Fix bad sectors of a hard drive

What leads to the creation of bad sectors in a hard drive and how can one identify them? Learn further the ways to fix the bad sectors.

A bad sector can be defined as a condition in which reading or writing of data becomes impossible due to physical damage or inconsistencies of parity checking. A hardware that develops bad sectors slows down the performance of the computer. Writing of files to the hard drive will also be difficult. Moreover it can result in a condition where you will not have any benefit of using a hard drive. You will also not be able to recover data stored in the hard drive after it has been loaded with bad sectors. The important system files get destroyed and as a result the stability of the system will decline. Back up all the data to avoid data loss as soon as bad sectors appear. These bad sectors can be found and repaired using some software.

Discussed below are points that can explain how bad sectors are generated in a hard drive along with the tips to resolve the issue:

  • Causes of bad sectors in hard drives

  • Ways to find bad sectors in hard drives

  • Ways to repair and fix the bad sectors

Causes of bad sectors in hard drives

Magnetic weakening of domain and mechanical faults are mainly responsible for bad sectors. Physical shocks to the disk, unexpected power shutdowns and disruptions during read or write operations are the reasons for mechanical faults. Bad sectors on hard drives may also result due to bad parity checking bits that are written on the disk. The presence of corrupted parity bits, missing data files and head crash also results in bad sectors.

Ways to find bad sectors in hard drives

Windows Surface Scanner is a software that can be used to scan the total hard drive and check if there is any bad sectors in the hard drive. You can download the software and get it installed on the computer. All the physical hard drives that are connected to the computer will be listed when you click the ‘Mount’ button. You can then scan the hard drive by pressing the ‘Scan’ button. This also gives a list of different sectors that are present on the hard drive that is scanned. This software efficiently scans the hard drive and gives a status report of the sectors.

Ways to repair and fix the bad sectors

Windows operating systems are provided with an error checking utility that is capable of detecting and repairing bad sectors on the hard drive. Click the ‘Start’ button after turning on the computer. All the drives on the computer can be displayed by selecting ‘Computer’. You should then right click the hard drive of the computer on which a menu will appear. Select ‘Properties’ and click the ‘Tools’ tab that is present at the top. Locate 'Check now' that is present under Error Checking and click it. You should enter the administrator password when prompted. Select ‘Automatically fix file system errors’ and ‘Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors’. After completing these steps click on ‘Start’ so that the utility starts finding and repairing the bad sectors on the hardware.

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