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The hard disk is the backbone of computer system hardware configuration because the Operating System is saved on it. All the applications, files, folders, and other data are kept in their sectors. A challenging drive sector is a part of the hard disk that divides files’ load in them. The performance of hard disks increases with the presence of sectors. Damage in a sector can cause the infamous blue screen error (BSOD.) It implies a problem with the boot sector or the Master Boot Record (MBR) file. So, you should check and repair the bad sectors routinely, and in the present write-up, we will discuss the crucial causes and solutions to help fix this issue.

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Bad sectors on Hard Disk: An Overview

A bad sector is that section or space on a hard disc storage unit that is damaged permanently due to which entire information stored on that section or space is lost. This may occur due to various reasons like physical or mechanical damage, manufacturing flaws/faults, wearing out, physical shock, sudden power cut, invasion of dust, etc. These are discussed more in the below-proceeding parts of this blog.

Types of Bad Sectors:

Bad sectors can be basically categorized into two kinds discussed below:

  • Hard Bad Sector (physical bad sector): This occurs due to physical damage to the hard disc.
  • Soft Bad Sector (logical bad sector): This occurs when data is badly written on the hard disc.

How to know whether the bad sector is a hard or soft bad sector?
CHKDSK repairs soft bad sectors and marks hard bad sectors so that they will not be used again. When you run disk checking, you get a report or information about the bad sector. This implies that the bad sector should be the soft bad sector; else, it should be the bad hard sector which is a more difficult situation.

Prominent Causes Behind Bad Sectors

Some of the leading causes that we believe are responsible for the occurrence of bad sectors on the hard drives are listed below:

  • Firmware Damage to the Hard Drives
    This is one of the leading causes of drive malfunction, as it can cause permanent file damage. Hence, special care must be taken while handling or operating drives.
  • Invalid Drive Partitions
    Invalid partition tables can cause partition loss and other booting-related issues. Due to the damage to the partition tables, the system might not be able to locate the partitions containing the booting data files.

    Note: Damaged partitions can be restored from the table. This option is only available when you had a backup when the partitions were in a good state. Hence it is an excellent practice to backup at regular intervals.

  • Data Corruption
    Data corruption of boot sectors and partition tables can be due to malicious attacks, power outages, and faulty disk handling.

    Note: Use a reliable Anti-virus tool and invest in some power backup systems to cater to this issue.

  • Improper system shutdown
    Improper termination of any program can lead to data corruption. Hence it is advised to end all programs properly.
  • Overheating and Over-ageing of Hard Drives
    Older drivers are prone to overheating as they have a limited life span. Hence it is advised to decommission older drives if you encounter any early drive corruption issues or symptoms.
  • Static Build-up
    Hard drives are highly sensitive to the static charge. The charge build-up in your hands can get transferred to the drive when you touch them with bare hands. The sudden surge of charge in the drive can be fatal. Hence, it is advised to put these drives in ant-static foam casings or exercise extreme caution by touching the drive with gloves.
Ways To Repair Bad Sectors

When your Hard disk has bad sector(s), irrespective of its nature viz; logical or physical, there is a reduction in the disk capacity and loss of data which is on a bad sector. When the disk has a physical bad sector and/or multiple logical bad sectors, then the repair of bad sectors becomes impossible. So an intelligent decision should be to take a backup of your entire data on the hard disk and save it. For this purpose, you can opt to transfer files from the old hard drive to the new hard drive. If you lose any data accidentally or by any mistake, you can use any Windows data recovery software to get the entire data on the hard drive and save it at any place your desire. Let us see different methods to repair bad sectors on a hard disk.

To repair the bad sectors using the inbuilt tools might be the most effective way to deal with bad sectors on hard drives. This refers to the error checking utility of Microsoft Windows.

Method #1 To Fix Bad Sectors on Windows 10/8:

  1. Click on the This PC option and right-click on the drive that you suspect is affected.
  2. Now select Properties.
  3. Now click on the Tools tab and select the Check button.
  4. Review the scan results.
  5. Next, click Scan and repair drive > Choose when to fix the file system.
  6. After the scan and repair, reboot your PC.

To Fix Bad Sectors On Windows 7:

  1. Go to This Computer icon > right-click on the hard drive that you would like to repair > select Properties.
  2. Click on the Tool tab > click on Check now > Scan > Start.
  3. Review the check disk report.
Method #2 Running the CHKDSK command

When there are only a few soft bad sectors on your drive, try to run the CHKDSK command and format your hard drive. This will help you to repair bad sectors. To do so follow the steps given below:

Step A: Running the CHKDSK command

  1. Press Windows + R key.
  2. Type cmd. This will open ‘Command Prompt.’
  3. Select ‘Run as administrator.’
  4. Type chkdsk E: /f /r /x and press Enter. (In place of E write drive letter of your hard drive)

Step B: Formatting hard drive to make it re-usable

  1. Open Windows File Explorer.
  2. Find your Hard drive and right-click.
  3. Select Format. Reset the file system as NTFS.
  4. Check Quick Format.
  5. Click Start.

Your hard drive is ready to be re-used fresh.

Method#3 Repair of Hard bad sector

There are no normal solutions to repair hard bad sector. All you can do is to do a low-level format on the drive, resetting the blocks, clusters and sectors of the hard drive.
A low-level format, also called physical format and is done at the factory. Thus, you can either take the help of the manufacturer or a repair center.

Method #4 Kernel for Windows Data Recovery

There is a possibility of data loss after repairing the bad sectors on your hard drive in Windows. Therefore, in such a case, you need a professional data recovery tool. One such tool is Kernel for Windows Data Recovery Software. This tool can quickly recover data from any storage media such as external hard drives, USB drives, SD cards, and more. Another essential feature is it can even recover deleted files alongside the lost and corrupt data files.

At first glance (see the snippet below), the user interface looks clean and descriptive. The tools prompt the user to choose from the three scan modes. The first mode is a Quick Scan mode; this mode should be selected if you have recently deleted the files as it coarsely scans the files. The next mode is Deep Scan mode, and it should be used explicitly in the event of hard disk format and partition deletion. If you have tried both of the previous modes and had no luck, then try the File Trace mode. This is the most advanced scan mode as it scans the drive sector-by-sector.

Kernel for Windows Data Recovery


Bad sectors can occur on the drives for several reasons, which are briefly discussed in this article. Along with the causes, two methods to counter bad sectors are also discussed. More importantly, there is a chance that you might lose your data. In such dire circumstances, one can rely only on a professional data recovery tool such as Kernel for Windows Data recovery tool, which can efficiently recover your data files. We highly recommend this tool and ask the user to give this tool a try. From the website, one can download the evaluation version of this competent tool for trial purposes.

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