Stellar Knowledge Base

What is hard Drive Bad Sectors and How can I Recover Data using Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows?

 Modified on: July 26, 2021 |    46365 views

Bad sectors in your hard disk lead to complete inaccessibility of the drives, causing data loss. If your hard disk has some bad sectors, the first thing you should do is to immediately backup your data by creating an image of the disk using the software. You can later use this image to restore all your lost or inaccessible data. The 'Imaging' feature of >Stellar Data Recovery Professional enables you to create an image of the entire hard disk drive or any selected region of the disk.The software processes all sectors on your hard disk to create the image file and is capable of recovering data from the image created, except the severely corrupt ones.

Watch out the video tutorial here:



What causes bad sectors on hard drive?

Hard drive storage elements or so called 'Platters' is divided into sectors and blocks. These sectors is used to locate the desired data by read/write head. After continuous hard disk usage, it started getting rough and looses its magnetic nature and thus, started failing. Besides that, there are various other reasons that leads to bad sectors on your hard disk drive and some of them are mentioned below:

Overheating  causes internal hard drive equipments to fail soon. Doesn't matter if you've pretty new hard drive, overheating can damage it too.

Over-aging is bad for almost any electronic device and after certain span of time, electronic devices will continue to fail or even die. Being an electronic device, hard drive equipments will start failing and so as the hard disk platters.

File System Error is one of the most common causes of bad sectors on hard drive. It'll make your data permanently damaged and non recoverable.

Virus/Malware Attack is created to malfunction the operating ability of computer system. However, sometimes it does damage  the platters of the hard drive and other CPU equipments and may cause it to fail permanently.

Identifying bad sectors on hard drive

Once the bad sectors on hard drive has been developed, it can't be removed or replaced. The best thing you can do is, replace the hard drive immediately after taking backup of all your important data and purchase a new hard drive.

However, it is important to first spot the bad sectors to get roughly idea about how much times still been left to keep using the drive. There are various hard drive monitoring and health status check utility available such as S.M.A.R.T. through which, you can easily identify the bad sectors and various other crucial details.

For the sake of simplicity, below are the common problems that anyone could face if the hard drive is failing or developed large number of bad sectors:

  • Freezing
  • Hangs
  • Corrupt or inaccessible files and folders
  • System taking too much time to load, reboot or shutdown
  • Unwanted shutdown

You can recover data from a hard drive that has bad sectors by using the Create Image option of Stellar Windows Data Recovery.

Note: Recovery of data from hard drive that has bad sectors is only possible up to an extent and full recovery of data is not possible.

Follow the steps mentioned below to recover data using Create Image option:

Images, of all sources are saved as IMG file. The IMG file is of same size as of the source. You can use the image files to resume recovery later.

The image you create by using Stellar Windows Data Recovery will be of same size as the selected hard disk, pen drive, or volume. Ensure that the location where image file needs to be saved has sufficient space to store the image file.

To create image file of hard disk, volume, or removable media:

  • Run Stellar partition recovery software.


  • From Select What to Recover screen, select the type of data i.e. Everything, Documents, Folders and Emails or Multimedia Files, you want to recover. Click Next.

  • On Select Location screen, select Recover from Disk Images from Other Locations and click Scan.
  • From the displayed dialog box select Create Image option and click Next.
  • From Create Image screen, select the drive or partition for which you wish to create an image.  

  • To create image of the entire drive or partition click Start Imaging.


  To create image of selected region click on Advanced Settings. From 'Select Range to Create Image' screen drag the sliders to define starting and ending sectors of the image file. Click Close, and then click Start Imaging.

  • In 'Create Media Image to Save' dialog box, locate the destination where image file should be saved. In the File Name text box, type name. Click Save.

Now, to recover data using any disk image:

  • Run Stellar Data Recovery Professional for Windows software.
  • From Select What to Recover screen, select the type of data i.e. Everything, Documents, Folders and Emails or Multimedia Files, you want to recover.

  • Click Next.
  • On Select Location screen, select Recover from Disk Images from Other Locations and click Scan.

  • From the displayed dialog box select Recover from Existing Image option and click on next.
  • All the disk images are listed on Recovery from Image screen with their respective size. Select the image from which you wish recover data and click Scan to start the recovery process.



30 User Comments

I have a hdd with bad sectors. I have created a .img file. Can I use that .img file to recreate the sector by sector disk image on to a new hdd?

scott marshall

Hi Scott,

You can not Recreate the disk image on to a new hdd but restore data from it.

Amit Pandey

Amit Pandey

i am using your software to check status

every single sector shows red as bad!! is this possible. can i recover some data?!!


Hi Costas,

I advice you to run Raw Recovery feature of the software, it will show you some files which can be recover by the software. Be patient it will take some time to complete.


Amit Pandey

Hi I am using the imaging tool to create an image of a failed 500GB hdd and it takes veeeery long time to complete the process. Its been 24+ hours since it started and its still going (29GB out of 465GB)....
Am i doing something wrong? Should I try a different approach??
Thank you very much...


