One major cause of hard drive bad sectors is due to loss of magnetism, which occurs due to usage and time. If bad sectors are due to, loss of magnetization, then the damage to data is irreversible. If the problem is due to minor parity, then it is easy to fix a bad sector in hard drive. Mentioned below are some other & prominent causes of bad sectors.
When the Address Mark is corrupted, it renders the hard drive incapable to find the requested sector. The data on the drive may be intact, but it is impossible to locate data without a proper ID. The modern HDD does not use sector ID/Address mark in the sector. Instead, the information is encoded in the preceding sector.
To keep the sanctity of the data intact, a hard drive will always try to validate the data through an Error Checking and Correction Algorithm. This is done by referring to the ECC code written after the data field. In the case the data is corrupted, the hard drive will try its best to recover it by deploying the corresponding ECC algorithm. In the case the correction process succeeds, the drive will return the sector data and will not return any error whatsoever.
However, if the correction process fails, the drive will only return an error and no data, even if the data is partially intact.
Although this is rare, the ECC code can also get corrupted. In this case, the drive reads the data from the sector and verifies for ECC code. If ECC code mismatches then drive returns with an error and no data. This is because there is no way to verify the integrity of data.
The normal operational level of a hard drive is between 20-25 degree Celsius. If the drive is constantly subjected to higher temperatures, this can cause damage to the internal hardware.
This also works the other way around. If a hard drive contains bad sectors, constant usage will subject it to overheating. This, in turn, will end up damaging more sectors in the drive.
Every electronic device has a certain expected lifespan associated with it that should not be crossed in an ideal scenario. Overusing the hard drives for multiple years can also lead to rampant bad sectors.
If you do not have a robust anti-virus system in place, it can seriously undermine the quality of your storage space in the long run. Powerful viruses and malware can end up corrupting data on the hard drive. Such data corruption can internally damage your hard drives, being the cause of hard drive bad sectors.
The most overlooked factor, dust is often considered one of the leading causes of bad hard drive sectors. This is mainly because accumulated dust on the internal circuit components can interfere with the heat dissipation process. This eventually ends up damaging the drive in the long run.
When Hard Drives encounter any kind of failure or corruption, they give out all kinds of signals. The symptoms of hard drive bad sectors that can be noticed are:
Users can take following measures to prevent hard drive bad sectors: