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General => Off Topic => Topic started by: Vera on December 07, 2018, 04:43:06 PM

Title: Update about my system - hard drive issues and the (hopeful) solution
Post by: Vera on December 07, 2018, 04:43:06 PM
This is just to update people about what's been going on with my system. I'd been getting increasing instability on my system, and at first I wasn't sure what was causing it. As a diagnostic test, I tried installing another Linux distro, and I got a lot of freezes with that too, and wound up having to do a hard shut-down. This told me it was probably a hardware issue since it happened no matter what idstro was installed. I was wondering what to do about that, since I wasn't ready to get a new hard drive or new computer yet. As an extra diagnostic, I tried installing an old version of Linux Lite (v 3.4), since I had the original CD around which I hadn't touched since I first installed it, and I knew that this system had been rock-solid-steady on LL3.4. So if anything should work, the LL3.4 should.

Well, the instability kept happening, even on LL3.4, which was probably not surprising since it was a hardware issue. The more serious problem was that it seemed to be getting progressively worse. My data files were backed up externally, so I wasn't worried about those.

Eventually, the system wouldn't boot at all!! Aaargh!!

I therefore wound up using the live CD of LL3.4 to figure out what was going on, since I couldn't boot normally anymore. I guessed I probably had bad blocks on the hard disk somewhere. Sure enough, running the badblocks command while in the live media showed me 5 bad blocks, they were near the first 30G of the hard drive (the one that I had installed Linux on, that it was booting from) so the Linux OS probably had some corruption as a result, explaining the freezes.

So, I decided to avoid using the first 30 gigs of the disk altogether. I tried a fresh install of Linux Lite 3.4, but with a different partitioning scheme where I put the LL in a partition toward the end of the hard disk, instead of at the start where the bad blocks were. I figured that the end was also a part of the disk that had been used less, so hopefully it would be safer in general.

Well, the install appeared to work successfully, but when I booted up without the media, I wound up in the grub_rescue prompt. Aaaarghhh again!

I followed an online tutorial for what to do if you wind up in grub_rescue ( - I did the bits in the subheading "Booting from grub-rescue>" to fix the non-booting, but the start of the article had helpful background info and explanations that I needed first.

Finally, I had a bootable system. I booted and shut down normally a couple of times just for the joy of it, because it had been awhile since I'd been able to do that. ;D

Anyway, this is why I'm running 3.4 and not a higher version - it took so long to configure everything and do all of that, that I'm scared of making any more changes. I realize that this is just a "for now" measure because the hard drive is failing, and eventually in the longer term I need to get a new machine (plus back up my data frequently in the meatime). I'm hoping to hang onto this one as long as I can though.

And, the new name for my machine is phoenix  ;)
Title: Re: Update about my system - hard drive issues and the (hopeful) solution
Post by: DeepThought on December 07, 2018, 05:48:50 PM
You could try "fixing" the bad blocks using gparted. The link might give you ideas and squeeze some more life out of the hdd but in the end a new hdd will be a must.

Code: [Select]
Hope this helps :)
Title: Re: Update about my system - hard drive issues and the (hopeful) solution
Post by: arxontas on December 07, 2018, 09:47:42 PM
Well i had the same problem .NO BOOT. I use the life cd and from there i use that in this site. all was 100% after use the fix in LL 3.8
And yes i still have 3 bad blocks ( use only those bellow
sudo apt-add-repository ppa:yannubuntu/boot-repair

 sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -y boot-repair