Will Dyson on 30 Aug 2005 05:57:16 -0000

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Re: [PLUG] ext3 and fsck

On 8/29/05, Jeff Abrahamson <jeff@purple.com> wrote:
> A crash caused me to have to fsck a ext3 partition.  At least, I think
> that's what happened.  This is a pretty new disk, about a month old.
> But the boot errors when running fsck look like this:
>     hdb: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady SeekComplete Error }
>     hdb: dma_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError }, LBAsect=174587984, high=10, low=6815824,

Those look like fairly typical "unreadable sector" errors. In my
experience, the majority of drive failures go like that (an
accelerating accumulation of bad sectors). Only rarely is failure
sudden and catastrophic. This can be deceptive, as the drive firmware
will remap bad blocks on write, leading one to think that the problem
has gone away.

According to Alan Cox, such error codes (error=0x40 or whatever) are
generated by the drive electronics (not the OS), and are therefor a
sure sign that something really is wrong with the drive (simply
writing bad data to the disk could not cause these errors).


A few bad blocks over the life of the drive are normal, but if the bad
block count (from SMART) starts to rise quickly, then the drive is
quite likely to fail completely soon.

It certainly is a bit suspicious to have several drives fail in quick
succession. You may want to make sure that you don't have any heat or
power supply issues.

Will Dyson
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