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Author Topic: hard drive problems.  (Read 1537 times)
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« on: July 29, 2010, 11:15:17 am »

Well I'm not sure but sometimes during intensive disk writes my computer just reboots.

May be a hard drive going bad or something. It was a used ebay drive of course, freshly formatted and vector intstalled on to it.

Is there a scandisk equivelant for vector, I mean something that can scrub the drive, veryify all sectores and remove any bad sectors?

Otherwise, how can I clone my boot drive to another hard drive?
of how can I copy the whole system to a fresh drive?

This is just my luck. Seems like I am in an endless loop spending a month or two customizing my system until its almost done and completely customized... At which point the system breaks down and I have to start all over... Very frustrating.

Steven
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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4026



« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 11:39:30 am »

A couple of tools for you to consider:

Ultimate Boot CD: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
Use that one to boot a diagnostic program for your hard drive. It may recover those bad sectors.

CloneZilla: http://clonezilla.org/
Once you have your system installed and tweaked, clone it to an image on a USB drive or other drive.
If it goes down, you can quickly restore it and not have to go through the setup again.
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toothandnail
Tester
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2527


« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 12:07:37 pm »

To check the drive, you can try gsmartcontrols. So long as the drive is SMART compliant, it will read and report anything from the drive error log. Its in the VL6.0 repo.

Paul.
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2010, 06:43:27 pm »

If you're seeing actual bad sectors, back  up your data and everything important and prepare to replace the drive. Modern hard drives should show NO bad sectors. At the factory they leave a certain number of sectors to be  available when the drive itself finds surface unreliability. When you run a scandisk/chkidsk equivalent and it reports bad sectors, it means those free sectors left purposely on the drive are all used up. In other words, there were already bad sectors and things are getting really bad now.

So the drive is failing. It could last for a  while or it could go tomorrow. Or you may just lose data. A failing drive can also slow things down greatly. The system tries again and again to read or write data while you wait wondering why things have slowed down so much.

If you're getting reboots during intensive disk activity, it could be heat. The system can get pretty hot when it's working hard. You might try removing the cover and aiming a small fan at the works. If the reboots stop happening, there's a good chance heat is the culprit and you can deal with that in several ways.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2010, 07:40:45 pm »

I'm not sure what the problem is really, while trying to use virtualbox to create a virtual hard drive the system crashed...

Before, while loading a jpg from /home/steven/desktop to gimp, it crashed.

A couple of other times while copying files from one drive to another it crashed.

I am right now backing up my winxp virtual drive, my dos directory, my icons and backgrounds directory, my mp3 folders, my document folders and so on.
Luckily my second drive is 80 gigs with like 75 gigs free, so plenty of space to
offload my stuff there for the time being. I have recent backups of all that stuff, its really just the hassle of reinstalling vector fresh and re-customizing my very customized desktop that makes me cringe. Takes a long time to set all my panels and icons and so on.

As luck would have it, my windows computer also today got a major malware infection after a particularly long visit from my nephew. He's my wife to be's nephew and this kid, everytime he uses my computer, somehow I have major malware and adware problems. Its so bad I'm going to put a spare pc somewhere in our house just for guests to use.

Haven't had a major winfection for a long while, but today reminded me of another reason I love linux... Smiley
So lets just say, I'm having a very shitty digital day today.

(Sigh)

Steven

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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2010, 08:28:18 pm »

Luckily my second drive is 80 gigs with like 75 gigs free, so plenty of space to
offload my stuff there for the time being. I have recent backups of all that stuff, its really just the hassle of reinstalling vector fresh and re-customizing my very customized desktop tha It makes me cringe. Takes a long time to set all my panels and icons and so on.

My suggestion: create a Linux-formatted partition on your 80-gig external drive and copy your /home directory there. This will preserve your ownership and permissions and is the easiest way to do that.

If your /home directory is preserved, it  shouldn't take long or a lot of effort to restore all your customizing. What I do when I'm putting a new VectgrLinux on a drive (same basic version, such as VL6, not VL7) is I rename /home/me to /home/me_original and copy the /home/me from the external or backup drive to the new installation. When I start the desktop, it uses all my customizations, icons, etc. If there are major problems, I can just rename /home/me_original to /home/me and I'm right back to the original setup without  my customizations. I've done this many times with very good results.

If your nephew uses your computer  mainly for Web stuff, I would create a visitor account on your Linux machine and have him use that for his Web activity. Most malware he might encounter won't run on Linux, and even if he gets affected, it would just be the visitor account. You could delete it once he's gone and make a new account for visitor. I do that when my grandchildren use my computer. They are perfectly content to use Firefox for their favorite Web sites and have no trouble using Linux. The youngest one is five and he does it all himself once I log him in and start Firefox. The other four do it all on their own once I log them in. Their ages range from 9 to 14, so they're old enough to complain if things aren't to their liking. No complaints after some years of using Granny's Linux computer when they're here.

I don't like other people, especially children, to use a Windows computer because I don't consider any other users trustworthy when it comes to avoiding malware. So everyone has to use the visitor account in Linux and they seem to be content.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2010, 09:17:03 pm »

Granny,

I never knew about the home folder thing...

So If I copy my home folder, then rename steven on a new install and copy over my original steven home folder... all my icons, desktop and panels will be there?

That would save me boatloads of trouble if I have problems in the future...

Steven
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2010, 04:29:27 am »

Okay all my files, and my home folder backed up to the spare drive, and to an external usb pen drive...so I feel a little better.

Fixed my windows pc too after 6 hours of running every malware removal tool I had or could get easily. I even backed up all my important files there to a usb drive... Now that everything is backed up, I have a feeling everything will be okay. (Thats usually the way it works, spend 10 hours backing up files and nothing happens!)

