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Igor_Kavinski
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Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 1:55 am

Greetings everyone! For those who don't know me, I'm 39 going on 40. I will be dedicating this thread to my random thoughts. Igoraphobes are welcome, but don't count on enjoying your stay. You have been warned. So let's begin:

Got a Ryzen 5 3200U laptop for a colleague. It beat another colleague's Core i5-1035G7 in Excel 2013 10K row countifs by roughly 25 secs.

HDD regenerator has saved at least three people from hdd loss by my count so far: me, my friend (whose diabetes is in remission) and a colleague of mine.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 6:18 am

This could get really "interesting" if people start posting their random thoughts about YOU... :lol:
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:44 am

"HDD Regenerator", from a quick Google, is snake oil that simply reads all sectors on disk and re-reads around initially bad sectors to force the drive to remap as much as possible. Is that an incorrect evaluation of what it does?
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:47 am

Stick with SpinRite.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:47 am

don't we have a thread dedicated to random thots?
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 10:49 am

Zathras quit a long time ago.
What we have today is way too much pluribus and not enough unum.
 
Igor_Kavinski
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:07 am

Waco wrote:
"HDD Regenerator", from a quick Google, is snake oil that simply reads all sectors on disk and re-reads around initially bad sectors to force the drive to remap as much as possible. Is that an incorrect evaluation of what it does?


You would be amazed at what it can do. PIck any hdd that you gave up on long time ago and try the evaluation version on it. The colleague in my office was speechless. His laptop's fan probably stopped working leading to overheating which affected his hdd's writing ability. Windows was constantly stuck in "Press any key to skip disk checking.." and "Repairing windows". After around 5 hours, hddregen recovered all the sectors and now he's a happy dude. He was thanking me profusely because having to buy a new hdd would have been pretty bad for his budget. And I said to him, "Thank God that He made me experience the brilliance of hddregen in Feb this year so I could help you". That's actually really true. Sometimes, catastrophic PC things happen to me and days later, the exact same thing happens to someone I know and then I get to help them recover from it.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:08 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Stick with SpinRite.


I tried Spinrite first, but it hasn't been updated for new hdd partitioning schemes and gives a pretty ominous data loss warning if I choose to continue. I chose not to.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:10 am

derFunkenstein wrote:
don't we have a thread dedicated to random thots?


But this thread is specifically for MY thoughts :D Benefit being that people who get easily annoyed by my posts can just skip this thread.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:10 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
You would be amazed at what it can do.

I don't think I would. I read what it supposedly does - it's snake oil. You can accomplish the same thing by reading every sector on the drive a few times to force the drive to remap the bad sectors. I literally just did this over the weekend with a bad drive I pulled from my NAS. A few passes of reading later, it remapped 760 sectors and it's now "healthy" in terms of not throwing errors while scanning the drive. I still don't trust it (once you start to get bad sectors it generally means the drive is on the way out) but it might be okay to use for temporary or external storage to sneakernet things in the future.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:18 am

Waco wrote:
Igor_Kavinski wrote:
You would be amazed at what it can do.

I don't think I would. I read what it supposedly does - it's snake oil. You can accomplish the same thing by reading every sector on the drive a few times to force the drive to remap the bad sectors. I literally just did this over the weekend with a bad drive I pulled from my NAS. A few passes of reading later, it remapped 760 sectors and it's now "healthy" in terms of not throwing errors while scanning the drive. I still don't trust it (once you start to get bad sectors it generally means the drive is on the way out) but it might be okay to use for temporary or external storage to sneakernet things in the future.


Please tell me why the reallocated sector count of my HGST hdd is 0: http://www.hddstatus.com/hdrepshowrepor ... n=7D1775DF

If it really was remapping, that value should have changed.

https://arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic ... &t=1171826

After a bunch of research I decided to try HDD Regenerator. It found and confirmed the bad sectors, but when it got to the final portion of the drive, it just went about fixing the "bad" sectors. I let it run for a few days, and then, to see if it was doing what it said it would, I shut it down, fired up DDrescue again, and lo and behold, DDrescue recovered EXACTLY the amount of new data that HDD Regenerator claimed to have liberated and from the exact same blocks where the data should have been, so it's not writing to a different part of the drive (which is obviously important). So apparently HDD Regenerator works more or less as advertised
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:26 am

Okay, it's potentially slightly more complicated than I give it credit for - it's just reading/writing the entire drive in place (potentially multiple times if it detects a weak sector via a slow read). You might get lucky and cover up weak sectors that way, but it's not repairing anything.

