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How to Check for a Bad Hard Drive

by C.D. CrowderUpdated September 28, 2017

Checking for a bad hard drive when you first suspect the drive may be going bad can prevent you from losing your data. By checking for a bad hard drive, you have a chance to possibly fix the problem before it gets worse. A hard drive may only have a few bad sectors and not need to be replaced right away. Corrupt files or viruses can often cause bad sectors on a hard drive. Heat and electrical charges are also causes of bad hard drives.

Click on "My Computer" to view all partitions on your hard drive.

Right click your C: drive partition and choose "Properties."

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Click the Tools tab and press "Check Now" to set up a scan of your hard drive.

Check both the "Automatically fix file system errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" check boxes. Click "Start" to set up the scan.

Restart your computer for the scan to run. Go to Start>Turn off Computer>Restart. The entire scan can take up to several hours to run and will run in three stages. The more bad files and sectors, the longer the scan will take.

View the results of the final report. If there are multiple corrupt sectors that can not be fixed, you should back up all data and replace your hard drive.

Tips

If you have problems booting, shutting down, running programs, or with system freezes, you should run a check disk scan.

Warnings

If files are becoming corrupt or disappearing and a virus scan shows nothing, this is also a sign of a bad hard drive. Immediately back up all files to prevent any further loss until you can replace the drive.

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