“Windows detected a hard disk problem” error message appears in your computer? What should you do in case of this issue? How to fix hard disk problem Windows 7/8/10? Just follow this post and you will be able to fix the hard disk error without losing any data.

Windows Has Detected a Hard Disk Problem

“Windows detected a hard disk problem” is an always asked issue. When running Windows 10, Windows 8, or Windows 7, it is possible that you come across with such an error message.

Just like the following screenshot shows and suggests you “Back up your files immediately to prevent information loss, and then contact the computer manufacturer to determine if you need to repair or replace the disk”. 

Generally speaking, this error shows you a serious warning. 

  • The hard drive is failing and it may die sooner or later.
  • All data on the hard drive, including programs, applications, documents, excels, files, photos, videos, may be lost once the disk died.
  • The system file in Windows may get corrupted and the operating system may be unbootable.
  • The computer may freeze, namely, it will load for a long time and finally stop responding.

Why does this hard disk problem occur in Windows 10/8/7? When searching for the topic in Google, you will find one related search “Windows detected a hard disk problem virus”. Generally, virus attack is the main factor. Besides, system error, bad sectors, improper operations and more can cause the hard disk error.

When receiving this error, it’s really annoying and may make you panic. More seriously, it warns you continuously every 5 or 10 minutes.  In this article, we will show many details on hard disk problem and solutions.

Tip: Some of you may report a hard disk error on boot, for example, a disk read error occurred. If you are also encountering such an issue, go to the post – 7 Solutions to a Disk Read Error Occurred in Windows 10/7/8.

Copy Disk for Backup When Windows Detected a Hard Disk Problem

Once Windows has detected a hard disk problem, the most important thing is to back up the important data to a safe location or another hard drive, as Microsoft suggests.

How to perform this operation? In the software market, there are many kinds of programs which can be used to do this work. Among them, MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition is worth using to back up your partition or the entire hard drive.

As a free partition and disk management software, it is highly recommended to you and it is compatible with many operating systems, including Windows 7/8/10.

So, download MiniTool Partition Wizard Free Edition and then install it on your computer to make a backup once a problem with the hard drive has been detected Windows 10/8/7. 

MiniTool Partition Wizard FreeClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

1. Before doing disk copy, please prepare a hard drive which should be larger than the used disk space of the source hard drive.
2. During the process, all data from the source disk will be copied to the destination disk, that is to say, the target disk content will be deleted, so ensure the important data on the target disk is backed up.

Step 1: Launch this free application. Then right-click the source hard drive and select Copy feature or click Copy Disk in the left pane. 

MiniTool Partition Wizard copy disk

Step 2: Then select a target hard drive to copy the source content to. Click Next to continue. 

choose target disk to save cloned data

Step 3: Next you can preview the changes you have made. The following picture shows you two copy options, you can choose to fit partitions to the entire disk, or copy partitions without resizing during disk clone.

choose a copy option

Here it is suggested to choose to align partitions to 1MB and this option can improve performance for advanced format hard drive or SSD. Moreover, Use GUID Partition Table for the target disk can make your target disk become GPT disk but this feature is a paid one, and you need to get Pro Edition or advanced one to achieve your aim.

Related article: The Best Way to Clone MBR to GPT without Boot Issue

Step 4: If you want to boot from the target disk, please configure BIOS setting and make sure the new disk is configured as the default boot disk. 

boot from destination disk

Note: If you only need to make a backup for the data on the entire hard drive, it is unnecessary to change this setting.

Step 5: At last, click Apply to execute all changes. 

In addition to making a backup for the entire disk, you can also copy partitions where you have saved important data. Just choose a mode according to your needs. Besides, it is recommended to migrate the system to SSD/HD in Windows 10 which can help you make a backup for the operating system and do a recovery from a disaster. 

Tip: Additionally, professional Windows backup software, MiniTool ShadowMaker, can also be used to back up your entire disk with Clone Disk or use its Backup to back up your important files, disk, partition or disk in case of Windows hard disk problem.

Windows Detected a Hard Disk Problem Fix Windows 7/8/10

After backing up your disk, now it is time to search hard disk problems and solutions. How to fix hard disk problem Windows 7/8/10? Continue reading and you’ll get what you want here now. Here are four ways aiming at the above different cases, and you can try them. 

Way 1: Scan and Kill Virus

As you know, the virus often attacks your computer. Once the computer encounters virus infection, some damage will happen. More seriously, the virus damage will do some harm to the system. Sometimes, it causes errors and reports you disk problem to some degree. Usually, virus damage is the main reason. 

First of all, you need to download anti-virus software from the internet. Then open it to scan and find viruses to clean up. Usually, if you download some programs, spyware or malware, virus damage may happen. Please use anti-virus software to kill the virus and clean up your computer right now to solve Windows detected a hard disk problem virus issue. 

Way 2: Run SFC to Fix System File

In Windows 10/8/7, there is a basic tool to help you to fix many errors. When there is a disk problem, you don’t know whether the system file is damaged or not. So you can use System File Checker which is also called SFC to check system file error and deal with the integrity issue. This tool is helpful to repair many problems and it is easy-to-use. 

