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I used a computer too much, running a script for many weeks. Eventually, Debian printed a thousand errors and shutdown, and won't start again. When I ran DBAN on the drive, to write 0's to the disk and reinstall, it said there is a bad sector. Can I simply find where the bad sector is and reinstall Debian while leaving a blank partition at the bad area?

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Why wouldn't your proposed workaround be possible? – Cristian Ciupitu Aug 3 '14 at 2:38

Modern disks these days usually contain a number of spare sectors that are automatically put into service should a problem in one sector is found. If you run out of these spare sectors, then you are looking at a disk that is in pretty bad shape. Instead of attempting to zero out the bad blocks and continuing, I'd get a new disk and install it. It's far cheaper than to screw around with a disk that is already failing....you'll lose less sleep (and data).

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This is related to the file system you intend to use.

Some of them, such as EXT4 or ReiserFS, allow to mark bad sectors: see the -c option of e2fsck or the -B option of reiserfsck. I think this works on other file systems as well.

If you choose this way you should partition and format the hard disk with bad blocks control enabled, and proceed with the Debian installation only after that, skipping the partitioning section altogether.

Years ago, when the hard disks were not so cheap, this solution was quite common. Actually, as @mdpc pointed out, I'd buy a new disk.

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