How to fix bad sectors in Windows 10/11

by Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew Wafer
Andrew is not just trying to bring you closer to Windows, but he's truly interested in this platform. He just happens to be passionate about sharing that knowledge... read more
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  • Bad sectors are a common occurrence when using a PC, especially in old machines.
  • The appearance of bad sectors brings the loss of data and even unusable clusters on your HDD.
  • One way to fix bad sectors on your partition is to perform a system scan.
  • Third-party software that can handle bad sectors exists, and they even offer free trials.
fix bad sectors in Windows 10

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Right from the start, you should know that the Windows system can’t always fix bad sectors on a damaged hard drive. The OS can indeed detect these sectors and prevent you from placing new data on them.

As you know, if your hard drive has bad sectors, then the data which is saved there might get lost, if of course, you can’t manage to restore it.

So, due to the same reason, in the guidelines below I will first show you how to scan your Windows 10 device in order to check if the hard drive is having bad sectors or not, and then we will explain to you how to recover these sectors and add data on a new hard drive.

Also, note that installing or reinstalling your Windows 10 system from scratch or choosing to repair or refresh your OS will not fix the bad sector issues.

So, just read the steps below and decide whether to apply the same or to take your device back to service for technical assistance.

How do I fix bad sectors in WIndows 10?

  1. Scan for bad sectors
  2. Use third-party software
  3. Use Drive Manufactures Utility
  4. Fix disk errors via Command Prompt

1. Scan for bad sectors

First of all, scan for bad sectors; you can do it in two ways:

  1. Right-click on your hard drive – select Properties – choose the Tools tab – select Check – scan drive
  2. Open an elevated cmd window:
    • Go to your Start page – right-click on your Start button
    • From there select Open cmd with administrator rights and there type chkdsk /F /R -> press Enterbad sector

Now, if there are bad sectors detected, remember that Windows can’t fix them. Here’s what you need to do to solve your problem.

2. Use third-party software

Bad sectors can be caused by overheating, the age of the HDD, file system errors, malware, and more, and they all result in clusters of memory that cannot be written on anymore.

This also usually means that any data stored in those sectors will be lost, and it becomes increasingly difficult to recover any data from them unless you have dedicated data recovery software at your disposal.

Modern-day tools that deal with such issues don’t only deal with bad sectors, some can even handle entirely broken partitions, recovering the data from them without any issues.

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3. Use Drive Manufactures Utility

  1. Take out your damaged hard drive.
  2. Buy a new hard drive and appropriate USB adapters.
  3. Connect your old hard drive on another computer and check for bad sectors as shown above.
  4. Then, connect your new hard drive to the same computer.
  5. Up next use the drive manufacturer’s utility (just follow the on-screen wizard) and clone your old and damaged drive into your new hard drive.
  6. In the end, place the new hard drive on your Windows 10 device as you are done.

4. Fix disk errors via Command Prompt

On Windows 10, you can run a disk check using Command Prompt. There are also two more commands that you can use to detect and repair logical and physical issues.

  1. Start Command Prompt as administrator and type the chkdsk C: /f command > hit Enter.
  2. Replace C with the letter of your hard drive partition.

If you do not use the /f parameter, chkdsk displays a message that certain files need to be fixed, but it does not fix any errors.

The chkdsk D: /f command detects and repairs logical issues affecting your drive. To repair physical issues, run the /r parameter as well, as shown in the screenshot below.

So, there you have it — this is how you can scan for bad sectors on Windows and also this is how you can easily fix bad sectors by yourself.

Do use the comments field from below in case you want to share your thoughts with us and our readers.

Also, if you’ve got additional tips and suggestions on how to fix bad sectors in Windows 10, you can list them in the comments below.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • If the bad sectors are caused by software errors then yes, they can be fixed with the Disk Utility from Windows or other similar software. Physical damage to the drive can’t be repaired.

  • Software-caused bad errors can be fixed by formatting. However, the normal quick mode of formatting won’t work here. A low-level format will do the trick.

  • The Windows check disk tool will detect bad sectors and mark them as such. This will prevent Windows from using those sectors. Read our guide to see what else you can do to fix bad sectors.

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