Hi Alexandra,

Create Image feature of the software only creates the image of good sectors not for bad sector, if your 500 gb hard drive having 400gb bad sectors then its obvious to take reasonable time to complete the process.

Be patient you will surly recover data from created image.


Amit Pandey

I have a Seagate 500GB external HDD which has bad sectors. I tried 2 approaches -

1. Recover directly. I ran the Disk Status for 12 hours, it completed a few sectors - all red. Will it show recovery option only after scan is complete?

2. Create image and recover from image. I tried the create image option - it got stuck at 0 MB at the very first sector, and no movement after that. Is it actually doing anything?

What is the better option - do I go back to Option 1?


Hi May,

1) Disk Status will not show recovery options after scanning.

2) Imaging process will take time, please leave the imaging process intact for some time, it might be possible that number of bad sectors on your hard drive are very large.

3) Best option is to create image then recover from image


Amit Pandey

I'm using NTFS Recovery to recover files from a partition on my 1TB External WD drive when the partition table for the partition in question corrupted (therefor requiring me to format drive). I drive a truck for a living but have over 13 years IT experience and a degree but have just now begun using your software. I use the "Formatted Drive" option and it scans (takes for EVER) and always hangs on certain clusters. At one time it hung on 34526546 (or something like that number) for 3 days before I finally canceled the scan. I really need help. This is all my backup files that I have no where else. Thanks.


Dear Robert,

The hard drive has clear signs of failing mechanical equipment and would fail sooner or later. The best bet is to copy/move all your important files and folder now to any backup drive or any other storage medium.

As far as the backup files is concerned, you'll need to unplug the hard drive and connect it externally on any other computer/laptop using SATA/IDE connector. Now start the software and begin scanning the drive using 'advanced scan' or 'RAW Recovery' option. See if the hard drive won't freeze this time and might allow you to successfully recover data from the corrupted/damaged partition.

If the above didn't helps you, consider asking for data recovery services from Stellar. Pretty costly as compare to data recovery software but adds more possibilities of getting back your data successfully. For more info, please visit this:

We'll glad to assist if you've further queries.


Amit Pandey

I have a hdd with bad sectors. I have created a .img file. Can I use that .img file to recover data to entirely new hdd? Do I still need the bad hdd to achieve the data recovery? Step 3 on the instructions above says: "After you select the image file, choose the corresponding drive or volume ( the one which was imaged) under 'Select Volume to Recover Data' section." Am I supposed to restore data back to the failing hard drive? How will that work. Please explain that step.


Dear Will,

Yes, you can use the created image copy (.img file) in order to get back your data.
For your convenience, we suggest you to keep the source or problem drive plugged in and add different storage media externally such as USB, HDD, SSD, Removable media etc. Therefore, on step 3 that asks you to 'Select Volume to Recover Data', you need to choose the drive connected externally.

P.S. Saving data on the same problem hard drive will cause instability and you might lose data forever. Moreover, the software won't allows you to store the recovered data on the drive you're scanning for missing or deleted files.

Hope this makes sense to you. You can surely put back any extra comments that you want to clarify.

Wishing you good luck ahead!!

Amit Pandey

Hi, I need some serious help.
I have an external HDD of 1tb that is not being detected by any PC that I connect to. In Computer Managament -> Diskm Management I get the following error
"You must initialize the disk before Logical Disk manager can access it"
Which option do I use in your software for recovery ?
P.s The for screenshot -
Thanks in advance

George Francis

Hi George,

Click on the free download link and install Stellar Partition Recovery software on different PC. Once you start the software, the problem drive will be listed under 'Drive Recovery'. Click on it to select and choose 'Advance recovery' to begin scanning the drive. As the drive capacity is huge, it might take little longer to complete the scanning and lets you able to preview the recoverable files and folders.

At last, select files you want to recover and click on 'Recover' button.

P.S. Saving is disabled in demo version. You'll need to purchase the license key to actually save the lost or inaccessible files.

Good luck!!

Amit Pandey

Hi,I need some serious help.
I am having internal toshiba HDD 320gb.its having bad sector.HDD is not detected by any pc or lappy if connected with adopter.please do i back up my files

yasir khan

Dear Yashir,

Please try connecting Toshiba Internal HDD to motherboard by using SATA/USB Port and see if you may able to see it under ‘Disk Management’ or in ‘My Computer’. If so, our software named ‘Stellar Windows Data Recovery Software 6.0’ would able to detect and recover files from it. I’d suggest you to carefully follow below steps:

1. Download and install our software on your computer (make sure you choose different location other than the problem drive)
2. Navigate to advanced options and choose create image. Creating image would help you salvage your files even if the drive fails completely.
3. Once the imaging process completed, navigate to recovery from image option and click on listed image copy (it’ll be by default, the recently created image copy)
4. Let the software begin scanning the image file. It’ll list all the possible recoverable files and folders. You may able to see it using preview window.
5. Select any or all the desirable files and folders and click on ‘Recover’ button to save them.
6. That’s it.

