How to fix bad sectors in Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • Disk drives have a limited lifetime. One sign of old age is that bad sectors present themselves causing errors or data corruption.
  • Some of them can be dealt with by running chkdsk. For others, we need to replace the drive with a new one and not lose any data in the process. More details in the article.
  • Similar guides on fixing and repairing drives of all kinds can be found in the HDD section of our website.
  • Looking for complete guides to solve your Windows errors? Look no further than the Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub that we have.
fix bad sectors in Windows 10

Fixing bad sectors in Windows 10 represents a complex operation, but if you choose to follow the guidelines from below, you will be able to easily resolve the problems related to your device’s hard drive.

fix bad sectors Windows 10
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 I will explain to you how to recover these sectors and add data on a new hard drive.


Too many bad sectors? Use one of the best software to recover damaged Windows 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 sectors 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 to Fix Bad Sectors in Windows 10

  1. Scan for bad sectors
  2. Use Drive Manufactures Utility
  3. 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 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.

3. 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.

FAQ: Learn more about hard drive bad sectors

  • Can you fix bad sectors on a hard drive?

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.

  • Does formatting remove bad sectors?

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.

  • Will chkdsk fix bad sectors?

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.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2014 and has been since completely revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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