hard-drive problem

I have Fedora 14 installed. I boot from a hard drive: dozens or hundreds of
gigabytes. It must be about four years old.

About 10 days ago, the computer wouldn't reboot. I was getting error
messages that looked something like:

"SATA error [...] "

The hard drive is of the newer type: SATA (small cable) rather than
ATA (thick cable). I don't have backups and I don't have RAID.

Today, I tried again and was prompted for root's password, which
I entered.

Then, the system suggested I run fsck manually, which I did.

About half a dozen file system inconsistencies and other problems
were found by the fsck utility, an automatic repair suggestion was
made, which I said yes to in all cases.

At the end of all this, I rebooted and got as far as the X-window
interface with a login prompt. I did a yum update as root.
Then, I rebooted and logged in as an ordinary user.

I figure if I don't reboot, there's less of a chance of running into
a read/write problem with the hard drive.

At the same time, fsck found file system inconsistencies, so
maybe my hard drive is getting old and unreliable.

Maybe I should make a backup to an external hard drive?
Maybe buy a new hard disk? (Still, I might want a backup).

So I'm looking for suggestions on what to do next.

David Bernier

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