Advice for dealing with bad sectors on /

Steve Listopad listopad at
Sat Jan 1 17:24:57 UTC 2005


Trying to figure out how to deal with, I assume, a dying disk that's
unfortunately on / (ext3).

Getting errors similar to:

Dec 31 20:44:30 mybox kernel: hdb: dma_intr: status=0x51 { DriveReady
SeekComplete Error }
Dec 31 20:44:30 mybox kernel: hdb: dma_intr: error=0x40 { UncorrectableError },
LBAsect=163423, high=0, low=163423, sector=163360
Dec 31 20:44:30 mybox kernel: end_request: I/O error, dev 03:41 (hdb), sector

When I rebooted, the system threw me into a shell, to get me to "fix" things. 
So, I did an e2fsck -c -v /dev/hdb1 to attempt to fix things.  The badblocks
checking took 20 hours (it's a 200GB disk).  Then I went through the
question/answer session, hoping to get through the problems...

I rebooted after this, and the machine is running, but I'm betting that failure
is close.  I've been trying to use smartctl to see if the bad locations were
actually remapped, but the Current_Pending_Sector count is 227.  I think this
means that these are sectors that are queued to be remapped, but have not been.

So...  I have a / disk that's flaky, and believe it or not, it's under
warranty, so I can replace it. 

Some questions:

1)  Is there a way to copy data off of this disk, so that I could simply swap
out the disk, turn the pc back on, and be operational?  I am trying to avoid
the extensive downtime associated with a plug-in-new-hd-and-reinstall scenario.
 Note: doing a dd from the disk to /dev/null errors out at the first bad

2) I don't have a RAID setup, but I do have backups.  Is there a relatively
easy way to plug in a new hd, partition/format it, and copy what's on the
ailing drive to it, and then somehow set it up to be the boot drive, and swap
the two?  any advice would be greatly appreciated.

3) Slightly off topic, but worth asking:  I do backups with rsync.  I have what
I think is everying I need.  Is there anything special (read:  doing forget to
rsync directories x,y,and z) so that you can reproduce the disk with the OS on
it) I should be doing for backups?



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