[OpenAFS] Should I replace a hard drive with known bad blocks?

Jerold McAllister jerrymc@msu.edu
Fri, 08 Sep 2006 13:53:57 -0400

Kevin writes: 

> Hi list- 
> I realize that various filesystem tools (ext2, ext3, etc.) have utilities to
> map bad blocks and avoid having the system use them, but is it a good rule
> of thumb that a HDD with bad blocks is failing?  ie, that finding bad blocks
> is an indicator that the HDD will soon fail catastrophically? 
> I'm considering installing an OpenAFS server on a machine with such a hard
> drive.  I've done about 20-40 passes on the partitions searching for bad
> blocks, and I do find them, but the number remains the same on each pass. 
> So the question is one of judgment.  Do list members think it would be
> advisable to replace a hard drive at the first indication that there are bad
> blocks (in anticipation of it failing soon)?  If that is overkill, is it a
> bad idea to use a hard drive in production use where data integrity is
> important and the hard drive is known to have bad blocks?  Or is it
> perfectly safe if some precautions are followed (such as scanning for bad
> blocks periodically henceforth)?  Or other?

Because modern drives remap bad blocks automatically, usually by the time
you actually begin to see bad block messages, the remapping ability
is maxed out and the drive is really barely limping along.   So, if this
is in any production capacity, the sooner you replace it, the better. 


> Thanks for any feedback. 
> -Kevin
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