Submit Hint Search The Forums LinksStatsPollsHeadlinesRSS
14,000 hints and counting!


Click here to return to the 'Disk Utility may not warn of a failing hard drive' hint
The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Disk Utility may not warn of a failing hard drive
Authored by: adrian.nier on Sep 30, '10 01:12:26PM

Every user, average or pro, must know how many bad blocks their hard drive contains. The drive should be replaced as soon as it develops the first bad block. Otherwise, what good is a backup, if the data on your primary storage device is getting corrupted?

The gist of this hint is: Disk Utility ignores bad blocks and will not report the drive as failing, if it has any. Get yourself better software to monitor your hard drive.

There are different kinds of utilities that do so, I never mentioned, let alone link to, SMART Utility in my original hint submission except showing it in the screenshot and Iím not affiliated with its makers in any way.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Disk Utility may not warn of a failing hard drive
Authored by: gabester on Sep 30, '10 01:34:39PM

I wouldn't go so far as to say that a drive needs to be replaced as soon as the first bad block developed, but it certainly needs to considered unreliable for permanent data storage. And Mac OS X really doesn't do a very good job of informing the user about bad blocks and how to resolve them. In my mind, when a bad block is detected the OS should flag it and never attempt to use it again; in practice OS X will continually get hung up on that spot...

I've used tips from this page: http://uncoy.com/2006/09/bad_sector_io_e.html as it has good guidance on how to actually get around the bad blocks on your drive. It can be summarized as follows:
boot from OS X disc

% dd if=/dev/disk3 of=/dev/null conv=noerror

count number of errors
back up critical data
erase entire disk (select drive not partitions) - write zeros (once is enough)
then rerun:

% dd if=/dev/disk3 of=/dev/null conv=noerror

Following those steps should return zero errors. if it still errors drive is no longer reliable, check your warranty.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Disk Utility may not warn of a failing hard drive
Authored by: adrian.nier on Sep 30, '10 03:36:13PM

While the procedure is perfectly sound, it should be neither the userís nor the system administratorís job to fix something that shouldnít be broken in the first place. Most hard drives come with a 3-year, some even with a 5-year warranty. There is no bad blocks policy like the dead pixel policies some display manufacturers have. Demand a quality product, you paid for it.



[ Reply to This | # ]
Disk Utility may not warn of a failing hard drive
Authored by: crarko on Sep 30, '10 01:41:04PM

Yeah, I added the link to SMART Utility after seeing it in the screen shot; I thought people might be curious in knowing what it was.

I'm not affiliated with them either.



[ Reply to This | # ]