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I'm having a problem with my Maxtor 40GB USB HDD. I have always been able to mount it rw fine with 'mount /dev/sda1 /mnt/max', but today, something seems to be amiss. I can mount it just fine using that command, and when I type 'mount' on its own to view the mounted devices, it says that it is mounted rw. The problem comes when I try to write to the drive. I can read files off it, but any writing comes up with a 'Read-only filesystem' error.
Any help with this problem would be much appreciated, I was just trying to back up my home directory while I install ArchLinux, but it looks like I'm gonna be waiting a while before I can do that .
fsck shouldn't be destructive, although it may delete data or move inodes to lost+found if it can't figure out what else to do with them. And you should also run badblocks on that drive, it's possible it's dying.
It just lists them. If you run it inside of e2fsck with the -c switch e2fsck will mark those blocks bad and not use them, but if you have bad blocks your best bet is to backup and replace the drive immediately.
Ok, I might as well put the stuff I needed to back up on my Creative Zen Touch 20GB. Will not using thse blocks significantly decrease the capacity of the drive? Is it on its last legs, and could die any minute? I hope not...thanks for the help...
Depends on how many are bad. The man page says badblocks tests blocks of 1k by default, so count them up and see. But yes, the drive could stop working at any moment and usually once a few blocks go bad they slowly spread like a disease.