I have a newer Toshiba hard drive with bad sectors... I don't hear anything loose, so I think maybe there is just a scratch in the disk somewhere... I heard of products that can "buff" out those scratches and restore the hard drive into good condition, but I have yet to find one. Is this even possible?
closed as off topic by Eliah Kagan, Seth♦, Basharat Sialvi, Eric Carvalho, Nathan Osman Apr 10 '13 at 0:31
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I don't see how software can do anything about physical damage, and have never heard of anything that claims to. I have seen programs that test a disk and block bad sectors for use, but the ones I am familiar with are all Windows things that would surely barf on an EXT3 partition if you could get them to run at all. I suspect there is something already in Ubuntu or available that can do this, but I don't know what it would be.
As @user148064 wrote, software can not repair a hardware problem.
However, any SCSI hard drives and modern SATA drives have spare sectors. (You do not ask them for a specific track, sector and cylinder. You asked them for a sector number. The drive will report itself as "I have X sectors of size Y". Usually the drive actually has a few more.)
When a sector fails to get read or written successfully it will copy that sector to a spare sector and substitute that on all subsequent accesses.
Think of it as a book stating I have X pages with Y chars per page.
Now you spill coffee on page 3. It replaces the index for page 3 with spare page 1.
You can trigger this rereading and remapping process on a drive. That will help if you have any previously undetected corrupted pages (sectors).
However the number of spare pages (sectors) is limited. If you have a groove over the platter then this will not suffice (and that is assuming the head are undamaged, and those are the only likely candidates to make such a groove).
If the source of the failed sectors is something else, then please consider this as a sign of imminent disc failure.
tl;dr: No software will not repair hardware, though in some cases it can work around the defect.