It's still snake oil IMO, and has a decent chance of corrupting things as it "repairs" them.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:30 am

Waco wrote:
I don't think I would. I read what it supposedly does - it's snake oil.


https://www.dailymotion.com/video/xczm9g

SCAN ME WACO
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:44 am

Waco wrote:
Okay, it's potentially slightly more complicated than I give it credit for - it's just reading/writing the entire drive in place (potentially multiple times if it detects a weak sector via a slow read). You might get lucky and cover up weak sectors that way, but it's not repairing anything.

It's still snake oil IMO, and has a decent chance of corrupting things as it "repairs" them.


If corruption happened, I have yet to experience it. I am WORKING from the very laptop containing the HGST hdd that was hddregened. I have a 860 EVO standing by for when this hdd fails but so far, I haven't felt the need (and also, ASUS had to frickin' put T5 screws on my laptop and I need to acquire the proper screwdriver to open it).
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:50 am

well at least it's constrained to a single thread, unlike every food-related nonsense gets posted.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:51 am

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
If corruption happened, I have yet to experience it. I am WORKING from the very laptop containing the HGST hdd that was hddregened.

You wouldn't notice it unless it just so happened to hit a critical system file or something you're actively using. It's a risk to continue using it just because it hasn't outright failed.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 11:53 am

If the drive is showing zero pending and reallocated sectors, chances are it wasn't a hardware problem with the drive to begin with. You *might* be able to restore a marginal sector by rewriting it (thereby not causing the reallocated sector count to increase), but chances are the data that was in it originally is lost or corrupted. Just because it wasn't in a file where it would cause immediately obvious symptoms like an application or system crash doesn't mean there's no corruption.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:
If the drive is showing zero pending and reallocated sectors, chances are it wasn't a hardware problem with the drive to begin with. You *might* be able to restore a marginal sector by rewriting it (thereby not causing the reallocated sector count to increase), but chances are the data that was in it originally is lost or corrupted. Just because it wasn't in a file where it would cause immediately obvious symptoms like an application or system crash doesn't mean there's no corruption.


Wouldn't corruption be detected by a chkdsk scan? There hasn't been a single issue so far where I was unable to access a file. I should know. My C and D drives are littered with countless downloaded RAR files of stuff I like to download. Not a single RAR file has given me a CRC error after the hddregen. No Windows bluescreens. Nothing. Before the hddregen, Windows was freezing and mouse pointer was getting stuck as it was trying to read something but couldn't. I left it for an hour. Shouldn't that have been enough to enable the drive to "remap" the sector on its own? It didn't do that. Hddregen made the freezing go away.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:08 pm

Given that your computer can't do anything other than read/write sectors to a SATA drive...what exactly do you think HDDRegen does that's different?
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:13 pm

Waco wrote:
Given that your computer can't do anything other than read/write sectors to a SATA drive...what exactly do you think HDDRegen does that's different?


I know it works. I don't need to understand WHY it works. Did you understand everything about aviation and aerodynamics before you hopped onto a plane for a ride the first time? Only people who can tell us exactly what hddregen or spinrite might be doing are engineers who work at Seagate or WD.
Last edited by Igor_Kavinski on Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:13 pm

Chkdsk only detects corruption of file system meta-data, and (if you enable full surface scan) sectors which are currently unreadable at the hardware level (i.e. they throw unrecoverable read errors when accessed). It does NOT detect corruption of application code, or user data within files.

