Which format is better for an external HDD with many bad sectors?

I'll be using my HDD for linux distros only. I have an external HDD that's in ntfs format and it has bad sectors. Which format would be a better choice for me considering I can take care of the bad sectors after a clean format?

Aren't there enough topics about filesystems?

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Anything that fsck handles may be a good starting point.

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If "many bad sectors" from the topic is in fact correct - spare yourself the trouble and get a replacement.

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fsck is a command program. I really do not like it.

Better would be the program "Disks". There you can create a disk image and you can copy the whole content of your hdd (including boot parameters and so on) onto a new device (HDD).

A 1:1 copy makes really sense if you want to copy a whole OS system without losing its functionality. With "Disks" it is possible. Choose the option "Create Disk Image" at the top as well as "Restore from Disk Image" as a second step and copy the content to a new drive.

Please use GSmartControl as a benchmark tool for your external HDD. It is available on the Live-DVD of Manjaro 18.1.5.

There you can have a look at the attributes that have been saved on your drive. For instance, the power-on hours, the temperature and so on.
You can also do a short test for checking whether your HDD's functionality is OK.

Good luck to you!

Bests,

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Do Gnome have you on commission or something? :sweat_smile:

OP, you probably want to buy a new drive, I can't think of any reason a particular file system would be better suited to a wonky drive, so you might as well just use ext4 if buying a new one isn't on the cards right now.

Check out the forums for the pros and cons of the various formats. However, for reliability you can't go wrong with ext4.

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indeed, if it's already dying then consider it a data mouse trap with a hair trigger.

secure erase the remaining good blocks and bin it

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I would format with a :hammer: and place in the correct recycling bin.

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Are these genuine bad sectors or caused by some external factor? Some thoughts to pursue at your discretion:

  • Are the data and power cables to the HDD securely fitted? Have they come loose? Try unplugging and re-plugging them or try a different socket in the mother board. Try different cables.
  • Is the power supply OK? Is it overloaded and not supplying enough volts|amps or otherwise developing a fault?
  • A forensics expert I knew suggested trying the HDD at other orientations, upside-down, vertical, horizontal.

On the software side:

  • Perhaps examine the HDD S.M.A.R.T. data with gsmartcontrol and run the available tests to see if there are any problems indicated.
  • Use the command badblocks to test the disk surface for errors, this may erase data depending on whether a destructive or nondestructive test option is chosen and may take many hours (or days) to run.

In this case I might opt for mkfs.btrfs --data dup /dev/sdX to duplicate the data to give a better chance of error correction and improve data security.

Hope those thoughts might be of help.

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