Bad blocks on HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by stagmeister, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. stagmeister macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2004
    So my hard drive has been giving me some trouble lately. A Techtool surface scan showed that I had 40 bad blocks on the hard drive, so I backed up everything I could, reformatted the HD and then restored from the backup. It works fine now but I did another surface scan just to double-check to make sure everything was working. For the most part things are great but it still says that there is 1 bad block. Shouldn't it have been reallocated by Disk Utility when I zeroed out the data?

  2. clevin macrumors G3


    Aug 6, 2006
    i thought format can not solve the physical damage?
  3. beatsme macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2005
    I believe the most that can happen is that the bad blocks will be flagged so as to prevent the OS from writing to them.

    as long as it works, I wouldn't worry about it. Your chances of getting a total system failure (!) from one little bad spot are downright tiny.
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Apr 3, 2004
    Adelaide, Australia
    Even though formatting is a good idea and should work, don't rely on this hard drive exclusively ever again. I give my drives one chance before buying them a replacement, because they're relatively so cheap. Just be aware that even though formatting may have helped bypass the dead spot, your drive may still fail for the same reasons the bad spot or exist, or (less likely) because of the bad spot. :)
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Hey Jeason..
    (nice handle, I'll introduce you to my avatar later...)

    That new bad block is a big ol' flag that says:
    "Buy a new hard drive Tomorrow as soon as the stores open"

    Look at it this way: you're going to have to replace the drive in three days, or three weeks or three months anyway. Wouldn't you rather do this now, instead of when you have weeks or months of data that will be lost, probably irretrieveably?

    Look for a Seagate drive with a 5 year warranty. This doesn't mean it will last 5 years, necessarily, just that when it fails in 4.5 years you can say "BooYeah" and save $ 100 in replacing it.

    In fact I'll go out on a limb: Everyone should plan on replacing their primary hard drive every 2 years. Get a larger, faster drive in your machine for $120, then put last year's drive in a Firewire case and use it for backup or overflow. Two years later, do it again. Move this year's drive into the case, put in the latest, greatest, and throw out the 4 year old drive before it has a chance to sewer your data.
  6. balamw Moderator


    Staff Member

    Aug 16, 2005
    New England
    I do exactly this on about an 18 month timescale for my PCs, I just keep the drives instead of tossing them... I have quite a stack of them. :p I also tend to pick up a new drive if I'm planning to reinstall the OS, which I have yet to do under OS X.

    Dunno what I'll do about the iMac or iBook though... Not so trivial to replace the drives in them.

  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Oh well, yeah, OK, I do that too. "Throw out" was more along the lines of saying "retire them for the purpose of storing anything valuable on them"

    I was just looking today with some dismay at a stack of about 50 SCSI hard drives, SyQuest drives, CD-ROM 2x readers, Performa floppy drives and Zip drives...
  8. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2006
    Bad blocks are the Computer Gods way of saying that they are angry and they will punish you. Get a new one, take the old one and open it up, the shiny platters are pretty. They make great Christmas tree ornaments.:cool:

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