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3 Top Tips on Fixing Bad Sectors on HDD

Have you ever encountered or read a notice from your laptop or desktop computer that you have hard disk drive bad sectors? Are these bad sectors really that bad? Are there ways in fixing bad sectors on HDD? This article provides a step-by-step guide on how to fix bad sectors and save you money. Instead of just impulsively buying a new hard disk drive to relieve you of your difficulty in accessing your files, or pay a computer technician a hefty sum, better fix it yourself.

Fixing hard disk bad sectors in your computer is possible depending on the degree of damage sustained on your hard drive due to both hardware and software problems. Hard disk bad sectors due to hardware issues are much more difficult to repair because of the physical damage on the hard disk drive (HDD) caused by improper handling or just poor quality of either the hard disk drive or the different parts of the computer where the hard disk is connected.

Jolts or sudden shocks can render your hard disk useless unless your hard disk drive is designed to weather such stresses. Poor packaging or inefficient factory production processes during HDD manufacturing will also contribute to the early development of hard disk drive bad sectors.

Therefore, to prevent hard disk bad sectors, it is a must that laptop or desktop owners should handle their equipment with tender loving care. Also, if you can well afford it, do not buy poor quality laptop or desktop computers. It pays to buy well-known branded laptops or desktops because branded computers have relative advantage over those queer sounding brands that offer quality performance at a cheap price. Avoid buying cloned computers unless you know how to select quality hardware if you assemble the desktop computer yourself.

If you adhere in such philosophy in buying your computer, i.e., taking care of your computer the best that you can and buying quality equipment, then you have a good chance in fixing bad sectors on your hard disk drive. Follow the 3 top tips below which are considered standard in fixing bad sectors on your HDD before deciding to buy a new one. Although hard disk drives are way cheaper now than HDDs of similar storage capacity a few years ago, it pays to save some dollars for your other needs.

Tip #1. Fix Hard Disk Bad Sectors using the Error-checking utility of your windows computer.

For those using windows operating systems, using the checkdisk utility can fix hard disk bad sectors. If your computer can boot up and display the hard disk (i.e., a C drive or a C drive with a virtual D drive), point your cursor to Start and click Computer. Right click the C (or D) hard disk drive, select Properties and choose the Tools tab. In the Tools menu, click the Check now... button in the Error-checking box.

A window will appear which will prompt you to choose if you want to automatically fix file system errors or you would scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors.

Of course, if you have been informed by your computer that your hard disk has bad sectors, you should click the second box.

You can do the scanning if you are not using your computer. So if your software applications are open, close them and proceed with scanning. It will take time depending on the storage capacity of your computer so do other non-computer-related things to make full use of your time.

This is standard rule so if your computer does not work as expected, i.e., no more nagging notice that your hard disk drive has bad sectors, proceed to the next step.

Tip #2. Use a USB adapter and have it scanned for errors by another computer.

This is assuming that you do know how to remove the hard disk drive, either of a laptop or a desktop computer. There are laptop computers that have easy to remove hard disk drives. Some, however, require removing a few screws to access the hard disk drive. Refer to your laptop's manual on how to do this.

For desktop computers, it should be easy to remove the casing cover and locate the hard disk drive in the front or near the motherboard where all the cables are attached. Just be careful not to forcefully pull out the cables as the pins might be damaged.

You may borrow or buy a USB hard disk drive adapter so you can just install your hard disk in it and plug the adapter to the USB port of another computer. The hard drive should appear so you can scan it by applying tip 1. Make sure that you set your hard drive to slave mode. A guide on proper placement of the jumper is usually printed at one end of the hard disk.

If your problem on hard disk bad sectors persist, go on to Tip 3.

Tip #3. Create or use a Bootable Linux Live CD (there are lots of them).

Linux open softwares are virtually immune to windows viruses so this tip is best used for software related issues. Live CDs can be downloaded from open source websites such as the LiveDCList. Explore the disk utility function and follow the directions in scanning a hard disk drive for errors.

Well, if you don't want to go through the hassle of fixing bad sectors on your hdd, you may try the 5 free softwares to fix hard disk bad sectors. It is still possible to at least save your files using these tools even if your hard drive has physical damage.

To prevent future problems and to have faster and greater probability of computer data retrieval, you can set-up a low-cost RAID system where you need not connect online to backup your data.

©2012 September 13 Patrick Regoniel

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