Is your hard drive making loud noises and various error messages pop up when you start up and shut down your computer? Hard drive bad sectors are the most likely cause for these errors. Bad sectors are not uncommon and most systems have them without suffering any performance drops. However, when your hard drive becomes old or experiences shock or extreme conditions, the number of bad sectors can increase dramatically. When there are too many hard drive bad sectors, your computer becomes slow and unreliable. And if there are too many bad sectors, your hard drive may experience a fatal failure. Fortunately, it’s possible to fix some bad sectors and prevent the appearance of new ones. Here are a few tips that will help you.
To ensure that new bad sectors are not created, you must always remember to:
- shut down your computer in a proper way
- avoid hard drive shock and physical damage
- keep your computer free of malware
- keep your CPU fan and PC cables in good shape
This will help you keep your hard drive healthy. But there is even more you can do to fix bad sectors.
The first thing to do when you suspect that there might be hard drive bad sectors is to run the Check Disk utility (Chkdsk). This built-in Windows tool will scan your hard disk for logical errors and attempt to fix logical bad sectors. To run Chkdsk, do the following:
- Open (My) Computer and right-click on your hard drive
- Select Properties and go to the Tools tab
- Click on Check now
- Select both options in the pop-up window that appears
- Reboot your computer and let Chkdsk to run. It may take about an hour to complete, so make sure you don’t need to use your computer during the process
Another way to prevent hard drive bad sectors is to make sure your hard drives are free of junk files and your files are defragmented. You can delete junk files by running the Disk Cleanup utility. To launch it, do the following:
- Click on Start and go to Programs – Accessories – System Tools
- Launch the Disk Cleanup utility
- Select the drive you wish to check for junk files and click on Analyze
- Run the cleanup
To defragment your hard drive, follow the steps above, but select Disk Defragmenter instead.
These simple tips will help you avoid bad sectors and lengthen the life of your hard disk.