What To Do When Your Hard Disk Reports Bad Sectors?

The hard disk of our PC, an integral part which stores all of our data. Whether it is our document files, music files, image files or video files all are saved on hard disk. Have you ever imagined what if some day there occurs bad sectors on your hard disk? All your data in on the verge of being lost! So what needs to be done to avoid such unavoidable circumstances. Let’s discuss it in detail.

What actually bad sectors are?

Before moving forward, first, it is important for us to know that what actually bad sectors are. In simple terms when the integrity of your hard disk is compromised, i.e. when some sections or sectors of your hard disk are damaged then it is called that hard disk has developed bad sectors.
Generally, those sectors become unresponsive for read/write operations. Whenever you hear a grinding noise while booting into the system or while using it, then it could be an indication that some bad sectors have been developed on your hard drive.

Types of bad sectors:

Bad sectors can be of two types,
Physical or hard bad sectors: As the name implies the physical bad sectors are caused due to physical damage. The main reason for this type of bad sectors is that the head may touch the platter resulting in the damage of some sectors. Also as we all know that platters are inside sealed area, where dust and air can’t get in. However, in case some dust gets inside this sealed area, it will physically damage the hard drive.
Unluckily, these type of bad sectors are unrepairable. If these type of bad sectors are created on hard disk, then the data on that part becomes unusable.
Logical or Soft Bad Sectors: These type of bad sectors are caused due to some software issues. The reason can be that hard drive shuts in the middle of performing some read-write operation. Apart from this, there are some malicious software’s which inject viruses on the system. These viruses are so much powerful that they create bad sectors on your hard disc.
Luckily these type of bad sectors can be repaired by simple window tools.

How to Check and Repair Bad Sectors?

Windows has an inbuilt tool CHKDSK, which scans your hard drive for bad sectors if any. If windows think that there’s some problem in your hard disk it will automatically run this tool at the time of boot up.
You may have also noticed that whenever you improperly shut down your PC, then next time it starts with a checking of the disk.
To fix the bad sectors you can also follow the simple steps given below
Please click on Start > All Programs > Accessories.
Here, you will find Command Prompt option. Right-click on it and select Run as administrator.
In the command prompt window, type chkdsk /r.
Alternatively, you can also use the built in error checking utility of windows:

  1. Double Click (My) Computer, and right-click the hard disk.
  2. On the shortcut menu, click Properties, and on the Tools tab in the Properties dialog box.
  3. Click Check Now in the Error-Checking Status area.
  4. In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Automatically Fix File System Errors check box, select the Scan For And Attempt Recovery Of Bad Sectors check box, and then click Start.

This will check the entire disk surface for bad sectors and attempt to repairs that it finds. However please note that the process may take time on the basis of bad sectors present on your HDD.
Bad sectors can occur anytime to your hard disk, sometimes these can be fixed and sometimes not. Therefore, it is always better to have all your data backed up especially your important files, so that in a case of hard drive failure you do not have to suffer.

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