Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


What are the effects of bad sectors on installations

  1. #1

    What are the effects of bad sectors on installations


    I've had some major problems with Windows 8 recently, I'll start with the questions, and give the story later if you're interested.

    1. Does the Windows 8 installation disk do a quick format or a full format that deals with bad sectors before installing?

    2. If Windows 8 tries to install files on a bad sector will it cause the installation to hang?

    3. Related question: If Windows 8 tries to do updates on a bad sector, can it cause a system crash and BSODs?

    4. Second related question: Are there any known issues with certain windows update files crashing systems (for Windows 8)? If so, which ones are crashing the systems?


    The story:

    I had a major crash with Windows 8.1 where after many fruitless attempts to salvage the system, I ended up reinstalling.

    I did this about 3 or 4 times, and each time, things ended up with a crash, sometimes after 2 days, sometimes after 3.

    I finally definitively figured out that Windows Update was causing the crash. Unfortunately, I still don't know which one did it. What I do know is that some updates went fine, others caused crashes.

    After the last crash, Windows went into a repair loop that I couldn't get out of. It would try an automatic repair, fail, and reboot.

    What's worse is that my computer would not recognize the rescue disk or the Windows install disk, and ultimately (30 or 40 minutes later), send things into yet another fruitless reboot.

    I finally used Knoppix to zero out the drive, which allowed the Windows install disk to run, but when I tried to install, I had more adventures.

    1. Windows tried to install, but it gave me an error and didn't install.
    2. Windows then was unable to format the disk, either through the install disk or through DOS.
    3. The partition was turned into a "Raw partition" and I wasn't even able to do a chkdsk.

    I then used badblocks, and that allowed me to format the drive through the installation disk, but once again, the installation failed. Or let me put it this way, 8 hours after it started, it still was trying to install.

    Then this morning, I formatted with the Windows install disk again, and miraculously everything installed in 30 minutes like it was supposed to.

    When I get home tonight, I'm going to try to do a chkdsk to check for errors. Actually, if there's anything else I should do, please let me know.

    I've also turned off Windows update since that has been causing all these problems.

    Comments?

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,883
    7601.18247.x86fre.win7sp1


    Quote Originally Posted by Bkshiroma View Post
    I've also turned off Windows update since that has been causing all these problems.

    Comments?
    Good idea for you for now, but the reasoning is wrong.

    The updates aren't the issue (Windows ones I mean - device drivers are a possibility). The state of the system while doing the updates is.

    Poor drivers/poor antivirus/missing drivers - any of the above sets a system off.

    Other than that, it's advised to get device drivers from the manufacturers' websites and install from there, instead of letting Windows Update install. (That update mechanism has been known to install very old drivers, wrong drivers and the like.)
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    The last time, I did an update after an installation, I only installed the printer drivers and the chipset drivers and software, all from the manufacturer, all updated so far as I know. Nothing else was loaded onto the computer.

    I'm not sure what Windows tried to install. I think a lot of it was .net framework stuff, and a few other things. It still crashed.

    How can I tell which are the the actual Windows updates as opposed to other device driver updates and the like?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Posts : 1,875
    Windows 10 Pro Prieview x64


    Quote Originally Posted by Bkshiroma View Post
    1. Does the Windows 8 installation disk do a quick format or a full format that deals with bad sectors before installing?

    2. If Windows 8 tries to install files on a bad sector will it cause the installation to hang?

    3. Related question: If Windows 8 tries to do updates on a bad sector, can it cause a system crash and BSODs?
    If when writing to disk a bad sector is found it is skipped so if you install the installation will deal with it and move on to use the next one. Writing zero will do the same thing as installation or writing any other data - if the sector is bad it is marked as bad and moves on. A bad sector wouldn't cause installation to hang and it doesn't matter if a full or quick format is done.

    In fact usually a format is not done when installing - rather windows directory is renamed windows.old and a new directory C:\Windows is written to the disk.

    When you see issues is when the sector becoming bad afterwards. If it was identified as bad at the install time it just wouldn't be used. So the answer to 3 is yes - if you try to update a bad sector it can cause issues.

    By all means do chkdsk but remember it can take many hours to complete.

    I've installed win 8 many times and never had any issues with windows update (luckily) so I don't know about that part.
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  5. #5


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    It may be advisable to go to the drive manufacturers web site and look for a free diagnostics utility. Then run that to see how bad the drive actually is. How old is this drive? If it has a lot of bad sectors on it I'd replace it. Odds are if its a old drive with lots of use you'll just get more and more bad sectors showing up and that will just cause problems for Windows.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 5,592
    ME, XP,Vista,Win7,Win8,Win8.1
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  7. #7


    It's a new drive, just bought it last year.

    I took a look at the 81 updates, by the way, and none of them seem device related. All of them have to do with net framework, security issues, etc.

    Did a chkdsk, but couldn't see the results. I tried to get into event viewer, but after clicking on the application, nothing happened. Two questions:

    1. How can I get event viewer to work?
    2. Is there another way to find out the results of the chkdsk?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    By the way, if anyone has an answer on whether the install disk does a quick format or full format, I'd appreciate it. I know someone said that usually it doesn't format at all, but there is that option and because of the problems I've been having,I formatted before installing.
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  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by Bkshiroma View Post
    By the way, if anyone has an answer on whether the install disk does a quick format or full format, I'd appreciate it. I know someone said that usually it doesn't format at all, but there is that option and because of the problems I've been having,I formatted before installing.
    If your dropping sectors with that hard drive your fighting a losing battle.
    Use the Manufacture diagnostic tools you may need to RMA that hard drive.
    Last edited by Clintlgm; 29 Jan 2014 at 22:41.
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  10. #10


    United States
    Posts : 3,093
    Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit


    The install does a quick format, otherwise the low level format/chkdsk would take several hours at least on a 1TB HDD besides the system install. Your best doing a low level check and let it mark bad sectors.

    Thing is, if new bad sectors keep appearing with chkdsk, you have a dying HDD.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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What are the effects of bad sectors on installations
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