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Date:      Mon, 16 Nov 2009 06:56:05 +0000
From:      Matthew Seaman <>
Cc:        "Ronald F. Guilmette" <>
Subject:   Re: Bad Blocks... Should I RMA?
Message-ID:  <>
In-Reply-To: <>
References:  <> <>

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Lowell Gilbert wrote:
> "Ronald F. Guilmette" <> writes:
>> Nov 15 15:24:17 coredump kernel: ad4: FAILURE - READ_DMA status=3D51<R=
> This is *not* necessarily a big deal, despite what your other response
> told you.  Errors on reads do not mean that your drive's bad-sector
> table is full; only errors on write indicate that.  If you can try
> manufacturer's drive diagnostics, do that.  If you can't, then it's
> harder to fix things up, but not impossible; write back if you
> really can't use a low-level diag.

Yes -- this is correct.  It's possible for a disk to be unable to read a =
but rewriting the sector would either succeed and leave the sector fully =
again, or cause it to be remapped in which case the disk will subsequentl=
y perform=20
perfectly well[*].

Beyond running the manufacturers diagnostics,  as the OP has said he has =
nothing particularly valuable on the drive, it might be worth running a f=
ew passes of dban
or similar on the disk --- this will overwrite every part of the platter =
should make it abundantly clear if there is a real and persistent problem=
=2E  If
you can't afford to scrub the disk, then just keep it under observation: =
if the
problems recur within a few weeks then yes, definitely RMA that drive.


[*] If the error messages have disappeared since, then this has probably
already happened.

Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                   7 Priory Courtyard
                                                  Flat 3
PGP:     Ramsgate
                                                  Kent, CT11 9PW

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