Sector not Found Error on Hard Drive: How Do I Do?

When sector not found error occurs on a hard drive, you can scan disk to check whether it has bad sectors. If the drive is failing, it’s recommend to replace it as soon as possible.


By Bryce / Updated on May 12, 2023

Share this: instagram reddit

About the sector not found on hard drive error

After using hard drive for long time, it’s not so surprising to receive an error like sector not found reading drive C and sector not found writing drive C. In many cases, the error is the result of a failing hard drive whose sectors is not accessible or writeable. Other elements, such as, virus infection, file system corruption, etc. also can be the causes of the error.

Test hard drive for physical (hard) bad sectors

When sector not found error happens, the first thing that you should do it check whether the hard drive has physical bad sectors. AOMEI Partition Assistant Standard (PA Standard), is a freeware for disk management. You can use it to check hard drive or flash drive for hard bad sectors. Free download it and follow the steps:

Download Freeware Win 10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Tip: When your PC is unbootable, you can use the tool to create a bootable USB drive on a working PC, insert the bootable USB drive to the unbootable PC and boot from the USB. Once logged in, the main interface of PA will automatically appear.

Step 1. Install and run it on your PC. In the main interface, right-click the hard drive that is going to be checked and choose "Test"> “Disk Surface Test”.

Surface Test

Step 2. In the pop-up window, click “Start” to start checking whether there is physical bad sector on the selected disk or not. If you want to perform surface test quickly, tick the box before “Quick Check”.


Step 3. When the operation finishes, the result will be showed in the color of columns. Green means normal and read means damaged.

Workarounds to sector not found on hard drive

Based on the hard drive test result, you can take different measures. If the disk contains physical bad sectors, for data safety, it’s highly recommended to transfer necessary data to a safe place as soon as possible and then replace the failing disk with a new one. If you keep use the error disk, sectors near the hard bad sector may become bad also. Supposed that the hard drive doesn’t have issues, you can take one or more of those solutions.

Solution 1. Run anti-virus software to scan the disk

Virus infection can prevent data reading or writing, if you have connected your hard drive to unsafe machine, it’s advised to use Windows run Windows Defender or other third party anti-virus software to scan it and get rid of virus.

Solution 2. Run CHKDSK utility to fix hard drive errors

If you consider that the sector not found error has nothing to do with virus infection, you can use Windows built-in tool to scan drive and fix sectors. Let’s see how to do it:

Step 1. Press Windows + R, input “cmd” and click “OK”.

Step 2. In the pop-up window, type “chkdsk g: /f /r /x” and hit Enter key.


Replace g with the drive letter of the partition that you want to fix.
CHDSK attempts to fix soft bad secotrs via marking it to prevent being used again.
/f: parameter is to fixe errors on the disk.
/r: parameter Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.
/x: Forces the volume to dismount first if necessary.

Solution 3. Reformat the hard drive for repair

Perform a full format also is an effective way to repair hard drive.

Step 1. Run PA Standard. Right click the partition on the hard drive and choose “Format Partition”. 


Step 2. Select the desired file system like NTFS and click "OK".

File System

Step 3. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.

Solution 4. Write Zeros to the hard drive

Or you can fill the hard drive with zeros to deal with the error using the great partition manager. For SSD drive, it's recommended to make secure erase using AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional

Note: Zero filling hard drive will erase all information on the disk, please back up important files in advance.

Step 1. Run the tool. In the main interface, right-click the disk and choose “Wipe Hard Drive”. 

Wipe Hard Drive

Step 2. Choose “Fill Sectors with Zeros” and click “OK”.

Fill Zeros

Step 3. Click “Apply” and “Proceed” to commit the operation.


Further reading

1. How to deal with sector not found on floppy drive?

For floppy diskette users, you may get the error message sector not found reading drive A. At that time, please confirm that the floppy drive is configured correctly in BIOS setup.

2. How to avoid bad sectors on hard drive?

To protect hard drive, you can run antivirus software regularly, make HDD defragment, shut down PC correctly and ensure enough power supply when using a laptop.

Bryce · Staff Editor
Bryce is an editor of AOMEI Technology, he covers backup & restore, hard disk & partitions management, cloud files transfer, website & database backup and so on for AOMEI. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He enjoys helping people find solutions to their problems. He loves traveling, Sleeping, reserching and so on. He would like to spend all time on reaserching computer problems. He is a very cute boy.