Can someone recommend a better ScanDisk? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 06-07-2001, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
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I am suspecting errors in the last 5% of a new 60G HDD. I'm running MS Scandisk on it, and it should comlete in about 16 hours. Ugh.

I don't think there's any way to stop it part way through and pick up from there later, like Disk Defragmenter can do, is there?

So, if someone could recommend a user-friendly, thorough disk testing tool, I'd sure appreciate it.

Thanks,
-yogaman
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post #2 of 14 Old 06-07-2001, 08:03 PM
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I use Disk Doctor from Norton Utilities. I find it to be a bit more efficient than ScanDisk.
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post #3 of 14 Old 06-07-2001, 08:28 PM
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Hi yogaman, Here are utilities that are probably specific to each manufacturer's drives. (I've tried none.)

IBM Drive Fitness Test 2.10
Western Digital Data Lifeguard
Maxtor Low Level Format

This is a general purpose utility:
Gibson Research SpinRite 5.0

HTH.

..Mike

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[This message has been edited by miksmi (edited 06-07-2001).]

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post #4 of 14 Old 06-07-2001, 09:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks.

-yogaman
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post #5 of 14 Old 06-08-2001, 05:50 AM
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yogaman, with what drive (manufacturer & model) are you having trouble? How old is it? Just curious; I recently ordered a 60GB IBM Deskstar 60GXP; hope I'm not in for rough water.

..Mike

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post #6 of 14 Old 06-08-2001, 08:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Don't worry. IBM has made the best drives since before there were disks.

This is a WD 600AB, and I'm not certain it's a disk drive problem. The symptom is that Scenalyzer Live was getting held off during a Capture, and losing 5/6 of the DV frames. (Playback without capture was also fine.) Disk light would go on solid, seemingly for 4-5 seconds. During that time, no DV would get recorded in the SCENE file, although the tape played merrily along.

The frame mutilation only happened on one disk drive, so I'm scandisking it. Not sure that'll find a problem with writes, though. The drive is 95% full, but that still leaves 3GB free, and Disk Defragmenter shows that the free space is all contiguous at the end. If it's not a bad region/sector problem, though, I don't know what to do.

Scandisk has been running now for 13.5 hours, but I have to leave for work.

Thanks for asking.

-yogaman
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-08-2001, 10:12 AM
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IBM has made the best drives since before there were disks.

That's quite the testimonial http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif Yup, the IBM 305 RAMAC (Random Access Memory Accounting Machine) was something. 5 million "digits" of storage, 1200rpm, 50 24-inch platters (double-sided!), $650 monthly rental, announced 1956. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/biggrin.gif Hmm, Al Shugart (founded Shugart Associates and Seagate Technologies) worked on the development .

Blurry photo of a RAMAC and a 2.5in disk from a 1996 EDN article :

http://www.ednmag.com/ednmag/reg/199...ges/26df1b.gif

Back to earth ...

The only way I know to ensure a drive has all bad sectors flagged is to backup and low level format. It looks like the WD Data Lifeguard will do that. As much as I hated doing it, a low level format fixed an intermittent write problem on a SCSI drive (forgot model).

Any chance it's a DMA conflict? Just throwing out ideas.

..Mike


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post #8 of 14 Old 06-08-2001, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Re: IBM quality. Well, there's a reason for the old saying, "No one every got fired for buying IBM." My own 25 years of experience, from competitive manufacturer to integrator to consumer has validated that opinion (for the drive business, at least).

Price has sometimes been a different story, but IBM has been quite competitive on price/performance for years in the 3.5" business. Not to mention inventing whole new technologies more than once in HDD history.

Re: my disk problem. DMA conflict seems unlikely: (a) problem never appeared before disk got 95% full. (b) drives on other IDE channel don't show problem.

I agree that it's wise to low-level format, regardless of the scandisk report. This was the first HDD I've ever trusted without doing the low-level format. It's only after several days of fill-er-up use that I've started to see anomalous behavior. I guess that means the other new WD600AB gets a LLF, too. (When I installed these drives, Data Lifeguard tools told me everything was OK. Huh.)

Least likely thought not yet disputed is that head-positioning servo just ain't settling on those longest seeks.

Thanks for your concern. AVSF members are the best.

I think I'm going to Fry's to get one of those $120 900MHz Duron Mbds so I can do two things at once.

Regards,
-yogaman
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-08-2001, 11:45 AM
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Aw, shucks, you're welcome; that's kind of you to say.

I'm sure you already thought of this but I'll throw out one more idea; no need to reply. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif About a 95% full disk: some filesystems like some room to allocate new blocks (e.g., BSD Unix likes 10% freespace). Perhaps cluster allocation performance is suffering when freespace is tight (a shame on a 60GB disk where 5% = 3GB!). I don't know if FAT, FAT32, or NTFS have this issue.

Anyway, good luck. When you resolve this and if you remember to save this thread, please let us know what worked.

Cheers,

..Mike


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post #10 of 14 Old 06-09-2001, 10:11 AM
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I think very highly of IBM hard disks too and try to buy them when I can, but I seem to buy a lot of Maxtor also.

If you have this problem again, I would go and partition the hard disk so that the suspect area was its own drive letter. Then scandisk will only scan those sectors.
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post #11 of 14 Old 06-09-2001, 04:28 PM - Thread Starter
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pngai:

In principle, I agree with your idea, but the reason I have these 60GB disks is for HD recordings. At 15-20G or more per movie, there aren't very many movies per disk, and setting a fixed partition size really limits how many movies the disk can hold.

For example, Matrix at 22.5GB implies partition size shouldn't be smaller than, say 25GB. That's only 2.25 movie partitions per HDD instead of being able to combine a big movie with a couple small ones. Another way to say that is I only get two movies per HDD instead of three, a 33% inefficiency or "loss".

(There's also the problem that "60GB" disks contain 56GB.)

I agree, though, that if I were to prioritize ScanDisk execution time, it would make sense to use smaller partitions.

Furthermore, we can foresee that my objection will become less significant in a few years when 400GB drives are available, thanks again to the technologists at IBM, and their competitors. Then the choice will be between 15 3-hour movie partitions vs. 22 2-hour movies. Still 33% inefficiency, but at least we'll be able to fit a significant number of movies on one HDD.

Besides, unless disk access time drops dramatically, the requisite 100 hours for a 400GB ScanDisk will make partitions mandatory! http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

-yogaman
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post #12 of 14 Old 06-09-2001, 09:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, Mike, it doesn't work yet, but let me apologize to Western Digital for casting doubt; the HDD is fine.

ScanDisk completed without errors.

I've opened a new topic IDE controller issues on my continuing problems. But since I titled this thread about ScanDisk, IDE controller issues don't really fit here.

-yogaman
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post #13 of 14 Old 06-09-2001, 11:01 PM
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I was thinking to just put the suspect last 5% into its own partition for the scandisk. Then possibly deleting it and expanding the remaining one. This is fast and easy with Partition Magic, slow and painful with the MS tools.

Also, in W2k, I think you can combine physical partitions into a logical drive, although I haven't need to.
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post #14 of 14 Old 06-09-2001, 11:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Ah, I undertand now that you possess wisdom in ways about which I am ignorant. I have never used tools that allow dynamic partitioning such as you describe. Please forgive my arrogance.

However, as I reported, ScanDisk eventually did complete, and it reported no errors. This was small consolation, because performance continued to be low. The rest of my saga - with a happy ending, I think - is described in the link I referenced above.

Thanks again for your support and insight.

-yogaman
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