Does my drive have Physical Damage?
I get asked this question a ton. The answer is not always as easy to answer as you would think. In many cases identification is easy. For example, if the drive is clicking, or smoke is coming out of it, there are pretty definitive signs of physical damage.
On the other side of the obvious we run in to drives that are still booting and functioning almost the way it always have. Maybe it is a little slow, something you might over look. Maybe the machine just reboots on its own sometimes, or shuts off completely. In these situations it is very likely that this drive may have bad sectors. Now how exactly these bad sectors occur is a plethora of reasons. One of the reasons would be a highly fragmented hard drive, since the heads need to move back and forth across the platters a lot more there is a lot more chance for them to come closer then they are supposed to. Anther big reason hard drives get bad sectors is heat, as I have discussed before, hard drives a extremely heat sensitive and even the most minor warping of a platter could cause bad sectors.
What you must understand is when you have a bad sector, is that these things tend to propagate themselves. The reason for this is that when Windows comes across a bad sector it is going to continue to retry that sector, and by retry that means the head resetting every time for another go at the sector. As this abuse to the hard drive continues, there is a high likelihood of more bad sectors in that area.
So I am sure you are thinking, how do I know if it is bad sectors? There is a really easy way to tell, download the Recover It All Professional DEMO. Set the software up to do a “slow logical scan” and then wait to see if you get any RD ERR, you will then know you have bad sectors on the hard drive.
My recommendation at that point is you back off the data you can and get yourself a new hard drive. If this is not feasible then formatting the hard drive should write out the bad areas, but it is highly likely the problem will continue.
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