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.