If the repair tool has "fixed" a bad (unreadable) sector by overwriting it, then any data which was in that sector has been lost. If that sector was part of the file system's meta-data, then yes chkdsk will find it. If it is not, then it represents silent data corruption which may or may not cause obvious problems down the road. Symptoms could be a system/application crash or error, or more subtle (e.g. a photo that is partially corrupted, or a video file that glitches out for a few seconds), or even completely unnoticed because you just never happen to use that code/data again.

Furthermore, if you had more than a handful of unreadable sectors, then the drive is almost certainly on its way out.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:15 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
I know it works. I don't need to understand WHY it works. Did you understand everything about aviation and aerodynamics before you hopped onto a plane for a ride the first time?

No, you don't know it works, because you haven't verified that every byte of every file that was on the drive before it started having errors is still intact.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:15 pm

What JBI said.

EDIT:
Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Only people who can tell us exactly what hddregen or spinrite might be doing are engineers who work at Seagate or WD.

Ha, no. They'll tell you what we're telling you - if the drive has bad sectors, you can potentially hide the problem, but you can't "fix" it. You just don't know what's corrupted on your drive; it doesn't mean it's not there.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:19 pm

Igor, FWIW you are arguing with two people who actually work in the storage field and deal with this stuff as part of their day jobs. We both routinely deal with systems containing thousands of HDDs. Literally 100s of PBs of spinning rust. And when you deal with that many drives on a regular basis, you become intimately familiar with the ways they fail.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:20 pm

Fine. Don't believe me. But at least, someone else having trouble will come across this thread and find out what to do. That's what counts in the end.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:22 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Igor, FWIW you are arguing with two people who actually work in the storage field and deal with this stuff as part of their day jobs. We both routinely deal with systems containing thousands of HDDs. Literally 100s of PBs of spinning rust. And when you deal with that many drives on a regular basis, you become intimately familiar with the ways they fail.


That also means they are not your drives so you are not THAT concerned about getting data off of them. You have them RAIDed anyway so not a big issue for you. But most individuals don't have that luxury and when catastrophe hits, hddregen might be the only way to recover from it successfully.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:26 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
Fine. Don't believe me.

There's no need to believe you - there's a defined interface to HDDs. The way they behave when they hit a bad sector is also defined. There's only so much that software can do, we've described what it could be doing, and you're denying the explanation.

It's not magic; it's a defined interface and process. You can either listen to us or not, but using something like this is a stopgap *at best*.

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
That also means they are not your drives so you are not THAT concerned about getting data off of them. You have them RAIDed anyway so not a big issue for you. But most individuals don't have that luxury and when catastrophe hits, hddregen might be the only way to recover from it successfully.

Uh, dude...it's our *job* to care. I work at a national lab - if I didn't care about ensuring data integrity I wouldn't have a job.

You didn't recover successfully - you covered up the problem and continued on because the program claims to do things that it cannot do. That's why we call it snake oil; it's worse than doing nothing, it gives you a false sense of confidence that something has been fixed.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:28 pm

Waco wrote:
It's not magic; it's a defined interface and process. You can either listen to us or not, but using something like this is a stopgap *at best*.


I don't disagree with that. But hddregen can be the difference between not being able to boot Windows to copy your important data and suddenly running Windows like nothing happened. That's what I am trying to say. It might be temporary but it's a Godsend for those who really need it.
 
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:31 pm

If you can run HDDRegen you can boot into literally anything else to copy the data elsewhere.
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Re: Igor Kavinski

Tue Apr 21, 2020 12:33 pm

Igor_Kavinski wrote:
That also means they are not your drives so you are not THAT concerned about getting data off of them. You have them RAIDed anyway so not a big issue for you. But most individuals don't have that luxury and when catastrophe hits, hddregen might be the only way to recover from it successfully.

When bad models of HDD come around (as they inevitably do every so often), even a resilient RAID or erasure coding algorithm can be in danger of losing data due to unexpectedly high failure rates. We need to care just as much (if not more); losing data tends to REALLY piss off the customers.

And where I work we do have custom tools that scan failing drives and attempt to force reallocations of bad sectors. This was developed in the wake of one of the waves of drive failures. But the tool also flags the files which contain the bad sectors, because the contents of those files are likely no longer correct. We can't just pretend the error never happened.
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