I was curious to see if I had any bad sectors on a set of drives (3x640GB = 1.8TB) I’ve owned since 2010, so I ran “badblocks -svn” on that drive and it took a little over three days to complete.

Some info about the drive setup:

  • 3x 640GB Western Digital Caviar Black
  • SATA 3.0 Gb/s
  • RAID0

Some info on the badblocks command specifically:

  • s – shows scan progress (percent completion)
  • v – verbose mode
  • n – non-destructive read-write mode and requires the drive to not be mounted (more info about the test mode below)
    1. block is first read
    2. test pattern then written into that block
    3. test pattern then read from that block
    4. compare the results from 2-3 to see if they’re the same
    5. put back the original block

Hopefully, this gives a reference for others who want to run this test so that they have an idea at least for how long the test would take.  For a less thorough, but faster test, one can opt to do a non-destructive read test (leave out the “n” option) and it also does not care whether the disk is mounted or not.