Bad cluster problems

  triflesterms 16:43 14 Nov 2006


Ive recently been having problems with bad clusters, the first time it happend it took windows all night to repair them, everything seemed ok for a week apart from computer being really slow to how it usually is, im not sure if the first bad cluster problem caused the slow down, but last night i restarted my computer & it was scanning the disk again, ive left it on all night & all day so far & it still hasnt finished the repair.

How can i stop these bad clusters returning?
How can i get my pc back up to its normal speed?

My hard drive with the clusters on is the one im using for xp pro, its a maxtor 20gb hd, my pc has an amd duron 800mhz & 256mb ram,my 2nd hd is a maxtor which is 30gb, i dont think ive had any clusters on this drive.
Hope someone can help me to fix this problem?



  jimv7 17:00 14 Nov 2006

Save all important files/photo's ang get a new hard drive, it looks as if your hdd is on the way out.

  bof:) 17:01 14 Nov 2006

Hi triflesterms, if it is badcluster problem first of all you need to backup all your personal stuff from the HD to another HD/disc/ or usb pen.

Secondly go to the Maxtor website and look for the free program to check out your hd, download it and run it.

BEWARE... some of the test programes may be destructive in that they wipe your HD as they test it. Use only the none destructive options.

Have you run windows 'chkdsk' option? This will attempt to mark bad sectors so that data cannot be copied to them as you install programs.

The general advice I would give though is backup and replace HD if you can. How old is your HD? Is it still under guarentee with Maxtor? See details on their website about replacements.


  Diemmess 17:23 14 Nov 2006

The others are right.
Now is the time to save everything you could possibly want of your data either to the other HD or preferably away from the ailing computer.

I think Windows is struggling to run because of the falty areas on your HSD.
Once this fault becomes a regular happening, it usually spreads until the point is reached that Windows refuses to run and that could happen very soon.

The spec of your processor RAM size and HD size suggests the hardware is at least 4 years old which is not a bad thing in itself, but sooner or later some hardware fault will occur and the older the computer the more like it is to happen.

It is possible to transfer drive C: in its entirety to a new HD, but that is another longer story and there's plenty of advice around on how to do this if you need help.

  triflesterms 12:30 15 Nov 2006


My hard drive is 6years old, its not possible for me to download maxtor programme as im not on line & cant save to disc on library pcs.
How do i run chkdsk?
Would reinstalling windows or defrag help?
I dont have the money to buy a new hard drive, my second hd is where i keep all my mp3's so i dont want to use that to run windows.
Is there anything else i could try to prolong the life of my hd?


  bof:) 13:05 15 Nov 2006

Hi triflesterms, as far as I'm aware there is no way of repairing bad clusters on a hard drive. Think of them as a scratch on an LP record.

The bad news is that if it is badclusters you have they will get all your personal stuff backedup as soon as you can.

Can you get a friend to go on the Maxtor website for you? And download the diagnostic tool for your model of hard drive. (although it will not repair your hd....Maxtor guarentee is for 3 years I think)

click here

To run checkdisk go to My computer/ C drive (if this is your hard drive letter)/right click go down to properties/tools tab/error checking/check now/ put a tick in both boxes/start.

You will get a message saying you need to restart for checkdisk to run.

NOTE, this is not a cure for bad sectores, there isnt one as far as I know.

Checkdisk will tell you how many bad clusters you have.

Reinstalling XP or defraging will not help if you have bad clusters.


  bof:) 13:16 15 Nov 2006

From Ebuyer....basic hard drive

click here


  Eric10 13:36 15 Nov 2006

I agree with all that has been said above. There is nothing you can do to physically repair a hard drive. If you have run chkdsk as outlined by bof:) and there is no improvement then you need to accept that your only realistic option is to replace the drive. Bad clusters are merely marked as bad so they aren't used in future but if the problem is being caused by minute particles of dust in the drive (usually from the magnetic coating of the platters) then these particles can result in further damage as they get trapped under the write/read heads. click here for another source of reasonably priced hard drives.

  bof:) 14:46 15 Nov 2006

Hi Eric10, you learn something new every day. Didn't know about the minute particles. I was told it was the heads dipping and grazing the HD surface, hence the scratch on LP analogy.


  Eric10 15:30 15 Nov 2006

You are right about the heads dipping but when they scrape the platters they dislodge some of the magnetic material which is very much like a scratch. The debrise from the scratch can in turn get trapped between the heads and the platters which results in more scratches and more particles floating loose to get trapped again so dislodging more material etc. etc.

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