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Bad sectors appearing very suddenly

By J J K ·
Why would a Hd suddenly start to develop bad sectors? Eight have appeared in the last few weeks.
The drive is running quietly, with no apparent mechanical failure imminent. Therefore I suspect a logical HD problem, but what's causing it? Can it be a software conflict interfering with the write process?

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by Black Panther In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

Some bad sectors are quite normal. The main thing is to monitor the drive and see if the problem gets worse.

Important!**Start backing up Critical Files etc ( if you have not already done so )**

Go to the website for the drive's manufacturer and get a drive diagnostic utility to diagnose your drive.

Bad sectors can be created by software errors, or slight errors in the read/write heads which cause the data laid down on that particular sector to be completely illegible, and thus appear as bad to the operating system. This type of 'soft' bad sector can generally be fixed by completely erasing the disk (by writing every sector over with a pattern of zeroes).

Bad sectors created by a mechanical error have a tendency to breed more bad sectors quickly. Since the margin for error inside a working disk is so slim, any surface damage or debris created by a mechanical failure or 'head-crash' will quickly cause more damage as it interferes with the read/write heads. When formatted, a drive with 'hard' bad sectors like these will use the spare sectors to as much as possible replace the existing bad sectors as detailed above. Of course, if the bad sectors are still spreading due to loose particles or surface errors in the disk, the disk will still be unstable. At this point, the only option is to salvage as much data as possible from the drive before it dies completely.

If the drive is under warranty you may need to get it replaced if the problem gets worse.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

While the above is perfectly correct there are a couple of other options you should look at.

On boot up go into the BIOS and make sure that the SMART is enabled that way if there is a problem with the HDD you will get notified on boot up and you will know to backup your data and make preparations for replacing the Drive.

If the case is allowed to wobble around or move a bit with vibrations on the floor it is possible to have the heads touch the Platters while the drive is running the case is rocking about.

I've only seen one case where a HDD has suddenly started developing bad sectors and that was where the computer was running and a dog was scratching itself and moving the case around. Since that time the dog has been kept away from the room with the computer in it and the problem hasn't got any worse. But you should be looking for something like that to explain physical damage occurring and if that isn't the case the material is beginning to lift off the platters which means a new HDD very soon.


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Bad Dog

by rounhere In reply to

That's funny "A dog Crashed My HD" I had a similar problem except my computer desk sits opposite a wall with a high speed clothes washer and when that baby spins at 1100 rpm with a full load of blue jeans my whole desk shakes but so far the bad sectors on my Seagate have been marked and moved by using the disk utility from the manufacturer which in my opinion should be used quarterly to check your disk's health to prevent data loss.

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by jmgarvin In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

HDD sometimes just do, but for the most part it is usually due to jostling of the case or HDD. It can also be caused by a small hole in the seal that allowed a little dust to get into the hdd casing.

Keep an eye on it. Make sure to backup often and see if it gets worse. If not it might not be "hard" bad sectors, it could be soft.

Soft bad sectors develop because of a magnetic problem of some sort. Usually this can be fixed with a format.

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by TechKid In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

Bad sectors normal?? Not a chance. This isn't like an LCD where you need to have a certain percentage of bad sectors in order for your warranty to kick in. Your drive is failing, replace it.

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by sgt_shultz In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

i'm with the Kid. bad sectors mean bad media. you got a physical boo boo. it is getting worse and worse maybe because head smacking to hard or maybe because detritus in there dragged around by head...back up now! and warranty replace drive...
if power went off suddenly, that could cause it...
not software. software stuff can be fixed with chkdsk. bad sectors mean drive is magnetic media inside is damaged...

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by n.u.r.v. In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

Well all the answers are cool but you need to look at your power supply...and power fluctuatuin during the read / write process can cost you big time on your HDD. Make sure you have an Automatic Voltage Stabiliser OR better (ie if you have a bad power source)

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by wlbowers In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

Every drive maker has a diagnostic program to check the drive.

Go to your drive makers site and download their diagnostic software.

Here are the major manufacturers.



Western Digital



Back up everything you want to save now. Don't ignore the problem. You will wind up asking for recovery software.


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by echrepublic2012 In reply to Bad sectors appearing ver ...

try PBD(Partition Bad Disk) to locate, isolate bad sectors to avoid getting more.

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