Some hard disk is reporting health problems. Now what?

Smokin Chevy chevy4x4burb at
Mon Jul 11 03:39:32 UTC 2011

If you want to check the health of the drive, I'd pull it and put it
on another box in non raid and run MHDD on it.  You can look at the
S.M.A.R.T data as well as scan sector by sector for latency or
failure.  As far as your failing drive, I would evaluate the
importance of the data at this time.  If it is critical, I would not
spin that drive one more time and have it to a data recovery tech.  If
it is not all that important, I would have another machine and drive
ready.  Attach your failing drive to the secondary machine and bit
clone the drive off...Trusting that it will still initialise.

On Sun, Jul 10, 2011 at 10:16 PM, Kevin O'Gorman <kogorman at> wrote:
> On Wed, Jul 6, 2011 at 5:34 PM, Joseph Loo <joseph.loo at>
> wrote:
>> On 07/06/2011 07:48 AM, Kevin O'Gorman wrote:
>>> Running Natty desktop, using it partly as a server, with a lot of disks
>>> (10-12, depending) and even more partitions,
>>> I am for the first time seeing this dialog box: "Hard Disk Problems
>>> Detected. A hard disk is reporting health problems. "
>>> The "Examine" button takes me to a window showing all disks and
>>> partitions, but I don't see any way to determine
>>> which is the one failing.  (I'm kind of hoping it's my main disk, which
>>> is really a hardware RAID mirror set).
>>> I could use pointers to troubleshooting.
>>>   /var/log/kern.log has nothing but successes.  No joy in
>>> /var/log/dmesg, or /var/log/syslog either.
>>> --
>>> Kevin O'Gorman, PhD
>> I personally would run spinrite from You have enough drives to
>> make it worthwhile. It will try to clean the disk up and will extend the
>> life. I suspect the error is caused by a CRC error and it exceeded the
>> amount of re-tries allowed by the system.
> Disk Utility has narrowed it down to one drive, a 2TB Hitachi 7200 RPM that
> I run in an external dock.  It shows over 1300 reassigned bad blocks, and a
> few hundred more "queued" (it's offline at the moment, but I think that's
> what it said.)  It assesses the drive as "failing" and I can't blame it.
> I'm just going to get my data if I can.
> The first thing I want to do is verify one of my other large drives as being
> fully readable. There's some question about this because I have been unable
> to dd(1) it to /dev/null in a 36-hour attempt.  It looks like I'm really in
> for it with my drives, and I don't want to make any changes on a bad drive,
> just copy what I can and replace them.
> I may also be looking into better drive docks.  Right now I'm using the
> cheapest thing I can find: Kingwin EZ-dock (gives choice of eSATA or USB
> 2.0.,  but there are now docks that go to USB 3.0, and I think that will be
> a better choice all around.  Anybody with knowledge of SATA drive docks is
> welcome to contribute wisdom / knowledge.
> I'm expecting to get green drives so I don't have to worry about heat so
> much -- these drives are mostly used for backups and repositories for
> results; their speed won't affect much.  That Hitachi is the fastest drive I
> have, which is maybe the problem.
> --
> Kevin O'Gorman, PhD
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