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Old 12-09-2009, 01:19 AM
scar
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

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hi, during a routine check of disks during startup, fsck failed due to
read failures. it said to run it manually, so i did. again came the
read errors. i just ignored them all. i think there were 32 in all and
then fsck finished and the system booted up fine after that. i decided
to then reboot into recovery mode and drop to a root shell, unmount the
root filesystem, and run 'e2fsck -c' in order to update the bad blocks
list. i think it found the same 32 sectors and updated the bad blocks
file. the system has been running stable since.

so, my question is: is everything ok? i realize the hard drive should
probably be replaced soon, but as long as i have marked the bad blocks
it should be ok for now? (btw, it is a 1.8" PATA IDE drive, impossible
to find, probably $100's to replace, so it probably won't get replaced
soon).

i guess my question arises out of a misunderstanding of what the routine
check during startup is actually doing. does it check the whole surface
of the drive that the filesystem is allocated to? or does it just check
the used area? if it just checks the used area, then that means those
read failures occurred in places that had data. if that is the case,
then how can i find out what data is no longer accessible? it must not
be too important as everything has been stable and i don't notice
anything missing.
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Old 12-09-2009, 10:29 AM
Werner Schram
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

scar wrote:
> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA256
>
> hi, during a routine check of disks during startup, fsck failed due to
> read failures. it said to run it manually, so i did. again came the
> read errors. i just ignored them all. i think there were 32 in all and
> then fsck finished and the system booted up fine after that. i decided
> to then reboot into recovery mode and drop to a root shell, unmount the
> root filesystem, and run 'e2fsck -c' in order to update the bad blocks
> list. i think it found the same 32 sectors and updated the bad blocks
> file. the system has been running stable since.
>
> so, my question is: is everything ok? i realize the hard drive should
> probably be replaced soon, but as long as i have marked the bad blocks
> it should be ok for now? (btw, it is a 1.8" PATA IDE drive, impossible
> to find, probably $100's to replace, so it probably won't get replaced
> soon).
>
> i guess my question arises out of a misunderstanding of what the routine
> check during startup is actually doing. does it check the whole surface
> of the drive that the filesystem is allocated to? or does it just check
> the used area? if it just checks the used area, then that means those
> read failures occurred in places that had data. if that is the case,
> then how can i find out what data is no longer accessible? it must not
> be too important as everything has been stable and i don't notice
> anything missing.
You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
available under System->administration->Disk Utility. If you click on
your hard disk there, you can see it's SMART status, which indicates the
health of your disk. If you click on "more information", you get to see
the specific attributes. It also gives an indication about the urgency
of the errors found.

The fsck tool checks your filesystem consistency (do the files actually
exists? Are the reported filesizes correct?), but with the -c option, it
calls the badblocks tool to do a surface check on the entire partition
(not the entire disk though) by trying to read every block and see if
that works. You can do a read/write test with 'fsck -cc', altough I
don't think that should be necessary.

Werner

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Old 12-09-2009, 03:29 PM
scar
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

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hi, many thanks for your help. but, a couple things...

Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 04:29 AM:
> You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
> available under System->administration->Disk Utility.

i can't find that. must not be installed. i checked add/remove programs
and there is no 'disk utility'. i also tried apt-get install
palimpsets, but it cannot find the package. is it available only for
9.10? (i am still on 9.04)

> The fsck tool checks your filesystem consistency (do the files actually
> exists? Are the reported filesizes correct?), but with the -c option, it
> calls the badblocks tool to do a surface check on the entire partition
> (not the entire disk though) by trying to read every block and see if
> that works. You can do a read/write test with 'fsck -cc', altough I
> don't think that should be necessary.

all right, so it sounds like fsck is just checking for data consistency.
then if it failed and there were read errors, then that means i am
missing some data somewhere. as i take daily backups of the system, is
it possible to find out which data has become inaccessible and restore
it? thanks
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Old 12-09-2009, 03:48 PM
Leonard Chatagnier
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

Leonard Chatagnier

lenc5570@sbcglobal.net

--- On Wed, 12/9/09, scar <scar@drigon.com> wrote:

From: scar <scar@drigon.com>
Subject: Re: question about fsck failing during startup
To: ubuntu-users@lists.ubuntu.com
Date: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 10:29 AM

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hi, many thanks for your help.* but, a couple things...

Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 04:29 AM:
> You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
> available under System->administration->Disk Utility.

i can't find that. must not be installed. i checked add/remove programs
and there is no 'disk utility'.* i also tried apt-get install
palimpsets, but it cannot find the package.* is it available only for
9.10? (i am
still on 9.04)

lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search palimpsets
lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search disk-util
i** gnome-disk-utility************* - manage and configure disk drives and media
lchata@karmic-desktop:~$

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:01 PM
scar
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

