Links on TECHCountless may earn us a commission. Learn more
What is Bad Sector?
If you recall your school days, we all have been taught how a magnetic disk in the Hard Disk is divided into concentric circles and these circles are divided into sectors, and each sector stores a certain amount of data.
When these sectors get damaged anyhow physically or logically, create Bad Sector where no read and write operation can be performed.
Types of Bad Sector
Two types of bad sectors are found in the hard disk. Physical Bad Sector which is caused due to any kind of physical damage to any of the sectors on the hard disk, and logical Bad sector which is caused due to the faults in the programs which prevents the disk controller to access or perform read and write operations on a particular sector.
Practically speaking only, the Logical Bad Sectors can be repaired, any physical damage to the Hard Disk can not be repaired.
Symptoms to identify Bad Sector
Memory is an essential component of a computer. Any damage to it will surely be reflected by our PC in various ways. Certain symptoms are very specific to the bad sector.
Error message from Windows:
Whatever happens to the components of the computer windows always show a warning message providing hints about the problems, you must not ignore it. In case a bad sector in it displays a warning message that there is something wrong with your hard disk.
This clearly specifies the presence of a Bad Sector in your memory disk and you should take steps to fix it.
Increase in Memory Response time:
In some cases, the increase in response time from the memory is the sign of the Bad Sector in your computer hard disk. The increased response time could in the windows booting time, fetching data from the memory, or any other computer operation which involves hard disk.
If you are facing frequent or more system hangs compared to a few months earlier then it might be a sign that there is a problem in your hard disk that you need to look into.
Accidental Freeze or Shutdown:
Your Operating System is stored and installed in your memory disk, any damage to it will affect the OS functions and Operation.
Sometimes when encountered a bad sector operating system freezes or causes an accidental shutdown. If you ever notice multiple events like this you must look into the bad sector in your hard disk.
Some additional noise in the hard disk:
Although this symptom is quite hard to notice in Desktop computers if you do notice some strange noise in your hard disk then first check for the bad sector if found try to repair it, and second start taking backup of your files so if your disk gives up you need not worry of data recovery.
How to check For the Bad Sector
After having knowledge of all types of symptoms you should know how you can check for a bad sector in your hard disk. There are various ways through which you can do that:
The first thing is that the windows itself regularly scan the hard disk for any problems and try to repair it if possible. In the case of a bad sector if windows found one, what it will do is, it will try to repair it. If the hard drive had any physical bad sector it will mark it as bad to prevent any read and write operation to that sector.
Software to check for bad Sector
Partition Guru: Also known as the DiskGenius is a free data recovery and partition recovery software. It also features solutions to various Hard Disk related problems.
For the Bad Sector, it has an option for checking and repairing Bad tracks and sectors on your disk drive.
To check for Bad Sectors Using DiskGenius, do the following:
- First, you need to install the DiskGenious Software on your system
- Open it and select the Hard Disk you have installed in your system
- Click on Disk from the top menu bar and select Verify or Repair Bad Sector
- Now leaving everything as it is clicked on Verify
After the scan is complete you can click on repair to repair the bad sectors if found. It will repair the logical bad sectors and as far as the non-repairable physical bad sectors are concerned it will mark them as bad so, in the future, no data is stored in a particular area.
Glary Utilities: It is the most popular system utility tool packed with multiple problem-solving features for windows. It offers free and paid versions you can opt for any of your choices.
For checking the bad sector this tool offers an optimized and improved feature in its advanced menu which holds the option Check Disk to check for bad sectors and repair it. Follow these steps:
- Install and launch the Glary Utility tool on your Windows 10
- Click on Advanced tools and then Optimize and Improve
- Look for the option Check Disk then click on it.
- Select all the Partition then click on Scan for and attempt recovery of Bad sector from the options
- Click on Start Check
It will do the same as Partition Guru to check for the bad sector and try to repair the logical bad sectors and mark as bad to all the physical ones.
How to Repair Bad sector
As I have said earlier our Operating System itself regularly scans for any problem in our hard disk and tries to repair it. If you are still encountering some events which are symptoms it then I will share with you some tricks that you can try to fix the problem.
Before performing any of these tricks first save all your work and close every other operation that you are doing.
