Bad Sector Repair Tool: Free and Commercial Software

by Rod Dunne on February 20, 2011

in Hardware

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Bad sector repair tool choices are quite limited. Aside from Windows own disk checking utilities there are relatively few generic products that can fix a range of different hard drive brands. In this post I’ll show you how to use Windows own product as well as point out some of the generic tools you could also consider for doing advanced analysis.

Proviso: Always backup first

One recommendation before beginning to use these products is to always backup your data first. Any products that move or alter data clusters on the hard drive have the potential of corrupting data. Use an external hard disk to back up your data to a safe location that can be retrieved at a later stage.

Tool: Microsoft’s own tools

Windows own disk checking utility is quite standard and is generally worth running once every 3 to 4 months. It is capable of analyzing hard drives for signs of any bad sectors and attempt the repairs. If the repair is not possible then it will flag these sectors as off-limits for storing future data (so that no further data loss occurs).

Windows bad sector repair tool can be started up as follows:

  1. Open up Windows Explorer.
  2. Choose the hard drive or partition that you want to scan. Right click on the directories icon and choose the properties option from the context menu.
  3. In the properties dialog window, select the tools tab.
  4. At the top of the tools tab you’ll find the check now button. Click the button.
  5. Different OS versions provide different options at this point for scanning. In general, it is worth doing a full/thorough scan or selecting a scan/attempt recovery of bad sectors.
  6. Click on the start button to begin the analysis.

After using any bad sector repair tool it is still highly recommended to continue making duplicates of your data to an external storage device. If the fault was related to mechanical damage then it is possible that further sections of the platters could be damaged in due course.

Tools: Commercial options

As regards generic bad sector repair tool choices, the options are limited. Two good quality products that are worth investigating are HDD Regenerator and HD Tune Pro (which contains an error scan feature). Aside from these two options you could also try checking with the manufacturer of your PC to see if there are any bespoke tools that they can provide for repairing their brand of disk drive.

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