failing hard disk

James Michael Fultz croooow at
Wed Nov 25 01:00:55 UTC 2009

* John <comp.john at> [2009-11-24 23:36 +0000]:
> Is there anything I can do on ubuntu karmic with this disk? it is
> external, usb-connected. When I plug it in, the following is seen in
> /var/log/messages:
> Nov 24 16:26:34 john-laptop kernel: [11407.307051] sd 6:0:0:0: [sdb]
> Test WP failed, assume Write Enabled
> the red light goes on, as if it is seeking and stays on for about 10
> minutes. Then it goes off. The disk never gets mounted. It is never seen
> by 'palimpsest disk utility'. Is there anything else that might see it?

Palimpsest uses SMART to report on disk vitality which is unfortunately
unsupported with USB-attached hard disks from what I've seen.  If you
can remove the drive from its enclosure and attach it directly to the
ATA/SATA/SCSI interface, you may have better luck.  Some manufacturers
such as Seagate have utilities for testing of their external drives.

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