How to Fix Bad Sectors on a Hard Disk

The minute your computer's hard disk starts to act flaky, make sure you have an up-to-date backup. Then you can do some simple diagnostics and repairs. Both Windows and Mac OS come with built-in hard-disk utility software that scans your hard disk for errors and attempts to fix them.

  1. For Windows

    • 1

      Double-click on My Computer to open the My Computer window.

    • 2

      Select the disk that you want to diagnose and repair.

    • 3

      Choose Properties from the File menu. You should see the Properties window for the drive that you selected.

    • 4

      Choose the Tools tab.

    • 5

      Click the Check Now button under Error Checking Status.

    • 6

      Depending on your version of Windows, choose either "Thorough" or "Scan for and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors."

    • 7

      Click on Start.

Tips & Warnings

  • Third-party hard-disk utilities do a more thorough job of diagnosis and repair than the software that comes with Windows or Mac OS, but they work much better if you install them before you have a problem.
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