I work for a company that uses standard 2.5" SATA HD's in our product. We presently test them by running the Linux 'badblocks -w' command on them when we get them - but they are 160 gig drives, so that takes like 5 hours (we boot parted magic onto a PC to do the scan). We don't actually build that many systems at a time, so this doable, but seriously annoying.
Is there any research or anecdotal evidence on what a good incoming test for a hard drive should be? I'm thinking that we should just wipe them with all zeros, write out our image, and do a full drive read back. That would end up being only about 1 hour 45 minutes total.
Given that drives do block remapping on their own, would what I've proposed show up any infant mortality just as well as running badblocks?