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Old 12-03-2005, 05:57 PM   #1
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Distribution: ubuntu hoary (5.04) on acer travelmate 8103 & Custom desktop
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Buffer I/O errors on SATA - dead drive?

I have just upgraded my machine to an ASUS A8V sck 939 and amd64 3500+ but seem to be having some 'issues' with my (admittedly old) SATA disk.

I run ubuntu breezy (64 bit) from a regular maxtor 40Gb drive and use another 160Gb SATA drive for storing my mp3s. Recently, however, access to the larger drive has been pretty temperamental, causing amarok and nautilus (or, indeed, any other program trying to access it) to freeze up and crash.

When I go for reboot, I'm frequently confronted with 'Buffer I/O errors on device sda*, logical block ****', with the * after the 'sda' varying across all partitions and the **** varying across several, sequential, values. Furthermore, within the past hour or two of trying to backup some of the data, I'm encountering the same messages at start-up, with no obvious end in sight.

I've tried telling my fstab not to mount the partitions automatically so that i can try and format them but this makes no difference - the errors come up whether it's automounting or not.

Is this a sign of hardware failiure or is there a way to solve the problem?


To try and diagnose further, i've hooked up the SATA drive to an external usb caddy. Here's the dmesg:

[ 1151.694291] usb-storage: device found at 7
[ 1151.694294] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[ 1188.318824] usb 5-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 7
[ 1201.991209] scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery: host 10 channel 0 id 0 lun 0
[ 1201.995435] usb-storage: device scan complete
[ 1329.684490] usb 5-2: USB disconnect, address 7
[ 1333.965117] usb 5-2: new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 8
[ 1334.000861] scsi11 : SCSI emulation for USB Mass Storage devices
[ 1334.001525] usb-storage: device found at 8
[ 1334.001528] usb-storage: waiting for device to settle before scanning
[ 1370.626090] usb 5-2: reset high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 8
[ 1384.298202] scsi: Device offlined - not ready after error recovery: host 11 channel 0 id 0 lun 0
[ 1384.298460] usb-storage: device scan complete

I can say farewell to this disk, can't I?

Last edited by MrLizard; 12-04-2005 at 08:49 AM.
Old 12-05-2005, 06:02 AM   #2
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Registered: Oct 2003
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Go to the hard drive manufacturer's website and download their hard drive diagnostic utilities. They are usually in the form of a bootable iso or floppy image. Then run the dignostic utilities on the drive. That's usually the best way to test a hard drive.


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