THIS FAQ IS DESIGNED FOR DREVITALIZE 3.25+ RELEASES
SOME INFORMATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS MAY NOT WORK ON OLDER VERSIONS OF DREVITALIZE
- Which version of Drevitalize is more effective? The DOS version or the Windows version?
The DOS version will always be more effective than the Windows version due the fact that Windows often does a lot of work behind the scenes which can affect proper recovery.
- Drevitalize Windows does not repair or relocate bad sectors despite of a lot of free spare sectors present in HDD spare sector pool?
Enter “Device Configuration Overlay” menu and disable “Native command queuing” ability of the drive. After successfully executing DCO modify, the disk needs to be disconnected and reconnected again to be properly recognized by Windows drivers.
- Which interface is best to use for most effective bad sector repair of seriously damaged drives?
- DOS AHCI in DMA or RV mode.
- DOS ATA legacy in PIO or RV mode.
- DOS BIOS access.
- Windows in ATA DMA or ATA RV mode (NCQ disabled).
- Windows in SCSI or SCSI RV mode over USB (NCQ disabled).
- Windows in WinAPI mode (NCQ disabled).
- Windows in SCSI or SCSI RV mode over USB.
- Windows in ATA DMA or ATA RV mode.
- Windows in WinAPI mode.
- Which interface is more effective WinAPI (BIOS) or direct ATA access?
Direct ATA/SCSI access will always be more effective than WinAPI or BIOS access.
- Which is the fastest possible interface to scan hard drives?
DOS AHCI in RV (Read Verify) mode is the fastest possible interface.
- Why is single mode scan implemented and when should I use it?
Single scan mode is very slow and should be used only on severly damaged drives or known severly damaged drive areas. Multi sector mode will always switch to single sector mode when a defective area is found.
- USB connected drives are not detected properly under Drevitalize (DOS)?
Starting from version 3.24 of Drevitalize (DOS) all possible USB related bugs have been fixed. However some BIOSes will only work with 1 connected USB device. This is especially true for older laptops. Please do not use multiple USB connected drives with Drevitalize (DOS).
- How many bad sectors can Drevitalize repair on a single drive and when should I give up trying if there are too many?
Drevitalize was designed to repair minor surface damage, that is a few bad sectors maybe up to 10 appearing on a previously good drive. It was never designed to repair hundreds or thousands of bad sectors. However depending on the overall condition of the repaired drive it is perfectly possible to bring a drive with 300 bad sectors to a perfect defect free state.
When amount of bad sectors is higher than 10 – 20 please observe if they are reallocated or truly repaired. You can see this in the SMART report under ‘reallocated sector count’. When bad sectors are truly repaired it is advised to continue repairing them even if the amount exceeds 100.
- Does Drevitalize work on SSD drives?
Drevitalize can check SSD drives, modfidy their parameters, run special commands on them – like instant secure erase. However Drevitalize will not be able to truly repair a defective sector on an SSD drive. The best it can do for such drives is to reallocate the bad sector – logical LBA of the bad sector will now point to a spare sector address instead of the original address.
- ‘Secure Erase’ and ‘Format Unit’ functions are disabled. How can I enable them?
Those functions are disabled when current security state is in frozen mode or when security functions are disabled via ‘Device Configuration Overlay’ (DCO) menu. Security frozen mode can be exit only via power off/disconnecting the drive. In case the BIOS or Windows issues a freeze lock command on startup, security features need to be disabled via (DCO) menu before powering off. Then after powering on the PC, ‘DCO restore’ needs to be run to re-enable security features. This way it is possible to prevent the BIOS/Windows to send a freeze lock command to the drive on startup. Windows does not issue freeze lock on USB connected drives.
- Large SSD drive Secure Erase takes less than 1 min to complete. Is this possible?
