Bad sector is a sector on your hard drive that cannot be used for storing and reading data. A sector is marked as bad when it provides too slow reading speed or cannot be read at all.
We recommend to check HDD for bad sectors presence once a year. If you store some extremely important data on the drive – check it even more frequently. If you detected a bad sector don’t hurry to throw your HDD away. In many cases it can be fixed and you can use your disk storage again.
HDAT2 is a great utility designed to detect and repair bad and unstable sectors. It can be run from CD/DVD or USB disk. Here is our ultimate step-by-step guide on:
- how to create a bootable USB flash disk with HDAT2 utility;
- how to check your hard drive for software and hardware bad sectors;
- how to fix bad sectors on your HDD;
- how to upgrade HDAT2 version on your USB stick.
How to create a bootable USB disk with HDAT2 utility
- Find and download Grub for Dos.
- Plug in a USB stick.
- Format USB drive using the default settings:
- Open the GRUB folder and launch grubinst_gui.exe as administrator:
- Click Install:
- Hit Enter when you see the command promt window:
- Click Quit:
- Create a new text document, rename the extension to Menu.lst.
- Open Menu.lst with any text editor, paste these lines and save the file:
title Start HDAT2 map --mem /hdat2.IMG (fd0) map --hook chainloader (fd0)+1 rootnoverify (fd0)
- Place Menu.lst, grldr and hdat.IMG file to your USB disk: Grldr file can be taken from your Grub installer. Now everything is ready to boot from USB and test your HDD using HDAT2 diagnostic utility and try to repair bad sectors.
How to fix bad sectors using HDAT2 program from USB
In this section is our tutorial on how to test your hard disk drive for bad sectors and repair them using the previously created bootable USB flash stick.
- Call the Boot Menu on startup by pressing the correspondent key. (F9 – for HP laptops).
- Select your USB flash disk with Grub and HDAT2 utility to boot from:
- Hit Enter to start HDAT2:
- In most cases it will be okay to select No drivers here. But if your hard drive won’t be visible by HDAT2, reboot from USB and try other options:
- Type hdat2 in the command line and hit Enter:
- Select your hard drive using the arrows on your keyboard. Here your HDD, DVD, USB disk and other devices may be listed:
- Select Device tests menu:
- Select Detect and fix bad sectors menu if you want to repair them:
Warning! If your hard disk is under the warranty we advise you to select “Detect bad sectors menu” but not fix them to be able to prove the defect and demand a replacement from your hardware supplier.
- Select Fix with VERIFY/WRITE/VERIFY: After this the test process should start. You will see the blue proggress bar. The more capacity your HDD has – the more time the test will take. Blue sections mean that area is okay. Red sections with “B” mean Bad Sectors detected:
If the HDAT2 utility has detected and fixed one or more bad sectors we advise you to repeat the test. If no bad sectors were detected during the second test you may use your HDD. One more advice: scan your HDD once a month to check if new “bads” emerge.
The more bad sectors were detected – the more probability of the new “bads” emerging. Thus, you can use your HDD if you detected and repaired one or two bad sectors. But you’d better replace your hard drive if HDAT2 detected 5-10 “bads” or another bads emerged after you fixed the previous ones. The last situation means that the hard drive damage is in progress and your data can vanish at any time.
How to upgrade HDAT2 version on flash
You can check HDAT2 utility version on the official website: www.hdat2.com/download.html. If you found a new version and want to use it from your USB disk do the following:
- Download the image file with .img extension in the Boot Diskette IMG file section:
- Copy it to your USB flash.
- And rename to hdat2.img.
Note that our Menu.lst file refers to the image file by name hdat2.img. So if you decide to download a fresh image of HDAT2 in future, rename it to hdat2.img or edit the correspondent line in the Menu.lst file for your bootable USB stick to work.