Commercial Hard Drive Repair Software

A List of the Best Commercial Hard Drive Repair Programs

In addition to the many free hard drive testing tools available, several commercial hard drive repair tools are also available, for a cost, that should help determine if your hard drive is working properly... or not.

These programs aren't necessarily better than the free hard drive testers, but considering that you're paying for them, you're likely to get customer support if you need it. These commercial tools tend to support more file systems and features as well, which may be something you're after.

So, if you've tried Error Checking in Windows, tried a few of the free tools I linked to above, but still haven't had any luck, it may be time to pull out the purse or wallet and give one of these a try.

Note: There are very few reputable programs that focus on hard drive repair at the level that I would recommend. If you know of more than the two I list below, please let me know.

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Screenshot of SpinRite 6.0
SpinRite. © Gibson Research Corporation

SpinRite is one of the most powerful commercial hard drive diagnostic and repair tools available today. It has been available for many years and I have used it personally with much success over my entire career.

SpinRite works by making several unique attempts to recover data from defective sectors, after which the data is moved to a safe location, the bad sectors are replaced with spare ones, and the data is re-written so as to gain access once again.

Two modes are possible with SpinRite - one for recovery and one for maintenance. The first will finish quicker and is meant for an emergency situation, while the latter is more thorough due to its deep analysis.

Purchase SpinRite v6.0

SpinRite is compatible with the latest file systems, hard drives, and operating systems. Because of its small size, it can easily be ran from any bootable media, like a CD or flash drive.

SpinRite is a professional tool and is priced accordingly, currently at $89 USD.

Tip: If you own an earlier version of SpinRite, you can, depending on the version you have, upgrade for anywhere from $29 USD to $69 USD. More »

Screenshot of HDD Regenerator v2011
HDD Regenerator (Demo Version). © Dmitriy Primochenko

Another commercial hard drive repair option is HDD Regenerator.

Like SpinRite, HDD Regenerator is completely text-based, but it's still extremely easy to use and doesn't ask complicated questions or make you set up custom scan options.

Once downloaded, the software has you choose to either burn the program to a USB device (a flash drive would work best) or to a disc. The burning process is completely automatic with both options thanks to the burning tools being included within HDD Regenerator.

There are two scanning options in this program. The first is just a prescan to report if any bad zones are found. To actually repair the sectors, HDD Regenerator must run in the other mode, called the normal scan.

Once HDD Regenerator is finished, it can show a list of the sectors that were scanned as well as the number of delays that were detected, sectors that weren't repaired, and sectors that were recovered.

Purchase HDD Regenerator v2011

HDD Regenerator is hard drive, file system, and operating system independent. This means it can work no matter what the hard drive is formatted as - be it FAT, NTFS, HFS+, or any other file system, as well as regardless of the OS or how the drive is partitioned.

When I tested HDD Regenerator, it took a little over 5 minutes to complete a prescan on an 80 GB drive.

HDD Regenerator is currently priced at $99.99 USD. A free demo version is available but only scans and repairs the first bad sector it finds. More »