How to Check for Bad Sectors in Ubuntu

Updated July 20, 2017

All operating systems have built in tools to help maintain an optimal operating state. Linux distributions are no different -- they have a tool called "badblocks" which scans hard disk drives for errors; both physical and otherwise. As long as you've logged into a user with administrative privileges you can run a scan for bad sectors; just be aware the process typically takes a long time. Make sure you've saved all your work and have no other tasks running.

Open an instance of "Terminal."

Type "badblocks device" and press "Enter." In the command, "device" is the name of the device you want to scan for bad blocks -- for example, "/dev/sda1."

Press "Enter" and wait for the scan to complete. The results will be displayed on the screen.

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About the Author

Hailing from upstate New York, Garrett Genet has been writing articles from tech to health to entertainment since 2001. He's been published in the "Worcester Telegram & Gazette" and websites like "" and "". Genet has a degree in network security & system administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology.