Files on your hard drive are stored in chunks called “sectors”. Sometimes, some of these sectors go bad. Usually, hard drives will compensate for this and will write data around these bad chunks, often avoiding bad sectors entirely. Occasionally, though, a bad sector will crop up in the middle of a critical file, or the hard drive will try to write a file to a bad sector. When this happens, any data in the bad sector becomes unusable. What’s worse, bad sectors can wreak havoc with the magnetic needle that does the reading and writing in your hard drive. Too many bad sectors, like too many scratches on a record, will wear out this magnetic needle and could cause your entire hard drive to go bad.
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