[sf-lug] semi-OT: help with dying disk

matt.price at utoronto.ca matt.price at utoronto.ca
Fri Mar 14 22:32:08 PDT 2008

Quoting Rick Moen <rick at linuxmafia.com>:

> Quoting jim stockford (jim at well.com):
>>     if you're having the same problems on the same
>> machine, verify that your power supply is okay.
> Always good advice.  Many mysterious system problems are traceable
> ultimately to weak PSUs; many snuffed-out hard drives and motherboards
> are traceable to failing PSUs.
i'm hopeful that's not it here, but i guess i will try to figure htat  
out.  not sure how to do it in the case of a laptop.

>>     it's a good idea to use the -c option to mke2fs
>> when you're putting an ext{2,3} filesystem on a
>> partition.
>> # mke2fs -c <device_name>
yes, htinking i'll do that next time!!

> I personally -- in a more general sense -- like to occasionally set up a
> spare machine as a "hard drive revamping" station:  Spare/used/old hard
> drives get attached to either one of the motherboard's IDE PATA chains
> (since I don't own any SATA drives, yet) or to a SCSI HBA card.  Then
> it gets interesting:
> In the case of PATA or SATA (IDE) disks, you instead use the hard drive
> manufacturer's pseudo-low-level formatting and diagnostic utility, which
> _either_ you can download yourself (see:  "# Hard Drive Utilities" on
> http://linuxmafia.com/kb/Hardware/ ) or use the collection of those
> utilities on Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/).  This
> likewise rewrites the hard drive's low-level formatting data.

haven't ordered my replacement drive yet -- too distracted, i guess.   
so i'm hoping to perhaps use my old drive for a few more days, in all  
likelihood wiping it & copying back some of the recovered data.  so  
i'm htinking i may try this trick of yours.  this drive turns out to  
be a Hitachi HTS72101.  am i right in thinking that i download the  
hitachi Drive Fitness Test, choose Erase Sectors after the utility's  
been run, & then reboot into linux & mkfs?  just trying to clarify...

> In either case (IDE or SCSI), you now have a much cleaner foundation on
> the hard drive for filesystems -- which in many cases will give an
> apparently flaky drive a new lease on life.
> As for the final step, creating filesystems and checking for bad blocks,
> the one refinement I would make to your suggestion is to do:
> # mke{2,3}fs -c -c -v <devicename>
> The doubling of "-c" causes the mkfs utility to call badblocks(8) with
> its "-w" option, i.e., makes it do destructive read/write testing for
> bad blocks on the filesystem you're specifying.  This in turn makes the
> operation go a _lot_ faster (albeit still pretty pokey).
excellent.  thank you so much!!


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