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How To Fix Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad – Disk Unusable Error
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How To Fix Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad – Disk Unusable Error

For a variety of reasons, you may want to format your SD card, external HDD, USB flash drive, or some other drive. Let’s say, you have a USB flash drive that you wish to format to create bootable media for a brand new operating system, after all, something like a transition from Windows 10 to Windows 11 wouldn’t be anything less than exciting. So, you have plugged in your USB flash drive, you dash ahead to format it, and then when you do it, you get a black screen with Invalid media or Track 0 Bad – disk unusable. That’s just one of the dismay scenarios.

Don’t get discouraged. Instead, take the plunge and use the workarounds below to fix the issue.

Ways To Resolve Invalid Media or Track 0 Bad – disk unusable

– Check Your USB

This workaround is regarding those USB drives that have cable. For example, you may want to exercise some mindful scrutiny of your external hard drive, USB flash drive, the USB cable of the external hard drive, or another cable. So, what exactly should you check or do –

  • Connect the cable to other USB ports and check if the error persists
  • Try plugging in your external hard drive via some other USB cable
  • Check the above two procedures on a different PC or laptop and ascertain if the error is still surfacing or not

If everything’s on-point, you might consider the next few methods mentioned below –

– Format DiskPart Utility

Now that you have ascertained that there are no issues with your USB device, we’ll try and fix the “Invalid media or Track 0 Bad – disk unusable” error by formatting our USB device using the DiskPart utility. Here are the steps for the same –

1. Open the admin command prompt by typing cmd in the search bar and then select run as administrator

2. When the Command Prompt opens, type diskpart


3. Now type these commands and press enter after each command

DiskPart Command

List disk 

(press enter)

Select disk (disk number)

(press enter)

Create partition primary

(press enter)

Assign letter=H

(press enter)

Format fs=fat32 quick (here you could choose NTFS as your file system, if you want)

(press enter)


This should help resolve the issue. However, it could be that some minor issue is causing the error to occur like the one we have mentioned just below –

– Assign A Drive Letter To Disk Showing “Track 0 Bad Error”

One of the reasons why you may encounter the “Invalid media or Track 0 Bad – disk unusable” could be because no drive letter has been assigned to the drive. So, before you operate formatting, try assigning it a drive letter and then retry formatting it. Here are the steps to assign a drive letter –

1. Go to This PC

2. Right-click on it

3. Select Manage (In Windows 10, do the first two steps and then press shift + F10)


4. From the left-hand side, click on Disk Management under Storage

Change Drive Letter

5. Locate the partition that doesn’t have a drive letter, right-click on it and select Change Drive Letter and Paths and now try formatting it

If this method worked out, awesome! If not, the road doesn’t end here, we have more tricks up our sleeves.

– Repair Bad Sectors

Track 0 has the first 64 sectors of the disk. You receive “Track 0 bad error” could signify that one of these sectors has gone bad. This error will most likely render your disk unusable. One of the best bets is to repair bad sectors. And, while you may opt for the manual ways which can prove to be effective if used correctly, as someone who has to fix the issue urgently, you may instead use a third-party tool like Disk Speedup to fix bad sectors. It is indeed one of the best hard drive repair tools which efficiently removes fragments, repairs any impending file system issues apart from fixing bad sectors.

Here’s how Disk Speedup can help in repairing bad sectors –

1. Download, run and install Disk Speedup

2. Click on the Disk Tools tab from the top

Disk Speedup

3. Select the partition on which you have received the error

4. Click on Normal analysis or Thorough analysis

Normal Analysis

5. Click on Scan Now

6. The tool will also ask permission to schedule your chosen volume for scanning. Click on Yes

Disk Speedup - Analysis

7. Your hard drive will now be scanned and this process may take some time

That’s it! Sometimes all bad sectors will be found and repaired.

– Time To Rebuild MBR

Without going into any technicalities, one of the ways to fix “Invalid media or Track 0 bad disk unusable” is to rebuild MBR. We have covered a basic brief in this post. So, if you are interested in knowing more you must check it out. Anyways, back to where we were. To rebuild MBR –

1. In the Windows search bar, type cmd

2. When the Command Prompt opens execute the following commands one after the other separated by Enter.

bootrec /fixmbr


(press enter)

bootrec /fixboot

(press enter)

bootrec /rebuildbcd

(press enter)

Wrapping up

We hope that you have gotten over the “Invalid media or Track 0 Bad – disk unusable” error by now. And, if you did, do share your journey, especially the step that worked out for you with others who might be in the same situation. Love fixing tech-related errors, diving into software, bringing news apps into your device’s life? Tweak Library is the place to be.

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