The Bad Block of Death

OK, so I heard that a disk is considered doomed if it has more that XXX bad blocks (XXX being 128, 1024, 1 for each gigabyte of data, whatever… The key thing is “a lot”).

I have a nice 150GB drive as boot device. There are 5 bad blocks. That’s nothing right? Except that one of them is causing some kind of loop, and I can’t remove the incriminated file, because it’s on a bad block.

So here I am, looking for a bad block repair thingie, which apparently does not exist on Mac OS X. What is the solution then? Dump the drive and buy a new one? Thank you so very much, but no thank you. According to the experts the only solution is to backup, reformat and zeroing all blocks, and then restore.

Has anyone ever tried to backup 140 gigs one way, wait for a full fledged formatting and restoring back? Especially when the backup can’t complete because of file errors?

So, here I am, with my teenie-tiny error and no solution but manual backup? Talk about a disgrace… I’m not giving up!


After having tried everything, from the Apple Care CD (with TechTools installed) to having a MacOS 9 (is it really dead, by the way?) try some old school utilities, I finally had some success with a nifty collection of applications called SpeedTools (and mode accurately Media Scanner). While the others cleverly said “you have 5 bad blocks, please do something about it”, this one said it had found them and reassigned them to other locations. So far, so good, the problems seem to have gone. Should it really be a success, I definitely think that a hundred bucks or something is definitely worth the gizmo.


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