Bad Sector Repair Utility Guide

by Rod Dunne on February 22, 2011

in Hardware

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There are a few recommended bad sector repair utility choices worth considering if you experience disk partition problems. Here I’ll show you which software tools you can use for free (i.e. Windows own products) and mention some of the commercial tools that are capable of more in-depth analysis.

There are two key points about using any of these types of products. First, you should always do a complete backup of your hard drive data before starting to use them. There is always the potential that the sectors are damaged due to damage platters/heads which may result in further data loss. Secondly, many of these products work a lot better if they are already preinstalled on your system.

Most users will opt initially for Windows own bad sector repair utility. The product is quite basic but still capable of analyzing the disk partitions/data clusters and identifying and repairing bad sectors. If the product cannot complete the repairs then it labels these clusters as off-limits. This means that no further data will be lost as a result of being stored to these locations.

The Microsoft OS bad sector repair utility can be found as follows:

  1. Open up Windows Explorer.
  2. Locate the hard drive you wish to analyze.
  3. Right click on the disk root/icon and pick the properties context menu option.
  4. When the properties dialog window pops up, choose the Tools tab.
  5. The Tools tab has a check now button in the error checking status section (top of the dialog). Hit this button to see what scanning options are available.
  6. Each version of Windows provides a different subset of items at this point. The basic approach is to scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Hit okay/start to begin with the analysis.

Third-party bad sector repair utility software are generally more capable of analyzing faults with disk partitions, master boot records, etc. That said, there are relatively few products to choose from. You could try using HDD Regenerator which has a broad range of disk checking and repair features. Alternatively, HD June Pro also provides an error scanning feature.

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