Step 1: Input cmd in the search box and right-click the tool from the search result to choose Run as administrator

Step 2: Type sfc /scannow prompt. Then please wait for a while until verification completes. Don’t close the window before verification is 100% complete.

sfc scannow

This command can help to quickly scan all protected system files and then replaces those corrupted or damaged files with a backup copy in Windows when there is a system file error. If this command doesn’t work for you to fix “Windows detected a hard disk problem” error, please try way 3. 

Tip: When using System File Checker to scan your system, you may be bothered by SFC not working. If so, you can get the solutions from the post – Quickly Fix SFC Scannow Not Working (Focus on 2 Cases).


Firstly you also need to run Command Prompt as administrator and then type chkdsk (drive letter): /f to find the disk error. Unfortunately, this command only works in NTFS file system. 

Tip: Here take C partition as an example. From the screenshot below, this command can’t run. And it will ask you whether you would like to schedule this volume to be checked the next time the system restarts or not. Type Y to go on.

chkdsk command line

In addition to using the command line, you can try another way to run a disk check. Take Windows 10 as an example.

Step 1: Please open Windows Explorer, and right click the system partition, then select Properties

Step 2: Then under the Tools tab, click the Check button. 

check disk in Windows 10

Step 3: Click Scan drive to start scanning your drive.

scanning your drive

If the message “Windows detected a hard disk problem” is caused by system file error, after you perform a disk check, the issue will be fixed. If this way still can’t fix the hard disk problem detected issue in Windows 10/8/7, just try the next way. 

Way 4: Surface Test

It is likely that there is something wrong with your disk, so Windows detected a hard disk problem start the backup process error occurs. In this case, you should test all the hard drive and ensure whether there are some bad sectors or not, because sometimes disk problem message is due to the bad sectors.

Related article: What to Do If I Find Bad Sectors on Hard Drive in Windows 10/8/7?

How to check the entire hard drive? MiniTool Partition Wizard can also help you. Here is the step-by-step guide: 

Step 1: Launch this free partition manager and then enter into the clear and simple main interface. You need to select a target hard drive and then click Surface Test in the Check Disk menu or choose the feature from the context menu.

Surface Test feature

Step 2: Click Start Now to perform a disk test operation. This process will take a few minutes, so please wait patiently. From the picture below, you can clearly find MiniTool Partition Wizard can help to mark disk block without read error green. If there are some errors, this software marks them red. 

test disk errors

If you have finished doing the disk surface test and find there are some errors in the hard drive, you need to repair hard drive to solve the issue. Unfortunately, MiniTool Partition Wizard only can check disk but it is unable to fix the bad errors and you can look for third-party software to help solve the problem. Or you can use chkdsk (drive letter:) /r command prompt to shield the bad sectors.

If you have tried many ways to solve disk problem in Windows 10/8/7 but all fail, you need to replace the hard drive and solve this issue on the hard disk. Before replacing the disk, please back up your important files with MiniTool Partition Wizard. 

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How to Avoid Windows Hard Disk Problem Warning

Probably Windows will reports you such a message when there is no system file error, no virus attack or disk error in Windows 10/8/7, therefore, after trying all methods, in order to not receive this warning again, it is suggested to disable the setting about this topic. 

Here is the guide on Windows detected a hard disk problem disable:

Step 1: Press Win + R and then input gpedit.msc to open Local Group Policy Editor

Step 2: Please go Administrative Templates > System > Troubleshooting and Diagnostics > Disk Diagnostics. 

disk diagnostic Windows 10

Step 3: And then double click Disk Diagnostic: Configure execution level and set it to Disabled. At last, click Apply and OK.

set disk diagnostic to disabled


In this post, we introduce you “Windows detected a hard disk problem” error and how to disable the setting. When you encounter such a warning message, you should analyze the reasons for the issue and then try different solutions according to the different cases.

If you have any question or suggestion, welcome to leave a message below or directly email us via [email protected]. Thanks for your support in advance. 

Windows Detected a Hard Disk Problem FAQ

How do I fix Windows has detected a hard disk problem?
  1. Scan and kill viruses
  2. Run SFC to fix system files
  3. Use CHKDSK command
  4. Run a disk surface test
How do I check my hard drive for problems?

To check your disk for problems, fix errors and bad sectors, you can use the CHKDSK tool.

  1. Right-click on the drive that you want to check for errors and click Properties.
  2. Go to Tools and click Check to start the operations.
What is the reason for hard disk failure?
A hard drive failure happens due to various reasons, for example, power issues, firmware corruption, hardware failure, human error, PC overheating, mechanical or internal failure, corrupted file system, etc.
Can hard disk be repaired?
If the disk is damaged physically, it can’t be fixed. But if hard drive failure occurs due to logical reasons, you can fix it by trying some operations. Additionally, you should note that if there are some bad sectors, please use CHKDSK /r to shield them and you can continue to use the disk.
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