SSD Drives do not need to clear every byte step by step as traditional hard drives did. They no longer store data on magnetic platters. It is however possible to erase SSDs by instructing the drive to release all stored electrons, forcing the drive to forget all stored data. SSD Secure Erase does not write anything to the drive. It basically causes the SSD drive to apply a voltage spike to all available NAND at the same time, resetting every available storage block in one operation. SSD drives have a limited amount of erase cycles therefore this command should not be abused.
NAND flash memory is a type of non-volatile storage technology that does not require power to retain data but has a limited amount of read/write cycles. When this amount is exceeded the disk/card wears out and the user needs to buy a new one.
- Why does scanning a ATA/SATA drive connected via USB take much longer than via eSATA or direct SATA connection?
USB transfer speeds are much lower than direct SATA. It is however recommended to use a USB 3.0 compliant connection with a bridge which supports the SATL (SCSI to ATA Translation) specification and properly implements ATA_PASSTHROUGH 12 and 16. Without ATA_PASSTHROUGH support Drevitalize will not be able to send ATA commands to ATA/SATA devices connected via USB. Only direct SCSI commands will work in this case : SCSI read, SCSI write and SCSI Read Verify (not always supported either).
- Is it possible to speed up the scan of a SATA drive connected via USB?
Yes. If the USB connection bridge supports SCSI RV (Read Verify) command please use this access system to scan the drive. The scan speed should be as fast as via direct SATA connection provided the USB bridge properly implements the SCSI RV command (it is not just an emulated SCSI read command).
- Which hard drive manufacturers are supported by clear defect reassign function?
Western Digital (ATA + SATA), Samsung (ATA + SATA), Fujitsu (ATA + SATA), Toshiba (ATA + SATA).
- Which hard drive manufacturers are supported by Format Unit (vendor) function?
Western Digital (ATA + SATA), HGST (ATA + SATA), Hitachi (ATA + SATA), IBM (ATA + SATA), Fujitsu (ATA + SATA).
- Which hard drive manufacturers are supported by Reset SMART attributes function?
Western Digital (ATA + SATA), Samsung (ATA + SATA), HGST (ATA + SATA), Hitachi (ATA + SATA), IBM (ATA + SATA), Toshiba (ATA).
- Is there any point to run the write test when the read test is completed without errors?
Hard drives desgined for professional use should be tested with both tests – read and write. It is rare, but there are cases when the write test fails and the read test completes without errors. More common case is when the read test fails and the write test completes without error. Such hard drive problems can not be repaired by Drevitalize. The usual cause of only read or only write test failing are defective read/write heads or defective drive firmware (less common). Please be aware that the write test will erase all hard drive data within the specified region of sectors.
- I have an expensive drive I would really like to fully repair for future use. Any additional tricks I could use?
Provided that drive heads are not damaged and drive firmware operates correctly the recommended procedure is : exectue “Clear defect reassign list” command to erase the G-List. Execute SMART Reset Attribute Values to clear the SMART data – not really required. Disable Read and Write cache in features menu. Start scan and repair (read) – recommended to do under DOS but Windows ATA/SCSI mode is not bad either.
It is important to do the scan once the area where bad sectors occur is known because scanning a 2TB drive with cache disabled can take up to 24 hours. When all the bad sectors are repaired check the SMART for reallocated sectors. If there are any the whole procedure can be repeated up to 3 – 4 times.
- My hard drive has bad sectors but I really care about the data. When reparing a bad sector is it possible to recover the data it contains?
Very valuable data should be recovered by the ‘copy raw data to target drive’ function first. This will not affect the surface of the source drive but only try to recover the data with combined read commands issued in a specific order.
Once the user decides to directly repair a damaged hard drive with valuable data he/she should first run a read only test to check how many bad sectors there are and note the exact sector number. Once this is done and the amount of bad sectors is not too high (let’s say it does not exceed 10) it’s time for a scan and repair test. However please be aware that the data damaged by bad sectors will be very hard to reclaim. Most typical recovery tools will not be able to reclaim any single byte of such data. Drevitalize has around 40% chance to recover previously unreadable data due to bad sector surface defects.
