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There's another post about this, but I don't have enough 'points' to say anything on that thread. So I'll start my own ... with more details!

My computer still boots, but gnome domain reports problems with HDD smart. This has been confirmed in the bios as it makes me press f1 to boot up now. I tried running HDD disk check in the bios, but it fails running the tests. As in, running the tests failed not that the tests themselves indicated a failed drive. Here is what disk utility is reporting as failing:

Reallocated Sector Count
FAILING  Normalized: 132 Worst: 132 Threshold: 140 Value: 544

Current Pending Sector Count
WARNING  Normalized: 200 Worst: 1 Threshold: 0 Value: 2

Is this related to the insane number of DRDY errors on the drive?

kernel: [51345.233069] ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
kernel: [51345.233076] ata1.00: BMDMA stat 0x4
kernel: [51345.233081] ata1.00: failed command: READ DMA
kernel: [51345.233090] ata1.00: cmd c8/00:00:00:8b:4a/00:00:00:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 131072 in
kernel: [51345.233092]          res 51/40:00:a8:8b:4a/10:04:00:00:00/e0 Emask 0x9 (media error)
kernel: [51345.233097] ata1.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
kernel: [51345.233103] ata1.00: error: { UNC }
kernel: [51345.291929] ata1.00: configured for UDMA/100
kernel: [51345.291944] ata1: EH complete
kernel: [51347.682748] ata1.00: exception Emask 0x0 SAct 0x0 SErr 0x0 action 0x0
kernel: [51347.682754] ata1.00: BMDMA stat 0x4
kernel: [51347.682759] ata1.00: failed command: READ DMA
kernel: [51347.682768] ata1.00: cmd c8/00:00:00:8b:4a/00:00:00:00:00/e0 tag 0 dma 131072 in
kernel: [51347.682770]          res 51/40:00:a8:8b:4a/10:04:00:00:00/e0 Emask 0x9 (media error)
kernel: [51347.682774] ata1.00: status: { DRDY ERR }
kernel: [51347.682777] ata1.00: error: { UNC }

Did Ubuntu 10.10 and/or EXT4 eat my work laptop? What steps can I take to backup my important information, which is probably the home folder. Please include steps to recover my data on the new hard drive as well. It does me little good to have backups I can't use.

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I kind of doubt that ext4 ate your HD...I would go with faulty hardware, or damaged in shipping. I had an HD fail after 6 months and it was related to physical damage inside the drive(I cracked it to take a look) –  hbdgaf Jan 15 '11 at 17:28
    
Well I know journaling causes the hard drive to wake and sleep a lot, so I left it in as a possibility. The real damage was probably it writing to disk while I picked it up and moved it between conference rooms –  Drew Jan 15 '11 at 21:05

1 Answer 1

If your hard drive has problems with SMART and fails to run tests you need to replace it, and soon. EXT4 didn't kill your hard drive, it had some kind of physical damage.

This link contains some information on cloning a hard drive, though I would suggest if possible you find a professional to help you (since it is a damaged - laptop - hard drive.) If you don't want to go that route you can use an external drive, get a new internal drive (install ubuntu on it) and copy your data to the external -> and then to the new drive.

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Yes, 544 reallocated sectors means the drive is close to dead. DON'T overwrite previously made backups as you might end up overwriting good data with rubbish from the failing drive. –  htorque Jan 15 '11 at 17:40
    
Oh really, thanks for pointing that out. I copied the most important stuff after, but noticed some things were failing to copy :/ –  Drew Jan 15 '11 at 21:06

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