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 it.
(APL note: that's not necessary. Just be in single-user mode).
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 /etc/badtrk. 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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You learn about life by the accidents you have, over and over again, and your father is always in your head when that stuff happens. (Kurt Vonnegut)