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Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

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Old 02-04-2019, 02:49 PM   #1
RandomTroll
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Capturing hard disk failure when disk is unwritable


I was listening to some audio files this morning. When I went to do something on the computer I saw hard disk failure reports scrolling past. The disk was inaccessible, read or write, but the audio file continued to play. I was too lazy to try to write down the error message. I had to use the power switch to reboot, then ran
Code:
shutdown now -Fr
. The disk checked out. The same happened to me a few days ago. There are no errors in the logs.

If I partition the disk into more partitions, keep the apps and logs on a partition separate from the data, will I be more likely to have a failure only on the data disk and still be able to run programs, capture error messages? Or is this more likely a failure of the hardware than the medium?

The computer and drive are 9 years old. Should I get a new computer or just a new disk?
 
Old 02-04-2019, 03:00 PM   #2
hydrurga
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If you're starting to get disk errors on a reasonably consistent basis then you should replace the disk. Note though that the problem could be a faulty cable, connector or other component. Have you done a SMART check of the disk?

If you feel that it's time to replace your computer anyway then you can replace both computer and disk. That's your call to make as you know what your setup and requirements are.

I hope that you have your data backed up.
 
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Old 02-04-2019, 08:37 PM   #3
RandomTroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
If you're starting to get disk errors on a reasonably consistent basis then you should replace the disk. Note though that the problem could be a faulty cable, connector or other component. Have you done a SMART check of the disk?
No. I had forgotten about SMART. When it first appeared my disk wasn't SMART-capable; I haven't thought about it since. It's underway. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
I hope that you have your data backed up.
Yes, of course; the PATA disk of my old computer: it's my backup disk. It's still working! (and un-SMART)
 
Old 02-05-2019, 10:06 AM   #4
RandomTroll
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Quote:
smartd[16740]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], FAILED SMART self-check. BACK UP DATA NOW!
smartd[16740]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], Failed SMART usage Attribute: 5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct.
smartd[16740]: Device: /dev/sda [SAT], previous self-test completed with error (unknown test element)
How do I interpret this, other than that SMART finds problems with my disk?
 
Old 02-05-2019, 11:01 AM   #5
hydrurga
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Ensure your data is backed up and replace the disk.
 
Old 02-19-2019, 10:48 AM   #6
RandomTroll
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Ensure your data is backed up and replace the disk.
I bought a new disk. I get the same failure. This is an internal drive in a laptop, so there is no cable. Considering the failures of the CD drive and USB ports, I should probably have replaced the whole computer. sigh.
 
Old 02-19-2019, 11:20 AM   #7
hydrurga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RandomTroll View Post
I bought a new disk. I get the same failure. This is an internal drive in a laptop, so there is no cable. Considering the failures of the CD drive and USB ports, I should probably have replaced the whole computer. sigh.
Oh well. Computers don't last forever - looks like you'll need to get a new one. At least now you have a spare drive in case anything goes wrong with the drive on the new computer.

By the way, you didn't mention the failure of the CD drive and USB ports. That would have definitely affected the diagnosis.
 
Old 02-19-2019, 09:20 PM   #8
RandomTroll
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Originally Posted by hydrurga View Post
you didn't mention the failure of the CD drive and USB ports. That would have definitely affected the diagnosis.
The CD stopped burning after 2 or 3 years. I switched to backing up to an external disk but could still read the occasional CD, so I forgot about it. When trying to install on a new drive, I needed to boot off something other than the hard drive, which drove me to make a boot DVD (on a library machine). Only when that didn't work did I know the CD wasn't reading anymore. I've attributed problems of USB devices to the devices, but the closer attention I had to pay to trying to make a boot USB drive finally provided the evidence that points to the USB hardware. I've replaced the keyboard twice. The CPU and RAM are enough for me; the screen is nearly perfect; now it seems the drive was good too: it seems a shame to ditch it for such minor problems.
 
  


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