Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How bad are bad sectors on a hard drive really? If a tool (e.g. disk utility from ubuntu/gnome) reports bad sectors on a disk, what is the expected time to death? (assuming the bad sector did not damage any existing files).

share|improve this question
On second read one could understand death of disk or death of system by unbootability, or better written unavailability of boot capabilities. – uprego Dec 13 '13 at 8:53
Related: Bad Sectors on Hard Drive – Michael Kjörling Dec 13 '13 at 15:37

Depends on the file system format and the pace of physical degrading.

In case of traditional hard disk drives, since the Seagate Barracuda series arose circa ten years ago, I lost no disk because of bad sectors, but earlier than those disks I remember that already FAT32 and NTFS where enough good handling them.

So I would expect a very good support of bad sectors by FOSS file system formats and tools.

share|improve this answer
As long as the number of bad sectors doesn't grow… If it grows, then backup your data and replace the hard drive. – Alexey Ivanov Jan 2 '14 at 8:05

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.