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I already have Windows XP, During installing Ubuntu(dual boot) the disk drive just stuck up at one place and doesn't seem to move ahead..
Is there a disk bad sector mark utility that just marks these sectors so that the disk doesn't seek them later.
I tried running Seagate Seatools on the drive but both the short test and long test fail even before they start even chkdsk /f/r doesn't seem to work as the system locks up at stage four.

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Virtually all modern (i.e. last 15 years) drives, mechanical and SSD alike, detect bad sectors on their own and remap logical sectors to good physical sectors from a reserve pool. By the time it gets to the point where you are seeing repeat read errors on certain sectors, the drive is in very bad shape as this generally means it's used up its reserved pool completely and can't do any more remapping. You can check the reallocation count in the SMART statistics, but if you see a drive in this condition it's time to get a new drive immediately. –  Jason C Jun 29 at 23:15

5 Answers 5

up vote 7 down vote accepted

SpinRite from GRC is well known as a disk recovery tool.

It will scan all sectors, try to recover the data if possible and mark defective sectors so they're not reused. Worked fine for me in a few occasions.

It's not free though: $89.00

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Well I tried using SpinRite but it wastes a lot of time recovering data from the bad sectors and I don't want that I just want a tool to mark the sectors bad and move on... –  Kevin Boyd Oct 7 '09 at 6:49
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Spinrite doesn't mark defective sectors. It lets the drive do it itself (also in general it makes no sense to mark bad sectors on modern drives, they do it themselves and the mapping of sector addresses to physical sectors isn't constant anyways). It's also fairly useless for drives with actual damage, and very dangerous for drives where the damage increases with activity e.g. flaked magnetic coating, etc. –  Jason C Jun 29 at 9:13

IIRC, all modern drives has the ability to mark some bad sectors & continue operation. I'm currently reading.

Bad block HOWTO for smartmontools

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If you don't care about the data you can use the "seatools for DOS" boot disk to scan for bad sectors or, as it's the drive (not the software) that detects and relocates bad sectors any process that can reads all the sectors on your disk without crashing when it finds a bad one should trigger the swap out. If you have can boot your ubuntu live CD simply pop open a terminal and use dd e.g. dd if=/dev/sdX of=/dev/null bs=512 conv=noerror

Some newer drives have a block size of 4096 rather than 512.

Spinrite does 2 things nothing else that I'm aware of does (which is why I own a copy). It can recover data from a bad sector (rather than erasing it like all the other tools) and it can 'refresh and verify' the disk surface meaning it reads and writes each sector twice to catch sectors that are near to failure.

Ignore the guy who's telling you to just get a new drive, a few bad sectors does not always indicate a failing drive, they are more often than not caused by unexpected power loss and there is nothing mechanically wrong with the drive. Modern drives have a huge gross error rate by design (the market preferring capacity to reliability) and are correcting a surprising number of errors every second even on new drives. The odd 'bad' sector is neither here nor there when you consider the size of modern drives and $50 is a useful amount of money.

Also it;s worth bearing in mind even brand new drives come with bad (already reallocated) sectors and always have. Back in the day you had to program these into your operating system by hand when you installed the drive from a list the manufacturer provided with the drive. People who reckon a single bad sector indicates you drive is near deaths door know nothing.

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You can try using HDD Regenerator to fix the bad sector. But this software is not free. I have experience with bad sectors and my HDD works normally after using this software.

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  1. very first thing backup your important data.
  2. scan the full hard drive with windows scan disk utility.
  3. if you find bad sectors on hard drive then note down which partition has bad sectors. 4.recreate the partition and exclude the bad sector area and a little more area around bad sectors.
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