Bad sectors are parts of your hard disk drive (HDD) that cannot store or read data properly. They can cause slow performance, data loss, or even disk failure. If you suspect that your HDD has bad sectors, you can use a free utility called HDAT2 to scan and fix them. HDAT2 is a DOS-based program that can run from a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive. In this article, we will show you how to create a bootable USB flash drive with HDAT2 and how to use it to repair HDD bad sectors.
How to Create a Bootable USB Flash Drive with HDAT2
To create a bootable USB flash drive with HDAT2, you will need the following items:
A USB flash drive with at least 256 MB of free space.
A computer with Windows operating system and an internet connection.
The HDAT2 program file (hdat2.IMG) downloaded from https://www.hdat2.com/download.html.
The GRUB for DOS program file (grubinst_gui.exe) downloaded from https://sourceforge.net/projects/grub4dos/files/GRUB4DOS/grubinst%20GUI/.
A text editor such as Notepad.
Follow these steps to create a bootable USB flash drive with HDAT2:
Plug in your USB flash drive to your computer and format it using the default settings.
Open the GRUB folder and run grubinst_gui.exe as administrator.
Select your USB flash drive from the drop-down menu and click Install.
Hit Enter when you see the command prompt window and click Quit.
Create a new text document on your USB flash drive and rename it to menu.lst.
Open menu.lst with Notepad and paste the following lines:
title Start HDAT2
map --mem /hdat2.IMG (fd0)
Save and close menu.lst.
Copy hdat2.IMG, grldr, and menu.lst to the root directory of your USB flash drive.
Eject your USB flash drive safely and keep it for later use.
How to Use HDAT2 to Repair HDD Bad Sectors
To use HDAT2 to repair HDD bad sectors, you will need the following items:
Your bootable USB flash drive with HDAT2.
A computer with a faulty HDD that you want to repair.
Follow these steps to use HDAT2 to repair HDD bad sectors:
Plug in your bootable USB flash drive to the computer with the faulty HDD and turn it on.
Press the appropriate key (usually F9, F10, F11, or F12) to access the boot menu and select your USB flash drive as the boot device.
Hit Enter to start HDAT2.
Select No drivers if your HDD is visible by HDAT2. If not, reboot from USB and try other options.
Type hdat2 in the command line and hit Enter.
Select your HDD using the arrow keys on your keyboard and press Enter.
Select Device tests menu and press Enter.
Select Detect and fix bad sectors menu if you want to repair them. If you only want to detect them, select Detect bad sectors menu instead. Note: If your HDD is under warranty, we advise you not to fix bad sectors but only detect them so that you can prove the defect and demand a replacement from your hardware supplier.
Select Fix with VERIFY/WRITE/VERIFY and press Enter.