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Re: Ubuntu Ibex on single SATA Seagate disk, ext3

Hi group, thanks for the replies.  I ran the smartctl diags and they returned successful.  No problems there.  Thanks for the commands.

The "crash" problems have mainly been freeze-ups.  Everything just seems to halt and I have to hit the reset button.  I had a couple instances where X crashed but the machine seemed to stay running.  I just had to hit the reset button to continue.  The other day my keyboard and mouse suddenly froze.  I could see the system running fine, but I couldn't interact with it.  I could pull up SMB shares and even fired-through a print job, but nothing I did could recover the input devices (not event physical disconnection), except of course for the magic reset button.  The disk/EXT3 problems seem to surface after the crashes;  fsck repairs most of the damage, but in every instance I'm missing at least a handful of files from across the disk/partitions.  Some files are gone without a trace, others are reverted back to states/timestamps of months prior, with any recent changes (<2wks) completely overwritten.  By far the stranges disk behavior I've ever come across....how does a file decide to revert itself, and how does it regurgitate the previous file/timestamp to revert back to!?  Almost as if I there was a secret CVS system running or something.

What I find most bazarre about the file problem is that my operating system files have remained resiliant.  Not one missing critical file or lost config.  It always seems to be my email (Thunderbird), PHP or Java (.jsp and .java) files that are affected.  Any chance this is a permissions issue tip-off?

I have good reason to believe there is a problem with the motherboard.  I was getting 4 beeps when it posts so I started debugging via BIOS settings and discovered if I disable USB support it posts cleanly.  Running stable now, so far so good anyways (8hrs).  I am in the process of getting an RMA from MSI...should have a replacement in 10-15 days they say.  They suggested a bad cmos battery could cause the I/O write errors, which I skeptically absorbed (from the tech).  I think it's just a bad board.

If anyone is interested in the outcome let me know and I'll fill you in a couple weeks from now.  For the rest of the group who get too many emails as it is, thank you for listening!


2009/3/13 Stephen Samuel <darkonc gmail com>
One question I have  is: why is the system repeatedly rebooting?? The answer to that question may
point to something about why you're losing data.

I tend to find that, with Linux (and unlike some other OSs [cough]WIndows[cough]), repeated
crashes tend to point to some kind of hardware error, and -- where there's a software source to
the crashes -- there are people who are genuinely interested in(and capable of) resolving the problem.

On Fri, Mar 13, 2009 at 12:24 PM, Tweeks <tweeks rackspace com> wrote:
On Thursday 12 March 2009, James McKain [Gmail] wrote:
> I'm having a strange problem I've never seen before.  Sometimes my system
> crashes, and upon restart I am missing *at least* a handful of files.  They
> are completely gone and untraceable.  At first I forced fsck on reboot, and
> that helped recover some of them, but the problem continues.  I have no
> clue even where to start tracing this.  Can anyone help?  The system is a
> new AMD Phenom on a SATA Seagate 1Tb disk.  Ubuntu Ibex is the only OS
> loaded, on ext3 partitioned 5 ways.
> My system just crashed today, and now that I'm back up and running there is
> one file in particular that is completely gone.  I haven't touched this
> file in months, and it just up and disappeared.
> I checked with Seagate to see if my drive was part of the recall, it's not.
> (so they say)

Test it using smart:

# smartctl -T permissive -d ata -s on /dev/sda
# smartctl -T permissive -d ata -t long /dev/sda && sleep 2h && smartctl -T
permissive -d ata -l selftest /dev/sda

If the output is all %00, then the drive is passing it's self test.  If it's
failing before it reached %00 (down form 100%) then it's failing.. get your
stuff off asap.


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