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bad sectors

Posted on 2003-03-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Is there a way to fix bad sectors?
I have a 40GB 7200rpm Westerd Digital Hard Disk and i noticed three days ago it has one bad sector and today i checked and itr was 4,,,,,
Is there a way to fix it


Question by:shomali
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Expert Comment

ID: 8051200
Pretty easy, you just have to run Scandisk,
Start, programs, accessories, system tools, Scandisk. Select your hard drive, check automatically repair.
first you have to close all the softwares, alt ctrl delete, and end task everything except explorer. That's it :-)
LVL 32

Accepted Solution

jhance earned 200 total points
ID: 8051275
SCANDISK DOES NOT FIX bad sectors!!  It merely MAPS THEM OUT of the way.

The only way to FIX bad sectors is via a LLF (LOW LEVEL FORMAT) utility.  WD has one for their drives.  You can get it from:


Note, however, that a LLF of your drive will WIPE IT CLEAN OF DATA.  So be sure to BACKUP before using it.

Author Comment

ID: 8051395
I have downloaded the LLF Utility of western digital and followed the instructions for it and when i ran the program it would say
Error - No Drives Found

Why is that?

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Expert Comment

ID: 8051422
Because the drive is fairly recent, then I recommend taking it back under warranty ASAP especially when number of bad sectors is growing.  Think of it like a 'brain tumor'.   Depending on how long ago you bought it, the standard warranty is either 1 to 3 yrs!

Bad sectors are famous for causing system instability, data loss, and drive failure.

All manufacturers will cover bad sectors under warranty.  Be prepared to wait though, I've waited over a MONTH for a seagate 30GB to be replaced!

With re: to the error message... how many drives do you have in your system?

Also, I would be more inclinded to use only scandisk.  That way, Windows know NOT to place any data where a bad sector has been mapped, to help with system stability.  I kind of think of LLF similar to placing sticks and grass over a deep hole in a walking track to hide it.  It doesn't mean that the hole has been fixed though does it?...

If you require any information, please let me know as I would be more than happy to help.

Kind regards,
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 8051462
An LLF won't guarantee that the bad sectors won't show up again.  It it is under warranty I'd go for returning it.  You can check the warranty status on the WD site.

Author Comment

ID: 8051491
IT'S not under warrenty, unfortunatly, but i need to understand a few things ..
I ran LLF and did the Quick test and and i got a message that errors were repaired but when i ran scandisk i still had the 4 bad sectors like before so i did the extended test and same problem, but i need to know about the "Write Zeros To Drive" and option in the program, what does it do and does it solve the problem . or if there is any other way to fix bad sectors

Expert Comment

ID: 8051515
Did you want to keep the drive, or sell it?

Essentially, you can't fix the bad sectors unless you have a 'clean room' and can replace the damamged hard disk platter.  Remember, Clean Room in this case doesn't mean a tidy room.  ;-)  It's do do with how many parts per million of foreign particles are in the air.

If you had intended on keeping the drive, them I'm afraid that the news is all bad.

If your going to sell it, and wanted to hide the bad sectors, then LLF (which you have already done), then fdisk and reformat the drive.  That should 'hide' the bad sectors, until another one develops.


Expert Comment

ID: 8052299
bad sectors reported by scandisk can be either actual bad sectors or what windows think is bad sectors. If its actual bad sectors then that means that some of the hard disk's sectors are physically damaged and can't be used. Otherwise bad sectors can also be sectors with broken or incomplete data (eg can happen when data is being written to HDD and power is turned off suddenly etc). If this is the case then Low level formatting and/or zero-filling the drive will fix the problem. But if the HDD is physically damaged then zero-fill or LLF won't work - you have to either replace or discard it.

what the "write zeros to drive" aka zero-fill option in disk utility programs does is fills each bit in the HDD with binary value 0 - hence zero-filling. if nothing else works then zero filling should be used - remember to backup. if WD disk utility doesn't work, you could try the Seagate Disk manager - works great for me. You can download it from the company's (seagate) web site.

Expert Comment

ID: 8052503
hi shomali

no drives found come sometimes when ur bios is corrupted too.

i would request you to first flash ur bios

which is pretty simple

wat is the model of system u have first

wat was the last thing u did on the system before all these issues happened?

does it go to desktop atleast?

wat windows do we have? windows 95 or 98 or me or xp or wat???

let me know what happened fully from the start of the issue.

badsectors can be rectified by using partition magic too.

if u have bad sectors try this first
go to 'dos prompt'

then type 'chkdsk'

if the 'total bytes of memory' is '655360' then i dont think u would have any bad sectors

but if the number is less than this

it might be something else

waiting for ur reply shomali




Author Comment

ID: 8070160
I have managed to remove bad sectors from the hard disk using LLF (and write zeros to drive)...but how soon do u think it will come again? and is it possible to use LLF again when it comes to fix it? or is there a limit for using LLF to fix bad sectors or not?

LVL 32

Expert Comment

ID: 8070763
It's not possible to say how soon because it's not know WHY they occurred to begin with.

It could be due to a power failure or a physical impact, or some other extraordinary event that will not recur.  In this case, your bad sectors will not return.

If, however, the drive is failing then new bad sectors will show up again soon.  If this is the case, scrap the drive and get a new one.

There is no limit to how many times you can LLF.  This operation merely writes the track/sector information to the drive and this operation is really little different than "normal" data write operations.

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