I have a problem with my laptop,in which I'd had windows xp. That XP crashed and I couldn't restore it with the Install CD. So, I placed Ubuntu 11.10 install on a Pendrive, searched for some bad blocks(less than 500), hard drive had a entire format and everything looks fine but the progress bar hangs about 20% and the install didn't finish over night? What should I do?
After writing the digression below, it occurred to me that I should probably also mention why I wrote it.
Any form of sector write or read error on a drive should be viewed as a potential warning. The drive could be failing. Certainly if a drive is reporting as many as 500 bad blocks, I would dig deeper into this before installing anything on the drive.
As I mentioned below, you can use Ubuntu
But watch the drive carefully for further signs of failure and don't save anything critical on it unless it is also backed up. If the drive continues to show sector errors, consider shopping for a replacement drive. Soon.
Just my opinion of course, for whatever it's worth.
These days it is hard to be certain what the phrase
All relatively recent drives now do this sort of tracking internally in their firmware and operating systems no longer need to track such things.
This Wikipedia article on Bad Sectors seems to be a reasonable overview. The key points being:
You can use an Ubuntu Live CD or USB to do these things.
After booting the Live CD/USB, open the
Of course, depending on the size of the drive this could take many hours to complete.
If you are curious, there are many more "tricks" one can use with
BEST ADVICE (rather than solution)
If the hard drive is currently stable, and not deteriorating, then a low-level format will map any "bad sectors" to be unused. The BIOS, HDD controller, and OS should be able to handle any "slow deterioration" after that.
What you are describing could be more serious, and/or a bad controller.
I would strongly suggest getting the laptop checked out, or (at least) getting a test tool that will stress test the drive and show it "stable" or still getting worse ..
You must exclude bad blocks on file system before you begin.
Boot from LiveCD and run this command (assuming that your target partition is sda1):
This command will check file system on partition
Note: this command will not remap bad blocks on hard drive! It works only for target file system. If you want to remap bad blocks you can do that with Windows
After that you may run install but you have to chose manual disk partitioning during setup.
I'm using intensively three hd's with bad blocks since years without any problems. The oldest is over ten years old, the newer ones 5 or 6 years. I think those bad blocks are anoying, if you loose date but david6 thought of low level format seems the best idea for me.
You should install/use that reformated disk and have a regular look at the smart-data of your drive (eg. bad blocks, relocated blocks). Smart-data isnt absolutely reliable but give a good overview of the health status. If you use your reformated disk and you don't see increased bad blocks/relocations, then youre on the lucky side. If you find segnicant more bad blocks or reports a remaining life-time then i would change the drive - its about to die.
BTW: After low-level formating the drive it is NOT necessary to run "badblocks" or such utilities. The drives firmware will handle this without user interaction. When the operating system tries to write to one of those bad blocks, the firmware will silently relocate the bad block.
I did install Ubuntu on a net-top containing bad blocks at the start of the drive so during the partitioning stage I put the '/' partition at the END of the drive (it gives you that option), also the separate '/home' partition at the END also but I shrank it so that It was 30gb smaller than the leftover space to skip the bad sectors.
The install worked fine although if the drive contains bad sectors then it may slowly get worse and is time for a replacement HD...