How to Fix Bad Sectors Using HDAT2 Utility on Bootable USB Flash

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

  1. Find and download Grub for Dos.
  2. Plug in a USB stick.
  3. Format USB drive using the default settings: formatting the USB disk for HDAT2
  4. Open the GRUB folder and launch grubinst_gui.exe as administrator: run grubinst_gui as admin
  5. Click InstallGRUB installation
  6. Hit Enter when you see the command promt window: final action in GRUB installation
  7. Click Quit: quit Grub4Dos installer
  8. Create a new text document, rename the extension to Menu.lst.
  9. 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)
  10. Place Menu.lst, grldr and hdat.IMG file to your USB disk: copy files to USB diskGrldr 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.

  1. Call the Boot Menu on startup by pressing the correspondent key. (F9 – for HP laptops).
  2. Select your USB flash disk with Grub and HDAT2 utility to boot from: select USB stick to boot from
  3. Hit Enter to start HDAT2: select Start HDAT2
  4. 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: No Drivers
  5. Type hdat2 in the command line and hit Entertype HDAT2
  6. Select your hard drive using the arrows on your keyboard. Here your HDD, DVD, USB disk and other devices may be listed: make sure you select your HDD
  7. Select Device tests menu:  Device tests menu
  8. Select Detect and fix bad sectors menu if you want to repair them: Detect and fix or just Detect

    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.

  9. Select Fix with VERIFY/WRITE/VERIFYselect verification method for HDAT2 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: bad sector on a hard drive

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: If you found a new version and want to use it from your USB disk do the following:

  1. Download the image file with .img extension in the Boot Diskette IMG file section: how to find and download a new version of HDAT2 utility for your flash
  2. Copy it to your USB flash.
  3. 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.

6 thoughts on “How to Fix Bad Sectors Using HDAT2 Utility on Bootable USB Flash”

  1. Hi, i try this tutorial but, the DOS screen return : Page Fault cr2=004000000 at eip=419; flags=3206
    eax=00000300 ebx=00160021 ecx=000000a6 edx=bfeb00bf esi=00000000 edi=000000000 ebp=000000001 esp=000003ffa cs=87 ds=bf es=b7 fs=0 gs=0 ss=a7 error=0006″
    Can you hlp pls?

    • Sorry, I have no idea what this means. I remember, once in the past I had trouble with HDAT2. The utility failed to detect my HDDs. As far as I recollect, I temporary switched the controller from Native SATA mode to IDE, HDAT2 performed the test, and I switched back to SATA. But be cautious when changing this settings and do not try to boot your OS in any case until you revert the SATA controller settings to what it was before.

    • download HDPMI32.EXE from before running hdat, run this as HDPMI32.EXE -r


Leave a Comment