Friday, August 12, 2011

Bad Sectors! :O

Hello All!! ^_^
There are few words that leave us open-mouthed when we see them in any reports that our Computer Maintenance Software generate, like , VIRUS and BAD SECTOR!
Both being super-common ones, but here we will discuss about Bad Sectors!

A bad sector is a sector on a computer's disk drive or flash memory that cannot be used due to permanent damage (or an OS inability to successfully access it), such as physical damage to the disk surface (or sometimes sectors being stuck in a magnetic or digital state that cannot be reversed) or failed flash memory transistors. It is usually detected by a disk utility software such as CHKDSK or SCANDISK on Microsoft systems, or badblocks on Unix-like systems. When found, these programs may mark the sectors unusable (all file systems contain provisions for bad-sector marks) and the operating system skips them in the future. Okay! Now I get it! er, what does it mean?! LOL! That's what our beloved Wikipedia says! :p Now lets simplify it! Before talking about a bad sector, do you know what is a sector?! Aha! That opens the eyes of the readers, super-wide! Well, a sector, can be simply understood as a part of storing disk. What I mean is that, we can consider the whole storage to be made up of small sectors, like a country made of states, states of cities, cities of areas, like that! Now if one area is affected by any problem, political, social, economical, etc. the city as a whole is affected, so also a part of the state, and thus, it can be said, there is some state of unrest in the nation in one part too! That's similar what happens with our Hard Disk Drive(HDD)! Sometimes some part of the disk gets damaged physically, which can have many reasons, like mechanical shocks and jerks, electrical surge, or permanent magnetisation of some parts of the disk(Actually its the magnetism that stores data in the disk! Amazing, isn't it! :D ). Now such physical damage, if results in inaccessibility of the files stored in that area, to the disk, it is called a bad-sector. Just like the way, an area highly affected by crime is non-desirable, inaccessible to many people, etc. etc.!
Now comes the fun part, why have I tagged this post as a fact! Now the interesting part says, BAD SECTORS CAN BE USEFUL TOO!!! Some CD and DVD copy protection schemes, use deliberately corrupt sectors in specific areas of the disc that are not accessed by most normal CD or DVD players. These bad sectors throw off copying programs because most copying programs read the entire disc, including these corrupt areas that a player would not access.

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