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Re: About USB hard drives and errors

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Florian Kulzer wrote:
>> Interesting.  So what is /badblocks/ for,
> I would say it is useful to make the drive access every single block;
> afterwards you can check in the SMART log if that caused any remappings. 

That's a good idea.

Another application is if you suspect that part of the HD surface is bad
(old age, you dropped the HD, etc.) but the HD does not know it yet
because it has not accessed the damaged sectors yet. Then badblocks (or
dd) will force it to do so, probably bricking the HD in the process
(sometimes with audible clicking noises or such) which, if you think
about it, can be very useful if you intended to store valuable data on
it later.

>> should it be removed
>> in order to remove useless complexity?
> I would not consider a command-line utility that can simply be ignored
> to be useless complexity.

Indeed, and that is true for thousands of CLI commands. ImageMagick
alone installs dozens which add complexity to your system if unused.
Back to the topic of HDs, I even remember seeing a unix program for
low-level formatting them, though formattable HDs probably have ceased
to be sold a long time ago.
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