What is bad sector?
A bad sector is a sector on a hard disk that can neither be accessed nor written due to physical damage or flash memory transistors failure. Usually, users can get bad sectors report by running chkdsk to check hard drive error, and the causes are varied: 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. The system may take much time to load, reboot or shutdown, and sometimes you can even not access your personal data. Such being the case, you may want to replace the hard drive with bad sectors, and copy the files or OS to the new one.
The case: clone HDD with bad sectors
This is a real case from Reddit. This user wants to know how to copy data from bad sector hard disk, and transfer the operating system without clean installation. Is this possible? the answer is yes. And from a data security perspective, 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 so 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 with the intelligent clone mode. You also can clone hard drive to SSD, or even clone larger drive to smaller drive 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 system disk from MBR to MBR. To clone GPT system disk to GPT disk, GPT to MBR or MBR 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 is an optional cloning mode that will clone all the sectors including the unused or logical bad sectors. 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 in BIOS or replace the old hard drive physically 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.