I often used to help people in forums, where they mentioned that their hard drive had crashed and that they had lost all their data, just because they did not check the health of their hard drive – and nor did they have any backups. We often run Disk Cleanup, but seldom run Hard Drive scans to make sure that our hard drive is in good health. It is imperative that you keep a watch on your Hard Disk health.
In this article I’ll talk about a freeware Windows Surface Scanner, which will scan for bad sectors and generate a report for you. This program will not correct the bad sector, but it just finds them for you.
Once you download it run the setup to install. When you open the application you’ll get the end users agreement. Accept it.
Then it will take you to the main interface
First you will have to mount your Hard drive. Click on Mount to start the process
Once this is done, click on “Scan” to start scanning the hard drive.
What do these Headers mean:
- Block: This is the block number at which the read error occurred.
- Error: This is standard error message that returns during scan
- Relationship: This column will explain in simple terms where the unreadable block lies in relationship to any found file systems on the drive.
You can download Windows Surface Scanner from here.
Fix Hard Drive Bad Sectors
Ok, you found a Bad sector – so what next?
Well the first thing that you could do, is start backing up your data because there a good chance your hard drive might fail soon. If your hard is still under warranty then RMA it. If not then next thing is find a way to fix these bad sectors. There are a couple of programs out there which claims to repair bad sector. Each Hard drive manufactures has their own Hard drive diagnostic tools. Check their website and run a diagnostic just to be sure. I’ll recommend few programs which may be able to fix bad sectors.
HDD Bad Sectors Repair is a good program to repair Maxtor hard drives. Then there is Ultimate Boot CD - it has a couple of Hard drive repair utilities. If your willing to pay then one of the widely used paid application is Spinrite, which claims to repair bad sectors.
If nothing works then, now a days, hard drives are rather reasonably priced – do consider replacing it.