My external HDD failed, I searched on the internet and found that it may have been caused by bad blocks. I therefore ran sudo badblocks -vs -b 4096 -c 64 /dev/sdb1 > ~/Downloads/badsectors.txt in order to identify the bad blocks, but now I am stuck on what to do next. For the sake of completeness, this is the results of a fdisk -l

Disk /dev/sdb: 931,5 GiB, 1000204883968 bytes, 1953525164 sectors Units: sectors of 1 * 512 = 512 bytes Sector size (logical/physical): 512 bytes / 512 bytes I/O size (minimum/optimal): 512 bytes / 512 bytes Disklabel type: dos Disk identifier: 0xdc19e462

Device Boot Start End Sectors Size Id Type /dev/sdb1
2048 1953521663 1953519616 931,5G c W95 FAT32 (LBA)

If I mount it, it does not let me browse its content, if I run smartctl I just receive errors. Should I format it? Should I include the list of bad blocks and then format it?

  • It is very probable that your drive is damaged and can no longer be used. To be sure, please run the conveyance test with sudo smartctl -t conveyance /dev/sdx and, after the test has finished, view the results with sudo smartctl -l selftest /dev/sda and add them to your question. Some external USB-SATA-bridges do not allow running these tests. In this case, you need to open the external housing and connect the drive directly to your PC. – Hermann Nov 30 '18 at 11:28
  • if I run sudo smartctl -t conveyance /dev/sdb1 and then sudo smartctl -l selftest /dev/sdb1, I receive, "Device does not support Self Test logging". I do not care about the files inside, should I just insert inform the device about the badblocks and reformat it? – Alessio_110 Nov 30 '18 at 11:45
  • 2
    a 1TB disk (or 0.9TiB) is modern enough to detect bad sectors on its own and to remap those to spare sectors. Userland detectable bad sectors really should only show up when it has run out of spares, and by then discarding the disk is a very good idea. – Hennes Nov 30 '18 at 11:59

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