I have a damaged hard drive. It works well until it reads a specific sector - it then shuts down and the only way to make it work again is to plug it in again.

On the Error scan screenshot from HD Tune (disk connected through Unitek ATA/SATA<>USB adapter) there is one bad sector, then error scan goes to this magical sector and from this point the disk gives error messages all along (till plugging it again)

Is it possible to block this sector and recover the other data? I want to know if there's anything I can do before going to data recovery company.

Screenshots from HD Tune:

HD Tune Screenshot

Thanks in advance

  • If the data is important enough that it's worth going to a data recovery company, stop immediately. Anything you do risks damaging whatever data is recoverable. You should not mix amateur and professional data recovery. It's entirely possible that each time you read from the disk you are bumping the head against the data surface, damaging more data. Amateur recovery is only for data that's not worth the cost of professional recovery. – David Schwartz Mar 18 '13 at 10:34

First and foremost try some software apps to make your life easier and attempt to recover data from the disc. You can try more then one application if you didn’t succeed with previous ones. I have had experiences in the past when one of them has done a better job than the others either in the amount of data that is recovered or the speed with which it is recovered. However most of the time CD Recovery Toolbox has come up on top.

Just insert the damaged CD, DVD, HD DVD (if you still use them) or Blue-Ray disc and the software will show you the list of files and folders found on the disc. Choose the ones you want to recover and click next. The process can be very slow mind you so just be patient.

  • CD Recovery Toolbox is not even meant for HDDs! – Karan Mar 19 '13 at 20:25

Try dd_rescue. Very nice tool. This programm will read anything that is readable and you can configure how many times it should retry a destroyed sector, before continuing.

I'ts best practice to use an external drive for the recovered data.


It would be perfectly possible to script multiple dd commands to never touch the pertinent sector and read everything before and after it. Be sure to identify which sector or group of sectors it actually is.

dd_rescue will probably be unable to continue if things are as the OP says, as in the drive will crash when that sector is messed with.