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    Windows Data Recovery- Professional

    Methods to Fix the “Disk Does Not Have Enough Space to Replace Bad Clusters” Error

    Table of Content

      Summary: CHKDSK is a Windows utility used to troubleshoot disk-related errors. When you see the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error message while using CHKDSK, do not worry. Use the methods explained in this post to resolve the error. You can also take help of a professional data recovery software to safely recover your files in such a scenario.

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      While running into drive-related errors, our first instinct is to run the CHKDSK command. CHKDSK is a powerful utility used for checking the drive status and fixing various issues on Windows via CMD. It successfully resolves many underlying issue/s causing the drive to malfunction.

      However, even the CHKDSK utility sometimes fails and displays the following error message – A disk read error occurred – The disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters.

      The disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters error in cmd

      The above error message indicates a problem with the disk drive where the disk runs out of space to replace bad clusters.

      Wondering what are “bad clusters” and how they are created on a disk?

      Additionally, what role does chkdsk play in managing these bad clusters?

      Let’s find out everything you need to know to resolve “the disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error message.

      What is a Cluster?

      A cluster is defined as a logical unit on a storage drive. A file stored on a drive takes up one or more cluster. A cluster is also a group of drive sectors – the smallest addressable unit for data storage.

      How are Bad Sectors Generated on a Hard Drive?

      Bad sectors on a disk usually result from logical errors or physical damage. This makes the data inside them unreadable or, in severe scenarios, irrecoverable. While running diagnostics, bad sectors can also show error messages, such as the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters.” Below are some common reasons behind bad sectors on a hard drive –

      • Logical errors like forced shutdown
      • Improper ejection/disconnection of a disk drive
      • I/O errors
      • Damaged drive sectors due to dust particles on the platter
      • Defective disk drive
      • Using disk drive in conditions harsher than the predefined temperature/environmental limits

      How Does CHKDSK Manage Bad Clusters on an HDD?

      Every hard drive has some unutilized space and unnumbered sectors reserved for replacing bad or defective clusters.

      When the CHKDSK command is run, it scans for defective or failing sectors and marks them unusable. It also removes a defective sector’s unique sector number and assigns it to a healthy, unnumbered sector.

      Why am I seeing the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error message?

      Encountering the above error while running chkdsk is unexpected. This drive cluster error could occur due to various reasons –

      • Multiple failed sectors
      • Unexpected disk crash
      • Insufficient healthy unnumbered sectors
      • Improper disengagement of external disk drives

      If the chkdsk command terminates after showing the bad cluster error message, stop using the drive immediately and back up or retrieve your data on an external drive or cloud server.

      While taking a manual backup of your data from a problematic drive, there are chances of data loss or missing files due to bad sectors. You can avoid this hassle by using a professional data recovery software to safely recover and store data on an external drive.

      Additionally, Stellar Data Recovery Professional can help you do much more than just recover files. You can check the health and other vitals of the storage drive using the built-in Drive Monitor utility, create an image of the drive for retrieving files, and recover data from unbootable computers using the software.

      run stellar data recovery professional to recover data from a drive with bad clusters

      In scenarios, where you see disk error messages like the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters, creating a disk image and performing file recovery on it is a good practice. This helps in preventing data loss in the event of drive failure during the recovery process.

      However, if your computer is malfunctioning, crashing, or is stuck in a boot loop, use Stellar Data Recovery to create a recovery media and then retrieve files from it.

      Once you have recovered your files safely onto an external drive or cloud server, proceed with the methods explained below.

      How do I fix the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error?

      To get rid of the “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error message, you can use the chkdsk utility again and repair the bad sectors. If nothing works, consider replacing the problematic HDD.

      Method 1: Use CHKDSK

      Now that we have recovered our data from the drive safely, it is time to use the chkdsk again to fix the underlying issue/s behind the error. Here’s what to do –

      • Press WINDOWS + R and type CMD.
      • Press CTRL + SHIFT + ENTER to launch CMD as administrator.
      • Type CHKDSK X: /f /r /b and press Enter.
      run chkdsk to fix errors and bad clusters on the drive
      • Let the process finish. Once it is done, restart the PC.


      • Replace X with the drive letter.
      • This process can take several hours to complete, so be patient.

      Method 2: Replace the Problematic Disk Drive

      The “disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters” error message is a read/write error occurring due to bad clusters/sectors. Using a problematic drive can endanger your files and increase the amount of bad sectors, eventually making the drive inaccessible.

      Hence, if you see this error message due to the failed chkdsk process on the screen, stop using the drive immediately and replace it with a new one.

      Tips to Avoid Unwanted Data Loss

      Bad sectors or other issues causing errors like bad clusters are inevitable. They can occur on old and new drives alike, causing problems and data loss. Here are some tips you can follow to prevent unwanted data loss –

      • Employ the 3-2-1 data backup strategy to create multiple backup copies.
      • Enable the File History feature while installing/reinstalling Windows OS.
      • Install a reliable antivirus to avoid malware attacks.
      • Diversify backups using multiple locations and devices to create backup copies.
      • Keep a professional data recovery software handy as a contingency plan.
      • Avoid saving files on the Desktop.

      Wrapping Up

      The disk does not have enough space to replace bad clusters error message indicates a failing hard drive. A hard drive failure is imminent due to an increasing number of bad clusters and sectors. However, you can avoid data loss by taking corrective measures like drive replacement and regular data backups.

      Therefore, always have a backup of your data, for you may never know when the disk drive will malfunction.

      Did we miss any point? Tell us in the comments.

      What is CHKDSK?

      How to Fix a Windows PC Stuck at CHKDSK is Verifying USN Journal?

      How to Recover Files Which Are Lost After Using CHKDSK Command?


      Q. Can running CHKDSK cause data loss?

      A. If there are bad sectors containing data, CHKDSK will mark them as inaccessible, thereby making them lost forever.

      Q. Can I use an SSD with bad clusters?

      A. Similar to HDDs, bad clusters are replaced by new and healthy sectors. Therefore, it’s fine to use an SSD with bad clusters. However, as there is a limit to it replacement cells, make sure to take regular backups of your data.

      Q. How to check the status of SSD?

      A. Open CMD as administrator and execute the following command – wmic diskdrive get status.

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      About The Author

      Keshav Katyal

      A passionate writer, driven by his interest in everything tech, Keshav Katyal has always been captivated by the latest gadgets since childhood. His interest in gadgets grew when he got his first gaming console, the Nintendo Game Boy Advanced. Hours and days of tinkering with gadgets encouraged the inner geek in him who now loves writing about the latest technologies.

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