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Lately my Ubuntu 12 system has started acting very strange. Sometimes the computer freezes and then unfreezes 2 minutes later, and other times when I try a basic command like less I get the error bash: /usr/bin/less: Input/output error. But this is intermittent too. Any suggestions?

Also if I try sudo reboot and enter my password, I get

sudo: unable to open /var/lib/sudo/plato/7: Read-only file system

Before I used to be able to do sudo reboot fine.

If I tail /var/log/syslog I do see these curious lines:

.... ata1: softreset failed (device not ready)
.... ata1: hard resettting link
.... ata1: link is slow to respond, please be patient (ready=0)

What can I do to fix this?

share|improve this question
I suggest you have a look at /var/log/syslog, and I have a hunch you'll see a lot of disk-related errors. Input/output error indicates that the system is having trouble reading or writing information, and this is most likely due to damaged storage devices. – roadmr Aug 29 '12 at 21:36
Go to "Disk utility", it will tell you more about the "health" of your hard drive. – Cumulus007 Aug 29 '12 at 21:44

Backup your data NOW.

Then investigate further, or just head to a computer store to get a new hard drive :)

share|improve this answer
OK I will. Thanks – dan Aug 29 '12 at 21:42

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