PC Hardware forum

General discussion

How do I fix bad sectors on my hard drive without an os?

by lizzyD52 / March 9, 2009 10:16 AM PDT

I've been trying to install linux. I wiped the drive but installation is halted. I've figured out the reason is some bad sectors on the hd. How can I fix this with no operating system?

So far I've downloaded some support software for the Western Digital internal hard drive, but it doesn't solve my problem. Any ideas?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: How do I fix bad sectors on my hard drive without an os?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: How do I fix bad sectors on my hard drive without an os?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Which diagnostics program?
by Steven Haninger / March 9, 2009 10:37 AM PDT

Run the one that writes zeros to all locations. It will disclose problems with the media. Depending on the model of the drive, it's sometimes possible to remap bad locations to spares but this isn't recommended as a permanent solution.

Collapse -
Forgot to mention
by Steven Haninger / March 9, 2009 10:43 AM PDT

It's called data lifeguard and comes in several flavors. With no OS you need to get the bootable floppy or CD version. But, you need to download that on a PC with an OS, of course.

Collapse -
by lizzyD52 / March 9, 2009 10:51 AM PDT
In reply to: Forgot to mention

That's the program I used. I was hoping for a more permanent fix, though.

Collapse -
only permanent fix is a new hard drive
by ramarc / March 9, 2009 11:04 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

hard drives reserve some space for spare sectors but a bad sector can't be fixed -- they can only be replaced with a spare. if data lifeguard can't format your disk and an OS install to successfully, a new drive is the best solution.

you could try to partition the drive to skip over the bad sectors and just ignore that partition but you're flirting with a hard drive failure.

Collapse -
by lizzyD52 / March 11, 2009 4:52 AM PDT
In reply to: Forgot to mention

That's the program I used. I was hoping for a more permanent fix, though.

Collapse -
hi li
by prajithbaba / June 12, 2009 7:16 PM PDT
In reply to: Thanks

use Norton_Partition_Magic software

Collapse -
WDM Disk Management
by johnpol78 / March 12, 2009 9:48 PM PDT

Yes you can Run WDM Disk Management to isolate or repair your disk from bad sector.

Collapse -
by fasttoon / March 13, 2009 11:27 AM PDT

Those hardware manufacturers software programs will only prepare it to a factory state, it might fix some bad sectors but usually not.

The best software I found that fixes bad sectors is Steve Gibson's SpinRite program, if it can be fixed it will fix it. It doesn't matter what type of file system you have either. With raid you have to do some extra work before it will work.

It is pricey at just under a $100 however it has been worth it for me as I saved or prolonged the use of drives over the last 10 years.

Collapse -
Fixing Disk
by WAArnold / March 14, 2009 1:28 AM PDT
In reply to: SpinRite

I have used Gibson spin disk over the years. I wont go into a long jibe but, if Chkdsk does not/wont fix that disk so you can use it, my experience has been a new disk is the only way to go. However, if you want to court disaster keep using the fixups. Yes a disk does come with set aside area for relocating bad sectors but a disk degrades to the place that does not work well.

Do yourself a favor, get a new disk

Collapse -
New Disk
by fasttoon / March 15, 2009 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: Fixing Disk

Agree with you buddy.

Should have clarified.

A new disk is required even if spinrite does fix it.

After spinrite most drives last another 1 week to 6 months before another pass with spinrite or just dying, I've had a few last years however this is not typical.

Spinrite will fix the problem as it is now, however unless you were lucky enough to just have a short run of disk sectors go bad it'll get worse and usually exponentially so you'll need a new disk soon.

Get a new drive, use spinrite on current drive, transfer all files to new drive.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,912 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,498 discussions
Laptops 20,411 discussions
Security 30,882 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 21,253 discussions
Windows 10 1,672 discussions
Phones 16,494 discussions
Windows 7 7,855 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,504 discussions


iPhone 8: Everything we know so far

This is all the iPhone 8 reports and rumors in one place. From a 5.8-inch OLED display, reports of wireless charging and even a 3D scanner for facial recognition, it's all here.