In the past, Gnome/Ubuntu's standard "Disk" utility would warn if the hard drive reported imminent failure. However, I recently encountered a case where my filesystem flipped into read-only mode. Researching the error, I found this is usually caused by a failing hard drive, where Linux sets the filesystem to readonly when read and writes fail in order to prevent corruption of the drive.
I had to reboot and manually run fsck on the drive to temporarily fix the problem. Checking the Disk utility, it shows:
Disk is OK, 1592 bad sectors
What in the world does this mean? My entire computer became unusable due to a problem writing to the disk, so in no way is the disk OK.
How can I configure the tool to alert me everytime new bad sectors are found? I realize that few bad sectors are common, and the filesystem is able to map around them, but it seems like it should have alerted me to the presence of several thousand. I perform regular backups, so my data was safe, but I didn't like being surprised by this.