A bad sector is a sector on a hard disk that can neither be accessed nor written due to physical damage or failed flash memory transistors. Usually, users can get bad sectors report by running chkdsk to check hard drive for errors. Various reasons can lead to bad sectors on your hard disk like over-aging, overheating, file system error, virus attack, etc.
When bad sectors arise in your hard drive, your computer won’t work normally as before. You can’t access your personal data on your disk. Sometimes, your system even takes too much time to load, reboot or shutdown. How bad this is!
The case: clone HDD with bad sectors
“I recently purchased a Samsung 840 EVO in order to replace my current Western Digital HDD in my laptop (Dell Inspiron 15R N5110). I did this because my current hard drive was showing signs of failure, such as having bad sectors. However, because of these bad sectors I can't use Samsung's migration software to transfer both the OS and files from my old HDD to my new SSD. Is there any way that I can transfer both of these without having to do a fresh install of the OS on the SSD or manually transfer all of the files individually?”
This is a real case from Reddit. This user wants to know how to copy data from bad sector hard disk. Once you have a bad sector on your hard drive, you should take measures immediately!
What should you do when bad sectors appear?
Bad sectors are not really terrible as long as you take the right approach. There are two efficient ways for your reference.
Solution 1. Repair the hard disk with Windows CHKDSK utility
Your hard disk can be partially repaired by the Windows CHKDSK utility. Before running CHKDSK, you'd better restore everything that could be recovered beforehand. Then you can repair your hard drive in following steps:
Step 1. Open computer and find the disk (here is E:\).
Step 2. Right-click on the Start button. Then select Command prompt and run as Administrator from the menu.
Step 3. Type command chkdsk /f /r /x E: in the command prompt.
Step 4. Click Enter to start repair process.
It is recommended that you copy your data from bad sector hard disk to another drive after repairing.
Solution 2. Copy hard drive with bad sectors to another drive
The disadvantage of using CHKDSK is that it can physically fail if the drive is almost completely dead. What’s more, fixing hard disk is a time-consuming task. This is why we recommend you using another way – clone hard drive with bad sectors to another drive.
The annoyed thing is that many software cannot clone HDD with bad sectors or you must use its paid version. Is there a reliable freeware? The answer is yes. AOMEI Backupper Standard, the best free cloning software, runs smoothly on Windows 10, Windows 8.1/8, Windows 7, Windows Vista and XP.
This freeware allows you to clone hard disk and skip bad sectors. You also can clone hard drive to SSD, clone MBR to GPT disk with this powerful software. By the way, with volume shadow copy service (VSS) technology, the cloning process won’t interrupt your work.
How to copy data from bad sector hard disk?
How to clone a hard drive with bad sectors? All you need to do are a few clicks. You can refer to the following steps.
Before cloning, you need to connect the target disk (HDD, SSD or other external hard drives) to your PC. After cloning, the target disk will be overwritten. If you have some important data on it, you must backup the disk in advance.
If your computer refuses to boot, you can use AOMEI Backupper to create a bootable media on a well-functioning and Windows-based computer at first. Then boot your PC with this bootable media.
Step 1. Download, install and launch this software. Select Clone from the left side. Then click Disk Clone.
Note: This version only supports cloning disk with the same partition tyle, such as, cloning GPT disk to GPT disk. If you want to clone GPT disk to MBR or migrate MBR disk to GPT, you could consider upgrading to AOMEI Backupper Professional.
Step 2. Select the disk (Disk 0) that you want to clone. Then click Next.
Step 3. Select your Destination Disk (Disk 1). Then click Next.
Step 4. You can have a confirmation in this Operation Summary interface. Then you can click Start Clone to clone hard disk with bad sectors.
If you click Edit partitions on the destination disk in Step 4, you will face three options: Copy without resizing partitions, Add unused space to all partitions and Manually adjust partition size. The last two options are supported by AOMEI Backupper Professional. You can upgrade to the advanced version to edit partition size as you wish.
Sector by sector clone means the program will clone all sectors no matter it is used or not. Therefore, the target disk must be equal to or larger than the source disk.
If your target disk is a SSD, you can click Align partition to optimize for SSD to accelerate the reading and writing speed of the SSD.
If the old HDD has few bad sectors and can be repaired, you can reformat the HDD and take it as your second storage after cloning.
If you’ve cloned system hard drive to another drive, change boot order or replace the old hard drive to boot from the cloned drive.
How to copy data from bad sector hard disk? AOMEI Backupper can help you solve this problem with its simple steps and intuitive interface. Besides, this freeware provides many practical features like disk restore, partition clone, partition backup, etc. You can use them by your needs.