What Does It Mean When You Find Bad Sectors in Your Hard Drives?

In computer realm, a sector refers to a section of hard drive that records your data. So when you detect bad sectors in your hard drive, what does it mean? What should you do then? This article will delve into bad sectors and offer you some advice.

So-called bad sectors are the corrupted areas on your hard drive, which can no longer be read from or written to. That is to say, they are completely useless. At times, you may find out that even though there are bad sectors on your drive, the drive still can keep going as usual. However, too many bad sectors can make great negative impact on your drive, like weakening the drive’s memory capacity. With time going by, your drive can go belly up thoroughly. So don’t look down upon the bad sectors.

Check Hard Drives for Bad Sectors

Beware of Failing Hard Drives

Actually, a few sectors cannot lead to hard drive death. But if you find new bad sectors continually, such as one bad sector every week, it usually means that your hard drive is gradually failing. At this point, you have to enhance your vigilance. The first and most urgent measure must be making a backup for your data, which will come in handy. For example, if you have a great deal of significant data in your Outlook mails, you should make a copy of your Outlook files on another data storage device. Thereby, even though your hard drive breaks down, you still can retrieve the corrupted Outlook mail from backups with ease.

Types of Bad Sectors

Bad sectors can be divided into two kinds according to the varying ways that they get created. One is hard bad sector, which gets damaged due to physical damages, such as shock, bump, or even a dust on the drive. The other one is the soft bad sector, which usually suffers a logical problem. In general, the operating system can easily find out this kind of sectors by checking their error correction code, which usually cannot match the information initially written to them.

Exact Results from Bad Sectors

As mentioned above, a few bad sectors aren’t fatal. More specifically, if the sector is doesn’t carry data when it gets bad, the computer operating system will just overlook them. But provided that the bad sector contains data when it goes bad, the data will get damaged or even ruined. The worst scenario must be that your system files are on the bad sectors. In this case, the whole operating system will go on strike.

How to Fix Bad Sectors

Fortunately, a majority of operating systems come packed with built-in tools that can scan and diagnose your hard drive for errors. In an instance of Windows, the utility is called CHKDSK. It will recognize and try its best to repair the bad sectors. Generally speaking, these utilities can repair the soft bad sectors. Even if they fail to fix the corrupt sectors, operating system can mark the spots as bad and will never write data to them.

Author Introduction:

Shirley Zhang is a data recovery expert in DataNumen, Inc., which is the world leader in data recovery technologies, including repair SQL Server mdf file damage and outlook repair software products. For more information visit www.datanumen.com

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