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Thread: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

  1. #1
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    Question What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Hi guys, I'm new to Ubuntu but having fun with it so far. All the little hiccups along the way have been interesting enough, and I'm enjoying learning my new OS but I ran into something here that I cannot figure out. I've got two hard drives in my computer, with Ubuntu on one and (until yesterday) Windows 7 on the other. Lately though, my Windows installation had started puking out BSoDs like nobody's business, so I decided to wipe that drive and reinstall Windows. That's when I found out that Windows no longer "likes" my hard drives. I can start the install, choose a drive, format it, all of that stuff. But when setup gets to the point where it's done copying files and it begins to extract them, installation fails everytime. I tried it with both drives, and LOTS of different discs. I've got images of all the Windows I've ever owned (cyber-packrat) and I've tried XP, Vista and 7 so far with no success at all. I know that this isn't the place to ask for help with Windows issues, but I'm wondering if maybe Ubuntu somehow could've changed something about my drives. Does that sound like a possibility? I'm really stumped here, Ubuntu reads and writes to both the drives with no problem, and none of the diagnostics I've tried (Hiren's Boot CD) have indicated any problems.

  2. #2
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    BSODs are often caused by hardware failure. If you run "disk utility" from Ubuntu, and click on a drive, it should display the "smart status" on the right side of the window. You might need to install Disk Utility.

    Be cautious, though: Disk Utility is very powerful...

  3. #3
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by gordintoronto View Post
    BSODs are often caused by hardware failure. If you run "disk utility" from Ubuntu, and click on a drive, it should display the "smart status" on the right side of the window. You might need to install Disk Utility.

    Be cautious, though: Disk Utility is very powerful...
    Thanks, I did try a bunch of different disk checking utilities already, but not anything from within Ubuntu. I'm too new to know where to find any of that stuff, lol. I'll check that out and see what comes of it though. Oh wait, do you mean smart as S.M.A.R.T., that hard drive info thing? I have had it disabled for a long time because it slowed my system considerably, or at least my system was faster after disabling it. Does this Disk Utility rely on S.M.A.R.T. info? I'll give it a shot, maybe even re-enable S.M.A.R.T. long enough to run a scan.

  4. #4
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    You could also try Darik's Boot And Nuke on the problem hard drive, in case there's anything on the disk that Windows doesn't like. But, be careful that you choose the correct drive - once you wiped with DBAN nothing can recover the data

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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

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  6. #6
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by savanna View Post
    You could also try Darik's Boot And Nuke on the problem hard drive, in case there's anything on the disk that Windows doesn't like. But, be careful that you choose the correct drive - once you wiped with DBAN nothing can recover the data
    Hi, thanks for the tip. I had forgotten that I do have 6 bad sectors showing on the one drive, but Windows wouldn't install on either of them so I don't know if the bad sectors are the problem. I will try the DBAN next time I format it though, maybe it will make the difference.

  7. #7
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by haqking View Post
    The ones that I was getting were flashing by too quickly to read anything, just a quick flash and then straight into a reboot.

  8. #8
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by gordintoronto View Post
    If you run "disk utility"...
    Ok I did that and it's showing 6 bad sectors on the one drive, which doesn't seem too bad, does it? Is there any way to partition the drive so that the bad sectors are not being used?
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  9. #9
    ahallubuntu is offline Chocolate-Covered Ubuntu Beans
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    You have six reallocated sectors - so far. That means six sectors on your drive failed - so far - and were replaced by spare sectors automatically by the drive firmware. If that number keeps going up, that drive is toast, because eventually you will run out of spare sectors. I'm not sure how many that drive has - varies by the drive. I'd guess 200 or so spares give or take...

    Are you sure that's the ONLY S.M.A.R.T. error you have? What about Pending Sectors? Those are much worse than reallocated sectors; "pending" sectors are sectors on the disk that could not be read. Those could definitely cause BSODs. Seen that several times. If you have a pending sector in just one Windows system file, it will be unable to use that file and maybe unable to boot.

    I would DBAN the drive as suggested above. That can clear pending sectors (if you have any). However, I would assume this drive is failing and would not use it for important data. If you use it, make frequent backups and assume it will fail sooner or later completely.

  10. #10
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    Re: What did Ubuntu do to my drives?

    Quote Originally Posted by ahallubuntu View Post
    You have six reallocated sectors - so far. That means six sectors on your drive failed - so far - and were replaced by spare sectors automatically by the drive firmware. If that number keeps going up, that drive is toast, because eventually you will run out of spare sectors. I'm not sure how many that drive has - varies by the drive. I'd guess 200 or so spares give or take...

    Are you sure that's the ONLY S.M.A.R.T. error you have? What about Pending Sectors? Those are much worse than reallocated sectors; "pending" sectors are sectors on the disk that could not be read. Those could definitely cause BSODs. Seen that several times. If you have a pending sector in just one Windows system file, it will be unable to use that file and maybe unable to boot.

    I would DBAN the drive as suggested above. That can clear pending sectors (if you have any). However, I would assume this drive is failing and would not use it for important data. If you use it, make frequent backups and assume it will fail sooner or later completely.
    Thanks for reading, that's the only S.M.A.R.T. error being reported, nothing else shows up red in Disk Utility. I wasn't sure if 6 bad sectors was a big deal or not though, I figured there'd be millions of sectors available and I could just partition out 20 or 30 gigs around the bad sectors and not use that stuff. I'll do the Boot 'n' Nuke thing shortly and see if that makes any difference. Thanks again!

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