MiniTool Cyclopedia – Hard Disk Bad Sectors

After using the hard disk for a long while, different kinds of hard disk problems may occur. And the disk bad sector is the most common issue. The reasons that cause hard disk bad sectors are varied: poor quality or aging, physical damage or shock, excessive heat, etc.

A bad sector on a hard drive is simply a tiny cluster of storage space – a defective sector – that won’t respond to read or write requests. Bad sectors can occur on both magnetic hard drives and solid-state drives. Two types of bad sectors are resulting from physical damage and software errors.

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Check Hard Disk for Bad Sectors

The hard disk will be abnormal if it has some bad sectors. For example, some sorts of strange voice suddenly appear, or you cannot partition or format this hard disk. Do you know how to check hard disk for bad sector? In this post, I recommend you to use MiniTool Partition Wizard and its “Surface Test” function.

I will show you the situations you may encounter when bad sector issue happens to your hard disk. See the following introduction:

1: When you open and run the file, you may find the speed is very slow, or you can obviously hear strange noise, or sometimes you receive a prompt you cannot read and write file.
2: If the hard disk automatically scans itself when running the computer, there are some errors on the hard disk. If disk scan cannot be completed, the hard disk has bad sectors. In other situations, scan hard disk is performable, but some locations are marked in red “B“.
3: The hard disk cannot boot. Although you can see the drive letter after booting from the floppy disk or CD-ROM instead of the hard disk, you are unable to manipulate the hard disk. More than that, even if you boot from floppy disk, you can’t see the drive letter.
4: When reading a file or running a program, the hard disk will repeatedly read the data, or it will take quite a long time to complete this task. At sometimes, you just see a blue screen.
5: Some sorts of strange voice suddenly appear and then replace the normal friction voice.
6: The system cannot boot normally, and “Sector not found“, “General error in reading drive C” or other tips in the condition of excluding virus infection appear.
7: You failed to format the hard disk.
8: As long as you are running the computer, the system will automatically run Scandisk to scan the disk to check some errors.
9: You failed to turn to FDISK to partition the hard disk.
10: You are unable to boot the system via hard disk.

It is possible to shield these bad sectors if you want to. Here, you can read this post to search one solution: If a Disk Read Error Occurred in Windows 10/7/8, Try These Solutions.

To Repair Bad Sectors

Please select the drive letter in Windows Explorer, choose “Properties” from the right-click menu, and then make a full scan of the hard disk in the “Tools” option.

If failed, users can try booting the computer via Windows 98 startup disk, and then run the DOS version of “Scandisk“.

Hard Disk Bad Sectors 2

Sometimes, you can reformat the hard disk to repair some bad sectors. But, this method is not very effective.

If you cannot repair bad sectors, youcan hide them. First, you should find out the general bad sectors range. Next, format it and record the percentage when bad sectors appear, and then calculate the approximate location of bad sectors according to the partition capacity. Or, you can resort to the “Scan Disk” to full scan the disk to determine the location of bad sectors. After that, you should divide the space as a separate partition. Finally, hide it.

Note: you should carefully determine the range of the bad sectors. Otherwise, bad sectors will be used again or some hard disk space will be wasted. And, it’s recommended to backup some important data before hiding the bad sectors.

Repartition Bad Disk

In fact, you can turn to Fbdisk to hide bad sectors. Fbdisk can repartition the hard disk which contains bad sectors, and set the space which contains bad sectors as hidden partition, and set other space as available partitions. If sector 0 of the hard disk is bad, the entire disk cannot be used. Aiming at this situation, you can turn to the PCTOOLS9.0 DiskEdit to hid the useless 0 sector, and then replace it with the 1 sector.

(1)After booting the computer with Windows 98 startup disk, you can run the DE.EXE. Next, choose “Configuration” from the “Option” menu, and then press the spacebar to remove the trick. After that, select the drive, choose “Physical“, press the spacebar, and press the Tab key to switch to the “Drive” items. Finally, select the hard disk, and then click “OK” button.

(2)Open the “Select” menu, and choose “Partition Table“. Partition 1 is C drive which starts from the 0 cylinder. At this time, users just need to change the beginning cylinder from 0 to 1. And save it.
(3)Turn to the CMOS to detect the hard disk, and then format it. After formatting, you can write the partition information from 1 sector.


There are many reasons contributing to hard disk bad sectors: improper shutdown of Windows, defects of the hard disk (including general surface wear, pollution of the air inside the unit, or the head touching the surface of the disk), poor quality or the aging of hardware (such as a bad processor fan, dodgy data cables and overheated hard drive), and malware.

There are two types of bad sectors – hard and soft. Hard bad sectors are the ones that are physically damaged, and it cannot be repaired. Software bad sectors are repairable.