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Thread: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

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  1. #1
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    Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Although I primarily use Ubuntu on my systems, I've had Windows installed on one for Flight Simulator X.

    The weird thing is that recently the Windows installations have had problems with bad sectors, eventually to the point where chkdsk can't repair the problem and the OS has to be restored. This occurred first under Vista and then Windows 7, under different installations. I wasn't terribly concerned about data loss due to a failing hard drive because the system was backed up, so I continued to use it.

    Recently I decided to install Ubuntu (with ext4 file system). I've been using it for a few weeks now and have checked the disk for bad sectors using seatools (by now Windows would have had at least some problems) and haven't had a single problem with bad sectors.

    Does anybody know if this could simply be due to the ext4 file system? I'm trying to figure out why Windows would have this problem while Linux doesn't. EDIT: and the problem didn't occur in Windows for quite some time.

    Thanks,
    Jon
    Last edited by Jon Monreal; March 26th, 2013 at 10:37 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Hi

    Does anybody know if this could simply be due to the ext4 file system? I'm trying to figure out why Windows would have this problem while Linux doesn't.
    The filing system itself should not make any difference to any bad sectors but i am wondering if you have had some bad sectors reallocated by the drives firmware due to writing to the sector while formatting to ext4 or some such.

    I would perform a SMART test on the drive and see what that returns. Most newish drives are SMART capable.

    From the terminal

    Code:
    sudo apt-get install smartmontools
    Code:
    sudo smartctl -t long /dev/sda
    This assumes your drive is sda.

    It will take a while to finish. When it has finished

    Code:
    sudo smartctl -a /dev/sda
    Post the results back here.

    Kind regards
    Last edited by matt_symes; March 27th, 2013 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Typo central
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  3. #3
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    I have friends that were reluctant to try Ubuntu.
    I told them them to try Ubuntu (or derivatives) out on BSOD PC's, and everything worked out OK.
    Made a few conversions that way.

  4. #4
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    I've started a SMART test now to see if I can get any results.

    Quote Originally Posted by matt_symes View Post
    The filing system itself should not make any difference to any bad sectors but i am wondering if you have had some bad sectors reallocated by the drives firmware due to writing to the sector while formatting to ext4 or some such.
    I would think that if this were the case, the same would be true of the drive being reformatted to NTFS before one of the multiple times it was reformatted before being restored, no?

    EDIT: here are the results: http://pastebin.com/XK09U1x9
    Last edited by Jon Monreal; March 27th, 2013 at 02:06 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Hi

    I would think that if this were the case, the same would be true of the drive being reformatted to NTFS before one of the multiple times it was reformatted before being restored, no?
    That may well depend on whether it does a quick or a full NTFS format at the start.

    I'll take a look at you SMART results and post back. Hopefully that may give some concrete answers as at the moment it's all speculation.

    Kind regards
    Join us on irc at #ubuntuforums. For web chat see here

    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Quote Originally Posted by matt_symes View Post
    That may well depend on whether it does a quick or a full NTFS format at the start.

    I'll take a look at you SMART results and post back. Hopefully that may give some concrete answers as at the moment it's all speculation.
    Thanks.

    Just so you know, I always do a full NTFS format prior to restoring a backup.

  7. #7
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Hi

    Looking at the SMART results, your drive is having read errors.

    Infact the drive has...

    Error 23683 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 14395 hours (599 days + 19 hours)
    SMART can be wrong, however as you were having problems under windows it would suggest it's not in this case.

    Quite why your not seeing the same errors in Linux, i'm not sure. I can only assume the driver is more fault tolerant.

    I would suggest this drive is failing though.

    To be honest, it's too late here in the UK for me to really study the SMART report. I may look again the in the morning.

    Kind regards
    Join us on irc at #ubuntuforums. For web chat see here

    If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~ Japanese Proverb

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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    I'll keep an eye on it and see if there are any additional errors. I'm not sure if the 14395 POH mark would fall under when Windows was still installed. I find it interesting that the "LBA_of_first_error" value has increased so much, at any rate.

    Thanks for all your help.

  9. #9
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    Code:
      4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0032   092   092   020    Old_age   Always       -       8704
      5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   080   080   036    Pre-fail  Always       -       415
      7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   060   057   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       1237186230140
    187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x0032   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       65535
    188 Command_Timeout         0x0032   100   093   000    Old_age   Always       -       154621182149
    190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x0022   052   038   045    Old_age   Always   In_the_past 48 (0 37 49 42)
    197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0012   100   100   000    Old_age   Always       -       492
    198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0010   100   100   000    Old_age   Offline      -       492
    254 Free_Fall_Sensor        0x0032   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       2060
    Wow, with SMART readings like these, your HDD belongs in a trash bin. And - just a friendly advice - don't buy Seagate next time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Weird: bad sectors with Windows, no problems with Ubuntu

    That drive is on it's way out.


    Quote Originally Posted by prodigy_ View Post
    And - just a friendly advice - don't buy Seagate next time.
    No brand is immune to failure and it's pretty much luck of the draw when you buy any brand of hard drive.

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