Input/output error - is the disc bad?

Niels Larsen bqz69 at
Sun Sep 9 21:48:49 UTC 2007

On Monday 10 September 2007 08:42:49 andy baxter wrote:
> Craig Hagerman wrote:
> > Hi,
> >
> > I decided to move the data from one hard drive onto a new, much larger
> > drive. I first just simply used cp (cp -a olddir newdir). But I found
> > a dozen or so errors all the same complaining about an input/output
> > error. I tried rsync but it gave the same errors. I unmounted the disc
> > and ran fsck. Then, in order to see what exactly is different I did a
> > comparison like this:
> >
> > cd /media/OLD
> > find . -type f -not -exec cmp {} /media/NEW/{} ";" -print
> >
> > It too gave me a bunch of input/output errors. Fsck found a couple
> > problems with inode numbers or something like that but didn't report
> > anything major. But it seems impossible to copy these files or even
> > read them. One is a documentary movie. I tried to watch it in mplayer
> > and it seemed to play fine, but as I fast forwarded through it, it
> > eventually came to a spot where it just froze up for a couple minutes
> > and then quit. I thought I had watched this video before and it was
> > OK, but I am not 100% sure.
> >
> > Any suggestions for how to successfully copy the dozen or so files
> > that have the read error? Those files are not all THAT important, and
> > I wouldn't care too much if I lost them. What I do care about is if
> > the drive is bad or not. I was going to reuse it. Other than fsck how
> > else can I check a (SATA) disc? How can I know if it is bad or not, or
> > how I can I fix any problems so that I won't lose data again in the
> > future?
> >
> > Craig
> Try using the program 'badblocks'. You can specify whether to do a
> non-destructive (read-only) or a destructive (read-write) test.

You might also try to google for something like:

"which program to use to check a harddisk for errors" (without quotes)

When googling one can often use sentences as spoken, as many mailing list 
questions are asked like this - this it what I do "thousands of times" 

If you get a certain error, you can also google for just that.

Sorry, but this is for the newbies also :-)

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