Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
You should try to fix bad sectors on your hard drive before trashing it. Starting with "chkdsk" may help.
I recently tested my hard drive. The test revealed that I had a sector or partition that had failed and I was told I should look at replacing the hard drive because it may be catastrophic failure and crash. Should I replace the hard drive, can I repair my exsisting drive, if I do replace it can I then do some repairs and still use a portion of the drive?
Before you replace, I always like to try for a repair. Most hard disks actually have some spare sectors they set aside for exactly this purpose.
You could get lucky and be able to save a few bucks.
On Windows XP, I'd start with a "chkdsk/R". (/R: "Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information"). Fire up a Command Prompt to run that command. You can access Command Prompt by going to Start, Programs, Accessories, and then click on Command Prompt.
Under Windows 9x (95, 98 and Me), I believe scandisk has an option to do a surface scan and repair as well.
Another highly regarded option is a product called "SpinRite" available at Gibson Research which may also do the deed.
If those options both fail you, well, new hard disks aren't that expensive these days.
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