How to Scan and Remove Bad Sectors from Hard Disk using CMD?

If you own a computer which certainly comes with a hard disk, know it for certain there shall always be some bad sectors in it. The Windows OS can just detect the sectors but cannot fix them by default. You have to fix or on a precise note remove or repair them manually.

But before embarking on removing the bad sectors from your hard disk; you first need to know what they are in real.

What Are Bad Sectors on Hard Disk?

A hard disk consists of several circular paths on its surface commonly called tracks. Now each track is further subdivided into innumerable zones that store a fixed amount of data. These zones are known as sectors.

Now bad sectors are those particular sectors which are damaged or won’t respond to read and write commands.

Further on the investigation, we get to know that bad sector, in turn, are divided into two categories:

  • Physical Bad Sectors (Hard Bad Sectors)

Practically speaking, these bad sectors cannot be repaired by any means, not even by cmd commands. These are usually caused by physical damages on the hard disk.

One way to deal with it is to block the physical bad sectors with certain third-party tools to prevent it from interfering with your system programs.

  • Logical Bad Sectors (Soft Bad Sectors)

This is not like physical bad sectors. These bad sectors are created due to software malfunctioning, for instance, sudden shut down of computer or unprecedented malware attack. The sector which is creating the problem, in particular, will be shown by the operating system.

Luckily logical bad sectors can be repaired using CHKDSK command, unlike the physical bad sectors which cannot be repaired except replacing the hard disk itself.

How to Scan for Bad Sectors without CMD

Before you start fixing or removing the bad sectors from your hard disk, you first need to scan for them. Quite often, the issues stem from some other reasons instead of bad sectors, thus it is necessary to be sure about the cause in particular.

To do that, follow the steps below:

Step 1. Go to the file explorer, and find the hard drive location.

Step 2. Right-click on the hard drive, choose “Properties” from the context menu.

Step 3. Click on the “Tools” tab from the operating Window and select the “check” option.

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Step 4. Now a pop-up message will appear, click on “Scan Drive” to begin the scanning. You can check the progress of scanning on the display screen.

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Step 5. Once the scanning is done, another pop-up message will inform you that “Your drive was successfully scanned”.

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How to Scan Bad Sectors using CMD

There is another alternative to check for the bad sectors, and that is using a command prompt. Yes, you can check the bad sectors using SFC (System File Checker) command to do the job.

This is how you do it:

Step 1. Open command prompt in elevated mode.

Step 2. Within the black dialogue box, type sfc/sc and press “Enter”.

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The scanning will begin shortly, but don’t close the cmd Window while scanning is in process.

After a while, the result will be displayed as per the scanning is finished.

How to Repair Bad Sectors on Hard Disk Permanently using CMD

So in the previous section, if you had found any bad sectors on the hard disk, then here we will use the CHKDSK command to fix it. CHKDSK is a built-in utility provided to check the condition of your hard disk and thereby repair it according to the level of damage.

To repair the bad sectors now, follow the step guide-line given below:

Step 1. Press the “Windows” key and type “cmd” in the search box.

Step 2. Right-click on the “Command Prompt” option from the search result displayed, and click on the “Run as administrator” option from the drop-down menu. This will open up the command prompt with admin privileges.

Step 3. As soon as the black Window opens up, enter the command shown just below and hit “Enter”:

Chkdsk E: /f /r /x

NOTE: Here E is the drive letter of the hard disk that you want to fix. “r/” command tells the CHKDKS to locate the error and recover readable data, the “f/” command tells it to fix the errors, “x/” command lets the disk dismount before the repairing process begins.


Hopefully, the article has been helpful to you. In case you have the soft bad sectors, you can use freeware third-party tools as well to do the scanning, otherwise, the methods mentioned above are enough and risk-free.

But if you have the physical bad sectors, the only way to fix it up is to replace the hard disk. Make sure to recover the data by any technician lest you will lose everything you had in your disk.

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