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"Jonathan D. Armendariz" 12-02-2009 05:23 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
Good evening everyone (here anyway),

Perhaps this may be a more generic Linux question than anything but
since I'm here ... here goes.

As we all know most HDD manufacturers offer support for Windows and to a
slightly lesser extent Mac OS but for Linux (including *buntu) not so
much. Further to this if a HDD is suspected of failing (USB or FW
connected) for Windows one can check the Disk Management console and
Device Manager and for Mac one can check the System Profiler as well as
the Disk Utility. The question I ask of you, in the collective sense, is
what tricks or best practices might you employ for a Linux (*buntu)
user? Obviously a command line inquiry would be ideal given that not
everyone uses the same distro or WM or whatever the case may be. Any
general guideline or point in the right direction would be most appreciated!

Kind regards..

--
The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed
by the tribe. If you try it you will be lonely often and sometimes
frightened but no price if too high to pay for the privilege of owning
yourself.

- Frederich Nietzsche

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Andrew Farris 12-02-2009 08:06 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Tue, 2009-12-01 at 22:23 -0800, Jonathan D. Armendariz wrote:
> Good evening everyone (here anyway),
>
> Perhaps this may be a more generic Linux question than anything but
> since I'm here ... here goes.
>
> As we all know most HDD manufacturers offer support for Windows and to a
> slightly lesser extent Mac OS but for Linux (including *buntu) not so
> much. Further to this if a HDD is suspected of failing (USB or FW
> connected) for Windows one can check the Disk Management console and
> Device Manager and for Mac one can check the System Profiler as well as
> the Disk Utility. The question I ask of you, in the collective sense, is
> what tricks or best practices might you employ for a Linux (*buntu)
> user? Obviously a command line inquiry would be ideal given that not
> everyone uses the same distro or WM or whatever the case may be. Any
> general guideline or point in the right direction would be most appreciated!

For internal drives, the best practice is usually to go to the
manufacturer's website and download their specific bootable disk
test-tool for verifying weather a hard-drive is good or not.

Since you've mentioned USB/FW, I assume you're talking about external
drives... in that case I don't know if the above method would work.

I know Ubuntu is now including the nice "palimpsest" GUI tool which can
give you information on the health of the drive, but that doesn't help
you in the case of cross-Distro/WM/DM dept...

One trick i remember from someplace is to use dd to make a copy of the
disk partitions, but just pipe the output to /dev/null...then watch for
errors. I don't remember if there's more to it than that, so you may
want to read up on the concepts.

Other than that though, I can't really think of anything... hope that
helps though.

--
Andrew
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Alan McKay 12-02-2009 11:32 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 1:23 AM, Jonathan D. Armendariz
<jarmenda@armendariz.me> wrote:
> the Disk Utility. The question I ask of you, in the collective sense, is
> what tricks or best practices might you employ for a Linux (*buntu)
> user? Obviously a command line inquiry would be ideal given that not
> everyone uses the same distro or WM or whatever the case may be. Any
> general guideline or point in the right direction would be most appreciated!

The smart utils are on any distro I've used.

smartctl (8) - Control and Monitor Utility for SMART Disks
smartd (8) - SMART Disk Monitoring Daemon
smartd.conf (5) - SMART Disk Monitoring Daemon Configuration File

Check the man pages for them - it is pretty powerful and flexible.


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James Michael Fultz 12-02-2009 08:37 PM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
* Andrew Farris <flyindragon1@aol.com> [2009-12-02 03:06 -0600]:
> One trick i remember from someplace is to use dd to make a copy of the
> disk partitions, but just pipe the output to /dev/null...then watch for
> errors. I don't remember if there's more to it than that, so you may
> want to read up on the concepts.

That would likely work. There is also the badblocks command.

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"Mark C. Miller" 12-03-2009 12:53 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Tue, 01 Dec 2009 22:23:52 -0800, Jonathan D. Armendariz wrote:

> Good evening everyone (here anyway),
>
> Perhaps this may be a more generic Linux question than anything but
> since I'm here ... here goes.
>
> As we all know most HDD manufacturers offer support for Windows and to a
> slightly lesser extent Mac OS but for Linux (including *buntu) not so
> much. Further to this if a HDD is suspected of failing (USB or FW
> connected) for Windows one can check the Disk Management console and
> Device Manager and for Mac one can check the System Profiler as well as
> the Disk Utility. The question I ask of you, in the collective sense, is
> what tricks or best practices might you employ for a Linux (*buntu)
> user? Obviously a command line inquiry would be ideal given that not
> everyone uses the same distro or WM or whatever the case may be. Any
> general guideline or point in the right direction would be most
> appreciated!
>
> Kind regards..

Will system >> preferences >>disk utility not meet your needs?



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Mark C. Miller, Indianapolis IN, USA


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Alan McKay 12-03-2009 12:56 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Mark C. Miller <mr.mcmiller@gmail.com> wrote:
> Will system >> preferences >>disk utility not meet your needs?

I don't have that on my fresh 9.10 box

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Tab Gilbert 12-03-2009 01:43 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 19:56, Alan McKay <alan.mckay@gmail.com> wrote:

On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 8:53 PM, Mark C. *Miller <mr.mcmiller@gmail.com> wrote:

> Will system >> preferences >>disk utility not meet your needs?



I don't have that on my fresh 9.10 box




How about -* System -> Administration - > Disk Utility? *

It is included on a fresh install.*

It threw out a dangerous sounding error message on my hard drive.* I just clicked on ignore, make diligent backups and have been looking for a suitable replacement unit.*


tab


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Alan McKay 12-03-2009 01:47 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
> How about -* System -> Administration - > Disk Utility?

Ah, there it is. Looks like it must be a graphical front end on SMART






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Tab Gilbert 12-03-2009 01:54 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 20:47, Alan McKay <alan.mckay@gmail.com> wrote:

> How about -* System -> Administration - > Disk Utility?



Ah, there it is. *Looks like it must be a graphical front end on SMART




Hope everything turns out for the good.

tab


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Alan McKay 12-03-2009 02:02 AM

Best practices for troubleshooting a failing HDD
 
On Wed, Dec 2, 2009 at 9:54 PM, Tab Gilbert <tabbox@gmail.com> wrote:
> Hope everything turns out for the good.

Oh, I wasn't the one with the issue. Not with this HD at least. I
just replaced a faulty one from this machine though :-) Would have
been handy to have this on Windows Vista so I could have sent the
machine back to Tigerdirect.

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