Unix, Xenix and ODT General FAQ
This article is from a FAQ concerning SCO operating
systems. While some of the information may be applicable to any OS,
or any Unix or Linux OS, it may be specific to SCO Xenix, Open
This is an old article about SCO Unix hard drive bad blocks (badtrk) and is only left here for historical purposes.
There is lots of Linux, Mac OS X and general Unix info elsewhere on
this site: Search this site is the best
way to find anything.
You will see error messages going by giving you the sector,
cylinder, head, and other nifty information regarding the error. If
you can jot this down, it makes it much easier to find the bad
block without having to scan the entire drive for it.
Shut the system down cleanly (using shutdown).
If the error is on the root filesystem, boot from emergency
floppies; otherwise, you can boot from the hard drive and enter
single-user mode. The rule here is that the filesystem on which the
error is located must not be mounted while you try to fix
(APL note: that's not necessary. Just be in single-user
If you have a SCSI hard drive, use scsibadblk.
It ships with Unix 3.2v4.1 and 3.2v4.2, and ODT 2.0 and 3.0. For
Unix 3.2v4.0, install the 4.1 maintenance supplement or upgrade to 4.2 (not a bad idea anyway). For Unix
3.2.2 or ODT 1.1, install unx347a (no longer available). For Xenix
2.3.4, install xnx348a. For OSR5,
scsibadblk was rolled into badtrk, so just use badtrk. For older versions of Xenix or
Unix, you're out of luck. One other note about SCSI drives; many of
them will automatically remap bad blocks, so when you go to run
scsibadblk you will not actually find any bad blocks - even if you
run a thorough scan of the area where the bad block was reported.
This capability is called AWR/ARR. If you see a menu option called
something like "Modify target parameters", you can enable and
disable AWR and ARR.
If you're using a standard drive type (MFM, RLL, ATA, ESDI), use
I'd recommend doing a thorough, nondestructive scan of the
area where the error message said there was a bad block.
Before doing this stuff, have a look at the manual for your
specific operating system to see any notes or recommendations made
by SCO. If you're not careful here, you might make things worse
than they already are (such as by doing a destructive scan, which
will wipe out all data on the area you scan).
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