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*nix Thread, Strange HD Problem on Debian machine in Technical; At home, I am running an old (PIII Celeron 600, 128Mb RAM) laptop as a Samba storage server on my ...
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    Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    At home, I am running an old (PIII Celeron 600, 128Mb RAM) laptop as a Samba storage server on my home network, using Debian. Just a plain basic install, Debian base with Samba a few other extensions. No fancy GUI or anything.

    This morning, I was awoken at 0600 by a nasty, kind of squealing, grinding noise from the laptop HD. A quick look at the screen presented a long list of HD-related error messages (can't remember exactly, it was too early!!) saying something about Journal aborted or similar. I couldn't log on the machine, and CTRL-ALT-DELETE resulted in a message INIT: cannot execute shutdown. So I just turned it off.

    Now for the weird bit. When I got up about an hour later, I powered it back on to see what happened, and although the disk was noisier than normal, it booted up fine. Throughout the morning I have managed to take an image of the disk and restore it to a new one, but the old disk is still living.

    Anyone got any idea what could have happened? At six, I thought the disk was headed for nowhere but the giant computer room in the sky but now I'm not so sure. SMART checks out perfectly fine. The manufacturers diagnostics show no problem.

    Could this just be a peculiar linux-related occurance?

    And I know running a laptop as a server is a really bad idea, but space and logistics determine that a proper box is too noisy and too big!!

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    Not forgetting a built-in UPS too if the battery is still OK

    If the noise was definately coming from the HD, then it's definately on its way out. You were lucky not to have a £600 bill from a data recovery company.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    Maybe it got too hot and something inside was starting to stick?

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    Re: Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    Yup, sounds like it overheated. Setup smartd on it and have it auto-shutdown and mail you if something goes odd.

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    Re: Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    @Geoff: Cheers for that. Actually have those SMART tools installed, but didn't know I could get it to auto shutdown! Following your link for the details now.

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    Re: Strange HD Problem on Debian machine

    Yeah, for shutting it down just add '-M /sbin/poweroff' to the options in /etc/smartd.conf

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