Hard Disk Bad Sector Repair

by Rod Dunne on February 21, 2011

in Hardware, Performance

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Completing a hard disk bad sector repair is something many users will not encounter. When it does however occur, there are a handful of free and commercial utilities that can be used to attempt repairs. In this post I’ll show you which products are out there and some suggestions about how they should be used.

Before starting…

Before you install any of these products it is strongly recommended to backup all your hard drive data first. Bad sectors can be due to mechanical or software faults which may re-occur later on.

In particular, damage to the platters or read/write heads could result in more data loss. Just be sure to use an external storage device (e.g. external hard disk) for back-ups which is not dependent on using the computer.

Windows own tools

Microsoft provide their own hard disk bad sector repair tool incorporated into every version of their operating system. The product is able to scan your hard drive, analyze the sectors for signs of corruption or faults and attempt to remedy the issue. If sectors cannot be repaired then they will be made unavailable for storage to safeguard you against any future data loss.

Windows disk checking utility can be found as follows:

  • Go to My Computer.
  • Choose the hard disk you want to analyze and repair.
  • Right click on the icon for the disk partition and select the properties option.
  • When the Properties dialog opens up, go to the Tools tab.
  • At the top of this tab you’ll find a button labeled Check Now. Click this button.
  • Each OS version (XP/2000/Windows 7/etc.) provides its own options at this juncture. The generic approach is to select the option to scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Hit the start button to begin the analysis.

Third-party hard disk bad sector repair tools are relatively uncommon. You could choose a product like HDD Regenerator which can do more in-depth analysis than the Windows product. Don’t forget to also check with the maker of your laptop/desktop PC to see if they provide their own disk checking utilities too.

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