How to format USB bad sectors

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How to format USB bad sectors
USB flash drives store data. (usb flash drive image by Bosko Martinovic from

A bad sector on your USB flash drive means that you cannot write or save data to that area on the drive--the drive is inconvenient and valueless to you at this point. Bad sectors are caused by software and hardware malfunctions, and one quick, virtually effortless approach to fixing the problem is to reformat or erase the entire drive, including the good areas. However, this extreme method will destroy your saved data on the drive. Instead, you could use tools in the Windows operating system to find and repair the bad sectors.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click on the Windows logo on the taskbar at the bottom of the desktop to show the Start menu. Click on the "Computer" link to open a window showing drive letter assignments--for example, "C," "D," and so on.

  2. 2

    Right-click on the icon/drive letter of the USB drive that has bad sectors and then select "Properties" from the menu to open the Properties window.

  3. 3

    Click on the "Tools" tab to bring it to the front of the window and then click the "Check Now" button under "Error-Checking" to open another dialogue box.

  4. 4

    Place a check mark in the boxes next to "Automatically Fix File System Errors" and "Scan for and Attempt Recovery of Bad Sectors."

  5. 5

    Click on the "Start" button and then wait for the Windows operating system to find and repair bad sectors on the USB drive. This is a lengthy process, so be patient.

Tips and warnings

  • If you use the "Format" option on the USB drive in an attempt to repair bad sectors, be aware that in the process you will erase all data stored on the drive.

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