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HD probs

I'm getting some hard drive errors.
Here is an example:
hdb: read_intr: status=0x59 { DriveReady SeekComplete DataRequest
Error }
hdb: read_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=657663,
sector=657600end_request: I/O error, dev 03:41 (hdb), sector 657600

Can you tell me if this means the hd is going out or does it just
have some bad blocks? 
Is it possible to mark blocks as unusable?

Man this sucks too. HDB is /home where I keep all my personal files
... some of which I can't access now without getting errors like the
above. Is there anyway to preserve this data or is it lost?

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