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Anthony Papillion 01-20-2011 02:49 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
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So a part of my hard disk is basically toast. I don't thin it's a huge
area but at least some of it is. Right now, my local computer store is
telling me it will be 4-5 days before they can get a new one so I'm
thinking about reinstalling and working around the bad areas.

Is there a way to do this? If I reinstall Ubuntu, can I tell it to route
around the bad sectors and not access them once the machine is in use? I
think the boot sector is bad.

Anthony
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Smoot Carl-Mitchell 01-20-2011 03:12 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
On Wed, 2011-01-19 at 21:49 -0600, Anthony Papillion wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA256
>
> So a part of my hard disk is basically toast. I don't thin it's a huge
> area but at least some of it is. Right now, my local computer store is
> telling me it will be 4-5 days before they can get a new one so I'm
> thinking about reinstalling and working around the bad areas.
>
> Is there a way to do this? If I reinstall Ubuntu, can I tell it to route
> around the bad sectors and not access them once the machine is in use? I
> think the boot sector is bad.

mke2fs has a bad block option. (-c) which will map out the bad blocks in
software with the badblocks tool. I have used it with some success in
the past. I think you can invoke it if you tell the installer you want
to manually create your filesystem(s). If the bad area is physically
limited, you might consider creating disk partitions which do not
include the area around the bad sectors. Read the badblocks manually
page very carefully. You can irrevocably destroy data with this tool.

--
Smoot Carl-Mitchell
System/Network Architect
voice: +1 480 922-7313
cell: +1 602 421-9005
smoot@tic.com


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Basil Chupin 01-20-2011 03:21 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
On 20/01/2011 14:49, Anthony Papillion wrote:

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA256

So a part of my hard disk is basically toast. I don't thin it's a huge
area but at least some of it is. Right now, my local computer store is
telling me it will be 4-5 days before they can get a new one so I'm
thinking about reinstalling and working around the bad areas.

Is there a way to do this? If I reinstall Ubuntu, can I tell it to route
around the bad sectors and not access them once the machine is in use? I
think the boot sector is bad.


What's the brand of your hard drive? Go to the manufacturer's web site
and download the disc with the tools for that brand of HD. Run the disc
and do a low level format of the HD. Doing so will automatically mark
all the bad sectors on the HDs built-in 'management' system so that when
you go to install Ubuntu those bad sectors will not be written to.


However, even as your HD now stands, the HD's built-in software should
mark the bad sectors as bad when it tries to WRITE to a bad sector so
that it will not be written to in the future. (The problem here is that
if you have data on such a bad sector, before it went bad, the HD will
read off it and the data may therefore be corrupt.)


Assuming that you are using Ubuntu (say 10.10) go to
System>Administration>Disk Utility and then select your HD after which
select SMART Data which will tell you the state of your HD and how many
bad sectors you have and also tell you if your HD is really on the way
out (look for text in RED).


BC

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"To know that we know what we know, and that we do not know what we do not know, that is true knowledge."
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MR ZenWiz 01-20-2011 03:31 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM, Anthony Papillion <papillion@gmail.com> wrote:
>
> So a part of my hard disk is basically toast. I don't thin it's a huge
> area but at least some of it is. Right now, my local computer store is
> telling me it will be 4-5 days before they can get a new one so I'm
> thinking about reinstalling and working around the bad areas.
>
> Is there a way to do this? If I reinstall Ubuntu, can I tell it to route
> around the bad sectors and not access them once the machine is in use? I
> think the boot sector is bad.
>
If part of your disk went bad, chances are it is on its way to total
failure. You're asking for a lot of trouble if you continue to use
it.

As a temporary workaround, you might not hurt too much, in which case
the advice given by others here already is fine.

I won't ask what would cause a 4-5 day delay in getting a hard drive....

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Basil Chupin 01-20-2011 03:54 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
On 20/01/2011 15:31, MR ZenWiz wrote:

On Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 7:49 PM, Anthony Papillion<papillion@gmail.com> wrote:

So a part of my hard disk is basically toast. I don't thin it's a huge
area but at least some of it is. Right now, my local computer store is
telling me it will be 4-5 days before they can get a new one so I'm
thinking about reinstalling and working around the bad areas.

Is there a way to do this? If I reinstall Ubuntu, can I tell it to route
around the bad sectors and not access them once the machine is in use? I
think the boot sector is bad.


If part of your disk went bad, chances are it is on its way to total
failure. You're asking for a lot of trouble if you continue to use
it.


While I agree I'll add a couple of comments: all brand new HDs come with
bad sectors to begin with, and I have an HD which has been developing
bad sectors over the years but still works without a hassle :-) . The
bottom line here is, I guess, is to make sure that all important data is
backed-up in case of a sudden and catastrophic HD crash :-) .



BC

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Confucius


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Ari Torhamo 01-20-2011 08:15 AM

Installing around bad sectors
 
to, 2011-01-20 kello 15:54 +1100, Basil Chupin kirjoitti:

> While I agree I'll add a couple of comments: all brand new HDs come with
> bad sectors to begin with, and I have an HD which has been developing
> bad sectors over the years but still works without a hassle :-) .

The severity of the problem with bad sectors also depends on how the bad
sectors were born. If the surface of a platter was physically damaged
because of a foreign particle on it or by a blow the hard disk suffered,
the damage may spread rapidly, because the damaged area may make the
read/write head to oscillate up and down and thus to spread the damage
further.

> The bottom line here is, I guess, is to make sure that all important data is
> backed-up in case of a sudden and catastrophic HD crash :-) .

Yes, having your data backed-up is always important, because so many
things can go wrong – physically or logically :-)

-Ari-


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