A while ago, I had a flaky computer at home. Among the many things I tried to use to get it backworking was gparted (on the UBCD). gparted said it couldn’t do what I wanted it to do, because it had bad sectors. How many bad sectors?
This was very bad. So when I got the hard drive replaced, I called it “bad”
and then decided “what the [deleted]” and opened it. Inside a hard drive should be 100% pristine ultra-clean cleanliness. I was shocked to see this on the top platter:
(that’s about a 2mm-long fleck of dust)
Then I turned it to catch the light a different way. Realize please that the actual discs in a hard disc drive are little round mirrors and are entirely featureless as far as you can see with your eye . . . normally . . .
What does “hopelessly many bad sectors” mean? It means you better have a working backup already, because your drive is hosed. These white flecks of dust resulted in system instability and random crashes and locking up/freezing. You wouldn’t notice this small amount of dust on your spectacles. On the platters of a hard disk, it is catastrophic.