Re: hard-drive problem

unruh wrote:
On 2011-06-09, Kruppt<Krupptus@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On 2011-06-09, David Bernier<david250@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
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?

Sorry, are you trolling? Is this a rhetorical question? Assume you had
been able to get your disk back. Would it have been a (semi) disaster,
or would you not have cared?

For over ten years, I have had a Yahoo email account. Since they started
offering premium accounts with 1 or 2 Gbytes storage, I've paid for the
premium storage. I can search my emails at Yahoo. More recently,
Google has offered free Gmail accounts. My most important data
(including source code, web accounts, product keys, informative/useful
PDF files and the like are most often stored in emails at Yahoo).

Also, I think I've sent web browser bookmark files to Yahoo.
For my work (contractual), important files (source code, reports) are
with my supervisor and/or a high-performance computing center that does
backups as part of its service.

You wrote:

"For most people their data/time is not cheap"

That's also true for me. I'm used to the Yahoo premium email, and
not familiar with Gmail, since I didn't take the time to learn about

As for backups, I've done backups of my Yahoo mail account to CDs
in the past.

I've never used an external hard drive.

As regards SATA vs. ATA, I've read that the newer SATA don't have
master and slave devices for one controller.

In the organization I work for, I am the organization; so I have to
figure out technical support on my own a lot of the time.

There's a Future Shop store within half a mile. They are well-known
for trouble-shooting Windows systems. If I knew their support for Linux-only
systems was equal, I would probably ask them for help and advice in replacing
the defective HDD.

I've never done a HDD to HDD disk copy and I'm not sure how to go
about it with either ATA or SATA drives.

As a Linux hobbyist, one of my weak suits is hardware, and
especially HDD backups ...

If you do not care if you loose everything
on the disk, then by all means, do not make a backup. If it would
inconvenience you, cause you to loose your job or your home, etc, why
would you not make ( and have made a long time ago) a backup?

Because of the Yahoo premium email, and my contract work
(my supervisor is at a large organization, my important source code
is at a high-performance computing center), I feel that a lot of
my most valued data is still available off-site (not on this host).

Maybe buy a new hard disk? (Still, I might want a backup).

Do you think so?

Good question. I now plan both to buy a new hard disk and I've
ordered an external hard drive.


Check the cables to make sure the cables are seated properly first.

Purchase a new drive and use dd_rescue or ddrescue booted from LiveCD

dd_rescue or ddrescue : Ok , thanks a lot.

to salvage/clone drive to the new drive.
Then run e2fsck -v -f -p /dev/sdXX on the partitions
that exist on the new drive after cloning.

I would simply copy everything to a new drive that you want to save,
reinstall the newer version of the operating system on that new drive,
and throw away that disk. Once you start to have problems you will have
more and more of them ( Think about a tiny fleck of oxide having come
loose. It is now repeated ground into the disk by the disk readwrite
head, making more flecks, making more grinding etc). Disks are cheap.
For most people their data/time is not cheap.

Yes, there's physics involved. Wikipedia has an article on
Perpendicular Magnetic Recording (used in Seagate Barracuda drives):

< > .

With that, your parenthetical remark "Think about [...] making more flecks, making more grinding etc" becomes all the more clear.

Sorry if this is not the most appropriate Usenet forum ...

David Bernier