so my laptop hard drive is FUBAR. it makes noise and clearly has bad sectors, but when it was still installed i never suffered data loss or weird lags, it just made crazy noises and wouldn't run bios disk-checks--it'd just freeze up after a long point.
anyway, is it just trash, or can i isolate the bad sectors and partition it off to use as an external hard drive?
As i recall, you could do it using the MSDOS utility Fdisk which came with Windows up to 98SE or perhaps ME -- but otherwise you may have to purchase partitioning software (though worth looking at free downloads at Filehippo etc).
I know Linux still uses a manual disk sizing utility.
I used to do this with secondhand drives with minor faults -- you just figured out where the fault was and reduced the size of the drive to avoid it.
Frankly, I'm not sure it's worth the trouble (and risk) given that hardware is now much cheaper.
Agree with fihart. You are assuming that the problem is a small range of bad sectors that can be simply ignored and never used. But bad sectors do NOT make weird noises - unless, of course, they are caused by heads that are CONSTANTLY dragging on the surface. So the symptoms you cite say you have other more serious problems. Not worth the trouble to do what you propose.