Windows 8 freezing up

Started Apr 25, 2013 | Discussions thread
Jim Cockfield Forum Pro • Posts: 16,333
Re: Zero fill it, restore from your backup

Darn.... I thought that WD offered a bootable .iso image

I usually just use dd from linux to zero fill a drive (as that's just a one line command).  Basically, the syntax would be as shown in the first example on this page:

But, you'd need to make sure you understand how the drive shows up (/dev/sda is usually the first drive in a system, but exceptions occur).  So, you'd want to use commands like this to insure you have the right drive.


fdisk -l

Or, if using an Ubuntu based distro, use sudo instead, like this:

sudo fisk -l

But, if you're not comfortable with linux naming conventions and command line utilities, it looks like the Ultimate Boot CD has the DOS version of WD Lifeguard included on it.  So, that would probably be easier for you.

If you go to their downloads page, just click on the icon for the .iso on the left side of a given mirror and you'll get the direct link to the .iso download for it.

For example, here's a direct link to the .iso:

Personally, I use isorecorder to burn an image to CD.  Basically, it adds a new option to Windows Explorer, so that when you "right click" on a downloaded .iso file, you can use the menu choice to "Copy Image to CD/DVD" to burn the .iso to CD so that it's bootable.  Get isorecorder here:

Or, if you have a USB Flash drive, just format it as FAT32 and boot from it instead, as the Ultimate Boot CD is supported by a number of products, including the Universal USB Installer from

After you boot into a CD or USB Flash drive with the Ultimate Boot CD on it, you should find the DOS version of the WD Lifeguard Diagnostics utility under the HDD>Diagnosis Menu choice:

Basically, the idea is that if you "zero fill" a drive, the drive firmware will detect any errors when writing to it, and modern drives will automatically mark those sectors as bad and remap them to spare sectors in EEPROM.  That way, the Operating System never sees them.

That's a better way to approach it versus trying to let the OS read from all sectors and only mark ones with read errors as bad at the File System level.   IOW, the firmware with modern drives is "smart" enough to recognize problems when you write to a problem sector (as zero filling a drive would do), and map that sector to spares in EEPROM (instead of letting the OS do it at a file system level only).

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