I've executed CHKDSK with both "Automatically fix filesystem errors" and "Scan for and attempt recovery bad sectors" options selected on a system partition of a clean Windows 7 installation.

Wininit report says:

... CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)... 9410465 free clusters processed. Free space verification is complete. Adding 3 bad clusters to the Bad Clusters File. Correcting errors in the Volume Bitmap. Windows has made corrections to the file system. 52531199 KB total disk space. 14724752 KB in 44278 files. 35708 in 13707 indexes. 12 KB in bad sectors. ...

Also, I can see such errors in Event Viewer from LoadPerf source:

Unable to read the performance counter strings defined for the 022 language ID. The first DWORD in the Data section contains the Win32 error code.

I suppose this is a result of system installation in a partition having bad sectors.

My questions:

  1. I know the best solution would be to move to new HDD, but anyway, what if to reinstall the system into this verified volume again without reformatting it. My understanding is that installation will bypass bad sectors and there is a chance that no files will be broken after new clean installation. Am I right?

  2. again, as far as I know this Volume Bitmap is a part of NTFS, why those bad sectors are not remapped/relocated by the system as MHDD does?

  3. I wanted to perform full (not quick) partition (not whole disk) formatting before the system installation. But I couldn't see such option even in "advanced" menu. It looks like Windows 7 just does quick formatting. I'm not sure why but I'm sure this option is hidden and can be used somehow. How to do that?


If you have bad sectors or SMART alerts, the drive goes into DBAN and then the trash, period. You will just get more or experience sudden death.

However you are correct in saying the install will go around the bad sectors after the partition is repaired, and that this is a valid short term solution. To perform a non-quick format you would likely need to use some trickery, such as a live-USB of Windows 7/8/10 and the disk management MMC.


1: Right. (However, what Chkdsk does is just protect you from the known-bad sectors. Next week, as the problems in the drive spread, you may have more bad sectors. You're not protected from using those until Chkdsk notices those problems, too.)

Common consensus seems to be that once a drive is bad, the possibility of additional parts of the drive going bad, relatively soon, is much higher than a drive that hasn't had bad sectors yet.

2: I believe it did, and that the "Correcting errors" message would have been referring to exactly that. (This is, slightly, speculation. So you may want to double-check that, especially if that answer doesn't make sense to you for some reason.)

3: Windows 7 supports Quick formatting by using FORMAT /Q. To format non-quickly, as you're asking, leave off the /Q. If you're trying to use the GUI, I just looked at my F: and chose "Format...", and there was a "Quick format" checkbox. Simply uncheck the box. It is not clear why you're struggling with this, so provide more details (possibly in a different/new question) if you're still unclear.

  • Hi TOOGAM, I'm asking about a partition where I want to install my system. I want to perform non-quick formatting of that partition from the installer GUI/CMD(?) and before the installation itself. – humkins Dec 13 '15 at 22:26
  • I could be wrong about this, but I suspect there might not be a way to do the non-quick format from within Windows's installer. However, an option that might work is: #1 format the drive quickly, perhaps when booted from a LiveCD. #2: Install Windows, using the already quickly-formatted drive. – TOOGAM Dec 13 '15 at 22:35

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