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Author Topic: USB hard drive errors  (Read 1216 times)
jaycatt
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« on: July 30, 2009, 09:03:27 PM »

Hi.  I was hoping you folks might be able to advise me on this.  I have a Seagate 1.4T USB external hard drive attached to my sheevaplug.  I've mounted it via /etc/fstab on boot, and it seems happy enough.  But lately I've been noticing errors with some frequency--maybe two or three times a day, I'll get an IO error, or the drive will show up read-only, or it won't show up at all the first time or so when I try to ls.  Or I'll create a directory and put some files in it, and it'll be there half the time, maybe.  It's frustrating.

When I reboot after encountering one of these errors, fsck runs, and I can watch its progress meter through the serial connection.  Then everything's OK for a little while.  But this shouldn't be happening so often, right?

Here's the line for the drive in /etc/fstab:
Code:
/dev/sda1 /media/usbhd ext3 rw,auto,user,exec,async 0 2

Any ideas what I'm doing wrong?

Thanks!

John
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restamp
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« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2009, 09:46:11 PM »

Don't discount the possibility that the drive itself is failing.  What is the history of the drive?  Does it run reliably on other systems?
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jaycatt
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2009, 10:15:45 PM »

Just what I wanted to hear...  :-(

The drive's not that old, though--I bought it when I ordered my plug, so it sat on a shelf for a month or so.  Then I decided to hook it up to a Windows box to do backups for a week or so, which it did without trouble.  When my plug came last week I took the drive away from Windows and reformatted it with the plug.  So we're talking maybe two weeks of uptime?  Not exactly a performance champion.

I guess I'll have to dig out my Best Buy receipt tomorrow....

Thanks,

John

--------------------------
UPDATE: I think I figured it out.

Seagate USB external hard drives have a sleep feature that's said to be incompatible with Linux.  My system was turning it read-only after getting buffer IO errors.  I turned off sleep this morning and have since had no troubles.  (Cross fingers.)

In case anyone else is interested in the fix for this:
0) I unmounted the drive before doing this, since I was running fsck anyway.  I don't know if you need to, but it can't hurt.
1)  Install sdparm so you can access the drive's settings.
Code:
sudo apt-get install sdparm
2)  Follow the instructions in this post:
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?p=3363113#post3363113

That's it.  Thanks.

John
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009, 01:08:43 PM by jaycatt » Logged

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