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(?) The Answer Guy (!)

By James T. Dennis, tag@lists.linuxgazette.net
LinuxCare, http://www.linuxcare.com/

(?) How to Use a Disk with a Bad Track 0

From nguyen kim thai on Thu, 08 Jul 1999

(?) Dear Sir.

How are you? I'm Writing to ask you How can I using my hdd with track 0 bad? Please reply me as soon as you can. yours


(!) I presume that you mean that track 0 SECTOR 1 is bad.
In that case the way to use the disk is as a door stop, or paper weight. They aren't heavy enough to be used as boat anchors and they aren't aerodynamic enough for use as Frisbees(TM)
For years I've thought that HD manufacturers should have a setting on the drive (possibly in NVRAM) which would contain the CHS (cylinder, head, sector) address of the virtual track zero. (Even just a cylinder sector value set by jumpers would be something).
I suspect that most modern drives (IDE and SCSI) do apply some of the same bad sector management to their diagnostic and track 0 handling as they do the rest of the drive.
These vary among drive models but, as I've said before, the integrated electronics that operate most disk drives are running rather sophisticated firmware for managing their cachine, bad sector remapping, error recovery and detection (with logging and data migration) etc.
So "bad spots" on the disk surface generally should not cause much trouble that would be visible to the user or the OS (on most late model drives). The problems we usually see are those that affect the whole drive (a head dies, taking a whole side of a whole platter with it, a spindle developes "stiction" and the whole set of platter just doesn't spin, a motor fails or the voice coils that move the head arm set toward and away from the hub get fried). Those are the sorts of things that all result in losing the whole drive --- or massive portions of it.
(For stiction you can sometimes get it "kick started" by dropping the drive several inches unto a reasonably hard surface, for other failures you can go to specialty service and repair shops --- which are much more expensive than replacing the drive. Those are are mostly used to ATTEMPT to recover the data that hasn't been backed up.)

(?) Get your private, free Email by Vietnamese at http://vol.vnn.vn
B?n c? th? t?o m?t h?p th? mi?n ph? tr?n

(!) When sending e-mail over the Internet --- it is still considered improper to include "high ASCII" (accented characters, etc) in your main text. You can use "quoted printable" (a MIME format) or (if you really MUST) put your internationally rich content into a file attachment (uuencoded or MIME Base64 encoded).
I've replaced the accented characters (VISCII?) in your message with question marks.
I realize it's "unfair" that most of the modern computing infrastructure was built without consideration for non-English languages and character sets. However, it's still a fact. Please don't send "8-bit" ASCII to people unless you know for a personal fact that they are running 8-bit clean software and compatible ISO/NLS (nationalized language support) (i.e it should be fine when exchanging mail throughout the .vn and related domains).

Copyright © 1999, James T. Dennis
Published in The Linux Gazette Issue 44 August 1999
HTML transformation by Heather Stern of Starshine Techinical Services, http://www.starshine.org/

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