10-22-2009, 03:33 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Portland, OR
OS: MS-Dos 6.22 - Win7
The reallocated sectors means that bad sectors have been found, marked as unusable, and replaced with "spares". Bad sectors can be just a one time glitch that affected some sectors, or a sign of a failing drive. If the number of bad sectors continually increases, it's time to replace the drive.
Bad sectors are manged by the drive hardware and by Windows. The drive will add a bad sector to the Grown Defect list (G-List) when it finds one. These sectors should be invisible to the operating system.
Chkdsk will add bad sectors to the $BadClus file. I'm not sure if this is also passed to the hard drive for it to add to it's G-List.
When you do a format, the $BadClus file is deleted. On a full format, Windows runs chkdsk /R on the drive. This checks every sector on the drive to see if it's good or bad. Any bad sectors that were in the $BadClus file, but not added to the G-List, will be checked again.
If you have many bad sectors, this could take hours, if not days. I had one 60 GB disk that took over 48 hours to run chkdsk /R. Most of that time was spent getting from 40% to 41%. It has only 152 KiB in bad sectors, which is only 304 sectors. It's been nearly 3 years and it hasn't increased, so seems it was just one of those glitches.
You may need to let the system run for a few days for the format to complete, but from the sound of things, you should be saving up for a new drive. And certainly have a good backup program in place for your data.
If all the bad sectors are in one spot, you could try to create partitions around the bad spot. 24% of 160GB is 38.4. 18% of 180 GB is 32.4.
You could make a 30 GB partition, a 10 GB partition, then a 140 GB partition, and see if you can do a full format on the 1st and 3rd without it taking too long. I'd then install XP on the 140 GB partition. That might work as a temporary solution until you can replace the drive.
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