Low Level Disk Format And Sector Mapping On Os-x



Lately, two internal hard drives (IBM/Hitachi TravelStar 40GB and 80GB)of my Albook 15" and 17" began malfunctioning randomly. They seem to have "bad spots" somewhere on their surface, which causes system failures in copying files and folders OUT of the drives, in Launching applications, and the worst --- corrupt data in files. It seems that Finder does not veryfy written data, and so it never fails to WRITE files on the drive. Out of warrenty, I had to replace the drives with new ones, but I want to revive the drives if possible.

Re-mapping bad sectors is usually part of low-level formatting the drives. In the past I had many options for this. I could use either Apple "Drive Setup" utility, or one of many 3rd party utilities (FWB HardDisk Toolkit, Anubis, and older SpotLight to name a few). Now, with MacOS-X 10.3 I am amazed not to find even one tool for doing this!

I tried "Erasing" the drives using the "Zero All Drive Data" option with Apple's Disk Utility, but after that, Drive10 still detects problems in its surface-scan option.

I'm not afraid of unix command-line utilities, but I don't know which is the right one, and how to operate it.

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
Motti Shneor.



There is 'diskutil' (UNIX).

In 'Terminal', open two windows.
In one window enter

man diskutil

... and press the <return> key, and in the other window - enter

diskutil help

... and press the <return> key.
View the contents of the windows.

Also, view this tidbit.