Lets hope I have a better digital day today...

Thanks for everyones help, I truly appreciate it.

Steven
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retired1af
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1264



« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2010, 05:11:38 am »

Copying /home isn't foolproof, and there will be broken things if you use it to restore your settings on a new install, however, it does cut down on the amount of work needed to get things back to normal.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2010, 06:35:32 am »

Yeah I figure some things may not be right or need tweaking, but nothing like it takes to completely redo a whole system with tons of custom icons, custom made bars with custom icons and so on....

Plus, I keep documents, m3's, videos, images and so on all nicely categorized on /home, so most of my work will restore nicely.

Steven
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GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2010, 06:53:07 pm »

So If I copy my home folder, then rename steven on a new install and copy over my original steven home folder... all my icons, desktop and panels will be there?

My step-by-step procedure:
*   I make sure I have space for my home directory on a Linux-formatted drive so that the ownership and permissions will be preserved. If you don't have a Linux-formatted drive for copying your home directory, you can tar your home directory and copy the tarred file to a FAT32 or NTFS drive. Tarring will preserve the ownership and permissions. I always have to look up the syntax, though, so I find it much easier to simply copy my /home to a Linux-formatted drive. Then I copy the home directory I've customized to the backup drive. Best do this while things are working because if you run into some big problem you may not be able to copy it after that.
*  On my new installation, I create my user account and log into it at least once so my home directory will be created and get its basics automatically set up.
*  I reboot into text mode (linux-tui) and log in. As root, I rename my new home directory to /home/me_original (using the real name, not "me"). This is a cardinal rule with me: always have a way to go back in case things don't work out as hoped.
*  As root, I copy my home directory from the backup drive to the new installation. I use Midnight Commander and tell it to Preserve Attributes. You have to be root because a user doesn't have permission to write to the home directory itself, just to the user's own subdirectory under /home.
*   My old customized /home directory is now the /home directory on the new system. On your system, log in and see if things are working to your liking. If you have missing icons, the new installation may not have them if you added them yourself. You may need to install some programs you added to the old installation. Before I install a program I've customized, I make a copy of its directory in my /home just in case the new installation overwrites the old folder with a new one. So I might rename /.qqview to /.gqview_old and once Gqview is installed, I delete /.gqview and rename ./gqview_old to ./gqview. It doesn't take long to learn how to cover your a** so you don't lose any settings you worked hard creating.
*   I leave my /home/me_original directory alone until I'm absolutely sure everything is working (a couple of weeks at least). Then I delete it (or rather, root deletes it) when I'm sure I won't need it.

You always want a way to recover and you want the original settings if your new installation available in case your new installation is not happy with something from your old /home directory. If things aren't right, you can rename your new /home directory to something like /home/me_new and rename /home/me_original to /home/me. Then you can do selective copying from /home/me_new to /home/me.

Sorry to be so wordy, but once you get this figured out you'll never face a long and tedious ordeal of customizing, picking out icons, and creating directories. Since I have one computer with several versions of VectorLinux installed, I usually just do a copy from one partition to another or one computer to another over my NFS network. You just want to be sure that however you do it, your ownership and permissions are preserved.
--GrannyGeek
« Last Edit: July 31, 2010, 10:43:56 am by GrannyGeek » Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #11 on: July 31, 2010, 01:37:29 am »

Granny,

Sounds great to me, because I generally take a few months to get my linux system where I want it... I'm a little crazy like that.

I may try to start a new computer system up with vector and copy the home directory from my current system just to try this out. Now that I have some external usb drives, well actually drives on an ide/usb converter, copying the home directory over should be easy. I don't have a network setup, I generally just use a usb pen drive or the usb/ide drive thing to copy stuff around. (hey it beats my old method... cdr or dvdr!)

Steven





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nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
*****
Posts: 4026



« Reply #12 on: July 31, 2010, 04:15:28 am »

My procedure is very similar to Granny's. I usually just put in a new hard drive and keep the old one around until I am sure I don't need it any more. In addition to my home dir, there are some system files that I want copied over. For copying, I like rsync or mc, because they make it easy to preserve all file attributes (owner, permissions, time stamps etc.).
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sledgehammer
Vectorian
****
Posts: 1425



« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2010, 08:35:42 am »

haywire,

ALL my backup problems went away when I discovered grsync backup tool (root) at applications->system on the VL6.0 (std) menu.  Not sure it would do what Grannygeek's suggestion does, but it sure solves normal backup issues. I run it every Sunday night, backing up my complete home partition (/home/johwhi) to an external hard drive.  If I recall correctly, when I had a hard drive problem a few months back, I reinstalled VL 6 on the new hard drive, reinstalled all the additional programs I could recall, and then just substituted the grsync partition (backup) for my new /home/johwhi partition. Of course it didn't work perfectly, as some of the programs on my root partition needed tweaking, but it only took a couple of hours and I had my system back, just as it was before the crash.

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VL7.0 xfce4 Samsung RF511
GrannyGeek
Packager
Vectorian
****
Posts: 2567


« Reply #14 on: July 31, 2010, 10:49:46 am »

I don't have a network setup, I generally just use a usb pen drive or the usb/ide drive thing to copy stuff around. (hey it beats my old method... cdr or dvdr!)

What are you waiting for? <g> Seriously if you have two or more computers, a network is a *wonderful* thing. It's much easier than copying to pen drives and using sneakernet. If they're all Linux computers, setting up nfs is very easy and all the directories you share through nfs will work just as if they were on the computer you're using. If they're Windows computers, you need to use samba, which I've never done because I don't need to network with Windows.
--GrannyGeek
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Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
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