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Re: I/O errors on hard drive.

On Tue, Oct 16, 2001 at 10:51:47AM -0500, Blunier, Mark wrote:
> One of my hard drives is giving I/O errors when updatedb runs.  The errors
> are
> generated when the same files are accessed.  If the drive was reformatted,
> could the bad areas on the drive be skipped?  Can I repartition the drive to
> skip the
> bad parts?  Would a journalling file system work around the problem
> areas?  Or should I just replace the drive?

I've partitioned a drive around a bad area before, but that was for use in
my car and I didn't care what happened to the data, as it was just some
copies of mp3s that I had archived at home (and the few binaries needed to
boot 'n run, which were also backed up).

The file system won't work around the bad areas, AFAIK, because it doesn't
have to worry about that sort of thing.  If the read is failing because of
hardware problems, then the hardware has to work around it.  While a
journaling FS prolly has a greater chance of being able to recover and attempt
the write again, it makes the same high-level call to the disk driver that
any other FS would make in the end and is subject to the same error correction
and compensation capabilities of the hard drive.

Personally, I'd try reformatting the drive to see if the file system is at
fault.  Do a "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/questionabledrive" (after backing up
the data, obviously) and see if the thing can be written to.  Then, do a
"dd if=/dev/questionabledrive of=/dev/null" to see if you can read from the
whole drive.  If both of those work, then you can prolly just reformat and
go on living a happy life.  If one/both fails, then you've gotta decide how
much you want to risk that the bad area will keep getting bigger and bigger.

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