How to check and fix bad sectors on a hard disk?

  1. Bad sectors and their causes
  2. Consequences of bad sectors
  3. How to detect bad sectors?
  4. Detection bedov ordinary programs
  5. HDDScan program
  6. Boot programs to search for bad sectors
  7. Create bootable flash drive with Victoria HDD
  8. How to boot from a flash drive?
  9. Work with Victoria HDD boot application

Many users of personal computers have come across such a term as "Bad Sectors" - these are the very "bad sectors" (bad sectors, bads, bad blocks) that cause the hard drive to experience problems or cease to function. . Consider what bad sectors are and how to determine their presence in a hard drive with the help of special service utilities, accompanying all this with screenshots.

Bad sectors and their causes

Broken sectors are those areas of the surface of the hard disk on which it is impossible to write or read information from them. In most cases, they occur as a result of physical impacts on the hard drive, for example, when it falls. The reading head in such situations comes into contact with the disk surface, leaving microscopic scratches on it and, as a result, incapacitating some of its small part - the sector.

Bad sectors can arise for reasons beyond the control of the user. The surface of a hard disk consists of millions of magnetized elements. If these elements lose their magnetic properties, the information also cannot be written down or read from the demagnetized area. And the degaussing itself may be the result of logical errors, short-term overheating of the device and for other reasons.

And the degaussing itself may be the result of logical errors, short-term overheating of the device and for other reasons

Consequences of bad sectors

Everything is clear here - bad sectors make it impossible to read and write information to the hard disk. Hence, in the work of the hard drive there are all sorts of errors that affect the performance of the computer as a whole:

  • Hanging the operating system at any stage - loading, executing tasks, shutting down.
  • Reduced computer performance when performing tasks related to writing / reading information from the hard disk.
  • Frequent occurrence " blue death screens "(Windows) when working with a computer.
  • The emergence of errors when launching applications, opening files and performing other tasks from the category - "Unable to read data", "Errors while trying to read information from the disk", etc.
  • Loss of information stored on the hard disk and much more.

The user may not be aware of the presence of bad sectors until the moment when an attempt is made to write data to the damaged area of ​​the disk.

How to detect bad sectors?

In fact, there is only one (out of the number available to ordinary users) a way to check a hard disk for bads - device diagnostics using special service utilities. However, this can be done directly from the operating system or with the help of boot programs that allow you to run this or that hard drive testing utility.

The choice in favor of this or that option is obvious - if the computer successfully turns on and works with the existing hard disk, you can use the usual testing programs. If the PC cannot, for whatever reason, start up the operating system, it remains to use the second diagnostic method, which will require another working computer, a USB flash drive, a set of special tools and a little time.

Detection bedov ordinary programs

There are a large number of paid and free applications under Windows that can diagnose the performance of a hard disk, including the detection of bad sectors. Consider the work of one of these programs - HDDScan.

HDDScan program

This is one of the most famous programs for testing hard drives. The application has a minimal set of service functions, among which there is also a tool for detecting bad sectors. Working with the program is very simple:

  • Launch the application, then select the name of the hard disk under test from the drop-down menu at the top of the window.

Launch the application, then select the name of the hard disk under test from the drop-down menu at the top of the window

  • After that click on the "Tests" button to select and then run the diagnostics.

After that click on the Tests button to select and then run the diagnostics

  • The program will offer four test methods. You can choose any of them, except the last - "Erase". The procedure "Erase" in the course of its work completely erases user data from the disk, which is usually required when restoring a hard drive - this is not our case.

Consider, for example, the work of the Butterfly test. In the course of work, this test diagnoses disk sectors in pairs - from the first and last, gradually shifting to the central part of the disk space. To start testing, click on the "Butterfly" button. In the next window, leave everything as is. Click on the right arrow.

  • A new task will appear in the task pane. Click on it and select "Show Details" from the dropdown menu.

Click on it and select Show Details from the dropdown menu

  • In the newly opened window, you can monitor the progress of the test.

In the newly opened window, you can monitor the progress of the test

  • We are interested in the statistics given in the right side of the test window. The program during the test measures the time of reading data from a particular sector. If reading takes too much time, the sector is probably damaged. The program will assign the corresponding status to the bit block and enter the received information into the "Bads" section (dark blue square) of testing statistics.

By the time the hard disk diagnostics can take several hours - it all depends on the amount of disk space and the technical condition of the device.

Boot programs to search for bad sectors

This method is used not only if the computer cannot load the operating system. Detecting bad sectors when using boot programs is also a more efficient and fast diagnostic method. In addition, system failures, actions of malicious programs and other factors will not affect the work of the boot application.

