DRevitalize 1.2

Discussion in 'backup, imaging & disk mgmt' started by AlexC, Mar 28, 2013.

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  1. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    I noticed that the new version of Hirens Boot CD now includes DDRevitalize 1.2, a tool that :

    What´s your experience/opinion about this tool?

    Thanks.
     
  2. TheRollbackFrog

    TheRollbackFrog Registered Member

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    In the HDDguru Forum, this post from "Keatah" is the best summary of the situation when it comes to the use of such applications...
    ______________________________________________________________

    Keatah said...

    In layperson terms so that all can understand:

    I have a number of of removable drives that had been subject to unstable power conditions, brown-outs, untimely disconnects from AC power. That sort of thing. Just as the disk happens to be writing to a sector, the power gets disconnected. The power dies away as the controller/heads/preamp are putting down a signal. The signal dies off and soon enough you've got a half-written sector! We can all agree this isn't a good thing.

    Sometimes this would cause a bad or incomplete or corrupt sector (maybe two or three at the most) to show up in SMART data report. And then as the disk (Western Digital USB MyBooks) does its own internal "Data Life Guard" scan its internal CPU & firmware program sometimes get "stuck" on this one bad sector.

    Try as it might, the internal firmware program of the disk cannot remap these sectors or do anything. The firmware has no idea how to handle a sector messed up this way. This problem usually manifests itself as the disk randomly disconnecting itself from the computer or some activity that looks like the disk is hogging Windows Explorer or USB bus - the whole shebang slows to a screeching halt. And sometimes, thousands and thousands of files can be copied, totally, safely, off the disk. All except for one or two.

    Now, running HDDRegenerator or DRevitalize or SpinRite will scan the disk and correct these "mis-configured" sectors. They will put the sector back into a shape and size the firmware can once again understand. Or, the firmware will observe a lot of activity at one sector and see a lot of fails happening, and say the hell with it all and just remap from the spares store. And the disk will no longer get "hung-up" on an improperly magnetized sector. But that's it. They aren't going to magically replace missing data.

    I only recommend this type of program for power-loss & brownout situations. OS'crashes and improper disconnects also apply. These are valid programs that live up to their name, but only in those situations. If you've got a disk that is failing for other reasons, then you need to take a different approach.

    I can speak for this type of program, having had a number of drives displaying one or two bad sectors that seemingly locked up the file system or went offline. I have also watched some of my "Regenerated" or "Revitalized" drives over a period of years and have not seen anything go wrong with them. No increasing errors or anything. These programs are perfect for either repairing the isolated sector or forcing the drive to remap it on its own. Disk drives can do that you know! These programs sometimes will save the day when the manufacturer zero-out utility won't.

    I took the liberty of making note of two damaged sectors. I wrote a file that made use the "revitalized" area. And some months later I read the file back and did a bit-by-bit comparison with the known-good reference. There was no difference!


    The key points to keep in mind when using one of those three programs:

    1- If your drive has hundreds of bad sectors and count is increasing, forget it.. You've got a bad disk. You need to consider other actions.

    2- Do not expect these to do miracle data recovery. Despite all the hype on their homepages, they will not. Not as a pro-level service would. These merely repair a bad sector that's clogging up the firmware. And stuck firmware makes the whole disk look bad. It can slow down your USB ports, and make the system run sluggish. The disk will also disconnect from time to time, and reconnect. This is evidenced by the USB insert/remove double bong sound.

    3- When scanning a suspect disk with one of these. You should only see tiny amount of errors, maybe 3 or 4 or something small like that. Better if you see no errors! And when these programs encounter an error, they will fix it in one or two tries. Anything more and you've got a whole different problem.

    4- Any file that utilizes the repaired sector is to be considered suspect. Who knows what was supposed to be there?

    5- If a "weak" sector happens to be used by a $Metafile or other disk structure mechanisms, there could be more corruption. You might need to rebuild parts of the filesystem. A job for pro-level work and certainly different tools.

    6- When you find a bad sector, it is important to record it with pencil and paper. Then look up what file made use of that sector and consider it corrupt. Maybe you get lucky and the sector isn't in use, or it hosts a file in the recycle bin! Some filetypes are more tolerant to internal errors. A .BMP might have a few pixels out of place or the wrong shade of color. A video file might have glitch of static or pop in the audio. Still quite usable I'd say. But the .XLS spreadsheet for spacecraft course corrections and astronomical ephemerides isn't going to be working. Neither is a compressed archive, like .zip or .rar. You need to research and examine the file and make that determination. You need to do that for each affected sector. If you've got hundreds of sectors going out, you're screwed.

    Now, you can begin to get an idea of when these programs are useful.
     
  3. AlexC

    AlexC Registered Member

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    Very useful information, thank you! :thumb:
     
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