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Thread: The most reliable way of finding bad blocks on MFM drive?

  1. #11
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    Now that's just nonsense. If a drive dies while running spinrite, then it was already getting ready to kick the bucket. The stress it puts on the drive is not any greater than what normal software could put it under during a heavy load.

    Yes, if there is important data on an untested drive, back it up first.

    Quite frankly, if a drive dies while running spinrite then it just did you a favor rather than letting you try to use it and then have it fail.

    I've also had a drive die while running spinrite, but I already knew the drive was having problems and I knew spinrite would probably push it to the breaking point. Better then than in the middle of demoing it. Not running it would have only stretched it out with frustration at intermittent errors until it fully cratered.

    If you don't want to risk damaging a drive, take it out of your computer and place it on a shelf without ever powering it up.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Now that's just nonsense. If a drive dies while running spinrite, then it was already getting ready to kick the bucket. The stress it puts on the drive is not any greater than what normal software could put it under during a heavy load.

    Yes, if there is important data on an untested drive, back it up first.

    Quite frankly, if a drive dies while running spinrite then it just did you a favor rather than letting you try to use it and then have it fail.

    I've also had a drive die while running spinrite, but I already knew the drive was having problems and I knew spinrite would probably push it to the breaking point. Better then than in the middle of demoing it. Not running it would have only stretched it out with frustration at intermittent errors until it fully cratered.

    If you don't want to risk damaging a drive, take it out of your computer and place it on a shelf without ever powering it up.
    Agree 100%

  3. #13
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    Are there any MFM ST506-interface controllers that do bad sector remapping? I know of several RLL controllers that allow for a spare sector on a track (you lose the capacity on each track, but you can make a marginal drive look pretty good).

    What I'm talking about is controller firmware that maintains a bad track map and remaps sectors to spare tracks. I can't remember if I'd ever seen one. (Of course, most SCSI and ATA/IDE drives do this, but they're more modern).

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Are there any MFM ST506-interface controllers that do bad sector remapping? I know of several RLL controllers that allow for a spare sector on a track (you lose the capacity on each track, but you can make a marginal drive look pretty good).

    What I'm talking about is controller firmware that maintains a bad track map and remaps sectors to spare tracks. I can't remember if I'd ever seen one. (Of course, most SCSI and ATA/IDE drives do this, but they're more modern).
    KONAN KDC-230 has an option about defining spare cylinders when configuring a disk drive prior to formatting (I've attached a photo of its bios configuration utility). Unfortunately, I can't tell for sure if that has to do about tracking and relocating bad sectors, since I can't find anything about KDC-230 on the net, no manual or specifications.

    KONAN KDC-230 (Z80).JPG

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeGuy View Post
    Now that's just nonsense. If a drive dies while running spinrite, then it was already getting ready to kick the bucket. The stress it puts on the drive is not any greater than what normal software could put it under during a heavy load.

    Yes, if there is important data on an untested drive, back it up first.

    Quite frankly, if a drive dies while running spinrite then it just did you a favor rather than letting you try to use it and then have it fail.

    I've also had a drive die while running spinrite, but I already knew the drive was having problems and I knew spinrite would probably push it to the breaking point. Better then than in the middle of demoing it. Not running it would have only stretched it out with frustration at intermittent errors until it fully cratered.

    If you don't want to risk damaging a drive, take it out of your computer and place it on a shelf without ever powering it up.
    You do not want to understand or you just didn't catch the point what I liked to say.
    If you do not want to work with an old computer and its old hard disk drive regularly (daily), and I assume this always, it might make sense to preserve it/give it a rest, means if the drive is already at the end of its life, it might be wise to keep it in a working state. If it will be stressed unnecessarily, it dies earlier. Not everybody has a spare drive for it, or would like to buy it/search for it.
    And comparing the load of a full Spinrite run with a software which is usually used on such a computer is a bad idea.... Spinrite runs take much much more time to be completed.
    See also this blog entry: http://www.z80.eu/blog/index.php?ent...y170429-130000
    Last edited by Peter z80.eu; June 6th, 2020 at 01:51 AM.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter z80.eu View Post
    If you do not want to work with an old computer and its old hard disk drive regularly (daily), and I assume this always, it might make sense to preserve it/give it a rest
    Nope, ride or die

  7. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter z80.eu View Post
    You do not want to understand or you just didn't catch the point what I liked to say.
    You are right: The best way to avoid seeing errors is just to avoid looking.

    The disk will still fail, just a bit later. And possibly with more important data on it. If that's fine because you power cycle your machine once per decade, then it may be acceptable. Otherwise...

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck(G) View Post
    Witness the old drives that have developed errors on track 0, which should, in theory, be the best track on the drive.
    Trickytricky... Maybe this drive is just misalligned. Here is an instruction for NEC D5126 drive to align track 0 sensor of the drive to stop at former track 1. So the drive coud be successfully reformatted which failed before. https://www.classic-computing.org/st...che-reparatur/ - the instruction is in German, but Google translate is your friend. I have a 60 MB Seagate ST277R here which has the same problem, track 0 bad, but from track 1 to upper end everything finde, just found this instruction and I will check if it's possible to do there too.

  9. #19
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    Doesn't always work. Many drives with voice-coil positioners use one of the surfaces for a servo track. This is usually hinted at by the odd number of heads in the specs.
    The servo track indicates where tracks on the drive are located. You have nothing to say about it.

    I once visited some old friends at Tandon, where they demonstrated the servo writer for one of their as yet unreleased drives. Laser interferometry positioning all on a massive slab of granite.

  10. #20
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    Ok, that's new info for me. But ST277R has no odd number of tracks, but even. It's one of the more stupid drives without servo surface. As anyhow like now the drive is unuseable, I don't worry if it goes wrong to align the drive that way. If it's going wrong, it stays a metal brick like now.

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