Troubleshoot | Recover Data from Hard Drive with Bad Sectors

Get corresponding methods to recover data from hard drive with bad sectors and fix HDD with bad sectors on this page. Besides, there’re some relevant suggestions for you.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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Is it possible to recover data from hard drive with bad sectors?

For computers, a bad sector is a permanently damaged disk error on a disk storage unit. If a sector is hurt, all the saved files of that sector could lose. An operating system such as Windows or Linux will automatically avoid detected and marked bad sectors as long as its OS discovers these errors.


So some users raise questions:


  My 250GB HDD doesn’t show up at all. Moreover, loading one of the four partitions always takes a long time. But I cannot access any files. After talking to a few friends, I found many bad sectors on this hard drive. So is it possible for me to recover data from bad sector hard disk? Thanks.   

- A user from TenForums

Users cannot access the saved data on their computers after a hard disk drive failure (physical damage & logical damage).

Bad sectors is one of the major manifestations of logical damage. Accurately, if there’s a growing number of bad sectors of hard drives, your hard disk drives are going to fail.


As you can see, it’s difficult to read data from bad sectors. Let alone modifying its data. So is it possible to recover data from dead hard drives? It turns out it is possible. Please read further.  

How to recover data from hard drive with bad sectors?

In brief, recovering data from hard drive with bad sectors means salvaging readable and modifiable data from healthy sectors. Please get an overview of these two feasible fixes.

Plan A. Perform a disk clone to a new drive

For failing hard drives with bad sectors, the most straightforward fix is to clone the hard drive skipping bad sectors to another drive. Because even after fixing HDD bad sectors, its data saved in bad sectors cannot be retrieved successfully.

Leading partition manager software, AOMEI Partition Assistant is good at cloning disks. Let’s show how it works.   

You’d better use a blank hard drive to save cloned data because all the existing data on your destination hard drive will be replaced. If not, make a Partition/Disk Backup before cloning.
Please ensure the capacity of your destination drive is much larger than the old hard drive.
Download Demo Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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Step 1. After launching AOMEI Partition Assistant on your PC, click All Tools > Disk Clone Wizard.


Step 2. You’re advised to select the “Clone Disk quickly” option. If you need, you can also choose the option according to your needs.


Step 3. Please locate your source and destination disks. If the selected destination disk is an SSD storage, check the “Optimize the performance of SSD” button.


Step 4. You can resize the partitions on the target disk or not. A Note will pop up about how to boot the computer from the destination disk. After that, click the “Finish” button.


Step 5. Please go back to the main interface and click Apply > Confirm.


Plan B. Recover data from hard drive with bad sectors using data recovery software

Besides, restoring existing and missing data to a secure disk is another way to get data off an old hard drive with bad sectors.

Professional Windows data recovery software like MyRecover can detect deleted & lost files from your hard drives with bad sectors.   

Powerful features: Recover deleted & lost MS Office files, folders, compressed files, photos, videos, audio, and hundreds of file types from HDD, USB, SD cards, etc.
Easy-to-find: During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can search your desired folders by Path, Filename, Date, etc.
Convenient: Retain the original Format, Path, and Filename for the deleted files.   
Excellent compatibility: Support NTFS, FAT32, exFAT, and ReFS file systems.

How to recover data from dead hard drives? Download and install MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows PC to recover data as much as possible!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
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Step 1. After launching MyRecover, hover the mouse over the partition that stores your desired files. Then click Scan.


Step 2. You can quickly locate your desired image files by Name, Path, Date, or Type. You can also wait to view all the deleted & lost files after the scanning process.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Recycle Bin/Other Missing Files folder and select the files you want to restore. Then click the “Recover x files” button.


After the Windows data recovery process, you’re supposed to save these retrieved files in another safe location.

Bonus tips: How to fix HDD with bad sectors?

Undeniably, the more bad sectors accumulate on your hard drives, the more data you’ll lose. So are you bothered by fixing bad sectors on hard drives? Please get specific fixes below if it happens to be your case.

1. Fix HDD bad sectors via CHKDSK

Does CHKDSK fix bad sectors? Undoubtedly, it does because CHKDSK aims to check a volume’s file system and file system metadata for physical and logical errors. And the /f, /r, /x, or /b parameters can help you correct volume errors.


With bad sectors, there’ll be no data to recover detected from your hard drives.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search bar and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Type “chkdsk” in the window.


Step 3. Type “chkdsk d: /f” or “chkdsk d: /r” as you need.


2. Perform a quick format to fix HDD bad sectors

Does quick format delete files? Yes, this process could remove all the content (including the bad sectors) on the drive and generates a new file system for further use. Let’s show how it works.

After opening Disk Management, please right-click on your hard drive with bad sectors. Then click Format > Perform a quick format > OK.


Wrapping up

How to recover data from hard drive with bad sectors? Since you’re not allowed to read or access bad sectors, you can only recover hard drive data from healthy sectors. Please get specific steps from the above two ways. For hard drive bad block repair, please go to the last part directly.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.