Bad Sectors on Hard Drive

I have 6.4 GB Hard disc divided into 3 patitions(C,D & E).  For some reason some bad sectors are developed on C drive which can not be fixed.

When I boot my computer, Scandisk starts running saying that Windows was not shut properly and there may be some error on hard drive.  It starts scanning the hard drive and when it reaches 26%, a message pops up saying that bad secotor found at 2156 and Scandisk will try to by pass this secotor and will offer you to do Surface scan to fix the problem.  But at this stage i.e. at 26% completion my PC freezes and progress bar stays at 26% leaving me no option but turn the power off.

I tried to use my Windows 98 emergency boot disk and tried use CHKDSC, but it did not help.  I tried to boot PC in Safemode and also in DOS mode and again used Scandisk from C prompt. Again same result i.e. it freezes at 26%.

I had no problem in running Scandisk on drive D and E.  The problem is only with C drive.

I need help from all you EXPERTS in cleaning this bad sectors from my C drive so that I can atleast boot my computer in Windows 98.  If possible I would like to avoid reformating my C drive.

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First, it is not required by Win98 to run SCANDISK before booting.  As soon as it starts running automatically, choose the exit option.  It will give you a warning that you can safely ignore at this point.

Second, BACKUP YOUR DATA FROM THIS ENTIRE DRIVE ASAP!!!  I cannot stress this enough.  The problems you are seeing can very well be caused by a failing hard drive.

Third, make another backup of your C: drive as you will need to reformat it.  The integrity checker in SCANDISK is limited in it's ability to handle hard error in the formatting of the drive.  That is what you have going on here.  When you run FORMAT from DOS, it will map out bad sectors as it finds defective sectors or will recover those that just got corrupted.  This is also a good place to mention an amazing tool called SPINRITE from Gibson Research.  I've had a copy of this for years and it does a fantastic job or reformatting a disk in place.  That way you don't have to restore your data after you reformat.  You still need to make a backup, just in case, but in most cases you don't need it.  See

Fourth,  keep a sharp eye on this drive.  Even if you recover it successfully, this is one indication of a failing drive.  Keep important stuff backed up.

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Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
jhance is right.  This drive is more than likely failing and this is a red flag.  Due to sector sparring, IDE hard drives should never have bad clusters (at least detectable by software...all drives old and new have defects; they're usually mapped out by the manufacturer so you don't see them.) Best to backup your information and start saving up for a new hard drive.
yep i agree, the head is crashing, its only a matter of time before you can say good bye, get it backed as soon as possiblem, also most hard disks are gauranteed 3 years, go to the manufactures web site, get a RMA number and get it shipped off, they will replace either the whole drive with a new one or replace the the stuff inside for a new one and get it shipped back to you, i have just done the same with 2 3 gig drives at seagate, only takes a couple of weeks to do....

Craig C.
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Jagdish_BodaniAuthor Commented:
Thank you all of you for your responses.

My hard disk is dying and I need to backup.

Only thing I have available is DOS prompt and no windows.  Most of my files are bigger than 1.4 MB and and they all have longer file names.  Even I Zip, most of the files will be bigger than 1.4 MB.

How do I backup using DOS?.  I have hundreds of personal files and tons of mp3 songs.

I have Iomega external zip drive.  Do you think this will be available in DOS?

I am already looking into replacing hard drive.


Adam LeinssServer SpecialistCommented:
Yes...there is a DOS driver called guest.exe that will assign a drive letter in DOS.  You should be able to download this as I believe it comes off of Iomega's website as DOS Tools
You will still be able to get into Windows by canceling out of Scandisk as said above.  If this still does not work, then Guest is the way to go.  The drive should be under waranty.
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