Feel free to ask if there is any more issues we can help you with!!

Amit Pandey

Hello! I need help so badly. I have 1 TB hard drive. It was working perfectly and then when I was about to transfer a file, it hang so sudden and it cannot be read anymore. Had no choice than to format it. Now I am trying this Stellar windows Data Recovery it is scanning. It is not slow but I think the reading sector is 20 Billion, it's been 12 hours and it is only 800,000.
1. If it hangs on the middle or in the end, will i still be able to recover those sectors that had been read?
2. What is the percentage that I will recover all my files?
3. How long will it take to finish those? based on my observation, every 6 minutes 2000 sectors add.
4. Does it also recover video?
5. Why sometimes I can hear a beep sound from my hard drive?
6. What is the cause of this?
7. What is the best thing to do to avoid it from happening again?
8. Do we have any anti-virus for this to avoid this from happening?

Please help me. Those files are really important to me :(


Hi Jew, here are answers for all your queries:

Solution 1:- Yes, you will be able to recover those sectors that had been read nevertheless software saves scan data and make it available for recovery.
Solution 2:- If the drive data is not overwritten then there is 100% chances of recovery.
Solution 3:- It totally depends on the drive status and data size.
Solution 4:- Yes, software recovers video, images, emails and lots of other file formats.
Solution 5: When the system ventilation fans get dirty or out of balance then they can begin to make noise.
Solution 6:- I would suggest you to read this article
Solution 7:- Don’t use your hard drive on the PC which don’t have antivirus.
Always use licensed Antivirus
Solution 7:- No, there is no particular antivirus to avoid such issue but yes you can take care of your drive by using licensed antivirus.


Amit Pandey

Hi , i need your help. Recently i formatted my system. Instead of formatting E drive, formatted D drive and lost important data. I used your software and choose Raw Recovery But after recover, unable to access any file (PDF,txt,zip,.) , getting file corrupted or format error.



As your hard drive got formatted, we recommend you to perform Advanced Recovery to get better results.

We would like to inform you that the demo version of the software is available for the help of the customers to check the possibility of their data recovery before purchasing the software.

However, if you are able to preview your files after completing the scanning then, you need to purchase the software to save them in the same manner as seen in the preview. ​​

Feel free to contact us for any further assistance.


Hi Guys,

I have been running the scan for my 3TB problematic external drive 2days now and the process seems pretty slow. 1.7milion sectors read out of 70 billion.
My question is
1) does the quality of my system (old windows laptop) affect the overall process? Is it worth lending a better machine for the process or it has to do with the driver condition regardless?
2)I also have a mac laptop. Should I try the program on mac better?
3)does the process speed up eventually or will it keep the same pace? (i will need 270 days on this pace)



Stellar Data Recovery

Hi Gio,

The scanning time depends on a lot of factors like capacity of the drive, severity of corruption, type of files in the drive etc. Therefore we can’t give you an estimate about the scanning time.

Further you may try the software on your laptop as well.

Stellar Data Recovery

Don;t see an option to scan a memory card image in the photo recovery program. Where is it?

resume recovery > add files > diskimage.img doesn;t do anything, no file added.




Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We would like to inform you that we have sent an email to your email address regarding for the same.


Stellar Data Recovery

I have been running your software on my 2tb portable drive for 6 days now and it is only at phase 3 of 5. There is nothing showing in preview. This morning it said 39 hours to go, now it is saying 1518 hours to go and its increasing. The stop button is ghosted and I cant click on it. I cant exit the software without halting the scan, which I cant do. What do I do?


Stellar Support


Thank you for contacting Stellar Data Recovery.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

We would like to inform you that we have sent an email to your email address.

Please reply to the email so we can assist you accordingly.


Stellar Data Recovery

Hello Amith Sir,
I am creating image file using stellar data recovery software. while creating this it's showing the first block with red color and in the processing info it's showing as Block size 1082.09 MB,
reading sectors, processed: 266.0 MB (still processing)
So is i will get data safely or previously said above i also have to recover option from RAW recovery.
Please reply as soon as possible.
Thank You.



Hi Balakrishna,

We request you to create a ticket by using the below link and our expert will check this issue:

Stellar Data Recovery




Hi Anil,

As per your reported issue, we would request you to do selective recovery (select only required file formats) in our software.

If software still freeze or crash during scan process then you need to create an image of drive through our software and scan that image file in order to recover data.

We would request you to submit ticket to our experts using below link to get further assistance:


Stellar Data Recovery


User Comments



Stellar Data Recovery Professional Stellar Data Recovery Professional is a do-it-yourself data recovery software that helps you to easily recover deleted files & folders, missing or corrupt partitions and even accidentally formatted hard drives.

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