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Scanning a HDD continuously/ is what some anti-virus programs and even operating systems already do. Additionally also "outside partitions" which is snart as that is one good place for viruses. (as are unused sectors inside partition, MFT tables,etc,etc) Typically this starts after Computer has been idle for a while, for example middle of night, If either ...


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Scanning a HDD continuously or often reading/writing at bad sectors may cause the bad sectors to propagate./ Or could make the little magnets get better, taking them out of their hysteresis-lock or maybe the write head is getting weak, replacing old good magnets with weak new ones. or maybe the defects just grow by themselves But obviously if the head ...


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HDD SPARE SECTORS! Seems everyone forgets that HDDs have spare sectors. The HDD replaces bad sectors with these, but only when the bad sector is written to! Also, the HDD itself decides on what sector is "bad", unreadable correctly. That is, sectors have checksums so HDD firmware can detect "bad" sectors. (or more complex error checking mechanisms) ...


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Upon reading the manpage further, I've solved the problem. -w does indeed do a single pass, with a pass consisting of four test patterns. This can be overriden using the -t option: -t test_pattern Specify a test pattern to be read (and written) to disk blocks. The test_pattern may either be a numeric value between 0 and ULONG_MAX-1 inclusive, or ...


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What you're seeing is not multiple passes, it's multiple test patterns within a single pass. The -w option runs a single pass by default, and you can specify additional passes with the -p option. However, a single pass with the -w option tests four different patterns: 0xaa, 0x55, 0xff, 0x00. You can override this with the -t option, to specifiy your own ...



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