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Don't trash an iPod with bad blocks on the drive
Authored by: Typhoon14 on Jan 24, '11 09:26:06AM

I don't know about the iPod, but most modern hard drives have extra blocks that are not enabled but can be transparently swapped in if a bad block is detected (you can see this in SMART diagnostics under "reallocated sector count). On such drives, you will not see any bad blocks in software (or any associated disk errors) unless the disk has already exhausted ALL of its "spare" sectors. In other words, while having a small number of blocks fail as a disk ages does not necessarily indicate a need for replacement, having such failures actually affect functionality usually indicated that the disk is already pretty far gone.

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