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Thread: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011

    HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb


    I installed Lubuntu 11.10 on my new external HDD (Western Digital, My Passport, 1 TB).
    After installing and booting from the USB-HDD, my system stop while booting. I get the following message text:

    HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb : invalid argument

    Then I installed Ubuntu 11.10, but it brings me to the same error message.... Any ideas, how to solve this problem? I searched the internet for this problem and I only find out that Western Digital has a lot of "disadvantages" with LINUX....

    Thanks for help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Allentown, PA; USA
    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb

    I have the same problem. Maverick kernel still boots system along with natty kernels but 3.0.0-16-generic gives this issue. I think it might be a bug and specifically for me it has something to do with VIA_AGP and I have it blacklisted. I have had the same thing with puppy linux until recently where something with VIA blocks the USB, sound and wifi. Will just use maverick with Oneric until 12.04 comes out

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012

    Re: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb

    Did you find a solution to this problem?

    I am getting entries in /var/log/syslog every 5 minutes
    ata_id[5845]: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for '/dev/sdb': Invalid argument
    ata_id[5863]: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for '/dev/sdc': Invalid argument

    Both disks are external 1.5TB USB disks

    Most annoying is that if this happens during a write operation to the disk then I get thousands of "Buffer I/O error on device sdc1, logical block ..." entries and the filesystem is remounted read only

    EXT4-fs error (device sdc1): ext4_put_super:818: Couldn't clean up the journal
    EXT4-fs (sdc1): Remounting filesystem read-only

    It looks like some process/script is probing the devices and is probably issueing the hdparm command that returns this error. Just guessing ...

    Thanks for any hint

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    New York City
    Ubuntu 11.10 Oneiric Ocelot

    Re: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for /dev/sdb

    I have a similar problem and it's also my external drive, a Western Digital Green 2 TB drive. Gparted was handy in identifying it. It's also attached to an open ended external box where the drive just slips into the SATA slots without it being a true enclosure. Easily hot swapped and I know that Windows sometimes has a bit of lag time seeing it. Why would this totally stall the boot as the hard drive isn't absolutely vital to the boot sequence? I imagine that Ubuntu, unlike Windows, doesn't have autoplay when it starts. All that recognition of drives occurs at boot level only. The message is similar to the above.

    ata_id[463]: HDIO_GET_IDENTITY failed for '/dev/sda': Invalid argument

    Does my hard drive need a grammar check? LOL!

    It doesn't seem like anyone has an answer to this problem yet it seems common. I at first thought I was the only one.
    Of course I also get the busybox problem as well on top of it. I am, eventually able to boot into Ubuntu but it's time consuming to do so. Is there a boot diagnostic program that can be downloaded and installed to pinpoint the source of the problem and correct it?
    Last edited by PayPaul; April 28th, 2012 at 11:55 PM. Reason: Clarification and revision
    When in doubt, check it out!

    If all else fails, check the plug!


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