Several years ago I bought a budget PC for my son and his family. I bought it without software and failed to install Win98SE. The HD was replaced by the vendor(showing very large number of bad sectors).
The same thing happened with the replacement! To their credit the vendor took the whole unit back and returned it with another (3rd HD)
Same thing yet again though this time it failed even to format the HD reporting 35% bad sectors! Once more it made a round trip, and though I wasn't given any detail about what had been found, (I can only assume a mobo or RAM fault) they said they had successfully installed W98SE and removed it. I installed the W98SE successfully - the computer behaved for several years until replaced with a better one.
The point is that a quick format simply deletes some things, makes any data inaccessable, but I wonder if the old fashioned DOS - FDISK and FORMAT (with the thorough surface scan switch), would recover previously 'marked' sectors?
You've got me wondering now Diemmess, I can vaguely remember formatting a drive with bad sectors when I had Win98 and I think it might have come back, but to be honest its that long ago I can't remember.
Occasionally windows gets its facts wrong and will incorrectly mark a HD sector as bad.Use of the HD mfg's HD software(Maxtor has Maxblast)to low-level format the HD can usually correct these type of problems,but beware of using them as it can lead to all kinds of strange behaviour if the HD is actually failing.
I've got some bad sectors on my Hd.Its a Seagate, and it was recommended that I do a format via the tools available from the manufacturer's site. The program that I downloaded creates a bootable diskette,and all the various options run from this disc.I did what is called a "zero fill drive",that does something to the bad sectors that Windows cannot do anything about.It did something, because the Hd is still working, but I've still got a new one ready to put in,just in case.
It must be obvious in the response you have had so far that the big question is - Why any bad sectors at all!
If it was merely a glitch finding some corrupt code then you can continue to use the HD as usual.
If it wasn't a glitch, but the beginnings of failure by the HD itself, you have an early warning to replace it.
Just to confuse things, other hardware like RAM motherboard or even the PSU can scramble the rudimentary binary code that goes on the HD and then when read, doesn't agree with what should have been written! You can decide for yourself but do tell us what you think.