clone, and I've only got one adaptor handy. Although....did just get another idea. I might wind up still with that damn false bad sector (seems like a bit of a bug in the program, no?) but I might find a way of making it the full size. Have to try it tomorrow; out of time here today. I'll welcome any other suggestions though on what to do about the "bad sector."


    Oddly enough, I think the bad sector on the source drive (20GB) is also a cloned bad sector from a previous 10GB drive, courtesy of Norton Ghost.
     
  4. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello Jeff7 and rjbsec,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Disk Backup Software.

    The problem is not in Acronis True Image. The information about bad sectors is stored on the partition and this info is restored from the image (or cloned from the original disk). The fix is to perform the operations with resizing. It should solve the problem.

    Thank you.
    --
    Ilya Toytman
     
  5. iflyprivate

    iflyprivate Registered Member

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    Pardon me if I disagree!

    I see this as a crystal clear example of a TrueImage 8 product bug.

    I also see this as a crystal clear example of how Acronis fails to "get it" when it comes to producing a reliable and trustworthy product that functions like a normal user would expect it to.

    Why would any sensible software designer design a program to falsely report or restore bad sector information during a clone or restore operation?

    Why doesn't TrueImage, as part of its disk preparation process, look ahead to determine which sectors are actually good or bad on the destination drive and respond appropriately?
     
  6. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

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    Hello iflyprivate,

    You are correct, we have to find out the way to fix this bug. Our Development Team is working on this issue, we will try to resolve it in the future. Please use the existent workaround to resolve this problem. We are really sorry for the inconveniences.

    Thank you.
    --
    Irina Shirokova
     
  7. rjbsec

    rjbsec Registered Member

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    Seems as though it's not such an easy option if both "main contenders" have the same problem - personally I'd rather have the product that helps me in a crisis, even with a work-around, than wait for perfection and suffer the consequences of the crisis!
     
  8. TonioRoffo

    TonioRoffo Registered Member

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    I don't even see this as a bug, it's a feature.

    Sector based cloning is just that. Clone all sectors in use by a filesystem.

    If the filesystem scr*w*d up, and made a "bad sector" (not a hard error, just a badly formatted or referenced sector, dirty shutdown for example), Acronis doesn't care. It reads the sectors direct and puts them into the backup archive.

    Same with FAT32 crosslinked files. Clone that, and you'll have... crosslinked files!

    Ghost will even warn you when a disk is marked for chkdsk and won't continue.

    So the choice for the developers was clear. Halt backup at bad sectors, or clone the entire thing, sectors included? I'd say the latter. How surprised would be you at restoring a server when TI would have cancelled your last three months of backups because of a detected bad sector?

    Garbage in, garbage out.

    I *DO* agree that it's a bug if the sectors are "hard", that means, disk failure at that sector.

    Acronis doesn't "follow" the file structure to see if everything is correct - that is the job of scandisk.
     
  9. Jeff7

    Jeff7 Registered Member

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    Problem is though, if it uncaringly copies bad sector data, it's there indefinitely, as chkdsk/scandisk won't check that "bad sector" again. They just assume that the bad sector information they are given is accurate. Spinrite does not yet have the capabilities with NTFS that it had with FAT - it wasn't able to tell the filesystem that its "bad sector" is in fact a false positive.



    Now for an update: I got it to work. How? Instead of using the bootable rescue media, I installed DiskDirector on the laptop that was affected. I didn't do this in the first place, because I didn't think it would work, as the operating system is on the C: partition, which was the one that needed to be resized. DiskDirector proceeded without complaining, and resized the partition, even though it still shows 4KB of bad sectors that aren't there! Workaround, yes, but not a solution.
     
  10. Anon

    Anon Guest

    Have they fixed this in Acronis v.9?!
     
  11. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    Use imaging instead of cloning and this will never happen.
     
  12. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    Did you ever try ErrorChecking (CheckDsk /R) to test and recover bad sectors?
     
  13. beenthereb4

    beenthereb4 Registered Member

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    CheckDsk /R ,in spite of what it claims in the help function, does not actually recover bad sectors.
     
  14. lagerstedt

    lagerstedt Registered Member

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    If you want to recover bad sectors you should use a programme like
    SpinRite 6 (www.grc.com). It works directly with the harddisk and bypasses operating systems etc. But that should have been done before cloning or creating an image. It saved me once when a harddisk became erratic.

    Having read all horrible things that happened with TI 9 I will wait a few weeks to upgrade. Staying with TI 8 for the time being.
     
  15. foxyshadis

    foxyshadis Registered Member

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    There seems to be some confusion on this issue; some people seem to think that cloning to a new disk drive should reset bad sectors. What they're really saying is that moving to a new disk should screw around with the filesystem in potentially damaging ways, because it's NTFS (or fat or ext3 etc) that holds the bad sector list, not the disk. (Moving to a new disk DOES NOT copy the disk's list of bad sector reallocations, of course, no imaging tool reaches that deep into a disk's firmware.) FAT would be simple, but other filesystems require a lot of checksums and changes. Maybe there should be a option to do a resize at the same time as a clone, but that's not something I want to happen automatically when I need a pure clone.

