What happened: I used SeaTools for DOS v2.20 to try remapping the bad sectors on a Seagate hard disk which had approx. 250 of them. (Yes I know that this makes little sense as such a drive will probably fail in the coming days or months anyway … but I was experimenting.)

Now when you run “Basic Tests -> Long Test” in this tool, it will scan the whole drive and at the end show you a list of bad sectors and the option to fix all of them. I did so, and finally the program said “Long Test passed after Repair”. But afterwards the Short Test still failed due to an unreadable block after the last repaired one. So I let the Long Test run again, and it found again many bad blocks. Why? Wasn’t it supposed to find and fix them all during the first run?

Seemingly not. It seems that the number of blocks that this tool finds and repairs at once is at most 98, as that is the number reported in the progress window when the Long Test will stop proceeding and instead show the list of bad sectors to repair (strange enough, this window contains only 90 item, and also it does not seem that the 8 remaining ones are fixed and just not shown). So if you have to repair a really large amount of bad blocks, you will need to run the “Long Test” several times in a row. Or you could do the same with other tools.

4 thoughts on “Why are there still bad sectors after fixing them in a SeaTools Long Test?

  1. 98 errors should be enough to decide the drive is bad, unless you REALLY want to recover the info, in which case, then you are using the wrong software for it.

    This is a diagnostics tool to tell you whether your hardware is defective or not, it’s not a recovery tool.

    Good recovery tools try to pull as much data out of it without “punishing” those bad sectors on the drive (which is what the “repair” option on Seatools really does).

  2. Moe, what would be gentle and what would be harsh behavior by SeaTools? I don’t understand yet.

  3. gentle: dont touch and replace the sector, harsh: mark sector as bad and never touch it again, data recover broken.

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