Friday, February 8, 2013

This is What "Hopelessly Many" Bad Sectors Looks Like

A while ago, I had a flaky computer at home.  Among the many things I tried to use to get it backworking was gparted (on the UBCD).  gparted said it couldn't do what I wanted it to do, because it had bad sectors.  How many bad sectors?

"hopelessly many"

This was very bad.  So when I got the hard drive replaced, I called it "bad"
and then decided "what the [deleted]" and opened it.  Inside a hard drive should be 100% pristine ultra-clean cleanliness.  I was shocked to see this on the top platter:

(that's about a 2mm-long fleck of dust)

Then I turned it to catch the light a different way. Realize please that the actual discs in a hard disc drive are little round mirrors and are entirely featureless as far as you can see with your eye . . . normally . . .
What does "hopelessly many bad sectors" mean?  It means you better have a working backup already, because your drive is hosed.  These white flecks of dust resulted in system instability and random crashes and locking up/freezing.  You wouldn't notice this small amount of dust on your spectacles.  On the platters of a hard disk, it is catastrophic.

No comments: