What´s the best "free" HDD bad sector repair tool



My four years old IBM 40GB HDD (IC35L040AVER07) got corrupted. Suddenly I’m not able to load windoze anymore. :sad:

When I run drive fitnes test (IBM/Hitachi DFTv4.02) it tells me there are some bad sectors and that I should run sector repair tool. When I do so, the doze windows just freezes after a few minutes.
Also tried Winterna*ls disc commander to no avail.

I have done search and found some posts about HDD regenerator, but this is useless because I can’t enter windoze anymore.

Suggestions please.


You should find what you want on the HDD manufacturers web site, they have utilities that all run from floppy. You may have to low level format, in which case you will loose everything on your HDD.


Done that already… :wink:

I don´t mind to “loose everything”. This drive only holds OS, nothing else.
I have already tried to erase whole disc (with DFT, Killdisk, aso), but it’s nogo.


The low level format facility (and it was this Iwas talking about not repair, sorry I should have been clearer) should be part of the utility software, if not take a look on the site and search for it. It is different from third party stuff as it is designed for the hard drives made by that manufacturer, for example I use maxtor and theirs is Power Max which is t4esting and low level format software in one, and is also designed to work on those drives with bad sectors.

Saying all that if there are quite a few I personally would dump and buy a new one as it is getting near the end of its’ life.

Other than that I am stumped.


The old IBM “DeathStar” drives.
Those drives had an amazingly high failure rate, especially the 60 and 80 GB models.
Just last month I have to ditch that exact same 40 GB model on a computer I was servicing for a client.

I am not aware of any free tools to repair bad sectors but I can personally attest to the effectiveness of Dmitriy Primochenko’s HDD Regenerator as I have used it successfully on several occasions.
The trial version is fully functional except it will only repair the first bad sector. It will not repair any additional sectors discovered unless it is restarted.

Steve Gibson’s Spinrite can assist you in recovering data from drives in that condition, even in bad sectors.


Thanks for your replies, much appreciated. :slight_smile:

Tried the free version of HDD Regenerator without success…
Maybe the best way is just to get a new HDD.



Yo pinto2-

If you do (and should) replace the hard drive - strongly recommend that you get a Seagate with the five year warranty-

My data recovery company says that Seagates have the lowest frequency of repair/data loss of all the hard drive manufacturers (I just went through $700 in data recovery fees on my Western Digital 120gb year old drive with major head crashing problems)-



What´s the best “free” HDD bad sector repair tool.


Well said. :iagree:


Mike, do you know if all the Seagate SATA drives use the standard molex connector for power as well as the SATA?


Added: I just looked at Newegg and it looks like the answer is no.


Yo chas0039-

My last three Seagate drives are all ultra ATA/100 drives-



Replace marginal hard drives especially if they are 3+ years old. You can get a much larger drive now for cheap prices.


The new Seagate SATA drives have SATA power connections only…

IMO, Seagate can’t touch WD realibility…

There are NO reliable sector repair utilities. Low level the drive, if errors still exist than Mr. Brownstone’s trashcan is the reasonable solution…


The new Seagate SATA drives have SATA power connections only…

yep sata connectors only.

IMO, Seagate can’t touch WD realibility…

now, now, I am sure if seagate dropped all quality control standards they could drop to the level of reliability of WD’s. probably not IBM’s though… :bigsmile:


Seagate drives are the most reliable in the industry. Also the largest chunk of the HD market. I only buy drives with 5 yr warranty.


Actually there’s nothing wrong with Hitachi drives no matter what other brand you want to praise. HDDs die, it’s a fact and for that matter Seagate isn’t that great if you look at a performance/noise ratio. SATA drives lack the ability to set AAM and are said to be very loud when writing so I’d rather go for a PATA or another brand…
Hitachi 7K250-series are though very good performers in general both PATA/SATA.


Not looking for an argument but this statement is not rooted in fact… :wink: Personal favorites are often just that, personal favorites, generally without statistical foundation…

There is no argument that Seagate has a good product. But my shops do extended warranty coverage for many major retailers in our area and have been doing so for quite some time. We replace alot of drives. If you consider the three major players, Maxtor, Seagate, and WD, our experience is as follows:

Drive failures / replace:

Maxtor - 65%
Seagate - 25%
WD - 10%



Drive failures / replace:

Maxtor - 65%
Seagate - 25%
WD - 10%

This is exactly why I am considering replacing my Maxtor drive with all of my docs, pics, etc with a Seagate. I would go with WD but I like Seagate’s 5 year warranty.

Okay, after some research the WD drive that would replace my Maxtor has a 3 year warranty but very mixed reviews on Newegg. I didn’t know that Ingram Micro stocked WD drives. So I can order either the Seagate or WD thru Staples and get a great deal.


No problem with Maxtors here. I’ve had 2 of them for almost 4yrs and they’re still working fine till this day.

I’ve heard horrid stories about WD and even MORE horrid for Hitachi.
Seagate drives are loud. I haven’t heard any other complaints besides that.
Samsung drives run hot like fire(compared to other HDD’s), but they’re very quiet.

In general, any HDD without FDB technology(which most earlier Seagates lack) is loud.

If chosing a new harddrive, I’d pick from my experience which is Maxtor.

While I don’t question their reliability, I seriously doubt that statement.
I’ve always taught it was WD, Maxtor, and then Seagate. Yes, in that order.


Hmmm…guess you’re not a tech investor. Research before you start guessing who has the largest market share. Maxtor used to build good drives. The newer Maxtors are just okay.

My 2.5 year old 60GB DiamondMax Plus 9 started to rattle last month. That’s why I added a 160GB Seagate HD as a slave drive. Will send the Maxtor in for warranty service in a few weeks.