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Leonard Chatagnier @ 12/09/2009 09:48 AM:
> --- On Wed, 12/9/09, scar <scar@drigon.com> wrote:
> Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 04:29 AM:
>> You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
>> available under System->administration->Disk Utility.
>
> i can't find that. must not be installed. i checked add/remove programs
> and there is no 'disk utility'. i also tried apt-get install
> palimpsets, but it cannot find the package. is it available only for
> 9.10? (i am still on 9.04)
>
> lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search palimpsets
> lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search disk-util
> i gnome-disk-utility - manage and configure disk drives and media
> lchata@karmic-desktop:~$

yeah, only available for 9.10 and up. :
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:23 PM
Werner Schram
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

scar wrote:
> hi, many thanks for your help. but, a couple things...
>
> Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 04:29 AM:
>
>> You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
>> available under System->administration->Disk Utility.
>>
>
> i can't find that. must not be installed. i checked add/remove programs
> and there is no 'disk utility'. i also tried apt-get install
> palimpsets, but it cannot find the package. is it available only for
> 9.10? (i am still on 9.04)
>
Hey, you're right. I ran into this application on the mailing list, and
thought: why havent I seen this application before? It didn't really
occur to me that that was because it hasn't been available before And
looking at Leonard's reply I could also have been clearer about the name
of the application.

Right, an alternative is smartmontools (which is available in Jaunty).
Its output a bit harder to read though. If you run the command you can
see the current known status of the disk:

smartctl --all /dev/sda

To force a test (to update the current known status) you can use:

sudo smartctl --test=short /dev/sda
or
sudo smartctl --test=long /dev/sda

>> The fsck tool checks your filesystem consistency (do the files actually
>> exists? Are the reported filesizes correct?), but with the -c option, it
>> calls the badblocks tool to do a surface check on the entire partition
>> (not the entire disk though) by trying to read every block and see if
>> that works. You can do a read/write test with 'fsck -cc', altough I
>> don't think that should be necessary.
>>
>
> all right, so it sounds like fsck is just checking for data consistency.
> then if it failed and there were read errors, then that means i am
> missing some data somewhere. as i take daily backups of the system, is
> it possible to find out which data has become inaccessible and restore
> it? thanks
>
If corrupted files have been detected, fsck should have notified you of
that while or after the repairs. If it didn't you shouldn't worry about
it much, your hard disk uses error detecting and correcting algorithms
(see:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Error_detection_and_correction#Data_storage)
while storing data. So when errors are detected in time, they mostly can
be corrected without damaging your data. You could check if you have a
lost+found directory in the root of the mounted partition, and if that
contains data. If fsck find files and doesn't know where they belong, it
puts them there.

Werner

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Old 12-09-2009, 04:51 PM
Leonard
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

scar wrote:

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Leonard Chatagnier @ 12/09/2009 09:48 AM:


--- On Wed, 12/9/09, scar<scar@drigon.com> wrote:
Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 04:29 AM:


You can check the status of your hard disk with palimpsets, which is
available under System->administration->Disk Utility.


i can't find that. must not be installed. i checked add/remove programs
and there is no 'disk utility'. i also tried apt-get install
palimpsets, but it cannot find the package. is it available only for
9.10? (i am still on 9.04)

lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search palimpsets
lchata@karmic-desktop:~$ aptitude search disk-util
i gnome-disk-utility - manage and configure disk drives and media
lchata@karmic-desktop:~$


yeah, only available for 9.10 and up. :




Well, you can upgrade to Karmic or google for "linux disk utilities",
download the isos and burn to disc
then boot from disc and do what you want. testdisk-6.10 is one I've
used. ubcd411.iso is another and some
googling should find you several more. I could be wrong but I feel
pretty sure your install disk for 9.04 has
some utilities to use. Have you explored the disc to see what it has
installed and have you ran the aptitude
search command I showed above on your 9.04 system? If disk-util doesn't
pick up something on your 9.04
just use disk and see what comes up. Then using aptitude show will tell
you what the program does and other info.
FWIW, now that you have marked the bad blocks there is a fairly good
chance you troubles are over. I have
a fairly old HDD on an old Dell tower which got corrupted by fsck and
couldn't be fixed with repeated fscking.
I downloaded the two mentioned above and did a lot of reading on how to
use it(highly recommended you do to)
and then started playing around trying to recover the OS. Nothing got
it to boot even though it recovered missing
files. So went out and bought a second hand drive, installed and added
Ubuntu to it, but left the old drive in place.
On a hunch, I reformatted the failed drive and reinstalled ubuntu on it
and it still works fine today. Just to let you
know that disk utils wont necessary recover a corrupt fs and that the
disk is not necessarily bad even though

everyone recommended I junk it. My experience is that HDDs
are pretty hardy devices and never had one fail
on some very old machines. AAMOF, the only PC failure was on my new
Gateway when the MB went out while

still in warranty.
My point in my original reply was to show you you were looking for the
wrong file name and how you can help
yourself by judicious use of the aptitude search and also show
commands. For me, they are better than any gui
but the synaptic gui is pretty damn good if you use the correct key
words when using the search command.

HTH
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Old 12-10-2009, 12:38 AM
scar
 
Default question about fsck failing during startup

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Werner Schram @ 12/09/2009 10:23 AM:
> If corrupted files have been detected, fsck should have notified you of
> that while or after the repairs.

all right, i wish i could find the log of what happened... it doesn't
seem to be anywhere. i don't think there was anything about corrupted
files. just read errors.... or, more accurately, something like SENSE
ERROR i think. i remember each error was several lines long, also.

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