Bad sectors (also called clusters) occur when a part of the disc can no longer be written or read. When you save a file on the hard disk, the data is saved in different sectors which may or may not be adjacent to each other. If a sector that contains data from that file is damaged, it will be impossible to access loading it without errors occurring. Bad sectors of a disk cause errors (blocks or errors with the blue screen), poor performance and overheating of the PC that can take time to try to read data.
The sectors of the disc may be damaged for many reasons, random or due to shock, excessive heat or sudden computer shutdown.
To repair bad sectors of a disk it is possible to use the disk error checking tool on Windows, called Checkdisk or Scandisk explained in another article, or an external program that can be more effective and also capable of trying to recover files written to bad sectors. Speaking of free programs, we have here at least 4 excellent software that can repair disk sectors damaged on hard disk or on SSD, to be used as the first solution when the ScanDisk does not solve anything, when the PC often crashes and when there is a file that it cannot be opened because it cannot be read.
READ ALSO: Check the status of the Disk (HDD and SSD) with health, performance and speed tests
Programs to repair bad sectors
1) Seagate SeaTools
Seagate has two programs that do disk testing, both free called SeaTools Bootable is SeaTools for Windows, both downloadable from the official website, one more complete and powerful (the Bootable), the other easier to use, to try first.
SeaTools for Windows, as well as the bootable version, performs several fundamental tests to determine the status of the computer’s disk, compatible with all types of internal drives, both hard disk, an SSD, and also with external drives connected via firewire or USB. The program works with all producer discs, not just Seagate’s.
HDDScan is a historical disk health control program that works with all types of drives, including SSDs. Easy to use, this is a portable program that does not need to be installed and that supports Windows 10, Windows 8 and 7.
This tool includes a disk checking tool similar to the Windows Scandisk that allows you to find and try to restore bad sectors. With HDDScan you can also measure the speed of the PC disk, to compare it with other similar models, useful to know if it is worth replacing it or not.
3) Macrorit Disk Scanner
Macrorit Disk Scanner is a free and automatic program that checks the disk trying to detect and repair the bad sectors found. Without requiring installation, the program starts with a click after downloading it and in its interface shows a visual representation of the progress of the scan, indicating the clusters with problems with a red square. This tool is updated often and works with all versions of Windows, including Windows 10. There is a paid version of this program with more features for those who need not only occasional control.
GSmartControl is an open-source program for Windows, Mac, and Linux that can be downloaded in a portable version or in a version to be installed. GSmartControl can perform three different tests of the disc and gives a detailed judgment on the health status of the hard disk or SSD unit.
The tests are the quick two-minute test, the extended one that lasts more than an hour and inspects the entire surface of the unit to find errors and then the Autotest, a 5-minute scan to detect any damage that occurred during unit transport. Particular information can also be found, such as the count of the supply cycle, the frequency of error and the number of calibration attempts.
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