How to Repair A Bad Sector in Windows 10/8/7

Brithny updated on Dec 11, 2020 to Disk/Partition Clone | How-to Articles

What to do when a hard disk has a bad sector problem in Windows 10/8/7? Pick up the best solution to repair bad sectors on your drive and protect your data immediately.

Part 1. Check the Bad Sectors on Your Hard Drive
Part 2. Repair Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows
Your Best Choice -  Clone Disk to A Good/Bigger One (Skip Bad Sectors)
Repair Soft/Logical Bad Sectors in Windows
Hard/Physical Bad Sector Repair
More Infomation about Bad Sectors

Occasionally, when one or more bad sectors come upon on a good hard disk, the disk will go bad. When this happens, the data in those bad sectors may be lost, but the data on the rest of the disk will be unaffected and the disk is still completely usable. In order to help you fully get rid of the bad sectors on your hard drive and rescue your data as soon as possible, we suggest you follow through with the tips below before you take action to repair bad sectors:

Bad Sector Overview

Before you start, learn the basic information of bad sectors so as to pick a better solution and remove bad sectors from your drive.

# What Is Bad Sector

According to Wikipedia and professional IT sites, the bad sector is defied a permanently managed storage unit on a hard disk. Once the sector gets damaged, all saved information in that section is lost. Usually, the operating system like Windows 10/8/7 will skip the bad sector once it's found and marked.

# Two types of Bad Sectors

Basically, there are two types of bad sectors - Hard bad sector (also called Physical bad sector) and Soft bad sector (also known as the Logical bad sector).

Hard bad sector is mainly caused by physical damage (in 1,2 causes), such as manufacturing error, physical broken, etc. While the soft bad sector is usually related to software issues (in the 3rd cause) such as improper operations on hard drive, file system error, etc.

Due to the different causes of bad sectors, the ways to repairing bad sectors are also varied. Continue reading, you will find the best solutions to repair bad sectors on your hard drive in Windows 10/8/7.

Part 1. Check the Bad Sectors on Your Hard Drive

Although we have explained that bad sectors can be defined as physical and logical bad sectors. But you may still don't know how to define them. Here is a simple rule for you to tell the difference: whether you can check bad sectors on your drive?

If you can run a disk checking and you can get the basic information about bad sectors, it's highly possible that your drive is having soft bad sectors. If not, the situation will become worse and it could be the hard bad sectors.

To know about the amount of the bad sectors clearly, a professional tool is recommended - EaseUS Partition Master Free Edition. It can directly help you check the bad sectors from the hard disk in Windows 10/8/7 for free with simple clicks.

Step 1. Launch EaseUS Partition Master and right-click the disk that you want to check, and then click "Surface test".

Step 2. The operation will be immediately performed. Bad sectors will be marked as red.

wait for the process to check your sectors

When there are too many bad sectors, the scanning process will be stuck. Wait patiently. After the process, you could know exactly how many bad sectors are there.

If there are only a few bad sectors, you may efficiently fix it by using a reliable tool.
If the bad sectors have accumulated to a certain extent, your best choice is to replace the drive with a bigger and new one by cloning the disk.
If the error is serious with abnormal noise on the drive, replacing the disk by cloning still worth a shot. But take action immediately in case the error becomes worse.

Part 2. Repair Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows

As you may know that when the operating system detects bad sectors, it would mark them as unusable no matter it's logical or physical bad sectors. As a result, data loss and the loss of disk capacity is unavoidable.

Pick up any method below to get rid of bad sectors from your drive or external storage device now.

Your Best Choice -  Clone Disk to A Good/Bigger One (Skip Bad Sectors)

Applies to: remove or skip bad sectors, take care of your data by disk cloning.

If the disk contains many soft bad sectors, always stuck or slow to load data on the computer, or the drive is failing due to physical bad sectors, it is impossible to repair the bad sectors. Your wise choice is to replace the disk.

Here we’d like to recommend you try a powerful disk cloning software - EaseUS Disk Copy which is fully compatible with all the Widnows operating systems.

You can just apply this software to help you upgrade and clone the hard drive without bad sectors to a good one with ease.


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Replace the Disk with a Good one


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If your computer can't boot into your operating system, you must download this software and create a bootable USB. Then you can follow the steps below:

Remember to connect your good new hard drive to the computer as a storage device in advance.