5 Ways to Fix Bad Sector
Check Drive for Errors using Windows Features:
Windows itself offers features to check for errors in your drive. All you have to do is go to My Computer and right-click on the drive you want to check for errors.
- Click on properties and then on Tools
- Click on the check and then Scan Drive
Fix Bad sector Using Command prompt:
In this trick we will use command prompt and commands to fix our disk drive for any errors:
- First open command prompt as administrator
- Inside your command prompt type in chkdsk drive_name: /r /f
In the above command, the chkdsk is command and drive_name is the name of the disk drive you want to perform scan onto eg: C: or D: next is the parameters /f and /r.
“/f” will try to fix any found errors on the hard disk and the “/r” parameter will try to locate any bad sector and try to recover any data which still might be readable.
This method of recovery of data from the bad sector might be not as efficient as other recovery software like Recuva or Recover it, if you have something that you want to recover you can use various recovery software to do that.
The next command that will check for all the corrupted files and fix them:
- Again, open command prompt as administrator
- Now inside your command prompt type sfc/scannow and then press enter
- This will check for all the files and resources for any error or problem.
Fix bad Sector using Software Glary Utility:
- Lunch the Glary Utility Software and click on Advanced Tool
- Click on Check Disk Option from the Optimize and Improve Features Menu
- Then select all the check box and click on Start Check
- You can click on show details for further info if you want.
Fix Bad Sector by formatting the Drive:
Formatting your drive, you might think this is the best and easiest option for removing the bad sectors. But still, It can’t repair physical bad sectors although formatting the drive will clear all the logical bad sectors from your hard disk.
But before formatting please backup all your important files from the drive otherwise you will be coursing us for suggesting these tricks.
How to Prevent Bad Sector
After knowing everything and fixing the problem of the bad sector you must be searching for, is there anyways through which you might prevent the creation of them on your hard disk?
Keep Your PC Clean and away from dust:
Keeping your PC clean and safe from dust is a best practice to prolong your system life. This way you can extend your hard disk life and even your system life.
Dust can cause heating of your hard disk by blocking the heat transfer from your computer. That’s why it is advised to keep your system in a neat and clean place and clean it from both inside and outside.
Purchase Good Quality Hard Disk:
To prevent any damage to your system you must focus on the quality of the product while purchasing the different components for your system.
Good quality components are the best for preventing any damage to the system. Save money and invest in good quality products that last long rather than cheap quality components.
Practice Proper Shutdown:
You have heard this sentence that directly switching off your computer power supply can even corrupt your windows Operating system.
Why this happens is because a direct cut in the power supply may create a bad sector in your hard disk which may lead to the windows being corrupted.
Always opt for a better power supply to your system to prevent any accidental shutdown and hard disk problems.
Backup your important files:
It is always advisable to take a backup of your important files so in case of any issue with your hard disk your need not to worry about any data loss. Backup of your important data is a good practice in any way possible.
How to fix bad sectors on the external hard drive?
Methods of fixing bad sectors are the same for both external and internal hard disks, you can try windows features to check for any errors or you can use system utility software like Disk Genius or Glary Utility for checking and fixing the hard disk.
How to repair bad sectors on Windows 10?
Only logical bad sectors are repairable, in the case of windows 10 you can chkdsk command with /f parameter to fix the bad sectors or you can use software like Partition Guru or Glary utility to fix the bad sectors on your disk drive.
How can I recover data from bad sectors on my hard drive?
In the case of windows, you can use the chkdsk command with /r parameter to recover any possible data from the bad sectors or you can use recovery software like RECUVA or RECOVER it to recover your lost data.
How can I block bad sectors on my hard drive?
To block all the bad sectors, use the software Glary Utility that will repair all of them and in some cases, it will mark them as bad so, in the future, no data is stored in that place.
Can you use a hard drive with bad sectors?
Yes, you can use a hard drive with them but you will face a lot of problems like accidental shutdown, data loss, slow response time, and a lot more. So, it is advisable to fix all of them in your hard disk.
The best way to prevent yourself from any problems related to hard disk is to follow good practices to keep your system clean and in good condition. Take a backup of important files timely. And keep on checking all the hardware for their health.