What do I do if my drive reports bad sectors?

Explains several methods for finding and correcting bad sectors.

Bad sectors can often be corrected by using a spare sector built into the drive. However, any information written to a bad sector is usually lost.

There are several methods for finding and correcting bad sectors.

  1. Use the Error Checking utility built in to Microsoft Windows.
    1. Double Click (My) Computer, and right-click the hard disk.
    2. On the shortcut menu, click Properties, and on the Tools tab in the Properties dialog box.
    3. Click Check Now in the Error-Checking Status area.
    4. In the Check Disk dialog box, select the Automatically Fix File System Errors check box, select the Scan For And Attempt Recovery Of Bad Sectors check box, and then click Start.
    View Windows help on detecting and repairing disk errors for more information.
  2. Use SeaTools diagnostics for Seagate and Maxtor drives and run a long test.  For Seagate SCSI drives, use Seatools Enterprise.
  3. Erase the drive:
    • For internal ATA/IDE and SATA drives: Use SeaTools for DOS to perform a full zero fill.
       This option will erase ALL data on the partitions on the drive.
      For more information on performing a zero-fill, please see Document ID: 203931.
    • For SCSI drives: Use Seatools Enterprise (for Seagate drives) to perform a low-level format on the drive.
    • For external drives: Use DiscWizard or your external drive management software to zero-fill your external drive.
    • For OneTouch 4 drives, you may use the Maxtor Manager to erase the drive. See Document ID: 200231 for guidance.
    • For OneTouch, OneTouch 2, OneTouch 3, and OneTouch 3 mini drives, you may use the OneTouch Manager to erase the drive.
    • For Seagate Pocket Drives, please use the Toolkit software to Reset to Factory Default. If you need the software, you may download it here.