This item is from the Yet Another Enhanced IDE/Fast-ATA/ATA-2 FAQ, by John Wehman and Peter den Haan with numerous contributions by others. (v1.92).
No. All modern drives support error management, which completely hides any bad sectors that may be on the disk before leaving the factory. Even a single bad sector is sufficient grounds to return the drive under warranty. If you want to continue using it, the drive should be viewed with the utmost suspicion.
Western Digital's wdat_ide.exe utility can hide grown bad sectors on many Caviar disks.
There is one exception. Under rare circumstances, use of bad (too fast) timing by the disk adapter can cause bad sectors on a disk. This type of error can be fixed simply by writing fresh data to these sectors, as there is no actual media defect.