    For a freeware linux utility that can also deal with this, check out:
    http://mlf.linux.rulez.org/mlf/ezaz/ntfsresize.html
    It does require a boot into something like knoppix first.

    Edit: Cool, I found Migrate Easy will also resize while transferring if you ask it too.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2005
  16. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    SpinRite 6 can fix data corruption but what it can't do is recover sectors which are flagged as 'bad sectors' by Windows. Spinrite might be able to fix the data in these bad sectors but it won't (nor is it designed to) attempt to restore them as normal/'good' sectors in the NTFS structure.
    Unfortunately, neither can chkdsk <drive>/r.
     
  17. Brad4God

    Brad4God Guest

    It sounds like Windows only "thinks" the sectors are bad. If you have PartitionMagic (by PowerQuest/Symantec), go to Partition->Advanced->Bad Sector Retest, and it will mark the sectors as good again, if they are indeed not bad. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned this yet. Hope this helps.
     
  18. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    OK, I thought it did that.

    How about Partition Magic 8 (or higher). It claims to test and recover bad sectors and I have seen it do so with FAT32 partitions in the past.
     
  19. gue_st

    gue_st Guest

    So Acronis, IS this a bug or not?
    It is important, because for me cloning is cloning, and if you are going to change this in the future, I will have to avoid those future builds. Of course, as an option it would be nice to have ability to repair false bad sectors.

    But what is really surprising is this YES/NO answer at the same time.
    You are not controlling what you are saying or you are trying to please everyone that way?
     
  20. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    I have PM 8.01 (the last Powerquest branded version).
    It has an option for bad sectors in a FAT partition but doesn't give me that option for an NTFS partition.
     
  21. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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    Along the lines of what TonioRoffo and foxyshadis posted, cloning is cloning. BIT FOR BIT. If you don't like the result then don't clone it !

    You can't change the definition of cloning.

    Anything else is disk sector repair, PERIOD.

    "Doc, it hurts when I do this !"
    "Well, then don't do that anymore ! That'll be $75."
     
  22. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Just to recap on the problem.
    Windows can occasionally flag certain sectors as 'bad' when in fact the sectors are not bad in the sense that the disk drive controller finds them to be irretrievably faulty and locks them out from further use. It seems that the sectors can actually be perfectly fine from a hardware perspective.
    The problem seems to be that Windows sometimes doesn't like what's recorded in the sector then decides the sector is bad and stops Windows from using such sectors. If you run Chkdsk it reports any such sectors in the summary at the end. Unfortunately, Chkdsk disk doesn't seem to have the ability to retest such sectors or fix them. It just reports what Windows has previously flagged as bad.

    SpinRite 6 can scan all disk sectors, often it can fix errors with the result that a disk has no bad sectors. However, SpinRite 6 doesn't have the ability to check within the NTFS structure to adjust the list of sectors flagged by Windows as bad. In any case, this should really be the job of Chkdsk.

    Acronis TrueImage detects that certain sectors are flagged as bad by Windows when it creates an image file. It even shows a little red X in the bar above the graphical representation of the partition.

    Ilya pointed out in a reply above:
    "The problem is not in Acronis True Image. The information about bad sectors is stored on the partition and this info is restored from the image (or cloned from the original disk). The fix is to perform the operations with resizing. It should solve the problem."

    However in TrueImage, at least TI8 build 937, there appears to be no way to perform the operation with resizing in this situation. As part of the restore process it is possible to move the partition either graphically with the mouse or by adjusting the before/after sectors but the partition size can not be changed. The partition size field is greyed out preventing keyboard entry of a different size. When using the mouse with the graphical display it shows the double headed arrow (as is expected when adjusting size) but it does not allow any size change. Just moving the partition doesn't fix the problem.
    Incidentally, PartitionMagic 8.01 also reports an error (1527 bad update sequence number) and won't move or resize a partition with bad sectors.

    Irina commented in a reply above:
    "we have to find out the way to fix this bug. Our Development Team is working on this issue, we will try to resolve it in the future. Please use the existent workaround to resolve this problem."

    I note that Jeff7 has found that Acronis Disk Director also detects the fact that there are bad sectors and comments that:
    "DiskDirector proceeded without complaining, and resized the partition, even though it still shows 4KB of bad sectors that aren't there! Workaround, yes, but not a solution."

    Ilya or Irina - since Disk Director can do this and your Development Team "is working on this issue" can you please indicate when we might expect the TrueImage restore process to also be able to resize the partition in this situation.

    Anyone have any further thoughts on how to remove the 'bad sector' flagged status from these sectors?
     
  23. tachyon42

    tachyon42 Registered Member

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    Anyone at Acronis like to comment on what's happening to fix this problem which still is an issue in TI 9?
    I think my previous post adequately describes the problem but please advise if you need more information.
     
  24. dobbelina

    dobbelina Registered Member

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    If you've used norton ghost from the beginning, while imaging the drive with
    bad sectors, there's a "skip bad sectors" switch that might possibly had given
    you a good image to start with.
     
  25. Howard Kaikow

    Howard Kaikow Registered Member

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    As a workaround, COPY ALL the files to another drive.
    Reformat the drive with the "bad" sectors.
    Run chkdsk/f.

    Copy the files back.
     
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