One always learns about neat utilities when you are faced with some real problems. This is how I discovered badblocks. badblocks is a Linux command for the ext2 and ext3 file systems, maybe others. badblocks will basically scan you hard drive for any bad blocks on the drive and will mark them bad, so that the file system does not use them. The Seagate drive that made me use this utility had groups of 4 bad blocks.
The command is simply: