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When I try to install linux, it tells me there is an input output error on dev sda.

I have tried both Ubuntu and Mint on two different computers. So that narrows it down to the hdd.

After hours of googling and trying different things I tried making the hardrive ext4 with gparted but that comes up with an error. This makes me think that the hdd is bad.

There are a few reasons I think the hdd isn't bad. I can use the hdd in windows fully. Windows and gparted disk health checks both say it is fine. Its SMART data is all good.

So... help?

Last week when I checked the smart data was all good. Now it is bad. Odd. So I now am pretty sure I have a dead hdd. I am posting the smart data here anyways.

smartctl 5.41 2011-06-09 r3365 [i686-linux-3.1.6-pmagic] (local build)
Copyright (C) 2002-11 by Bruce Allen, http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Seagate Barracuda 7200.10
Device Model:     ST3160815AS
Serial Number:    5RX4PFTR
Firmware Version: 3.CHF
User Capacity:    160,041,885,696 bytes [160 GB]
Sector Size:      512 bytes logical/physical
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   7
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Sun Jun 24 17:07:49 2012 UTC
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

=== START OF READ SMART DATA SECTION ===
SMART overall-health self-assessment test result: PASSED

General SMART Values:
Offline data collection status:  (0x82) Offline data collection activity
                    was completed without error.
                    Auto Offline Data Collection: Enabled.
Self-test execution status:      (   0) The previous self-test routine completed
                    without error or no self-test has ever 
                    been run.
Total time to complete Offline 
data collection:        (  433) seconds.
Offline data collection
capabilities:            (0x5b) SMART execute Offline immediate.
                    Auto Offline data collection on/off support.
                    Suspend Offline collection upon new
                    command.
                    Offline surface scan supported.
                    Self-test supported.
                    No Conveyance Self-test supported.
                    Selective Self-test supported.
SMART capabilities:            (0x0003) Saves SMART data before entering
                    power-saving mode.
                    Supports SMART auto save timer.
Error logging capability:        (0x01) Error logging supported.
                    General Purpose Logging supported.
Short self-test routine 
recommended polling time:    (   2) minutes.
Extended self-test routine
recommended polling time:    (  52) minutes.
SCT capabilities:          (0x0035) SCT Status supported.
                    SCT Feature Control supported.
                    SCT Data Table supported.

SMART Attributes Data Structure revision number: 10
Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
  1 Raw_Read_Error_Rate     0x000f   100   253   006    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  3 Spin_Up_Time            0x0002   098   096   000    Old_age   Always       -       0
  4 Start_Stop_Count        0x0033   099   099   020    Pre-fail  Always       -       1568
  5 Reallocated_Sector_Ct   0x0033   100   100   036    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
  7 Seek_Error_Rate         0x000f   085   060   030    Pre-fail  Always       -       352177338
  9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   093   093   000    Old_age   Always       -       6721
 10 Spin_Retry_Count        0x0013   100   100   097    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
 12 Power_Cycle_Count       0x0033   099   099   020    Pre-fail  Always       -       1529
184 End-to-End_Error        0x0033   100   253   097    Pre-fail  Always       -       0
187 Reported_Uncorrect      0x003a   001   001   000    Old_age   Always       -       13311
189 High_Fly_Writes         0x0022   096   096   000    Old_age   Always       -       4
190 Airflow_Temperature_Cel 0x001a   060   050   000    Old_age   Always       -       40 (Min/Max 40/42)
194 Temperature_Celsius     0x0000   040   050   000    Old_age   Offline      -       40 (0 15 0 0)
195 Hardware_ECC_Recovered  0x0032   082   065   000    Old_age   Always       -       214888792
197 Current_Pending_Sector  0x0000   100   100   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
198 Offline_Uncorrectable   0x0000   100   100   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0
199 UDMA_CRC_Error_Count    0x0000   200   200   000    Old_age   Offline      -       0

SMART Error Log Version: 1
ATA Error Count: 13338 (device log contains only the most recent five errors)
    CR = Command Register [HEX]
    FR = Features Register [HEX]
    SC = Sector Count Register [HEX]
    SN = Sector Number Register [HEX]
    CL = Cylinder Low Register [HEX]
    CH = Cylinder High Register [HEX]
    DH = Device/Head Register [HEX]
    DC = Device Command Register [HEX]
    ER = Error register [HEX]
    ST = Status register [HEX]
Powered_Up_Time is measured from power on, and printed as
DDd+hh:mm:SS.sss where DD=days, hh=hours, mm=minutes,
SS=sec, and sss=millisec. It "wraps" after 49.710 days.

Error 13338 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 6713 hours (279 days + 17 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 98 9e a1 e0  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x00a19e98 = 10591896

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:34.027  READ DMA EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.025  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 45 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.010  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:43.113  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:43.099  READ DMA EXT

Error 13337 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 6713 hours (279 days + 17 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 98 9e a1 e0  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x00a19e98 = 10591896

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:34.027  READ DMA EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.025  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 45 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.010  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.004  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:31.082  READ DMA EXT

Error 13336 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 6713 hours (279 days + 17 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 98 9e a1 e0  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x00a19e98 = 10591896

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:34.027  READ DMA EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.025  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 45 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.010  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.004  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:31.082  READ DMA EXT

Error 13335 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 6713 hours (279 days + 17 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 98 9e a1 e0  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x00a19e98 = 10591896

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:34.027  READ DMA EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.025  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 45 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.010  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:34.004  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:31.082  READ DMA EXT

Error 13334 occurred at disk power-on lifetime: 6713 hours (279 days + 17 hours)
  When the command that caused the error occurred, the device was active or idle.

  After command completion occurred, registers were:
  ER ST SC SN CL CH DH
  -- -- -- -- -- -- --
  40 51 00 98 9e a1 e0  Error: UNC at LBA = 0x00a19e98 = 10591896

  Commands leading to the command that caused the error were:
  CR FR SC SN CL CH DH DC   Powered_Up_Time  Command/Feature_Name
  -- -- -- -- -- -- -- --  ----------------  --------------------
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:26.624  READ DMA EXT
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:26.624  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  ef 03 45 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:26.623  SET FEATURES [Set transfer mode]
  ec 00 00 00 00 00 a0 00      00:22:26.623  IDENTIFY DEVICE
  25 00 08 98 9e a1 e0 00      00:22:31.082  READ DMA EXT

SMART Self-test log structure revision number 1
Num  Test_Description    Status                  Remaining  LifeTime(hours)  LBA_of_first_error
# 1  Short offline       Completed without error       00%         0         -

SMART Selective self-test log data structure revision number 1
 SPAN  MIN_LBA  MAX_LBA  CURRENT_TEST_STATUS
    1        0        0  Not_testing
    2        0        0  Not_testing
    3        0        0  Not_testing
    4        0        0  Not_testing
    5        0        0  Not_testing
Selective self-test flags (0x0):
  After scanning selected spans, do NOT read-scan remainder of disk.
If Selective self-test is pending on power-up, resume after 0 minute delay.
share|improve this question
    
Do you have any data on the drive now? –  Mitch Jun 24 '12 at 7:04
    
Thank you Mitch for the response. I have no data on the hdd right now since it has been reformatted in windows. I formatted it in windows because I was hoping that would help since I have access to the drive in windows. I tried two different computers with the same hdd to reduce the amount of variables that could be the problem. Since I got the same problem on both computers, that leads me to believe that the common factor, the hdd, is the problem. I did not check /var/log/syslog for error messages. I can retrieve smart data. I will get both of these and add them here. –  James Jun 24 '12 at 22:55
    
@irrationalJohn I just checked the smart data last week and it was all good. Just went to go get the information for you and it is all bad. Everything says old age or prefailure. Adding them to my question. –  James Jun 25 '12 at 0:18

2 Answers 2

It appears that you have at least one bad sector at LBA 10591896. Boot the livecd and try running this command, and be sure to type it exactly:

sudo dd if=/dev/sda bs=512 count=1 of=/dev/null skip=10591896

If that gives you an IO error, then try writing to it:

sudo dd if=/dev/zero bs=512 count=1 of=/dev/sda seek=10591896

If that works, run the first command again and see if it now works, then check the smart stats again. Either there should be a reallocated sector, in which case, the drive remapped the bad sector to a spare one, or the write corrected the problem. Run the long smart selftest to see if there are any more errors and repeat. After that, use the disk utility to check the filesystem.

If the reallocated count is still zero, you should be good to go, if it isn't, then the drive has some damage and you may want to replace it.

share|improve this answer

smart data seems to be ok for me. there are some errors in the log but that shouldnt leed into panic. You should try to format the hole disk. the hdd-firmware should then reallocate blocks if nessescary without user interaction.

Btw. its absolutely nonsense that a hard drive with relocated sectors will die soon. ive hdds with relocated sectors running for over ten years now without any problems.

As long you dont get smart warnings that your hdd is about to die you should be safe.

share|improve this answer
    
Reallocated sectors can mean that the heads are damaging the platter, especially if sectors are being allocated in great numbers. –  hexafraction Jul 16 '12 at 14:54

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