Bad sectors are basically sections of the hard disk that is inaccessible by the drive due to corruption or physical damage of the disk (possibly due to dropping of the hard disk). Because that particular section is in accessible, it can cause the operating system to crash (Blue Screen of Death, aka BSOD), files missing for no reasons or frequent application crashing. If it is physical damage, the only solution is to backup the hard disk and replace it. If it is due to software corruption and it effects the MBR (Master Boost Record), it can be easily fix with a HDD regenerator software.
↓ 01 – Windows HDD Check Disk | Windows
Every Microsoft Windows come with a tool to check for system error due to bad sector. You can help solve some computer problems and improve the performance of your computer by making sure that your hard disk has no errors. Depending upon the size of your hard disk, this may take several minutes. For best results, don’t use your computer for any other tasks while it’s checking for errors. To perform this task, right click ‘C’ drive, go to ‘Properties’, then select ‘Tools’ tab and click on the ‘Check’ button.
↓ 02 – Data Lifeguard Diagnostic by WD | Windows and Mac
[ For Western Digital Hard Disk Only ] This is a Windows version of the Data LifeGuard Diagnostics. It will test WD internal and external drives. In additional, it can provide you with the model and serial of WD drives attached to the system. You will see the following options:
- Quick Test – performs SMART drive quick self-test to gather and verify the Data Lifeguard information contained on the drive.
- Extended Test – performs a Full Media Scan to detect bad sectors. Test may take several hours to complete depending on the size of the drive.
- Write Zeros – writes zeros to the drive with options of Full Erase and Quick Erase. File system and data will be lost.
- View Test Results – displays the latest test results.
Applicable Products – My Passport AV-TV, WD Elements Desktop, WD Caviar RAID Edition, WD Caviar Blue, WD Blue SSHD, WD Blue / SE / SE16 (SATA II / III), WD Blue, WD Green, WD Green / GP, WD Black SSHD, WD Black, WD Black2 Dual Drive, WD Red (Mobile), WD Red, WD Red Pro, WD Re+, WD RE / WD RE4, WD Se, WD Ae, WD Purple, WD AV-GP, WD VelociRaptor, WD AV, WD Protégé, WD Laptop Mainstream , WD Xe, WD Desktop Mainstream , WD Desktop Performance, WD S25
↓ 03 – SeaTools by Seagate | Windows and DOS
[ For Seagate Hard Disk Only ] SeaTools for Windows is a comprehensive, easy to use diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disk drive in your external hard drive, desktop or notebook computer. It includes several tests that will examine the physical media on your Seagate, Maxtor or Samsung disk drive and any non-Seagate disk drive. SeaTools for Windows should run on both internal and external hard drives.
After testing, a large percentage of the drives returned to Seagate for warranty replacement are perfectly good drives with “No Problem Found” (NPF). Returning a drive for warranty service means system downtime and inconvenience for you in packing and returning your drive product. Before you send in a drive, it is in your best interest to determine if a replacement drive is really necessary. This hard disk diagnostic utility will help you make that determination and possibly save you time and money and preserve your data. Some typical reasons for No Problem Found are:
- File System Corruption
- Driver Corruption
- Broken Master Boot Record
- Virus and Trojan Attack
- Spyware, Adware and Keystroke loggers
- Hardware Conflicts
In addition to diagnostics tests, SeaTools also offers several features to help you manage your storage product. Seagate Instant Secure Erase is available for Self Encrypting Drives (SED), providing U.S government accepted media sanitization. See section 3.Advanced Tests and Features.
↓ 04 – EaseUS Partition Master (Surface Test Feature) | Windows
EaseUS Partition Master, its Surface test is available for computer users. It can identify bad sectors by reviewing the hard drive. When it finds bad sectors, it will mark those sectors as bad with red color so that the system knows not to use them. It may allow them to be read, in case the data stored on the bad sector is still accessible, but they cannot be written to.
↓ 05 – Macrorit Disk Scanner | Windows
Hard disk bad sector is the most common problem and the disk is not safe to store data any longer. Bad sector will cause the important data loss and blue screen error sometimes, and even slow disk space. Macrorit Disk Scanner is a third party disk surface portable tool for scan disk bad sectors which provides you with better options and better performance than Windows native disk scanner.
With the fastest algorithm, this disk scanner free software usually could reach to the maximum speed that supported by the device. It is compatible with all recent versions of Microsoft Windows – both client and server, and supports major storage device types such as IDE and SATA HDD and SSD, SCSI, FireWire, hardware RAID, flash cards and a lot more.
- Supported Storage Devices: DE HDD, SATA HDD, SCSI HDD, FireWire HDD, SSD, USB HDD, External HDD, Hardware RAID, Floppy drive, USB flash drive, Compact flash card, Secure Digital card, Memory card/Memory stick, Micro card, Zip drive, IPod, Other storage devices
- Supported OSs: Windows Server 2003/2008/2012, SBS 2003, 2008, 2011,2012, Home Server 2011 & Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 (Both 32& 64 bit)
↓ 05 – Abelssoft CheckDrive | Windows | Free/EUR10
CheckDrive works as a “Disk Doctor” to scan for symptoms: typical hard disk failures. If issues are discovered, the tool acts immediately. If the error is not repaired in time, the affected computer can work unstable and crash frequently. The worst case occurs when hard drives fails completely – and the user suffers a lot when all the data stored is lost forever. CheckDrive analyses all the hard drives installed the computer, in order to increase the security of the data storage. The tool displays the so-called S.M.A.R.T. data and other functions and also calculates the health status of the hard disks.
- Check hard disks for errors – CheckDrive offers you an easy way of checking your PCs hard drives for errors. Even Solid-state drives (SSD) are supported.
- Shows drive information – CheckDrive shows info about your drives and determines if your hard drive needs to be cleaned or defragmented.
- Monitors hard disks in real-time – The CheckDrive Background Guard monitors all the time the values of your hard drives.
↓ 06 – HDDScan | Windows
HDDScan is a freeware utility for hard drive diagnostics (RAID arrays, Flash USB and SSD drives are also supported). The program can test storage device for errors (Bad-blocks and bad sectors), show S.M.A.R.T. attributes and change some HDD parameters such as AAM, APM, etc.
HDDScan can be useful for performing the regular “health test” for your drive and predicting its degradation, so you will be able to prevent data loss and backup your files before you will have to contact the data recovery service. Additionally, software can be used as the hard disk temperature monitor and reading/writing benchmark – performance graph is displayed for every test.
Supported storage devices:
- IDE (ATA) and SATA HDD.
- SCSI (SAS) HDD.
- External USB drives and all major USB boxes (see Appendix A).
- FireWire or IEEE 1394 HDD (see Appendix A).
- RAID volumes made of ATA (IDE) / SATA / SCSI HDDs (surface tests only).
- USB Flash (pen drives) – surface tests only.
- SATA / ATA SSD – solid state drives
Storage device tests:
- Verification in linear mode – helps to determine if your drive needs data rescue, has recoverable errors or in its perfect shape.
- Reading in linear mode – simpler, but faster disk check.
- Erasing in linear mode.
- Reading in Butterfly mode (synthetic random read).
- Reading and analyzing SMART parameters from ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
- Reading and analyzing Log Pages from SCSI HDD.
- SMART tests running on ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire HDD.
- Temperature monitor for ATA/SATA/USB/FireWire/SCSI HDD.