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Thursday, 24 January 2013

Bad Sector Is Not Avoidable, But Losing Data Is!

Hard drives are made up of millions of sectors, and each sector is the store house of your data. Eventually, you can see the deterioration of the capacity of the sector to store your data and one day, the sector will go bad completely.

Hard drive failure actually, means the failure of all the sectors that store data. It never happens that all the sectors will go bad on a go, but it is a gradual process. When it starts happening, you will lose the data of that particular sector. This doesn’t mean that your entire hard disk is unusable.

Do not think of repairing the bad sector, as it is not possible. However, you can let the operating system know about this failure, so that it doesn’t make any attempt of storing data in those sectors. For this, you need to perform a check to find the faulty bad sectors, and try to recover data from those sectors. Read on, to find how you can scan the disk for system errors.

How do I run a scan?
•    Double click on the My Computer icon, and have the drive partitions in front of you.
•    Right click on the specific drive and select ‘Properties’.
•    In the ‘Properties’ dialog box, click on the ‘Tools’ tab.
•    Under Tools tab, you have to go for ‘Check Now’. Check Now will give you a dialog box, you need to check both the options and click on ‘Start’. It will check the disk for system errors.

So far, we have discussed about scanning the system for disk errors. You might be thinking about the prevention of bad sectors. Do not avoid the fact that these are mechanical devices and such devices are subjected to failure, sooner or later. We would suggest you few practices that will help you to push back the sector failure stage.

Hardware precautions
•    Keep your system cool and free of dust.
•    Do not make any compromise with the quality of the hardware of your system.
•    Use your computer with shorter data cables.
•    Follow a correct procedure to shut down your system. 

Software precautions
•    Files are usually, scattered in the hard disk and it has to undergo wear & tear. This wear and tear process, for the retrieval of files, could be the reason for a bad sector. A preventive measure could be the usage of a disk defragmenter.
•    Make a habit of using updated antivirus and malware program in your computer. This could also delay the bad sector period.

You cannot deny the fact that there is a life span of every mechanical device and hard disk is not an exception. However, you can scan the disk to detect the bad sectors, to stop using those sectors. This could limit the disk space, but you will not lose the data.

We have discussed certain practices too, to increase the life span of your hard disk. But, always be prepared for the news of its failure, and take backup of the hard disk on a regular basis. 

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