Fix Bad Sector on Seagate Ironwolf Drive on a Laptop


I have a Seagate Ironwolf 4TB drive that I put inside QNAP NAS.

QNAP identified an issue with the bad sector and I've been thinking to use SeaTools for Windows to check/fix it properly.

The problem is, it's an internal 3.5" SATA drive, thus it does not come with a SATA to USB converter (unlike Seagate Expansion drive).

If I connect it using a generic SATA to USB cable, SeaTools does not show the "fix all" option (as defined here.

If I connect it using an expansion SATA to USB cable (yes, I shucked the Seagate expansion drive a while back), the Ironwolf serial number is showing different on the SeaTools app.

What can I do in this case? It's rather a chicken and egg situation here…

Note: I don't have a desktop machine that I can connect the drive directly too, only a laptop.



  • Isn't there a different serial associated with the hdd and the usb enclosure? I'm pretty sure there is some tool that you can look up the drive serial to work out the serial of the enclosure the drive came from.

    • Thanks for your reply

      The serial number is not the problem as I can see it physically from the drive, the issue is more having it checked by SeaTool and the ability for the app identify the correct drive spec

  • If your laptop has a sata port, then try sata extension cable.

    • Eg. from eBay

    • Unfortunately, the laptop comes with a single M.2 port (potentially soldered too)

  • The problem is, it's an internal 3.5" SATA drive, thus it does not come with a SATA to USB converter (unlike Seagate Expansion drive).

    They usually don't come with one, you have to purchase one if you need.

    • I have a SATA to USB docking from Thermaltake, unfortunately, SeaTool does not give the option to fix the bad sector at all.

      • +1

        hmm, might need to be connected by sata cable.

        Sounds like you might need some different hardware to help you with that.

        • Or use other software to fix the problem.

  • You need a desktop machine with a SATA connector. USB controllers don't give Seatools (or any diagnostic tools) the info it needs to analyse the drive. Seatools probably won't fix it, it'll try and move the data off that sector and mark it as bad. If one sector is bad the rest will probably follow. How old is the drive? Seagate are pretty good about replacing a faulty drive if you create an RMA and send it back to them provided it's in warranty.

  • Is low level formatting is still a thing ? I used to do low level format to fix drives with bad sectors

    • +1

      Not great for the drives and doesn't actually fix physical bad sectors, all it does is remap the entire drive and use and spare sectors to replace the bad ones (if there are any available).

      Because it's writing the entire drive to zeros, it's pushing an already damaged drive through hours of hard work, so whatever life it has left has probably been shortened afterwards.

      • Thanks, seems like now it has changed then. I was thinking about rebuilding sectors,tracks etc, I used to do scandisk first and then do a low level format as the last step. Haven't done any of these in years though

  • +1

    Tried running CHKDSK instead? In windows run a command prompt as admin and go CHKDSK <drive letter> /r

    Drive letter is in the format such as E:. /r tries to repair the drive and will detect physical disk errors.

  • What a coincidence. Not probably 100% related but my Seagate Backup suddenly had trouble opening a folder (it hung before spitting a CRC error) and a quick CHKDSK revealed exactly 398 unreadable address.

    After running CHKDSK /F, I discovered previously inaccessible folder has disappeared. Checked the log and looks like CHKDSK deleted it.

    Internet has been really wishy washy about this CHKDSK business but there are some who commented if you do CHKDSK /F or /R (which includes /F), say bye bye to those inaccessible files/folder whereas if you didn't CHKDSK but trying to salvage the file (through professional recovery or attempt copy to another healthy drive), at least you had a chance to save the file.

    So the lesson is CHKDSK does not make your inaccessible folder/file accessible again. What it did is pretty much as per above, they deleted the defective area, marked the sector, and reallocate to spare sector but your file would be gone.

    So beware before you run CHKDSK /F or /R. I lost some of my tax spreadsheet…. bah!

    and oh, internet also said once you already have bad sector, it's time to say good bye to your hard disk. It's going to get worse. I think so because after CHKDSK, I found another one file that became inaccessible afterwards. Luckily only one and I have now moved all others into my other drives.

    • Backup your data!

      1 is none!

      • +1

        Lesson learned indeed.

  • Bad sectors… The best way, if it's under warranty, recover the data and send the drive back for a replacement!

  • +1

    Well, not sure if anyone may still be reading this. Just putting my comments here as I have exactly the same problem recently with a QNAP NAS with Seagate drive.

    I tried the above thing like connected the HDD with SATA to USB and tried to use the seatools to fix it. And it wont work. As the USB does not give all the info back to seatools for diagnostics.

    I have to get a desktop and connect the HDD to the SATA controller. Ran seatools to erase/rewrite the HDD in order to get rid of the error reported with the QNAP.

    I believe the error we talked about here is the smart error 198, 199.

    Just my 2 cents.


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