[conspire] request verification of plans to partition and format external hard drive

Daniel Gimpelevich daniel at gimpelevich.san-francisco.ca.us
Fri Jul 20 18:41:41 PDT 2007

Rick Moen <rick <at> linuxmafia.com> writes:

> If by chance this is a genuine SCSI drive, checking for bad blocks is
> probably superfluous, since the SCSI circuitry on the drive does active,
> continual checking for errors and swaps any that are found out, in
> favour of spare sectors in the "hot fix area" that are kept around for
> that purpose.  

IDE drives have now done the exact same thing for many years. When an OS 
detects errors on such a disk, it is because the remappable sectors have 
already all been exhausted, and the drive is already toast. The SMART protocol 
is useful for determining how many such remaps have been done behind the OS's 

> Most of the time, most people do without bad-blocks checking even on
> commodity IDE drives, and don't regret it.  Mostly.  ;->  If you can
> spare the time, though, it's the properly paranoid thing to do on drives
> you're not really confident in.

For the above reason, it's necessarily quite useless in any case. Recent 
distro installers don't even offer the option anymore.

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