Among the programs that work with the hard drive in boot mode, the most popular is the Victoria HDD. This is a free application with great functionality for working with any hard drives. The only difficulty in using Victoria HDD is the need to create a bootable USB flash drive. But everything is actually easier than you might think.

Create bootable flash drive with Victoria HDD

To perform this operation will require:

  • Flash drive;
  • The program for creating a bootable flash drive - WinSetupFromUSB;
  • Bootable version (ISO image) of the utility Victoria HDD.

The WinSetupFromUSB program can be downloaded from the official website of the developer or in catalog SoftSalad.ru . Bootable version of Victoria HDD also available here .

Then everything is simple:

  • Connect the flash drive to the computer and run the WinSetupFromUSB application.
  • In the upper part of the program window, select the USB flash drive with which to work.

In the upper part of the program window, select the USB flash drive with which to work

  • Below, tick the box "Auto format it with FBinst", even lower - specify the NTFS file system. Attention! All data from the flash drive will be deleted when you start recording boot programs on it.

All data from the flash drive will be deleted when you start recording boot programs on it

  • Next, in the "Add to USB disk" box, check the box next to "Linux IO ...". Click the "..." Button on the contrary, then select the ISO image of the previously downloaded Victoria HDD program.

 Button on the contrary, then select the ISO image of the previously downloaded Victoria HDD program

  • Next, click on the "GO" button in the lower right corner of the program window. A dialog box will appear on the screen with a warning about erasing all data - click "OK" or "Yes."
  • When the download is complete, a success message will appear on the screen.

Now you need to boot from the newly created bootable USB flash drive, and then start testing the hard disk in the Victoria HDD program.

How to boot from a flash drive?

The easiest way to download from any storage media is as follows:

  • Turn off and then turn on the computer.
  • Click on the "F11" button (or another - depending on the model of the motherboard).

Click on the F11 button (or another - depending on the model of the motherboard)

  • A menu with boot options appears on the screen.
  • Select the name (factory) of the flash drive with the arrows on the keyboard, then press "Enter".
  • If everything went well, the following will be displayed:

If everything went well, the following will be displayed:

  • Press enter key. Then a small menu will appear on the screen with a suggestion to choose the Victoria HDD utility for desktop (for Desktop) computers or laptops (for Notebook). There may be other menu items. Select the appropriate option with the arrow keys, then press "Enter", the program will be launched.

Select the appropriate option with the arrow keys, then press Enter, the program will be launched

If for some reason the boot options menu does not work, you will have to change the BIOS settings slightly. All that is required is to choose a USB flash drive as the main media for downloading:

  • Enter the BIOS interface by pressing the "F1", "F2", "F12" or "Delete" button (another option is possible).
  • Next, you need to find a section in which you configure the computer boot settings. As an example, we present the user interface BIOS of a modern version (the so-called UEFI with a simpler, more convenient and understandable interface).
  • In our example, the computer boot options are configured in the "Boot" section. After switching to the partition in the "Boot Option Priorities" section, you need to select and open the "Boot Option 1" option.

After switching to the partition in the Boot Option Priorities section, you need to select and open the Boot Option 1 option

  • A small menu will appear on the screen, in which you need to select the name of the flash drive, then press the enter key. Thus, a flash card will be installed as the main bootable media. The factory name of the flash drive will be displayed opposite the parameter "Boot Option 1". The name of the hard disk will move to "Boot Option 2" (secondary boot disk).

The name of the hard disk will move to Boot Option 2 (secondary boot disk)

  • Then it remains to save the changes in the BIOS and restart the computer. In our case, go to the section "Exit" and start the function of saving the parameters - "Save Changes and Exit".

In our case, go to the section Exit and start the function of saving the parameters - Save Changes and Exit

The computer will restart. If the flash drive was recorded correctly, and the computer does not have any technical problems, the Victoria HDD utility will start successfully.

Work with Victoria HDD boot application

The main window of the Victoria HDD program looks like this:

At the bottom of the window, you can see the message that you need to press the "P" key (English layout) to select a channel (port). If you do this, the screen will display a list of available ports to which hard drives can be connected. All modern hard drives work through the channel "PCI Ata / Sata". Select the appropriate item in the menu and press the enter key.

The next step is to select the hard drive to be tested. In our case, there are two of them. The message “Enter channel number” will appear in the lower part of the window. This should enter the number of the desired hard drive, then press the "Enter" key.

After selecting the hard drive remains to run the scan function. To do this, press the hot key "F4". Further one more small menu will be displayed. It is necessary to choose the method of testing.

To select a test, simply press the left or right arrow on the keyboard. For example, we chose the same as last time - "Butterfly". After selection, press the enter key. The detection of bad sectors will be launched.

Next, it remains to monitor the "Defects" section, in which the found bad sectors will be displayed.