A friend recently asked me if partitioning his hard disk would reduce the amount of bad sectors on the hard disk. He explained that a friend of his had told him that partitioning would help to reduce/prevent bad sectors.
At first, I wondered how partitioning could ever help to stop bad sectors. After a few minutes, I thought about how bad sectors occur in the first place. Off the top of my head, I reasoned that possibly wear and tear or dust would cause them. So I replied that it would probably help with wear and tear issues, but it was still a stupid idea. I told him hard disks have a MTBF, but constant rewriting over the same area could cause a part of the hard disk to wear faster than others.
If you were using 2 partitions, and used only one for data storage, you would end up with one "new" partition and one "old" partition, thus bringing you back to square one, since the "old" partition would have more rewrites. If you were using both partitions it would basically be the same as using it unpartitioned, unless you alternated between each partition.
By partitioning, I figured it was possible but not practical to partition into very small partitions of around 2GB in order to even out the wear and tear of the hard disk. You would have to copy the data into each partition sequentially and remember which partition you last used. In the end I thought it was not a very smart thing to do, so I concluded with:
me: partitioning into very small partitions: 1 hr
me: copying data sequentially into small partitions: 1 hr
me: data saved from no bad sectors: priceless!
me: and then finding out not partitioning would yield the same result: !??!#&^@
Now I'm just wondering if partitioning would help your hard disk or this is just another urban legend. I did a Google search after the conversation and came up with nothing. Comments on this are welcome.