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Old 11-25-2007, 11:13 AM   #1
drmjh
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smart warning disk failing


Hi,
I booted up yesterday and got a S.M.A.R.T MSG:
Your hard disk drive is failing! SMART nessage: Device /dev/sda
537 currently unreadable (pending) sectors

I made an iso disk of my data of course and transferred a few help files to my laptop just in case.

I wanted to run fsck but got scared off by the warning that running it on a mounted disk risks severe damage.
I've only used fsck once before to ascertain that this disk's predescessor had failed. This is the replacement!
Question is: How do I use it safely?

Thank you in advance for your support!

p.s. two recent boot ups had no smart warning....??
 
Old 11-25-2007, 07:22 PM   #2
MyHeartPumpsFreon
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Hey,

Try Googling problems like this or search the forums. People have problems like this just about every day and the answers can be found here before posting their question.

S.M.A.R.T shows when your hard drive starts to go bad. If this is a replacement and there hasn't been a great deal of time between replacements it's possible you just got another bad drive. It's also possible there MIGHT be a bug in the BIOS. Try flashing your BIOS with the most recent version. However, that is an unlikely scenario. It doesn't hurt to have the most recent BIOS though.

To run fsck manually, you have to get into single user mode. You can achieve this after boot by going to a command line and typing in "init 1" wihtout the quotation marks. After that, mount the desired partition as read only and run fsck. Refer to the man pages as they will be able to answer most of your questions. Let us know how it goes.

Regards,

Brandon
 
Old 11-26-2007, 08:59 AM   #3
drmjh
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Thanks for your tip Brandon.
I always formulate the Quest. I have as accurately as I can, enter it into "The new Thread" box and search for like problems. I most often find the exact answer I need ergo, post no thread. However, when there are several answers that sort-of- approach my problem, I choose to post a problem rather than risk galloping down the wrong path.
I guess I could Google the problem but then I wouldn't be using Linux Questions, would I? I find this site to be most helpful.
When you say "going to a command line", do you mean open a terminal?
Since the Err.Msg. refers only to /dev/sda and not a particular partition, I assume that I should enter :
init 1
mount /dev/sda ro ?
matthew
 
Old 11-26-2007, 11:14 AM   #4
tredegar
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I think that mounting the partition as read-only will not allow fsck to fix any errors

The easiest way to force an fsck is to issue the following command, as root, in a terminal:

shutdown -rF now

-r = reboot
-F = Force fsck at the next boot.

As your computer restarts, fsck will be run
 
Old 11-26-2007, 11:30 AM   #5
nx5000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tredegar View Post
As your computer restarts, fsck will be run :)
Or not :)))
 
Old 11-26-2007, 12:05 PM   #6
drmjh
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Hi Tredegar, thanks for your help!
As root, I typed in: shutdown -rF now
Suse brought up the splash screen and I Esc out of it and I watched the machine load various things. At several points, I could read that fsck was working through the fstab listing but it went very, very fast and concluded with the full Suse booted up.
I expected it to take longer. Does that sound about right to you?
BTW, I have booted this distro at least 7 times since receiving that ErrMsg. warning about impending disk failure, and it only ever appeared once?
Matthew
 
Old 11-26-2007, 12:33 PM   #7
tredegar
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@ nx5000
Well, we live in hope!
@ drmjh
If it fsck'd fast, maybe that is good. I don't know.
Quote:
BTW, I have booted this distro at least 7 times since receiving that ErrMsg. warning about impending disk failure, and it only ever appeared once?
Difficult for me to say. The warning of an impending disk failure is not something I would want hanging over my head, but I suppose it depends on how much you value your data: If I were you, I'd:

-Establish regular backups (but we all do this anyway, right? )
-Try & find out if there are any disk-testing utilities for your drive (maybe from the manufacturer), and try them.
-Maybe move to a new hdd, and keep the "Failing" one for a good testing (there's got to be some software out there to thrash a disk & look for errors).

That said, the fact that any disk is working today doesn't mean that it will be working tomorrow
 
Old 11-26-2007, 01:30 PM   #8
drmjh
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I definitely saw fsck rolling through the root section and later, sda7, the last partition. I got no Msg.s and as mentioned, it was fast.
I'd like to thank you once again for your help, I'll look into some of the options you mentioned. I do regularly backup my data but it's still a hastle when HD goes down.
Matthew
 
Old 02-02-2008, 10:25 AM   #9
drmjh
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Smile S.M.A.R.T message warning: hard disk failing

Due to necessity I have been away from my Desktop for almost 2 months. Since I've returned, the error Msg.s continue sporadically. I have downloaded and run Seagate Untilities on the entire hard disk twice and no problems were found. The exit Msg. was "examined disk has passed".
Can I asume that the SMART error Msg. is in Error?
How can I get rid of the Msg.?

