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ECC Error Hard Drive – An Efficient Method to Fix ECC Error

Published By Raj Kumar
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On March 16th, 2017
Reading Time 4 Minutes Reading
Category Hard Drive

Hard Drive Failing Because of ECC Errors

ECC is the error-correcting code and ECC memory is basically the type of data storage in computers that could possibly detect or even correct some of the most common types of internal data corruptions. This ECC memory is mostly preferred in the machines where data corruptions cannot be afforded to happen under any possible circumstances, like in scientific fields or in financial computing etc. In general, an ECC memory helps in maintaining the memory system quite an immune one to any of the single-bit errors. Almost all non-ECC memories cannot really detect or correct errors, even though some of these non-ECC memories can do this with the help of parity support allowing the only detection and not correction still.

ECC – The Error Checking & Correcting OR Error Correction Code

This is when there is some problem in reading from the ECC and that is not matching. ECC is basically then used for checking data integrity of the data that is being read. When data is being read, a drive usually calculates its ECC and then compares it. If there is some kind of an error, then, the drive retries until this does not get the correct result; and once received, and then it will give back the UNCR error. ECC enables the data being read or transmitted for checking for errors; and, even correcting, if and when needed. ECC is now more and more being developed and designed into transmission hardware and data storage as data rates (and thus error rates as a result of it) are on a steep increase. Today’s virtualized networks too pose threats and challenges to most of the network management systems. Also, as more and more hardware components are becoming totally virtualized, this challenge and threat is escalating even more.

How Does It Works?

fix ecc error hard drive

Here is how this works for data storage:

  • When any data unit (or “word”) is saved in the RAM or inside the peripheral storage, then a code which is used to describe its bit sequence in that word gets calculated and then saved with that data unit. For every 64-bit word, some 7 bits extra are required for saving that particular code.
  • Whenever any data unit is being requested for the purpose of reading, a code for that stored word (the soon-to-be-read word) is then again calculated with the help of the actual algorithm. Then this freshly generated code is then compared with the previous code which was generated at the time that word was being stored.
  • If both these codes match, then it can be assumed that data has no errors and at this instance, data is sent.
  • If however, the codes are not matching, then the missing/erroneous bits get determined with the help of codes comparison techniques and the bit(s) are then supplied/corrected.
  • No attempts are made for correcting that data which is still in the storage. Finally, this will be then overlaid by fresh data; and, then by assuming that the errors were transient, wrong bits go away.

Thus, ECC is used because it increases the reliability factor for any computing/telecommunications system (or even the parts of that system) in a cost-effective way.

Fix ECC Error Hard Drive

Sometimes, many users are seen to encounter situations where their hard drive fails due to ECC errors. In such instances, you can try the following workarounds:

  • Try running the sector verification utility particularly of your hard drive manufacturer, which will help in examining each of the sectors and then relocate the bad ones (this way removing those from the sector pool that is available).
  • On running this hard disk manufacturer’s reformatting utility that would reformat the disk, you must do the backup first as then the disk would have no data after reformatting.
  • If in case, even both the 2 steps do not help in fixing any of the drives then you might notice that both the 2 utilities are having problems when sector scan was being performed.
  • You can try resizing your partition.
  • If lucky enough, you have no problems after executing this.
  • For laptops, instead, it is recommended that you must get some other hard disk and use disk imaging tool for moving your existing data to that new disk drive.
  • And after that, place your old drive into some USB enclosure.
  • Then, run the tools on it at your convenience.
  • If your old drive still remains usable, then you would at least have a backup drive conveniently.

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