Advice for dealing with bad sectors on /

Larry McVoy lm at
Sat Jan 1 19:33:16 UTC 2005

The one thing I'd add to Joseph's good advice is that when I see stuff like
this (which I do, I manage a lot of Linux boxes) I tend to start swapping
things.  Put the drive in a known good system with a known good cable on
the cable by itself and then see if you get errors.  If you don't get
errors in that situation it is likely your drive is fine and you have
some bad hardware elsewhere.

Hardware debugging is basically swapping parts until you find the guilty

On Sat, Jan 01, 2005 at 01:28:39PM -0600, Joseph D. Wagner wrote:
> > 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
> > 163360
> This may not be the disk; it could also be the controller.  I've seen it go both ways.  Any problems on hda?
> Try adding ide=nodma to the kernel parameters.  If the problem goes away, the problem is in the kernel driver for the controller or motherboard chipset.
> > 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...
> A better way to go about this is booting off the rescue CD and doing the e2fsck scan there.  Otherwise, there could be leftover problems from running the scan off of the partition you are scanning.
> > Some questions:
> Best advice to all 3 questions: get some sort of disk imaging software.
> The disk imaging software may copy the bad sectors (i.e. sectors marked bad now may also be marked bad on the new drive), but you can force e2fsck to rescan bad sectors.
> Joseph D. Wagner
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Larry McVoy                lm at 

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