Is zeroing a hard drive the cure to bad sectors (and reallocating sectors the treatment)?

how bad are bad sectors?

4 Answers

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    To answer your second question, bad sectors are usually the first sign that a hard drive is on it's way to failure. To answer a question you didn't ask, the bad sectors are probably a result of a minor heat-related failure; basically, your hard drive became too hot and it caused issues with the recording layer of the hard drive itself.

    To answer your first question, all zeroing a hard drive does is overwrites the data on the hard drive once with either 0's, 1's, or a combination of 0's and 1's. This doesn't really do much for you in terms of fixing the hard drive (once a sector's bad, it stays bad) or securing the hard drive for the trash pile (you actually have to write a drive over 35 times so that any data on the drive can't be read by almost any device used for data recovery, according to the DoD).

    If you want to try to save your drive, you can run CHKDSK in Windows, FSCK from a command prompt in Linux, UNIX, or Mac OS X (yes children, Mac OS X has a command prompt - open Terminal in the Applications/Utilities/ folder), or do Repair Disk from Disk Utility in Mac OS X (also in the Applications/Utilities/ folder).

    The best advice I can give you, however, is to get a new hard drive. This one may last 3 days, 3 weeks, or 3 years in it's current condition, but it's much more likely to fail than a hard drive without bad sectors. Also, to avoid this issue in the future, make sure that you also clean your case out with a can of air, and if you have spots to install case fans but currently don't have fans in those spots, do yourself a favor and add fans; they're not very expensive and can make a huge difference in the lifespan of your computer and its components.

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    I feel your pain, I too had a drive act weird and finally, when scanned it yesterday showed 8kb bad sectors, but nothing else wrong...I even had World of Warcraft going with no problems. but about an an hour or 2 ago, it just stopped all together... nothing can save a damaged Hard Drive, backup what you can ASAP and get a new one...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Not really no. run a disk checking program (chkdsk in windows, fsck in linux, and god know's what in mac) off of a CD.

    Assuming you are using windows, put the cd in the tray, boot to the cd and press F6 when prompted to enter the recovery console. Then supply the admin password if prompted and type in


  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    i dont think that you can treat bad sectors to make them well. i think you need to have it checked esp if your hard drive is still under warranty, and you need to have that warranty and receipt/ proof of purchase to claim your free repair or replacement.

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