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hard drive health check: "badblocks", or ??

I've bought a replacement hard drive, and suspect it may have some
"issues". I saw similar issues in another drive several months ago, and
wound up wasting a lot of time with failed install's and W-D's 
outstanding (sarcasm) tech support.

I learned there is a utility named "badblocks", so I made up a linux
boot cd, and ran it on this drive. This is a W-D 80 GB HDD... I started
bootblocks on Saturday morning, and it finally finished this afternoon
sometime... >100 hours (! No s**t). It reported no (as in zero, 0) bad

While this boring saga was unfolding, I noticed (by watching the block
count increment on the terminal) that the rate of progress seemed to
vary quite a bit... for minutes at a time it whould step through
thousands of blocks per update; at other times it would slow to a crawl 
updating the block count by 4 blocks per 2-3 seconds.

I assumed these frequent "slowdown" periods were a result of badblocks' 
re-trying blocks that didn't pass on first test. This theory has now 
been discarded based on the results, but I still have lingering doubts 
about this drive.

Is there a better bootblocks-like utility in the OpenBSD tree? Or 
another utility that anyone cares to recommend?

Does anyone have any other suggestions on how best to really ring out a 


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