- What is the exact repair bad sector procedure of Drevitalize and how will I know if data from bad sectors was recovered?
When a bad sector is discovered in multi sector mode, the system will first switch to single sector mode to test the area more precisely. Then if a bad sector is discovered in single sector mode, the system will try to recover the data residing in that bad sector. First by normal single sector positioned read of a small area of sectors 1 by 1, then using a more advanced technique which can’t be explained in detail here.
When all possible attempts to read a bad sector fail Drevitalize will clear the bad sector with a single sector write command. This step is necessary in order to repair the bad sector and start the magnetic surface regeneration algorithm. After completing a scan, the statistics screen at the end show how many bytes of data were reclaimed from bad sectors. For example, if 4 bad sectors were repaired and bytes reclamied from bad sectors value is 2048 (for a drive with 512 bytes per sector) it means that all data residing in bad sectors was saved.
- I have reapired all bad sectors on my drive but Drevitalize was not able to recover all data. What options do I have to correct file system errors or recover missing files?
There are freeware and commercial software available especially designed to correct a damaged file system however they should be used once the drive is free of physical bad sectors. This means Drevitalize needs to correct all the physical bad sectors first before trying to use such tools. First obvious choice is the Windows integrated ‘check and repair drive’ utility also called scandisk. It does it’s job pretty well and corrects most minor file system problems.
Some advanced tools designed to scan for missing files and directories include : PC Inspector file recovery 4.0 (freeware), Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery (commercial), R-Studio (commercial).
- Why modern Hitachi SATA hard drive does not want to start Format Unit (vendor) procedure?
Some new Hitachi/HGST hard drives require to set the user password before executing Format Unit. Please set a known user password with “ATA Lock drive” in the “Features menu and firmware data” list, then execute the “Format Unit” procedure.
- I’m trying to clear the defect reassign information (G-list) from a Fujitsu SATA hard drive and it always fails.
Fujitsu SATA clear defect reassign was only implemented in Drevitalize 3.25+ releases. In order for the procedure to work the drive can’t be in security frozen mode – ATA security state has to be open. The best way to achieve this under Windows is to connect the drive via a USB-SATA adapter which supports ATA_PASSTHROUGH12 and 16 defined by the SATL specification. Windows does not issue freeze lock command to USB connected hard drives.
- I have a registered version of Drevitalize and 360 Total Security antivirus is warning me about IE settings modification when I run Drevitalize.
This is probably a bug in 360 Total Security Antivirus as Drevritalize does not modify the registry key displayed on the warning. Drevitalize (registered) uses the wininet api to check for the latest version available.
There are two ways to resolve the issue. The first option is to simply allow Drevitalize to run. This option should be permanent. It is also possible to avoid this pop-up by running Internet Explorer first, closing it, then running Drevitalize. However in this case the pop-up will be displayed again after next reboot.
- I’m using Windows 10 and on rare occasions Drevitalize does not start but is still visible as a process in task manager.
Some hard drives and especially pen drives take time to be detected properly. Please wait at least 20 seconds before trying to run the program again. If this doesn’t solve the problem please reinstall using the latest Drevitalize installer version 188.8.131.52.
Another cause of the Drevitalize (registered) system failure to start could be related to internet connection. By default if internet access is present, Drevitalize (registerd) will compare it’s internal version number with the remote version number available at http:\\drevitalize\version.html and inform with a message box when they do not match. Temporary website downtime could result in 10 seconds delay when launching Drevitalize.
- Does Drevitalize send any information over the internet?
No, Drevitalize does not send any information or data anywhere. When started, it only reads the current version number at http:\\drevitalize\version.html to inform the registered user on possible updates. Once this is done the internet handle is closed and no longer used.
- Which version of Drevitalize is more effective? The DOS version or the Windows version?