The bad block list on a disk partition is not manually maintained by the system adminitrator. You do not edit it. The bad block list is maintained by the file system checking utility that is appropriate for the file system type. The ext2 file system maintains its bad block list using the e2fsck utility, for example. The e2fsck utiltiy only works on ext2 file systems. Do not use it for any other type of file system. Each type of file system has its own version of fsck.
It doesn't hurt to run e2fsck -c on an ext2 file system when the partition is NOT mounted. You can do this as often as you wish. However you probably don't NEED to do it more than once in five years. Doing this once a year would be perfectly acceptable to maintain a busy disk with a lot of file creates, edits, and deletions.
As a rule I only check for bad blocks when I format a partition. The -c option causes the mkfs utility to check for bad blocks before it creates the file system in a partition. I can tell you that it takes a long time to perform the bad block check in a large partition.
Last edited by stress_junkie; 02-19-2006 at 08:55 AM.