Matthew
 
Old 02-02-2008, 10:36 AM   #10
Micro420
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I also get this message continually on one of my server. I did a check on it and everything is fine. For whatever reason, maybe hardware, it is just misreporting SMART. I just ignore the message now.
 
Old 02-02-2008, 10:39 AM   #11
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If it is a seagate, the SMART message may be in error. I have two Seagate Barracudas (SCSI) that have been reporting themselves as failing since the very first time I powered them up. These drives report too many read errors and therefore claim to be bad. I had purchased a pair of these drives as a new but surplus from Ubid.com, and both drives said the same thing.

So I exercised the hell out of 'em before putting them into service, and neither drive failed. That was 4 years ago; both drives show 24/7/365 service and both work fine. Smartctl shows that both of them DO have high rates of read errors, but no failures after error correction is applied. So this is normal for this drive. I just don't use them in critical roles; they are used for scratchpad and daily backup.

In your case, I would be very worried about the claim of unreadable sectors. Probably SMART has gotten that right, and the number of sectors being shown is very high and does indicate a failure is impending (probably). You should fsck the disk, as a beginning step, but you need to do that from a live CD so that you can do it with the drive not mounted. Beyond that, the tool I would recommend is spinrite. It is entirely possible that running spinrite on that drive will clear all the errors, and often enough those errors will stay cleared.

However, spinrite is not cheap. If you can borrow a copy, do so. If you can't, then replacing the HD is probably about the same price as purchasing spinrite. Personally, I consider the cost of spinrite fully justified the first time it recovers a HD with data on it that you need, or the first time it saves you from having to do a reinstall with all the time and effort that entails. But that is just me; your mileage may vary.
 
Old 02-03-2008, 05:21 AM   #12
drmjh
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Thanks Jim,
I can try to fsck the drive from a knoppix live dvd. I've only ever used it once before and as I recall, there are some dire warnings about possibly making the drive unusable by employing some of the repair functions. Any words of wisdom here?
I wonder what the Seagate utilities check, since they didn't seem to find anything wrong when I ran them?
Matthew
 
Old 02-03-2008, 08:03 AM   #13
drmjh
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Question

Gawd, can I burn up time with Linux, spinning my wheels!
After booting live knoppix and using a disk utility, I see listed:
.../dev/hdb which has /dev/hdb1 (windows)
/dev/hdb6 (linux)
/dev/hdb7 (linux)
/dev/hdb5 (Mem swap)

I see a 2nd ... HP /dev/sda (i only have 1 disk, so I assume this is my printer listed as a block device?

In knoppix when I try to umount as root the hard disk I get err. msgs. canot umount. if i look for the device as /dev/hdb1, I get "no such device"

My fstab file doesn't enlighten me:

/dev/sda6 / ext3 acl,user_xattr 1 1
/dev/sda7 /home ext3 acl,user_xattr 1 2
/dev/sda1 /windows/C ntfs rw,users,gid=users,umask=0002,nls=utf8 0 0
/dev/sda5 swap swap defaults 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs noauto 0 0
debugfs /sys/kernel/debug debugfs noauto 0 0
usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs noauto 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts mode=0620,gid=5 0 0

If I try to umount /dev/sda6 or /sda7, I get "no such device"

matthew
 
Old 02-03-2008, 08:45 AM   #14
tredegar
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Quote:
My fstab file doesn't enlighten me:

/dev/sda6 / ext3 acl,user_xattr 1 1
/dev/sda7 /home ext3 acl,user_xattr 1 2
/dev/sda1 /windows/C ntfs rw,users,gid=users,umask=0002,nls=utf8 0 0
/dev/sda5 swap swap defaults 0 0
proc /proc proc defaults 0 0
sysfs /sys sysfs noauto 0 0
debugfs /sys/kernel/debug debugfs noauto 0 0
usbfs /proc/bus/usb usbfs noauto 0 0
devpts /dev/pts devpts mode=0620,gid=5 0 0
That is the fstab of the installation on your hard disk. Not the knoppix fstab
Quote:
If I try to umount /dev/sda6 or /sda7, I get "no such device"
That is because knoppix is referring to your HDD as:
Quote:
/dev/hdb which has /dev/hdb1 (windows)
/dev/hdb6 (linux)
/dev/hdb7 (linux)
/dev/hdb5 (Mem swap)
What are you trying to do?
If you just want to run fsck (again) see my post #4 (again)
 
Old 02-03-2008, 09:01 AM   #15
drmjh
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Yes, thank you Tredegar,
I just looked at Msg. # 4 again and forcing a fsck gets me a scary msg. about possibly doing bad damage to the disk and that's why I hesitate.
I did not mount the hard as ro that must be Suse's security idea.
what about if I edit the fstab to make it rw ?
Matthew
 
  


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