Step 1: Choose "Disk mode" and select the smaller hard drive as the source disk.

select the hard drive that you want to clone

Step 2: Choose the bigger hard drive to save the data and then click "Next".

select the destination disk - the bigger one

Step 3: A warning message tells you that the data on the destination disk will be overwritten. Click “OK” to continue if you do not have important data on the destination disk.

confirm the message

Step 4: Edit the disk layout and then click "Proceed" to continue.

  • "Autofit the disk" resize the layout on destination disk according to the size of it to make the disk as the best status.
  • "Copy as the source" doesn’t change anything on destination disk and the layout is same as source disk.
  • "Edit disk layout" allows you to manually resize/move partition layout on this destination disk.
check the diak layout

Step 5: Wait for the process to complete.

wait for the process to end

When the cloning process finishes, shut down your computer, insert the newly upgrade hard drive to your computer and replace the old drive. If it's a system drive, set the computer to boot from a new hard drive instead of the old one in BIOS.

Repair Soft/Logical Bad Sectors in Windows

Applies to: repair soft bad sectors on your drive.

If your hard drive is experiencing one or more bad sectors, still accessible, follow our instructions to fix your problem as soon as possible.

# 1. Restore Data First

If your hard drive contains bad sectors but still accessible, take action to back up data from your drive and save to another secure location first.

If your hard drive becomes inaccessible, apply reliable data recovery software to scan and restore your valuable data first.

# 2. Run CHKDSK Command and Format Hard Drive

If there only a few bad sectors on your drive, you can run CHKDSK command and format the drive to repair those bad sectors:

Step 1. Run the CHKDSK command to fix soft bad sectors.

1. Press the Windows key and type cmd.

2. Right-click "Command Prompt" and choose "Run as administrator".

3. Type chkdsk E: /f /r /x and hit Enter. (Replace E with the drive letter of your hard drive.)

Fix soft bad sectors using CHKDSK command

Step 2. Format hard drive to usable again

1. Open Windows File Explorer, locate and right-click on your hard drive.

2. Select "Format", reset the file system as NTFS, tick "Quick Format" and click "Start".

After this, you can save your data back to your hard drive and use it again.

Hard/Physical Bad Sector Repair

Applies to: fix hard bad sectors.

Mostly, when your hard drive contains hard bad sectors, you cannot repair bad sectors by using normal solutions. The only possible way is to low-level format the drive, resetting the hard drive blocks, clusters, and sectors.

A low-level format is also called a physical format. Modern hard drives are low-level formatted at the factory for the life of the drive. A PC cannot perform an LLF on a modern IDE/ATA or SCSI hard disk, and doing so would destroy the hard disk. That is to say, you can't repair a bad sector.

To resolve this issue, you have two choices:

1. Send your hard drive to the manufacturer or a local repair center, customize for low-level format.

2. Choose to clone the disk to a good one to avoid the hard disk getting worse with more bad sectors.


This page provides 3 major solutions to help you fix and repair bad sectors on the hard drive, external storage devices. The most efficient way is to replace the disk with a new one by using disk cloning software - EaseUS Disk Copy.

If you prefer to try to fix soft bad sectors, CHKDSK and formatting will work. As for the hard bad sectors, only the low-level format can help, which you can't do it on your own. You need to take your drive to the manufacturer for help.

More Information About Bad Sectors

Some people may also have questions about diagnosing if bad sectors are on your drive. You may judge from the following two factors:

# What are the symptoms of bad sectors?

When you meet one of the following symptoms, your hard drive or external storage devices may contain bad sectors:

  • Strange friction sound when booting or running hard drive.
    System pops up an error message, like "Sector not found" or "General error in reading drive C", etc.
    Disk won't format, getting an error.
    Scandisk (a diagnostic utility) automatically runs when the system is booted.
    Some operations stuck or become randomly to a certain process.

# What are the causes of hard bad sectors?

  1. 1. Hard drive was shipped from the factory with bad sectors. (e.g. SSD disk)
  2. 2. Physical damage, like:
  • Manufacturing error
  • Accidental drop, break, etc.
  • The touch of the hard drive header to the platter
  • Dust

# What are the causes of soft bad sectors

  1. Software issue, like:
  • Sudden shutdown of the computer
  • Sectors which contain data don't match the error-correction code
  • Viruses, malware messes computer, cause bad sectors.

# 3. How to avoid bad sectors?

Some of you may also want to know how to protect the drive from bad sector errors. Here are some tips:

1. Run Disk Check or CHKDSK command on your drive regularly to remove soft bad sectors.

2. Run virus cleaner software to remove viruses and malware.

3. Execute proper operations on your drive, for example: close all running programs before shutting down the computer.

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