How to repair a hard drive that has bad sectors

There are a number of signs that you can begin to endure in your PC when your hard drive has bad sectors: from excessive slowness when processing recordsdata saved on the hard drive to unusual noises within the drive, via crashes and file corruption. If you begin to discover any of those signs, it’s doable that your hard drive is beginning to die from too many bad sectors, however don’t fret as a result of there’s nonetheless a probability to repair them to deliver the drive again to relative normality.

What are bad sectors and why do they happen?

Hard drive bad sectors

Internally and so as to higher handle info, mechanical hard drives group the data they maintain in sectors made up of a sure variety of bits. These sectors are created so that, we repeat that internally, a sort of map or index will be created so that the disk is aware of the place every bit of data is housed and is in a position to ship the shifting head to the suitable sector to find a way to learn or write the data .

When you strive to learn or write to a sector and, for no matter motive, the pinnacle shouldn’t be able to it, the drive studies it as defective and discards it (this implies that the following few occasions it is not going to even strive to learn or write to that sector ). There are two kinds of bad sectors and the causes that produce them are a number of, however we are going to strive to clarify it within the easiest method doable:

  • Physical issues: usually brought on by impacts (dropping your hard drive to the bottom, for instance) or critical errors with the pinnacle (referred to as head crash) through which the platter has been bodily broken and, subsequently, sure sectors have been left completely inaccessible. This kind of bad sector can’t be repaired, though we are able to mitigate the issue by having the hard disk completely discard the affected sectors to keep away from errors.
  • Logical issues: They are brought on by a failure within the studying or writing of the disk, which will be brought on for instance by a sudden energy failure whereas the hard disk was writing information. In some circumstances they can be brought on by errors or information corruption through which the sector has disappeared from the index that we talked about a second in the past. In these circumstances, the issues will be totally repaired.

How to inform in case your hard drive has bad sectors

Head Crash on a hard drive

In the picture that we’ve positioned above these strains you possibly can see the within of a hard disk that has suffered a “head crash”, and through which it’s clearly seen that the pinnacle has utterly broken the floor of the platter, rendering it virtually unusable. If that is your case, you’ll discover that the hard disk makes a collection of unusual noises, equivalent to scratching or scraping, and clearly it isn’t working accurately.

To discover out in case your hard drive has bad sectors, the most effective factor you are able to do is use the instruments that Windows comprises for it, since they’re easy to use and actually very efficient. We discuss concerning the utility CHKDSK Of which we’ve already spoken on earlier events, a device that is exactly designed to detect and repair nearly any kind of downside that you could have in your storage items (not solely hard drives but additionally SSDs and even USB Flash drives).

To do that, right-click on the Start button and choose the “Command Prompt (administrator)” choice. In the window that opens, you will need to execute (kind after which press ENTER) the next command:

chkdsk x: / F (the place x is the drive letter assigned to the hard disk; you possibly can examine its handwriting just by going to “This pc” in Windows).


If you’re executing the command straight from Windows you will notice a display screen comparable to the one above, through which the working system tells us that the unit is in use and that it can’t be analyzed, urging us to unmount the amount (one thing that solely It will seem within the case that the hard disk to analyze shouldn’t be the place you’ve the working system put in) or to restart the pc and that CHKDSK runs robotically on the following boot. Either approach, hit the Y in your keyboard after which ENTER to settle for.

The course of consists of three phases, through which the system will first analyze the drive after which strive to repair any errors it finds (the third part is just verification). The course of can take a very long time relying on the capability of your hard drive and the variety of errors it finds, but when the errors are fixable, this device will care for the whole lot and you’ll not have to do something.

Another approach to examine in case your hard drive has bad sectors can also be constructed into Windows. Go to “This pc”, right-click on the issue drive and click on on “Properties”. There go to the Tools tab and you will notice one thing like this:

Check disk

Click on the Check button, and the system will analyze the hard drive for issues, errors and bad sectors. In the occasion that it encounters a downside, the software program itself will counsel that you strive to repair it robotically with out you having to do the rest.

Can bad sectors on hard drive be repaired?

Bad sectors

As we’ve talked about, each with CHKDSK and with the Windows Check device you possibly can detect and take a look at to repair bad sectors in your hard drive, however none of those instruments is totally infallible (and the issue is probably not repaired if the injury is bodily , as we advised you originally) so the hard drive is probably not in good situation regardless of the whole lot.

If the issues should not bodily however logical and the earlier instruments haven’t been ready to resolve the issue, one other extra direct methodology is to carry out a low-level formatting of the unit, a course of that will delete all info It comprises (so again up the information to start with) as a result of it actually resets all of the bits on the hard drive one after the other, together with the sector task and index.

This is a fairly radical approach to repair a hard drive with bad sectors, but when the bad sector issues should not fixable they are going to be skipped within the new sector task and subsequently you possibly can proceed to use the hard drive after the method. Of course, if the quantity of bad sectors on the disk is giant sufficient, you will notice that its most capability could have been lowered since, actually, it can have fewer usable sectors.