How to Repair Hard Drive Bad Sectors in Windows
“My hard disk has 302 bad sectors. I’ve been looking for a solution for quite a while but still haven’t got one. Is there any method to repair bad sectors and possibly recover lost data?”
As one of the main storage mediums, hard drives play a significant role in a properly working computer. Due to the delicate mechanical structure of an HDD, it can be fragile and often run into all sorts of problems. Bad sectors are one of the common causes of a malfunctioning HDD.
A bad sector is a cluster of storage space of the hard drive that appears to be defective and doesn’t respond to read and write requests. There are two types of bad sectors: physical bad sector and logical bad sector. Physical bad sector means the cluster of storage space is physically damaged and can’t be repaired. Logical bad sectors are often detected because the system finds the content of the sector doesn’t match the error-correcting code, which may indicate something is wrong. Logical bad sectors are also called soft bad sector because it can often be repaired by using disk repairing utilities.
When hard disk drives begin to have bad sectors, the data in those bad sectors may be lost, but the data on the rest of the disk will be unaffected and the disk is still completely usable. Those bad sectors can not be repaired, but they can be marked as unusable. Once marked as unusable, the Operating System will know not to attempt to store data in those bad sectors. There is no way to fix physical bad sectors, but they can be marked and replaced. The disk has plenty of spare sectors, normally well above a few thousands of them. A brand new hard drive includes spare sectors to use when the regular sectors begin to fail. The data is moved to a clean sector, and the bad sector is marked as bad, never to be used again.
So, if your hard drive is experiencing bad sectors, it is recommended to backup the disk immediately and fix bad sectors as soon as possible. To protect your data, the first step to repairing bad sectors is to restore your important files from the hard disk. We recommend a professional data recovery software – H Data Recovery Software which supports to restore lost data from complex situations including to retrieve data from hard disk with bad sectors.
After you have recovered important data and made proper backups, you can start to repair bad sectors on drives. We can run the disk diagnostic software to detect and mark bad sectors. Sectors marked as bad will be skipped. Logical sectors will then be remapped to a good free space (spare sector pool) as a means of “repair”. In short, ditch the old place and rebuild somewhere else. There’s also logical bad sector (soft bad sector), which is not caused by physical damage to the platter. There could be various reasons, for example, power outage while writing data. It’s just a cluster of data becoming inaccessible, rendering the sector appears to be bad. It can be repaired with zero-fill or windows check disk tool.
The full format will zero-fill your HDD, and also checks for bad sectors. There’s a bad sector table that lists the bad sectors so that the computer will know which area to not write data on. Full format checks for bad sectors and updates the table. It does not fix them because bad sectors are physically damaged and cannot be fixed. If you are using Windows, you can use the command format drive_letter: /p to perform the full format. Full format and zero filling will render the stored data unrecoverable so backup your important files before you do.